August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cheam Band of Pilalt, BC, create new grassroots radio

Photo: Elizabeth Bernard recording children's stories
for this weekend's broadcast.
Thanks for the wonderful weekend broadcast, Sept. 1 --2, 2012 of the new Pilalt FM in BC. The Cheam Band borrowed radio equipment for their weekend broadcast, which was a fundraiser so they can buy their own broadcast equipment.

It was a great show, with wonderful local Native hosts, children's stories, conversations and a variety of music and live songs. It was inspiring to hear people bringing in food, stopping by to talk, and passing by and blowing their horns in support. Thanks also to Govinda at Earthcycles for providing the technical support.
Pilalt FM will be back on the air when they raise enough funds to buy their own radio equipment.

Support grassroots First Nation radio!

Read more, volunteer and offer support:

Also check Out

the Cheam Band , Sto:lo Village of the Pilalt Tribe



By Louellyn White
Spokesperson for the Coalition of CIS Descendants, Relatives, and Friends

Remembering the children who never
came home: Carlisle cemetery
Photo Brenda Norrell
AUGUST 29, 2012 (Carlisle, PA):

CARLISLE, Penn. -- Despite an outpouring of pleas from descendants and relatives of students who attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, including a petition with over 600 supporters, the U.S. Army Garrison Carlisle Barracks, home of the prestigious U.S. Army War College, has reaffirmed its plans to raze one of the last standing and culturally significant structures remaining from the legendary boarding school in September or October of this year. Preparation for demolition has already begun with the drilling of holes inside the building.

Joanne Shenandoah (Wolf Clan), Grammy Award-winning Oneida singer, composer and actress gave the following statement: “ Many Iroquois young people were brought toCarlisle and the influence of this era is still felt today. Of course, we all know about the legendary Jim Thorpe. Carlisle also was the place where the Pan Indian Movement was born.  It brought many Native nations together and this is where they began to defend their rights. I feel that this important part of our history [theCarlisle farmhouse] should be told and kept intact for future generations.”

Lt. Col. William G. McDonough III, Garrison Commander of Carlisle Barracks asserted, “The farmhouse is one of dozens of buildings to be demolished and replaced with modern family housing… [they] have structural, foundation, plumbing, and electrical issues… [and] are scheduled for demolition in the coming months.” In response to McDonough, a coalition of Carlisle Indian School Descendants, Relatives and Friends, submitted a letter which refutes most of McDonough’s claims: “This current level of poor and inadequate maintenance is being used by Carlisle Barracks as an excuse for the demolition of the structure, when this deterioration can be directly traced to a failure of maintenance by the United States Army Garrison…it is obvious [they] have failed in [their] regulatory, legal and ethical responsibilities.”

The children who never came home
Carlisle cemetery
Photo Brenda Norrell
McDonough also claims that all relevant agencies and interested parties were contacted regarding the demolition, including 25 federally recognized tribes. The coalition is doubtful that tribes who may have been consulted were informed of the historic and cultural relevance of the farmhouse to the CIIS and given recent research regarding the structure. The coalition has requested a re-initiation of the Section 106 process per the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires consultation with interested parties. In arguing for the historical significance of the building, the Coalition points to a 1918 publication by CIIS that clearly discusses the use of this building for classes and housing by Indian students. The Coalition also points out that there is documented proof that the farmhouse played a role inCarlisle’s Civil War history and was used as a social club for the segregated African American Soldiers during World War II.

This is not the first time tensions between the historical significance and the exigent needs of the U.S. Army War College have resulted in a devastating loss for descendants, most notably in the 1930s was the moving of original graves of 186 children who died at the school to make way for an entrance road.

A nationwide symposium is scheduled for October 5th -6th,Carlisle, PA: Site of Indigenous Histories, Memories, and Reclamations. Descendants have requested that plans for demolition be postponed until after this gathering to give descendants and relatives a chance to visit the site and have their objections heard. Carlisle Barracks will not promise to honor the request, but admit “there is a very good possibility that the farmhouse will still be standing during the scheduled…symposium.”

Sandra L. Cianciulli
Accounting Assistant
520 West Pennsylvania Avenue
Fort Washington, PA  19034
dir phone:  267-434-3036

FAX:  215-542-1282

Alaska Natives ban and oppose chemical dispersants in oil spills

Alaska Tribal and Indigenous Groups Ban and Oppose Use of Chemical Dispersants in Oil Spills

Beluga whales
By Alaska’s Big Village Network Center for Water Advocacy
Posted at Censored News

ANCHORAGE -- "Alaska Inter-Tribal Council is calling out to all local, public authorities, Tribal governments, and indigenous nations to ban and oppose the use of chemical dispersants in oil spill contingency planning and response to toxic oil spills in all waters of Alaska,” says Delice Calcote, Executive Director of Alaska Inter-Tribal Council  (AITC).

"Food security and customary and traditional subsistence values are central to the Tribes of Alaska. The mission of Alaska Inter-Tribal Council is to protect, promote and enhance customary and traditional subsistence resources for the future generations.”

"Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council is opposed to adding any additional toxins ( chemical dispersant substances) on top of already toxic oil spills anywhere in Cook Inlet,  says Jess Lanman, Chairman of the Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council.

