August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gila River Youths stand against Pangea and Loop 202


Gila River Youths stand against Pangea and the Loop 202 in Ahwatukee


By Gila River Youths against 202
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

AHWATUKEE, Ariz. -- On Friday, December 7, a group of 17 people from the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and from the Phoenix area held an anti Loop 202/anti-Pangea rally at the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Public Policy meeting. Pangea was in attendance to present its “City Concept” which centers on developing almost 6000 acres of Gila River land south of Pecos Road. Protesters came to challenge the merit of the plan due to lack of transparency from Pangea, as well as to counter their misleading campaign that Pangea will save South Mountain, and that their massive city would bring economic and cultural prosperity to all GRIC members.

The group held banners that read “Pangea is Bad Business for Ahwatukee and Gila River” and “Stop Pangea, Save Our Future." The banners spoke to Pangea's failure to meet any of the terms of an 11-point legal review of its land use plan, which was delivered to Pangea by the Gila River tribal council on October 17, 2012. Protesters distributed copies of the tribal council's official motion to members of the Chamber of Commerce, to inform Ahwatukee residents of the public health threats that Pangea's city would usher in, and that No Build is an option.

“I was really happy to see youth from the community come out to the city for this demonstration against Pangea and the Loop 202. But I was really happy that the Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children (PARC) were also in attendance speaking out against Pangea and the 202 with us,” said Justin Webb from Gila River, Goodyear Village. “I think PARC opposition will encourage community members to take a stand against the Loop 202, and their similar perspective is good for the community to see”.

Two members from PARC were in attendance and spoke out against Pangea’s City Concept plan. “I was really glad to see the Gila River members speaking to Ahwatukee community members. This affects all of us. We need to stand together.” said Pat Lawlis, the president of PARC. “People from both Gila River and Ahwatukee need to know, No Build is an option.”

Despite the concerns expressed by both communities, Pangea’s spokesman Joey Perez presented their City Concept plan, and cited repeatedly that No Build was not an option. Perez explained that no one has any say in the transportation corridors required by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), namely the CANAMEX Corridor which would run from Mexico, up through Arizona all the way to Alberta, Canada.

“I am outraged to hear Pangea cite NAFTA and CANAMEX as their justification that the freeway is going to happen. I feel my future and children’s future is endangered by such plans, especially since our community is against the level of development the Loop 202 would bring,” said Andrew Pedro from Sacaton. “I encourage community members and tribal leaders to look into CANAMEX and NAFTA, so we can be informed of the ramifications these projects represent, so we can fight it."

The Gila River Indian Community voted on the No Build option for the freeway in February 2012. However, Pangea, regional transportation planners, and the Arizona Department of Transportation continue to threaten the public health, environment and cultural heritage of Gila River. Protesters from Gila River came to Ahwatukee to represent the No Build voice of their community, and called upon tribal leadership to publicly stand with them.

Gila River leaders have not yet publicly advocated for No Build.

Overall protesters were pleased to meet and share info with members of the chamber, and look forward to working together against the Loop 202.

Ana Morago, one of the many youth from Gila River said, “It was good to see people from Ahwatukee on our side, and that together we made an impact showing that the O’odham choice was No Build."

For more information on 202 resistance please contract us at:
gricagainst202@gmail.com
www.gilariveragainstloop202.wordpress.com

Censored this week: Collapse of news industry in Indian country endangers future generations


Collapse of news industry in Indian country endangers future generations

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

The seriousness of the collapse of journalism in Indian country was pointed out by Gary Farmer, Cayuga, in Tucson. "Native people don't have any access to any form of media that reflects them. I think it is quite significant in terms of our own self esteem and why we have such a high rate of suicide," Farmer said.
The fraudulent news coverage, and political and corporate spin, continues to endanger future generations. The news throughout Indian country -- in print, radio and magazines -- is increasing controlled by its owners, or advertisers, in the casino, oil and gas, and US spy industries, including the CIA's National Clandestine Services which controls by way of advertising dollars.
Here's the most censored issues this week.

The fantasy of the White House Tribal Nations Conference
The top censored story in Indian country this week is the fantasy of the White House Tribal Nations Conference. Wealthy politicians, even in Indian country, used the event for influence peddling, while the media failed to report the facts in a serious manner.
Aljazeera countered the fantasies and interviewed Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, who told the truth about how grassroots Native Americans are struggling to survive in Indian country. Each year Obama has decreased his time and involvement at the summit, which was originally to be a day for all tribal leaders to spend with the President at the White House. This year Obama spent only 30 minutes with Native leaders. The conference was in the Interior building, not the White House. 
Censored News article 'The Uninvited' http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-uninvited-white-house-tribal.html 
Watch Aljazeera program http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/aljazeera-counters-fantasy-of-obama.html

Obama's new promise of protecting sacred places
Instead of examining the facts, the media continues to publish and promote public relations spin with out engaging in serious journalism. While Obama makes new promises to protect sacred places, the Arizona Snowbowl continues with the desecration of sacred San Francisco Peaks. The Keystone XL tarsands pipeline, promoted by Obama in Oklahoma, continues to seize and destroy farmers' lands in east Texas. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar continues his efforts to steal Navajo water rights. The US continues to promote oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. Indian lands in North Dakota continue to be devastated by oil and gas drilling. Oil and gas pipelines threaten the Columbia River at the Oregon and Washington border. The Grand Canyon, and Lakota and Navajo sacred lands remain threatened with uranium mining. Devastation and disease continues from coal fired power plants and oil and gas drilling in Indian country. Radioactive tailings remain from the Cold War on the Navajo Nation.

