Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 15, 2013

Yakama/Umatilla fishing rights activist threatened with arrest for traditional cultural camp

Sid Mills at Occupation of Wounded Knee/Photo Owen Luck
Hundreds prepare to go to jail to establish Meadow Creek Indian Camp
By Censored News
Sid Mills, Yakama/Umatilla tribes, long time frontline fishing rights and other indigenous sovereignty movement leader was harassed and threatened by US Forest cops with arrest on Saturday July 13, 2013.
Sid is notable as one of the frontline activists who fought with the Franks Landing Indian Community, which was recently noted by President Obama in his speech at the December 2012 meeting with tribal leaders at the White House . (The activist of Franks Landing!)
Sid was threatened with jail for trying to reestablish a traditional cultural camp in the Indian Heaven Wilderness Area surrounded by the US Gifford National Forest in Washington State.  The camp is called Meadow Creek Indian Camp and is within the Handshake Treaty area.
The traditional huckleberry picking area of many northwest tribes in it is located between 4 volcanoes, Mt Rainer, Mt St Helene, Mt Hood and Mt Adams. On Saturday 7/13/13 there was a bust by Forest Service cops who also called county Sheriffs, threatened to take Sid to jail for reestablishing traditional and cultural camp without a permit.  
As president of the Native American Church for the Washington state area, he and 20 others were preparing for the yearly gathering for ceremonies in the mountains. This yearly event brings  hundreds of indigenous people from all over the Northwest and as far as Mexico to practice and exercise cultural and spiritual ways at the end of July.
Now hundreds are preparing to attend the ceremonies and are also preparing to go to jail to exercise the spiritual and cultural rights in the usual and accustomed sites. Pictures to follow. Sid Mills is a decorated Vietnam veteran and is over 80% disabled from being blown up by mortar fire, which left him with one lung. Now impaired further with diabetes, he and others are preparing to once again exercise human/indigenous rights to practice cultural and spiritual ways at all costs. Sid fought as an Indigenous man in the armed forces only to be denied his own rights. The cops realized after threatening to take all 50 Indians to jail, that this was not going to happen, as they were all ready to call them on it. So citations to appear in Federal court for destruction of federal property and being there without a permit were handed to him. A tree was cut and hole dug in the ground.
Sid had attempted to get assistance from the US Forest Service, after President Obama issued the MOU to protect sacred sites and access to the top Federal agencies ( by holding a meeting with the supervisor of the US Forest service for the northwest. But the supervisor undermined his efforts and compared them to the Rainbow family gathering in the US Forests, and further added that Indians had no special rights because they were also immigrants to the land. Never once did she acknowledge the President's MOU, which had been provided to them, as well as a list of other congressional and international acts regarding cultural and spiritual rights of indigenous people. While the President might make a nice written MOU, it’s the white folks in agencies like the US Forest Service that maintain ignorance and racism. Of all the people the supervisor could have brought to the meeting, like a cultural liaison, she choose to bring the head cop for the Forest service, breaking the spirit of her boss President Obama's MOU.


Liath said...

Ya know something? Racism is not as much at play here as just plain old government control. Racism is a two way street. I might be a mutt, as are almost all people, and I have no problems with people of the HUMAN RACE. We're all Earth's children, we all live breathe bleed and die the same. Don't blame white people, blame people. Blame a government that is killing its people regardless of race, religion, or creed.

People who scream "blame white/black/Hispanic/Christian/pagan people" are just as much racist as any other racist.

Your message will be heard and listened to more if you don't come out playing the race card. Esp when there is only one damned race of humans on the earth. We sure as hell haven't evolved into another species.

Unknown said...

Again the leos ( The forestry department NOT JUST WHITE PEOPLE We are all one its the person not there skin color ) are screwing with people again I have no Idea what the hell there problem is everytime someone wants to do something good they start shutting doors and reading there laws the way they think it should be not whats black and white.

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Incoming comment to Censored News in response: "White is referred as a mind set not a skin color, as there are many white skinned allies who do not think with a colonial/supremacist mind set -- which is historically here on turtle island white skinned,"

ThaRoosteR said...

Im sure People of european decent are tired of the white racist card being played. After all its only been going on for over 500 years on this continent.

But that's not the point here. Have you seen the forest rangers in that area? I haven't run in to one in that area that wasn't white.
I really try to give the forest rangers the the benefit of the doubt, I try to think we're in a different era of racism being yesteryear, but they've earned that racist stripe nice and proud.
They continue to make it harder and harder to get to our usual and accustom areas blocking off roads putting huge dirt piles on the dirt roads to our camping areas, they've harassed my grandfather and I when we were out gathering plants.
I would like to think they weren't hillbillies only looking out for their own but they make it hard to say any thing else.

km23 said...

Obama is phony. He realized the importance of the native vote and made some bullshit speeches to secure said vote. He don't care about natives. Get a clue peeps. Get a degree apply for employment with the rangers you speek of. Being native you have an advantage in receiving employment with the feds (affirmitive action, more funding if meet quota) and change the policy from the inside. Hey ya ho.