“The federal and state governments need to protect our valuable fisheries and ban the use of chemical dispersants  in oil spill contingency plans everywhere.  We are already concerned about the accumulations of more toxins to the critical habitat of endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whales with recent increases in oil and gas activities that adversely impacts our traditional hunters and fisherman."

Walt Parker, former chairman of the Alaska Oil Spill Commission says, "The main problem with oil spill response and the contingency plans is massive under-spending by industry, federal and state governments on research to ensure effective removal of oil spills in Arctic and ocean environments.”  The Alaska Oil Spill Commission was formed from the State of Alaska to investigate the wreck of the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound.

"We have been working on the chemical dispersants matter for many years prior to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill tragedy,” says Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, Tribal Liaison for Alaska Wilderness League, former Tribal leader and Arctic health care provider.

“Adding toxic chemical dispersants to a chemical (oil) spill should not be allowed, especially where we harvest foods for our families and friends."

"Center for Water Advocacy's main concern is that while the State of Alaska consistently parades Alaska contingency planning regulation as some of the strongest in the nation, it not only usually fails to uphold them, but , for years, has been attempting to, quietly weaken the contingency planning regulation mostly through administrative processes,” says Harold Shepherd ,CWA Board President. “This includes the use of chemical dispersants rather than relief wells or other more effective spill prevention and clean-up measures. Tribal Communities have good reason for environmental justice and human health concerns from the impacts chemical dispersants to subsistence life ways."

 “Alaska’s Big Village Network supports a ban on chemical dispersants, period!” says   Carl Wassilie, Biologist with Alaska’s Big Village Network.  “There are major gaps in science and knowledge in the use of chemical dispersants in response to an oil spill.   Adding chemical dispersants does NOT clean up spilled oil because the amount of oil spilled remains the same. Oil is just dispersed from the surface of the water to the water column, and can settle in the bottom of the ocean or drift into currents that may carry the oil droplets larger distances.  How does this impact the plankton and filter feeders such as Bowhead whales?  The industry, federal government and state governments have all failed to address to long-term toxic impacts to the human health and environment with use of chemical dispersants.  For example, what are the long-term impacts to the bio-productivity of multiple marine organisms that provide significant economic, cultural and aesthetic uses for Alaskans?  These questions of long-term effects are further exuberated in sea ice conditions of Cook Inlet, the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Seas.”

Carl Wassilie 907-382-3403 Nikos Pastos 907-764-2561
Alaska’s Big Village Network Center for Water Advocacy


Alaska groups join challenge of EPA oil dispersant rules
Alaska Dispatch | Aug 08, 2012

Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope Resolution 2011 - 06 Opposing Dispersant use in the Arctic

Shell’s Inadequate Oil Spill Response Plans Threaten America’s Arctic
Tuesday, July 10, 2012    EarthJustice Lawsuit

U.S. Government Accountability Office:  Additional Research Needed, Particularly on Subsurface and Arctic Applications
GAO-12-585, May 30, 2012

August 26, 2011,
Impact of Gulf Spill’s Underwater Dispersants Is Examined

Earth First! Blockades Florida’s Dirtiest Power Plant on the Heels of Romney's RNC Acceptance Speech

Earth First! Blockades Florida’s Dirtiest Power Plant on the Heels of Romney's RNC Acceptance Speech

APOLLO BEACH, Florida -- In the climax of the 2012 Republican National Convention, protestors with Earth First! have blocked access roads to TECO’s Big Bend coal plant on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. The environmental action group is citing corporate influence in politics and ecological impacts of fossil fuel dependency as reasons for the disruption.
This year’s RNC was funded by an estimated $55 million in corporate pay-offs, with corporations including the Tampa based-TECO Energy, along with Chevron, Duke Energy and Exxon Mobil.
According to a report by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) last year, Florida is among the dirtiest states in power plant pollution. NRDC found TECO’s Big Bend plant to be in the state's, “top three most polluting smoke stacks.”
Earth First! activists chose this day for their protest in order to highlight Mitt Romney's plan to expand what the group calls the “energy empire” which favors the interest of big donors in oil, gas and coal industries.
Romney’s top energy policy advisor is the wealthiest oilman in the country and according to data analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics, Romney has already raised more from mining interests than Bush or McCain raised from these industries in their entire campaigns.
Locally, TECO's Big Bend plant has a long history of pollution. Along with being declared Florida's number one dirtiest power plant by Florida Consumer Action Network, they were also documented discharging waste into Cobia Bay in Apollo Beach in years past.
But that's not all. TECO has been called one of the nation's worst offenders when it comes to mountaintop removal coal mining. In coal mining regions of the Appalachian Mountains, TECO has ruined entire communities to maximize their profits. Kentucky coalfield resident Doug Justice worked in the coal mines for 22 years and said “I have never seen an outfit treat a community the way TECO Coal has done us.”
In response to the devastation from floods caused be TECO's mining in 2002, Granville Burke of Letcher County, Kentucky, had this to say: “I wish TECO had never started mining above our home. Protection for families like ours is supposed to come from the state and federal regulatory agencies, but instead they look the other way as coal companies destroy entire communities for the sake of profit.”
“Dirty energy becomes dirty politics. We can't afford to stand by and watch it anymore. We have to fight back.” Said Rachel Kijewski, an organizer with the Earth First! movement in Florida.

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