August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jean Roach Photos 'Leonard Peltier Day' Oglala, SD


Photos copyright Jean Roach
Thank you Jean Roach for sharing your photos with Censored News!
Leonard Peltier Day, Oglala, South Dakota, June 27, 2013

Statement From Leonard on Oglala Commemoration

My Family and Friends. I hope you are comfortable and that you are all healthy and happy. For those of you who walked today, I imagine the sun gave you a little more color and I am proud of all of you. You know if I were out, I would have been walking with you, leading the charge, of course.
In my mind, I am right there with you. I can smell the burning sage and sweetgrass intermingled with the smells from the boxes of frybread and the big pans of potato salad. The “unci’s” are sitting on chairs in the shade, probably teasing each other and laughing, like only you can. I see all of you sitting on the blankets under the shade on the hard dry ground, trying to find a way to be comfortable. I can look over to where the old campsite was and spot the place where the guys would cut the wood, and the place where the gardens were.
A sadness comes over me as I see the foundation, where the homestead of Grama and grandpa Jumping Bull once stood. I remember the kids running around and playing, carefree and happy. At times it seems like it was a long time ago and other times, it feels like it was yesterday. Sometimes when I’m alone, I wonder why life has to be so hard for our people. It’s puzzling that some of our own people will turn against us. Is it money? Power? Greed? We were here because we were asked to be here, to stand as protection to the traditional families who continue to follow the original instructions as handed down to us from generation to generation in the form of our Creation stories. I am told there is now an investigation being implemented for the murder of the sixty some people killed during that reign of terror. It’s an outrage that it took over 40 years to discover that a bullet hole in the back doesn’t sound like death by natural cause. We were there also, to protect the land from being raped by the government for uranium. We have evidence of the chemical dumps placed on our land without the knowledge or consent of our members and the leaking of radiation 5 times the safe level, polluting the veins of our mother earth and turning our secred water into a poison that would cause our child bearing women to abort their unborn babies and cancer replacing natural cause on the death certificates of many of our people. I am not trying to make this a gloom and doom message. I am only trying to give an understanding to some of our young people that we need to continue to protect all that is sacred to us, our Elders, our women and our children, our culture and way of life and each other.
I am always asked about an update on what is going on with me and I will try to explain. As my team can tell you, my blood pressure is high, my diabetes is out of control to the point of causing problems to my sight and I have a lot of pain in walking. My medication has been withheld for several months and doctor appointments are a rare occurance. I have been tested for prostate cancer and although I was never given any clear answer of whether or not cancer exists, the symptons indicate there is definitely something wrong. The recent problems with shortness of breath and chest pains are causing me additional stress. I assure you, this is not the place to be sick or to have health problems because in prison, we are just another number. It’s just a good thing I don’t need to take medication to keep a sense of humor or I would definitely be screwed! Additionally, I was approved by my counselors inside, for a transfer to a medium security prison closer to home but the transfer was denied from the office in Texas, without a reason. Although the denial was appealed, who knows how long that will take to be reviewed.
In closing, I want to say “pilamiyeya” to all of you for your hard work. I know this is a great undertaking to organize an event. It humbles me to know that you are taking the time to remember not only me, but all of the warriors who are attempting to take the HIS STORY out of history, by standing up and telling OUR story. I stand with you in support of recognizing our inherent rights,our truth seekers and our sacred way of life. To those of you preparing to Sundance, I hope you will feel me dancing next to you, in the Inipi, I am there taking in the steam and singing with you. But as you can guess, I am getting tired. I just want to be home with my people. I want to wake up to the sound of the birds singing outside my window and the smell of “cowboy coffee” coming from the kitchen instead of hearing the clanging of cell doors and jingling of rings of keys. Please! Continue to fight for what is right. That is all I can ask.
Mitakuya oyasin!

European countries deny airspace, put Bolivian President's life in danger over Snowden fear

Portugal, France, Spain and Italy refuse Bolivian President Evo Morales airspace over Snowden asylum fear

South American countries furious, say European countries are now colonies of the US, and violated international law

Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) and the Bolivian Defence Minister Ruben Saavedra Soto at the airport in Vienna, Austria Photograph: HELMUT FOHRINGER/EPA
President Morales plane has left Austria: Live coverage at The Guardian:

Excerpt from El Telegrafo, English translation by Censored News

Bolivia said today that Portugal and France put Bolivian President Evo Morales life in danger when they denied his entry into their airspace over the fear that whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard.
In an emergency press conference, Bolivia's Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca flatly denied that Snowden is flying to Bolivia on the plane of President Evo Morales. Morales, who eventually landed in Vienna, criticized the actions and said the denial was an injustice based on unfounded suspicions. 
Choquehuanca said that half an hour before landing to refuel in Lisbon on his return trip from Moscow, authorities said the airspace permission was revoked. Shortly after, a notification was received from France prohibiting overfly over their territory. 
Choquehuanca said that this act was an attack on the President's life, since Morales was denied airspace over France and Portugal and then made an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria. 
"Portugal and France have to explain why the flight was canceled over airspace. This action was an attempt on the life of President Morales."


