August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gitxsan Against Enbridge: No to pipelines, tankers and tarsands

Photo by Adam Thomas
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By Adam Thomas
Censored News

PRINCE RUPERT -- On February 4, 2012, over a thousand people marched in Prince Rupert,Tsimshian territory to protest against Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline. The protest was hosted by the Gitga'at First Nation, which would see much of the proposed tanker traffic pass their community of Hartley Bay in the Douglas Channel. A powerful message was sent to Enbridge and to the Tar Sands industry that the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project will not happen! 
About Adam Thomas
I am from Saik'uz First Nation, a Carrier Nation and member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. I am currently in my third year of my bachelor degree in First Nations studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, as well as continuing my education in our Carrier traditions and learning International and climate policy. I am working to stop all pipeline projects and tanker traffic in British Columbia that is a threat to our waterways and salmon bearing rivers and streams. 
I also helped with the massive protest in front of the White House with the Native American tribes and land owners, swaying the mind of president Obama to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.

December 5th, 2011
Gitxsan Territories, B.C. – On Sunday, December 4th, 2011, 3 of the Gitxsan Clans held separate meetings in 3 locations to voice their concerns and consider their future action in regards to the announcement of the signing of an agreement between the Gitxsan and Enbridge.
Gitxsan people were unaware of the undertakings with Enbridge. The Gitxsan people through Simogyet Delgamuukw say, “NO to the Enbridge Pipeline Project”. Numerous concerns from the meetings were brought forward to an emergency Gitxsan Treaty Society Board meeting held on Sunday afternoon, December 4th, to have the Gitxsan voices transferred into action.
On Sunday evening, an All Clans meeting was held to discuss the unified direction of the Gitxsan. Simogyet Delgamuukw was selected to be the spokesperson for the Gitxsan. The Simgigyet (Gitxsan Chiefs) stated: “We have traditional protocols in place that dictate the actions of the Gitxsan people when making important decisions that will impact thewhole Gitxsan Nation and/or neighbouring Nations. These protocols were not followed by the Gitxsan Treaty Society negotiators.”
Immediate action has been taken to deal with the people responsible for negotiating and signing the agreement with Enbridge. The press release of December 2nd, 2011 was not sanctioned by the Gitxsan. All government agencies and other related business contacts are put on notice with this press release that our 2 negotiators and our Executive Director no longer represent the Gitxsan at any level.
Gitxsan leaders are expected to consult and cooperate in good faith with the Gitxsan people’s concerns through our own representative institutions in order to obtain free, prior, and informed consent before adopting or implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
The Gitxsan will honour all of our agreements with our surrounding First Nations neighbours to protect our traditional lands, and also to support them with their protection of their homelands.
We apologize to our neighbours and to our Gitxsan membership throughout the country for the December 2nd press release. It was not released by the Gitxsan nation.
This is a turning point in our Gitxsan history. The Enbridge Pipeline holds no future for our children.

Ninth Circuit rules against Save the Peaks 2012

on Peaks 2011
Photos by
Youths of Peaks
Ninth Circuit court bias mirrored in racist Arizona media

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Ninth Circuit Court ruled against Save the Peaks, struggling to protect the sacred Peaks, from the plan of the Arizona Snowbowl to make snow for ski tourists with sewage water. The Peaks are sacred to 13 area Indian Nations, and a place where medicine people carry out ceremonies and gather healing plants.
The court's ruling revealed bias as it upheld the lower district court ruling, and used insulting language toward the Native Americans who filed the case to protect the sacred Peaks.
The court decision is especially troubling since Native American youths have struggled repeatedly and with diligence to protect the sacred Peaks. (See court decision below.)
The court's bias was mirrored in the Arizona media, including AP and the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff, Ariz.,  which continued a pattern of racism and unfairness toward Native Americans. AP and the Arizona Daily Sun have engaged in a pattern of promoting desecrating corporations, while refusing to cover Native American issues.
Supporters of Save the Peaks urged a global boycott of the Arizona Snowbowl, and urged skiers to tell the Snowbowl they will no longer ski there due to the fact that the Snowbowl dishonors Native Americans and desecrates sacred land.
Save the Peaks attorney Howard Shanker said, "I believe that it is a sad day for the earth, the people, and our broken system of justice."
"I think the opinion is wrong on the merits and the panel's commentary reflects a gross misunderstanding of the nature of the case and the parties. There was no abuse of the judicial process," Shanker told Censored News today.
"Indeed, I would never engage in any activity that could contribute to any sort of abuse of the judicial process. There are laws, rules, and binding precedent that are in place to ensure that cases representing a gross abuse of the judicial process cannot be pursued to the merits. Properly so, none of those precautionary measures apply to the facts and history of this case.
"I also believe that the panel's pro-defendant bias was evident at the oral argument.  With regard to the bigger picture, there is an evident flaw in our system of justice when, inter alia, one panel can rule unanimously that the NEPA process was inadequate as a matter of law, while the instant panel rules unanimously that the same NEPA process was adequate as a matter of law - based on the exact same facts and law.  If there is any gross abuse of the judicial process, it is reflected in the inconsistency of the panel decisions.
"This case involves a non-destination ski area's attempt to use 100% reclaimed sewer water to make snow for recreational purposes. Something that is not done anywhere else in the world. The ski area will also post signs suggesting that people should not eat the snow because it is made from non-potable water. There are no federal treatment standards for reclaimed sewer water.
"The U.S. EPA has, however, recently confirmed that reclaimed water is a major source of the release of endocrine disrupting compounds into the environment - drugs that block or mimic normal hormone activity.
"We also know that there are a host of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) that do not get adequately treated out of this water. I find it disconcerting that the federal government, including the judiciary, appear to believe that the Snowbowl Ski area is "too big to fail", notwithstanding the potential for a long term public health threat and the significant fact that this ski area is located on federal land that is well documented as sacred to 13 of the tribes in the southwestern United States. 
 "I have not yet had an opportunity to discuss the prospect of seeking review of the decision with my clients," Shanker said.
Ninth Circuit rules against Save the Peaks 2012

Noam Chomsky Tucson: Mexican American Studies ban an international disgrace

While Professor Noam Chomsky was in Tucson this week he was asked about the Mexican American Studies ban.
By DA Morales
Three Sonorans
He gives a historical context for why this is wrong, stating that this is Mexico but was taken away by a war of aggression by the United States.
The borders used to be more open, but it was under Democratic president Bill Clinton who in 1994 started militarizing the border as NAFTA began, and this is a big part of the current anti-Mexican (anti-Latino) movement taking place in Arizona.
He called the banning of books in TUSD “reminiscent of Nazi Germany” and the MAS ban an “international disgrace.

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