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Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lakota Bill Means: AIM West 2013 Part 1

Bill Means

(Click arrow to watch video) Bill Means, Lakota founder of the International Indian Treaty Council and longtime member of the American Indian Movement, speaking at the AIM West sixth annual conference in San Francisco 2013. Recorded by Censored News. Part I of IV.

From KILI Radio on Pine Ridge, to Indigenous Town in Minneapolis, the American Indian Movement made its mark in history

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- The attacks on Indigenous Peoples, from the tarsands to Indian child welfare, were topics at the start of the second day of the sixth annual AIM West Conference here, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.

Bill Means, Lakota, began with an explanation of how the so-called origin of the word "Indians" is a myth and did not refer to Columbus believing he had landed in India. Means said India did not exist in 1492. Columbus had actually referred to the people of this land as "En dios." Columbus said the people here were spiritual people and "generous to a fault."

Means said the American Indian Movement identified early the three greatest enemies of Indian people. They are the education system, churches and the US government.

Pointing out the successes of the American Indian Movement, Means said during the time of Ronald Reagan on Pine Ridge in South Dakota, the first Indian-owned radio station was created, which continues to broadcast today, KILI Radio. The first community clinic owned by the community, and not by the IHS or BIA, was also created.

In Minneapolis, AIM created survival schools, job training programs, community programs, legal rights programs, an art gallery and small businesses.

A "cultural corridor" was created on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Referring to China Town, Means said, "When you come to Minneapolis, you can go to Indigenous town."

During his talks at AIM West, Means also explained the dangers of TransCanada's tarsands that threatens Indian country. Further he described how South Dakota has declared Indian children as "special needs" in order to profiteer from child welfare.

Means described the corruption that resulted in the Cobell settlement and the hand-out mentality the Cobell payments and other current payments to American Indians perpetuate.

Means said there is now a rise once again in the "hand-out economy" attitude rather than people seeking work.

"Colonization is still taking place through these payments."

"This creates the attitude that someone will take care of you if you stay at home and do nothing."

Means said these payments have become a way to "clear the conscience of America" for genocide and stolen land.

Means also described the corporations of extractive fossil fuels that are like PacMan. He said these are corporations that eat up everything. "They are the moral equipment of PacMan."

Means, founder and board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, said, "We have a worldwide movement. We are not just talking about the Americas anymore."

Part I of IV videos. Watch for upcoming II, III and IV.

Also see: 
AIM West 2013 Jean Whitehorse, Dine' (Navajo), speaks on bias in children's literature and -- boarding schools, urban relocation and the sterilization of Indian women -- all of which she was a victim:

Music Video: Listen to the AIM Victory song at AIM West 2013

Robert Free's dramatic moments with Nelson Mandela

Robert Free's tepee Occupation of Alcatraz 

Freedom Fighters

Robert Free, who was at the Occupation of Alcatraz and the Stronghold of Wounded Knee 1973, shares his dramatic time with Nelson Mandela

By Robert Free

At a breakfast with Nelson Mandela in the 90s at Seattle University, with 600 community activists, I held up a sign to 'Free Peltier' as Mandela talked. While attacked and packed off immediately by state department security, I turned and yelled to Mandela, "Madiba! Help me!"

Heading off to jail, the organizers came running to the cops and said Nelson Mandela would not continue speaking until I was returned and allowed to hold my banner to 'Free Peltier.' When I was returned he looked to me and the crowd and said, "There is the gentleman with the banner! I am not afraid of freedom fighters. I am one myself!" and with that he left the stage. 

I had remembered his tribal elder name was Madiba -- a great honor -- to have him call me a freedom fighter. Mandela showed the world how to move with love in his heart and not hate!

Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel at 
Seattle University,
December 1999

I had planned it all and asked the organizers Teledisky, Gates Foundation, Russell investments what Tribal protocol were in place to receive him. This was after I heard that he was coming to Seattle and said that "he would respect the tribes land he was entering. Mandela as a tribal person would follow tribal protocols."

I knew they would not have an idea, so I was asked to put them together: Had a Talking stick carved by Chief Charles Elliott and offered to Mandela by Chief Cecile Hansen's grandson, Duwamish and Alaskan dancers welcome him on arrival. That gave me an invitation and access to his events. Also had the organizers pay for it all, and had Free Peltier carved on the talking stick.

Mandela would not leave to other events. He stated at the arrival at the airport, "I can not leave until I had shaken the hand of every dancer and welcoming natives!"

So he came by and shook the hand of each of us and especially the children and in slow Indian time smiled and spoke and hugged the people saying repeatably, from him and his wife Graca Machel, "Thank you so much! you have made us so very happy!"

Thank you Robert Free for sharing your story with Censored News!

Read more:
Nelson Mandela, said during his visit to Oakland in 1990, "All these letters which I have received described of the conditions of the American Indians here, and I can assure you that they have left me very disturbed." Read more:

CIA helped jail Mandela

Video Umatilla at Halted Tar Sands Megaload Oregon

Article at Censored News:

Video: December 3 2013: Members of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation and friends gathered tonight in Pendleton, Oregon to hold ceremony at the site where the Omega Morgan "mega load" remains.

Terrance Nelson urges Aljazeera to voice truth about US gas exploitation

First Nations Terrance Nelson urges Al Jazeera to reveal the sharp edge of real news

By Terrance Nelson
Anishinaabe Roseau River

I have reviewed the story put together by Wab Kinew on Elsipogtog.The link you sent me is as follows
Canada online: 
I am sorry to say that I view the story as told by Wab Kinew as lacking focus and context. I understand that in order to be an objective reporter Wab is restrained from telling the truth in a manner that we who as hard core activists can. Al Jazeera America must be seen as objective in order to continue to have access to North American markets. It is pretty clear that Al Jazeera has to be careful when it is held hostage to Canadian Broadcast system rules and regulation.
In a few sentences, the issue is about oil, the need of Americans to get foreign oil. Shale gas and fracking is about Americans taking what they need from other countries. 

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