Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 11, 2013

The White House Tribal Nations Conference that isn't at the White House

It's that time of year again

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
President Obama speaking at Tribal Nations Conference.
Dutch translation NAIS

It's that time of year again, time for the White House Tribal Nations Conference -- the one that isn't at the White House.
Once again, it will be held at the Interior Building.
When President Obama initially announced this annual conference, Obama said he was welcoming all Native American leaders to the White House. The venue was quickly changed to the Interior Building. There's not even a meet and greet where Obama welcomes each of the sovereign leaders. Instead, Obama usually speaks for about an hour at the Interior Building and leaves. Obama's new White House Council on Native American Affairs is composed of non-Natives.
Outside the conference on Wednesday, Native Americans will be demonstrating about real issues in Indian country. Lakotas battling the theft of their children by foster care programs are among those.
“Our Children Are Not Yours to Take” is the theme of a public education demonstration on Wed., November 13, from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm in Simon Bolivar Park outside the Department of the Interior which is hosting The White House Tribal Nations Conference.
Among those who will not be heard in the Interior Building are Native Americans speaking out for peace, and against war. The US war on peacemakers includes the censoring of Native women’s voices by the corporate media in Indian country. Read more:
What are the real issues from grassroots Native Americans that should be on the agenda? Disenrollments; theft of Native children through foster care systems; diseases from coal-fired power plants and strewn radioactive tailings on the Navajo Nation; fracking that is poisoning drinking water and causing cancer; the fight against new uranium mining; the fight against the tarsands Keystone XL pipeline; and oil and gas worker camps destroying Indian communities in North Dakota, are among those topping the list by Native Americans.
There is the theft of water rights in "water rights settlements" by non-Indian attorneys and Congressmen; racial profiling by police in bordertowns; unjust high incarceration rates in prisons; racism in federal courts and public schools, and federal spying and wiretapping in Indian country.
From the northern and southern borders there is the abuse by US Border Patrol agents, including those agents running drugs; violation of airspace and privacy by border drones and violations of ceremonies and cultural items by US Border Patrol agents. Nationwide, the US and corporations are destroying sacred places. For farmers, there are genetically-modified seeds damaging traditional crops. Across Indian country, there is a lack of water, heat, food and housing for elderly and a widespread lack of clean running water. Indian youths need recreational and social programs. The pressing issues include clemency for Peltier and the ongoing wild horse roundups for slaughter on Indian lands.
Perhaps President Obama would consider honoring the Defenders of the Earth this year, Native Americans who are protecting the land, air and water, rather than those who are destroying it. Why not honor these warriors defending the land, and women and children in their homelands, this year. These warriors are battling the exploitation by corporations and corrupt tribal and US politicians.

Copyright Brenda Norrell, for permission to repost this article: brendanorrell@gmail.comI

To see all the events that are not at the White House, go to the National Congress of American Indians website: White House spin is here:

No comments: