August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mi'kmaq Warriors denied all rights in jail, two beaten

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Updated Oct. 31, 2013

Nineteen-year-old David Mazerolle of the Mi'kmaq Warrior Society describes how Mi'kmaqs were denied all their rights in jail and placed in solitary confinement after police brutally attacked the anti-oil and gas drilling camp in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick.

A second Mi'kmaq Warrior, Mi'kmaq Warrior Chief Jason Augustine, said he was repeatedly kicked in the head by police while down and diagnosed with a concussion.

“I was kicked in the head three times when I was taken down,” Augustine told APTN. “I wasn’t resisting arrest, I had my hands behind my back, and this one RCMP started bashing my head in.”

David Mazerolle describes the treatment in the Moncton jail in this video. "I was one of the six that got left in there."

"They left us in there with no blanket, no bed."

"After we got split up and put in solitary confinement, my buddy Aaron, as he was being transferred, got beat up while he was in handcuffs."

"They said we could talk to our lawyers, but none of us got to talk to our lawyers."

"We were just constantly in that hole."

The Mi'kmaq Warriors were denied toilet paper and toothpaste, and access to the phone and attorneys.
RCMP and snipers in Oct. 17 raid on Mi'kmaq camp.

David appealed for help for the four Warriors who remain in jail. "They are not allowed to call out."

"Help the Warriors that are still in there because they are not being treated right."

The Canadian police, RCMP, and heavily armed snipers with attack dogs stormed the peaceful anti-fracking camp at Elsipogtog on Oct. 17, 2013. Mi'kmaq women and elderly were abused and pepper-sprayed. At least two Mi'kmaqs were shot with rubber bullets. Fourteen people were arrested.

Mi'kmaq were defending their land from Southwestern Energy of Houston, which has targeted their land for fracking. Southwestern Energy has already been sued in Pennsylvania and Arkansas for fracking and poisoning the drinking water with carcinogens which caused cancer.

Update from APTN: Second Mi'kmaq Warrior beaten after arrest: “I was kicked in the head three times when I was taken down,” said Augustine. “I wasn’t resisting arrest, I had my hands behind my back, and this one RCMP started bashing my head in.”

Support jailed Warriors at Moncton Courthouse, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at 9 am

Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, Moncton Courthouse

Update: Video of press conference Nov. 1, 2013 outside Moncton Courthouse:

In the news:
APTN: Anonymous located audio of racist cop attacking Mi'kmaq in anti-fracking camp, officer who uttered slur under internal review:

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Hopi and Dine' to Peabody Coal 'Halt theft of burial places'

Hopi and Dine' tell Peabody Coal that the era of misery and exploitation ends now
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photo by Indigenous Action Media
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- When Peabody Coal seized the land at Black Mesa for the dirty coal industry -- with the aid of corrupt attorneys, Arizona Congressmen, tribal politicians and the media -- Peabody Coal robbed the burial places and looted the cultural items of Dine' and Hopi. 
The coal mining and the power plant that brought destruction and disease for Navajos and Hopi, delivered electricity to non-Indians in the Southwest. Today, Hopi and Dine' told Peabody, the state of Arizona, and the US government, that this cycle of misery and exploitation ends now.
Vernon Masayesva, Hopi of Black Mesa Trust, told a Cultural Review session today, “The grassroots people now are awake. They know the regulations. They know the laws.”
“We are no longer going to be silent,” said Masayesva, promising that the questions of grassroots people would guarantee that the process of completing an environmental impact statement for Peabody Coal on Black Mesa would be delayed.
The first Cultural Review meeting for the Kayenta Mine Navajo Generating Station Permit by the Arizona Bureau of Reclamation was held today, Oct. 30, 2013.  It is the first in a series of meetings for regulation and protection of sacred sites in the mining areas leased by Peabody Energy.
Bahe Katenay, Dine’ of Big Mountain, said scientists attempted to have a secret meeting today without notifying grassroots and traditional Dine’ or Hopi.
“The threat is the elimination and erasing of our history, all of that is being withheld from us.”

“We are going to have a broken link if that happens.”

Bahe said archaeologists are hiding historical information from the Dine’ people. “They still consider us savages and barbaric people. These attitudes are institutionalized.”
Norman Benally asked the Critical Review session what would happen if the people of the US had their cemeteries bulldozed. Among those present at the review were the Bureau of Reclamation and Peabody Coal representatives.
Bahe pointed out that Peabody Energy withheld and restricted documentation that pointed to the relocation of more than one million Indigenous items taken from Black Mesa. The Black Mesa Archaeology Project, which includes 1.3 million so-called "artifacts," currently is being held in cardboard boxes at two American universities.
Photos and videos by Klee Benally and Indigenous Action Media in Flagstaff:
For permission to repost this article:

Videos and photos: Peabody Coal's theft from Black Mesa burial sites

Hopi Vernon Masayesva speaking at Cultural Review.