Bolivia urged real climate change, and protection of Mother Earth, at COP18 in Qatar
While the wealthy coal burning and tarsands mining nations of the world continue their destruction, the Plurinational State of Bolivia continued the work this week of Indigenous Peoples who gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia, two years ago, for the protection of Mother Earth and to uphold the Rights of Nature. Polluting industries and their co-opted nations continue to push for carbon market scams, as mining companies continue to carry out assassinations of Indigenous villagers struggling to protect their land in the Americas. Few Native American leaders in the US or First Nation leaders in Canada have assisted President Evo Morales and Bolivia in the struggle for the protection of Mother Earth.
Bolivia's statement to COP18  http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/bolivia-address-to-cop-18-in-defense-of.html

Scams with funding for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations
Some organizations appearing to represent Indigenous Peoples with the United Nations are engaged in fraud and embezzlement. Meanwhile, other organizations supposedly representing Indigenous Peoples, have been taken over by wannabes, frauds. These individuals decided they were American Indians late in life when it became obvious that it would be lucrative to their careers, and their ability to receive large grant funding.
Thanks to Rebecca Sommer at Earth Peoples for sharing this article on the embezzlement: http://earthpeoples.org/blog/?p=3207

Fraudulent and unethical news reporting in Indian country
In the news coverage of Native American issues, there is an increase in plagiarism by armchair journalists, who receive a paycheck for appropriating the hard work of others. Reporters are usually not present and do not know the facts.
The news in Indian country, in print, radio and magazines, is largely controlled by its advertisers and owners: Casinos, oil and gas companies, and US spy organizations, including the CIA's National Clandestine Services which controls by way of advertising dollars.
Indian country news continues to be manipulated and controlled by the casino industry. Many of the online news sources are either owned by Indian Nations with casinos, or depend on casino advertising for their revenue.
In both cases, the voices of grassroots people are increasingly silenced, since the owners give preference to influence peddling politicians and private agendas. This includes the media owners private agendas of influencing court cases and gaining federal contracts. Others posing as journalists violate ethics and secretly receive funding for public relations. Still others pose as journalists while secretly using the information, and funding, for college dissertations.
The facts are censored when traditional people fight the development of casinos or protest for justice. The rise in gambling addictions for Indians and non-Indians is censored. The amount of casino revenues going to non-Indians -- casino management companies, attorneys, lobbyists, outside charities, and the states -- is also censored.
The fact that many Native Americans suffer in desperate conditions, even though the tribe has a lucrative casino, is censored. This includes the Tohono O’odham Nation, which owns a lucrative casino, Desert Diamond, and brings in millions, while most O'odham people live in desperate conditions.
The Tohono O'odham Nation prevents authentic journalism. The radio station is within the department of the tribal chairman, and the legislative council prohibits outside news reporters from covering its sessions. The US Border Patrol agents and Tohono O'odham police stalk, harass and abuse O'odham activists.
In the mainstream news, a lack of understanding of the issues, or romanticizing of American Indians, results in frivolous, biased or irrelevant news. Wannabes continue to write distractions, taking attention away from crucial issues.
In the bordertowns, including Flagstaff, Arizona, and in the Dakotas, racism against Native Americans results in bias in reporting, in many local newspapers and radio stations.
In urban newspapers in Arizona, the news is often biased.
Cities in Arizona, which waste water, are now dependent on stealing Navajo and Hopi water rights, and seizing their water to maintain the dirty coal fired power plant Navajo Generating Station, which provides electricity to the Southwest.
While non-Indians use the electricity, many Navajos have no electricity, and suffer the diseases from coal mining and power plants.
In southern Arizona, like most of the United States, news reporters usually don't show up to cover Indian issues and do not report the facts. If they do show up, it is a hit and run. If they don't show up, the result is plagiarism or a quick phone call.

Mohawks Fearless and Uncensored

Mohawk John Kane, radio host at Let’s Talk Native Pride, is uncensored in Indian country. Kane writes in a recent column, "My Sovereignty is not the American Dream."
“My birthright was not stripped by the children who escaped the oppression of their parents. Time did not erase my sovereignty. I was not conquered. I did not pledge allegiance to them. Their courts cannot make me theirs. Their legislatures cannot declare me one of them. No chief, no council, no president, no state, no province, no nation can just claim my birthright. My sovereignty comes from Creation. http://www.letstalknativepride.blogspot.com/
Kahentinetha, Mohawk publisher of Mohawk Nation News, is an uncensored voice speaking for true sovereignty. Kahentinetha celebrates the victory for Palestine in her most recent column, stating that it is a victory for Indigenous Peoples.
“We insist on justice first, to join the International Court, file complaints against banker/corporatist war criminals and their agents, dismantle illegal settlements and settlers, sue the colonizers, return of our possessions and sovereign control of our air space, land, waters.” http://www.mohawknationnews.com
Gary Farmer and the need for authentic media in Indian country, at Censored News: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/gary-farmer-empowering-authentic-native.html

For permission to repost this article in full brendanorrell@gmail.com
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http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/censored-this-week-collapse-of-news.html

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 30 years, beginning at Navajo Times. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. She created Censored News as a result. Now in its seventh year, with 1.7 million views, it is published without advertising or sponsors.