August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Louisiana Love: Tragedy and survival in the Houma heartland

My Louisiana Love

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

My Louisiana Love is an intimate account of one young woman's love for her homeland, love for her family, and her journey through tragedy as she struggles to keep alive the beauty of the southern Louisiana bayou.

Monique Verdin, Houma Indian, tells of Hurricane Katrina and how her family members survived. The hurricane, however, is only one of the slayers of the peace and beauty of the Houma heartland.

It is not an easy film to watch for those of us who grew up in Louisiana and see how the oil, gas and chemical companies have gouged out the land, poisoned the waterways, and left a trail of cancer and death.

The film reveals the intrinsic beauty of the southern Louisiana coastline, and the culture that is as alive and vital as the land and water itself. It is the culture of the Houma and the culture of much of Louisiana, where family is a force that survives hurricanes, and revels in great food, laughter, music and love.

It is the culture of a people who know tragedy and now how to rebound from tragedy, how to survive.

PBS featured My Louisiana Love this week on PBS World and America ReFramed. Watch it and your life will be richer for it.

-- Brenda Norrell, Censored News

My Louisiana Love  film synopsis:
My Louisiana Love follows a young Native American woman, Monique Verdin, as she returns to Southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family. But soon she sees that her people’s traditional way of life -- fishing, trapping, and hunting in these fragile wetlands -- is threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil leak are just the latest rounds in this century-old cycle that is forcing Monique’s clan to adapt in new ways. Monique must overcome the loss of her house, her father, and her partner and redefine the meaning of home.

Angela Marie Davis: Navajo Water Rights, the People have spoken

Navajos need water, not a raw deal manufactured by a non-Indian attorney
Angela Marie Davis responds to the latest scheme targeting Navajo water rights to the Little Colorado River in Arizona
By Angela Marie Davis
Censored News
Yah’at’eeh. My name is Angela Marie Davis. I am an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and participate in my chapter’s elections. I am writing in regard to Legislation 0468-12 because I do not approve of it. It is the same as S2109, with a few amendments, forcing the Navajo Nation to give up our treaty-guaranteed first priority water rights to both the Upper and Lower Colorado River. In fact, it would give us only forth priority rights to our water. That is unacceptable. First of all, I do not appreciate our tribal water rights lawyer, Stanley Pollock (a non-Navajo) writing and submitting this piece of legislation without the approval of the Navajo Nation’s Water Right’s Task Force. Secondly, I am alarmed that our Water Rights Task Force is not up in arms about not being consulted beforehand about the legislation. If they are not outraged by this, they are not doing their jobs and need to be replaced.

Little Colorado River

The people have already spoken against S2109 and HR 4067. What makes one think we would approve of this piece of nearly identical legislation, when we already said no the first time? Perhaps Stanley Pollock thought we would not notice this is the basically same bill with the same raw end of the deal for our people. Furthermore, I think it is awfully convenient that the tiny deadline to comment on the legislation happened to fall on the day after the U.S. Presidential election. Perhaps he was hoping we would be too distracted by it to notice him trying to pass this legislation without our knowledge or consent. If that is the case, his plan did not work. We are aware of what he is doing and will not stand for any of it.

The legislation offers promises funding for expanding a water pipeline to certain areas of the Navajo Nation, if and only if, this settlement is approved. Our people do need running water, but not by hasty coercion, empty promises and giving up our aboriginal rights. I also would like to point out that the settlement would still prevent us from suing the State of Arizona, or other outside interest groups from damages done to the water. If this settlement is so good for our people, why do they demand this immunity? The State of Arizona has no jurisdiction on our federal land held in trust, and should not have any power over our water. Furthermore, I read the 85-page legislative document and noticed that family allotments were included within the proposed water settlement. This includes my family’s allotments in New Mexico and we were never notified by anyone about these decisions being made on our behalf. I am furious that none of us were consulted and this just proves how deceptive and malevolent this piece of legislation is!
In conclusion, I hope you listen to the voices of our people and respect our wishes. The vast majority of us do not approve of this legislation. Water is sacred and our lives depend on it. Do not betray us by accepting the new, proposed version of S2109. Thank you for your time and allowing me to express my opinion. As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Ahe’he’.

Angela Marie Davis

Chihuahua murder of farmers linked to Canadian silver mine

OAS Human Rights Commission Demands Protection for Activists

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies, Las Cruces, N.M.