TODAY! (Above) VIDEO Bahe of Big Mountain speaks about the attempt of Peabody Coal and the Bureau of Reclamation to have a secret meeting. Bahe speaks of the need for the traditional way of living and sustainable living.

Today (above) Norman Benally speaking.

Peabody Coal representatives

Videos and photos by Klee Benally, Dine', Indigenous Action Media, in Flagstaff, Arizona

Hopi and Dine' grassroots attending today's session to oppose Peabody Coal's theft of remains and cultural items on Black Mesa

When Peabody Coal seized the land at Black Mesa for the dirty coal industry -- with the aid of corrupt attorneys, Arizona Congressmen, tribal politicians and the media -- Peabody Coal robbed the burial places and looted the cultural items of Dine' and Hopi. The coal mining and the power plant that brought destruction and disease was to provide electricity for non-Indians in the Southwest. Today, Hopi and Dine' told Peabody Coal, the state of Arizona, and the US government, that this cycle of misery and exploitation ends now.

By Indigenous Action Media
Censored News
French translation, by Chritine Prat

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The first Cultural Review meeting for the Kayenta Mine Navajo Generating Station Permit by the Arizona Bureau of Reclamation was held today, Oct. 30, 2013.  It is the first of meetings to develop critical structure for regulation and implementation of the protection of sacred sites in the mining and expansion areas leased by Peabody Energy.
Peabody Coal and the Bureau of Reclamation made it clear they did not want input from traditional Dine' and Hopi.
At the end of the session today, Bahe of Big Mountain said there was much more to be said. Bahe said he raised his hand and was ignored. If he had been allowed to speak, this is a portion of what he was prepared to say.
"Archaeology must include the participation of the last remaining traditionally, minded indigenous consultants in excavation programs and projects.
"Archaeology needs to have a self realization that they have instituted a narrowed minded application of science that is outdated. For example, to only use a standard that indigenous ancestry in the Americas began at 10,000 years ago and that, all other indigenous interpretations about their past are merely myths.
"Remaining intact archaeological sites that are in the path of proposed strip coal mining must remain undisturbed and all parties including the utility companies need to have proper over-sight reviews. All Black Mesa Archaeology Project materials need not be sold and be immediately turned over to the proper tribal entities and that, Peabody Coal Company must begin funding programs that can allow tribes to process their own histories and to make them available for future learning."
Bahe was organizer of the protest. He said earlier, "With more community interest and support, Peabody can be stopped from desecrating more of the endless network of ancient dwelling sites. The less involvement by communities, the more Peabody and their archaeologist (Black Mesa Archeology Project) will steal and profit, because cultural and human rights of the antiquities aren't being enforced."
"The remaining intact sites and other withheld properties, which all total in the thousands, are being downsized into Lots. The resources are sold at basement values and with price fixing scams, while bragging about this mining operation as if it is some great blessing to the Tribal economies."
The protest is intended to highlight the absence and removal of any public process attached to the regulatory and legal protection of intact and removed ancient sites that are being found curated in collections.
Concern has been growing due to recent revelations that Peabody Energy withheld and restricted documentation and research that pointed to the relocation of millions of Indigenous remains, artifacts, and sacred objects called the "Black Mesa Archaeology Project" (BMAP).  
More than one million remains and items of cultural significance are currently being held in cardboard boxes at universities.
"BMAP's transfer was initiated before the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was created and when many of today’s tribal leaders were children," according to Brian Dunfee of Peabody Energy.  It wasn’t until after the permit was issued that confirmation of the "collection" was formally announced at the true locations and facilities.
NAGPRA was established in 1990 and requires, "federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American 'cultural items' to lineal descendants and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations."
To date, there has not been an inventory conducted of the BMAP "artifacts" that complies with current laws regarding protection of Indian "artifacts.”
BMAP includes 1.3 million "artifacts" currently held at two American universities.
According to Jon Czaplicki, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Reclamation, the Cultural Review and Update Meeting CRUM extends its range from December 22, 2019 only and does not address the excavations and disruption of intact sites by Peabody in prior years.  No one seems to answer where these artifacts and funerary properties would be held after that time, and if they would be separated from their sister and brother collections or the intact sites endangered in the Kayenta Mine lease with Navajo Generating Station.
Participants of the rally are also calling for leadership, solidarity and participation led by Traditional Indigenous Peoples to discuss the impact that the exclusions by Peabody Energy has on true restoration and repatriation.