We Are Still Here: 40 Years of AIM in Photographs

Photo Dick Bancroft

Listen to the words of Clyde Bellecourt on how women gave the people hope when AIM was formed in Minneapolis. Bill Means describes how the movement has come full circle, and the Mayor of Minneapolis makes a proclamation honoring 45 years of AIM in Minneapolis

Video published on Jun 3, 2013
Journalist and writer Laura Waterman Wittstock and photographer Dick Bancroft have recorded, written and taken pictures of the American Indian Movement (AIM) for over 40 years. Their book, We Are Still Here published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, is a testament to that effort. It includes Wittstock's reflections on covering the native American civil rights movement as a young reporter in Washington, D.C., as well as some of Bancroft's striking and iconic images as the movement struggled for Native independence.
An exhibit of Bancroft's photos opened May 10 at All My Relations Gallery on Franklin Avenue, celebrated by drummers performing the AIM honor song, traditional foods and a gathering of AIM activists, including Clyde Bellecourt and Bill Means. Bellecourt, a member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe, reminded the crowd what it took for them to get to this place. "Our people were so beaten down," he shouted to the crowd, "We didn't think we could pull ourselves up," he said as he went on to tell people how AIM began as a group of people meeting on the Northside of Minneapolis. After years of enduring poverty and abuse from police, the Indian activists decided to take matters into their own hands. It wasn't just about better living conditions for Native Americans on and off the reservation, but about reviving their culture and demanding the federal government honor its treaties and show native nations the respect they deserved.
In 1972, Bellecourt and others traveled to Washington in a protest called The Trail of Broken Treaties to demand the federal government remove officials running the Bureau of Indian Affairs who AIM accused of being corrupt and greedy. That's where the photos of Bancroft's and the words of Waterman Wittstock come into play. Photos of the BIA building takeover showed American Indian men and women not as the cowboys and Indians of the John Wayne movie-myth making era, but as anxious and restless souls overturning desks, banging on drums and demanding the ear of federal officials to say that Indians were still here.
After three days, the protesters left the BIA building, taking with them the jobs of three officials in charge of the decision making. It had been a victory, but AIM members would take another militant stand at the impoverished village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in just a few months. Bancroft would also be at that 1973 armed confrontation between activists and their supporters on one side, and reservation officials and federal authorities on the other. Bancroft had gotten a camera as a birthday gift from his wife and was seen as an unofficial reporter within the movement. He remembers being the only one with a camera and the ability to afford the film.

Mohawk Nation News 'Antis and Warriors'



MNN. July 1, 2013. Twenty-three years ago Akwesasne was mired in controversy supposedly over gambling. The two sides were dubbed the “Antis” and the “Warriors”. The antis would invite the press in and stage shootings. They falsely claimed gangs of marauding youths with semi-automatics were roaming the streets. The Warriors pledged they would never fight against our own people.   
The real issue continues to be sovereignty and jurisdiction. New York State and the FBI have no authority to come into Mohawk sovereign territory.  
The condoled Confederacy chiefs feared the Men who maintained the Great Law. They began a false campaign that Warriors no longer existed in Haudenosaunee society. Conflicts were ignited in our communities. 
NY State Governor Mario Cuomo had a weekly radio show on current events. One night he spoke about the issues at Akwesasne. Two calls came in. One during the show and another afterward. A man wanted Cuomo to send in the National Guards against the Warriors. The caller asked, “What is it going to take for you to send in the National Guards?” 
Cuomo replied, “Dead bodies”. Within hours two men were killed, Harold J.R. Edwards and Matthew Pike, both shot in the back. The caller accused a well-known individual and the Warriors of the murders. The Governor knew that the accused was far away from Akwesasne at the time, that the caller was lying.  
The Warrior Society asked NY State Police to enter Akwesasne to investigate the two killings. They did not come in. 
akwe casinoA well-known native reporter was arrested and jailed based on eye-witness testimony. The witness was visited by unnamed persons. He recanted his statements. The charges were stayed. There was not enough evidence.   
Today no proper investigation has been done. No one has explained the strange timing of the killings. Was this a product of organized crime? If so, who were the organizers? So far the Grand Council of Onondaga has never cleared this up, which is a violation of the Great Law.  As Gene Pitney sang about gunslingers: “Everyone heard two shots ring out, a shot made Liberty fall/
The man who shot Liberty Valance, he shot Liberty Valance/He was the bravest of them all.” The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

friendly fireRead the 2006 story attached: UNSOLVED MURDERS IN AKWESASNE REVISITED: describes how the killing of two Mohawks during a staged fire fight in Akwesasne in 1990 led to a conflict set up to bring in the outside police forces, NYS Police, RCMP, Quebec SQ, Ontario Provincial Police, National Guard, etc.   
MNN Mohawk Nation News For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0  For free download of Mohawk music

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