Censored News

French translation, thank you Christine Prat

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has requested that the Mexican government protect seven Chihuahua rural activists who are spearheading movements against water over-exploitation and mining. The request was issued in favor of leaders of El Barzon, an organization of small farmers founded in the 1990s, and followed the murder of El Barzon activist Ismael Solorio Urrutia and his wife Manuela Martha Solis Contreras in the Chihuahua countryside on October 22.
Read article

AIM West Coast Inter-Tribal Conference Nov. 19-23, 2012

Sixth Annual AIM West Coast Inter-Tribal Conference November 19-23, 2012  
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Trail of Broken Treaties 1972
By AIM West
Posted at Censored News

AIM-WEST is proud to host its Sixth Annual AIM West Coast Inter-Tribal Conference in San Francisco, November 19-23, 2012. The Conference features guest speakers, regional reports, films, solidarity statements, panel discussions, cultural performances, the traditional Un-thanksgiving feast, Alcatraz Sun Rise with honoring and memorials, and a concluding concert. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided Monday and Tuesday, dinners are on your own!

The theme for this year’s Conference is the “Forty Year Retrospective of the Trail of Broken Treaties, a Review of the Twenty Point Position of 1972, and Indian Manifesto” and how it aligns with the 2007 United Nations “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. Conference attendees will be encouraged to explore how these historic documents can serve as guides to prioritize, address and implement issues we are facing today.

Monday, November 19th registration begins at 9 am (on-going) at the San Francisco Public Library, located at 100 Larkin Street (at Grove St., near Civic Center BART station) in the Koret Auditorium, on the Library’s lower level (enter at 30 Grove St.), proceed downstairs. We will host a press conference promptly at 10 am and the Conference program begins at 10:30 am until 6 pm.
On Tuesday, November 20th the Conference will be held at the Bahai’i Center, 170 Valencia St. (near Duboce St.) starting with registration at 9 am and panel discussions, lunch and film, until 6 pm.

Wednesday, November 21, the annual Un-Thanksgiving dinner will be held at the Bahai’i Center at 12 noon until 6 pm where the “Eagle and the Condor” come to feast. The public and their families are invited. There will be a cultural program that includes drumming, singers, solo and group performances with Sami peoples, and David Smith and California Pomo Dancers, the Teokalli-Mexica traditional dancers, guest speakers and a special life time achievement award to honor Mr. Wounded Knee De’Ocampo. Please come to honor the occasion!

For updated schedule go to



We need not give another recitation of past complaints nor engage in redundant dialogue of discontent. Our conditions and their cause for being should perhaps be best known by those who have written the record of America's action against Indian people. In 1832, Black Hawk correctly observed: You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. The government of the United States knows the reasons for our going to its capital city. Unfortunately, they don't know how to greet us. We go because America has been only too ready to express shame, and suffer none from the expression - while remaining wholly unwilling to change to allow life for Indian people. We seek a new American majority - a majority that is not content merely to confirm itself by superiority in numbers, but which by conscience is committed toward prevailing upon the public will in ceasing wrongs and in doing right. For our part, in words and deeds of coming days, we propose to produce a rational, reasoned manifesto for construction of an Indian future in America. If America has maintained faith with its original spirit, or may recognize it now, we should not be denied. Press Statement issued: October 31, 1972
Indian Manifesto

Cultural Empowerment: Help save Lehman Brightman's home from foreclosure!

United Native Americans Inc. Presents:
Cultural Empowerment of Indigenous Activism Featuring the Activism of Lehman L. Brightman

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
7:00pm - 9:30pm
Berkeley City College Auditorium
2050 Center St. Berkeley, CA 94704
To Inspire the Indigenous Community and
Benefit the 'Please Help Save Dr. Lehman L. Brightman's Home from Foreclosure Fund.'
The presentation will include, but not be limited to, historic videos and footage, power point presentations, guest speakers, a historic view of U.N.A, including our current activism for all Native Americans and our plans for the future.
Quanah Brightman

'Abolish War' Tucson Veterans for Peace parade

NOW: In today's Veterans' Day Parade in Tucson, Veterans for Peace send this message "War is Insanity." Photos by Brenda Norrell/Censored News Nov. 12, 2012 noon.
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