More Indigenous Action Media:

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Mohawk John Kane 'Two Row Time'

Two Row Time

By John Kane, Mohawk

Much has been made of the Two Row Wampum lately. The “Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign” and the launch of the “Two Row Times” are just two examples of the recent attention being given to it. Yet there seems to be something fundamentally missing from a meaningful conversation on the subject even as attention has spread.

Let’s be clear. The Two Row isn’t just about a ship and a canoe. It is about the paths of creation. This is important enough to repeat — the two rows symbolized in the Kaswentha are paths. They are not roads, highways, canals, pipelines, power lines, lines on a map, or a charted course on a body of water. A path yields to nature whether it is laid down by the feet of millions of our ancestors, a pair of chipmunks, or mighty glaciers. It widens, it narrows, it adjusts with time, and it provides the guidance for us in times of trouble or conflict.

The message of the Kaswentha is respect, rights and responsibility. Respect of the paths for all of creation is what we remind ourselves of every time we say the Ohenton Karihwatehkwen — those words before all else. We respect not only those paths and our relationships to them but also the rights and responsibilities of those who travel those paths.

Our path, too, needs respect. Respecting that path shows not only respect to those who came before us but also a commitment to those who will follow us.

But this is the tough part. While we are quick to claim the rights we hold, we are not so prepared to uphold the responsibilities that come with them. And if we jump off our path or if one of those shiny objects from their vessel catches our eye, do we accept the responsibility for that pursuit?

We need to take a hard look at three specific examples of these shiny objects and how each one has affected us. Many seem to be oblivious to how far off our path they have strayed; yet, we all have been impacted.

Voting is one of those shiny objects dangled in front of us and promoted on both sides of the imaginary line. Voting in non-Native elections is so clear an act of the assimilated that it is amazing to me it is even tolerated among our people; yet, in many places “tribal government” is so complicit that they actually assist in “Get out the Vote” campaigns for the non-Native elections. In my opinion, voting is a cop-out if not a sellout. It is simply passing the buck for responsibility by giving your authority to someone else. By empowering an elected official you diminish your own rights and responsibilities.

Enlisting in the U.S. and Canadian armed forces is another shiny object, an act of indoctrination that began even while those same forces were barely done killing our own Onkweh Onweh brothers and sisters. Here’s an example. We ignored the attack and invasion of Hawaii when it was the U.S. doing the invading but rushed to sign up when the Japanese did the same.

Finally, we must avoid their courts. Now I realize that far too often we find ourselves as hostile participants in their judicial system and beyond our assertion of their lack of jurisdiction and our sovereignty, we do what we must to get out of it. But when we willingly enter their courts we wittingly or unwittingly give them authority over our lands, our environment and ourselves.

Land claims are prime examples of this. We do not have "Land Claims." It is they who have illegitimately claimed our land. Filing a claim for our own land is oxymoronic. And filing it in their courts is just plain moronic. The Onondaga Nation should agree with this, especially since their final attempt at even being heard in the U.S. court was dismissed a few weeks ago.

Their courts are not remedies for our conflicts with them. I would not give our authority to a court anywhere in the world. Conflicts between peoples are only "legal" issues only if there is an overarching set of laws that both sides acknowledge — and no such law exists. Otherwise the issues are political and require diplomacy; not litigation. One cannot just file papers to launch a diplomatic effort. The line must be drawn in the sand not by a "legal action" but with a real action.

So occupy your land, block an environmental crime, and stop an unlawful development! Win the battle in the court of public opinion if possible. Raise the cost of their actions. And find support for a cause to bolster a call for diplomacy.

Voting in their elections, enlisting in their armed forces and voluntarily submitting to their courts are not actions of a people who have survived the longest and most complicit act of genocide the world has ever known. These are acts of submission by its victims. It is important to remember that they have NO lawful act of subjugation over us. Those that continue to oppress us would love to suggest that these voluntary acts are evidence of the success of their "final solution" but we know better.

We must remain vigilant in many more areas to stay true to our path. We need to renew our commitment to the Kaswentha. And while our path must continue to yield to Nature we must fulfill our first and most solemn compact — the one with Creation.

John Karhiio Kane, Mohawk, national commentator on Native American issues, hosts “Let’s Talk Native with John Kane,” ESPN-AM 1520 in Buffalo, Sundays, 9 --11 p.m. Kane is a frequent guest on WGRZ-TV’, NBC/Buffalo, “2 Sides” and “The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter” in Albany. John’s “Native Pride” blog can be found at . Kane also has a very active "Let's Talk Native with John Kane" group page on Facebook.

Thank you from Censored News to John Kane, and Two Row Times, which first published this article

Tom Poor Bear urges NCAI advocacy for Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier with Oglala Vice President Tom Poor Bear during a recent visit.
Photo courtesy Oglala Commemoration, published with permission at Censored News.
Poor Bear urges NCAI to help bring Peltier home

By Brenda Norrell

Oglala Sioux Vice President Thomas Poor Bear urged the National Congress of American Indians to strengthen its advocacy for imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier and bring him home. Poor Bear’s letter to NCAI comes after a visit to Peltier in Coleman prison in central Florida.

“It is no secret to anyone who has followed Leonard’s almost 40-year ordeal that this is truly his last chance at Freedom. If President Obama leaves office without granting clemency to Leonard, he will almost certainly die in prison,” Poor Bear told NCAI, the largest organization of Native American Nations in the US.

Poor Bear said it was the first time that he has seen Peltier in 40 years. Although he did not know what to expect, Poor Bear said Peltier was smiling and happy to see him. 

Poor Bear pointed out that the US prison system has violated its own rules by keeping Peltier at a distance of more than 500 miles from his family. Currently, Peltier is 2,000 miles away from family members and in poor health, with diabetes and other health problems.

Poor Bear said Peltier spoke little of his own health problems and instead spoke of ways to give hope to Native young people in order to stop the suicides and hopelessness. “I was touched by that. It was clear that he has never stopped thinking about trying to make things better for our people,” Poor Bear said.

Together, Peltier and Poor Bear remembered the early fishing rights struggle at Franks Landing and other places in Indian country where American Indians stood up for their rights, including Fort Lawton and Wisconsin.

Poor Bear said he prays that Peltier will be able to come home again to the Dakotas and Black Hills, where he can live out his days in peace.

“He stood up for us at a very dark time in our history and we cannot, and will not, turn our backs on him now,” Poor Bear said.

Censored News is a service to Indigenous Peoples and grassroots human rights efforts.

Also see Censored News original coverage of the Peltier Tribunal in Green Bay, Wis., in October 2013

Peltier Tribunal conclusion: Judges Findings
Day 3 Peltier Tribunal: Findings and Testimony, Manny Pino uranium mining genocide
Day 2: Peltier Tribunal Lenny Foster and Dorothy Ninham, Visits to Peltier in prison, Native prisoner rights
Day 1: Peltier Tribunal Reign of Terror on Pine Ridge, Peltier calls Tribunal
Dakota written testimony by Chris Mato Nunpa, Dakota historian and professor

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Bad Bear's Photos Long Walk 4 Beautiful Grand Junction Colorado

Michael Lane on News 5 Grand Junction Wednesday.
Photos by Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, Western Shoshone long walker, thanks for sharing with Censored News! Long walkers Emilio and Bad Bear take a hike around Serpents Trail near Grand Junction, Colorado.

By Censored News

(Oct. 31, 2013) GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Walkers on the Longest Walk 4 are in need of sleeping bags.
"As we enter into colder weather, and long stretches of road, we are in need of warm sleeping bags. There are new sleeping bags available at Walmart for $40. We are hoping that someone might sponsor the purchase of some as they are rated down to 10 degrees. Thank you in advance," the walkers said.
"For sponsors not close to the route, Sponsors can consider ordering the sleeping bags online and have choose "ship to store" for the walkers to be able to pick them up at the next store on their route."
The walkers are in the Grand Junction Colorado area headed toward Green River, Utah. Call the Long Walk4 at 202-436-6576 on their cell.
While in Grand Junction, the Longest Walk appeared on Channel 5 news, watch: :
The Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz is walking to uphold Native American Sovereignty. The walkers departed from Washington DC on July 15, 2013, and will arrive on Alcatraz Island on Dec. 21, with a ceremony on Dec. 22, 2013. The walkers are currently in Grand Junction, Colorado, and are headed to Green River, Utah, and then Nevada. Share the love by offering a place to stay, hot meal, or supplies for winter camping. More at Return to Alcatraz:

The walkers are in Grand Junction Colorado area, walking on Hwy 50, headed toward Green River, Utah. The route is: November 1 --12, 2013 - Grand Junction to Delta, Utah, 311 miles.

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Arvol Looking Horse statement 'White Buffalo Day' Nov 2, 2013

Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, statement for National Bison Day aka White Buffalo Day event for November 2, 2013

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