August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tom Goldtooth: World Trade Org, Capitalism and Destruction of Mother Earth

On the Outcome of the World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference that ended Saturday, December 07, 2013

By Tom B.K. Goldtooth
Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat

TURTLE ISLAND -- Even though the WTO and its 159 member countries resurrected itself in its first multilateral trade pact in the WTO’s history, I feel it was a desperate fight by rich developed countries such as the United States to revive an economic and trading system that is all about capitalism.
The WTO is all about free trade for the corporations that are destroying our Mother Earth.
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) historically participated in WTO conferences, mostly in outside strategies rather than inside strategies. IEN took part in the “Battle in Seattle” at the 3rd Ministerial conference in Seattle, Washington in December 1999 and in Cancun, in the 5th Ministerial conference in September 2003.
At the Seattle WTO 14 years ago, IEN and Indigenous groups came together, (to name a few), such as the Seventh Generation Fund, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, Eyak Alaska Preservation Council, Interior Alliance of First Nations in Canada and internationally, Tebtebba of the Philippines and Movimiento de la Juventad Kuna of Panama to analyze and articulate our position on the WTO. The Indigenous Peoples’ Seattle Declaration was the outcome document of 1999. The Indigenous Statement from the WTO 5th Ministerial Conference in CancĂșn, Mexico, in September 2003 was not any different in its listing of all the negative effects of the WTO neoliberal trade agreements on Indigenous peoples.
Times have not changed between the position of the Indigenous Peoples’ Seattle Declaration and the Indigenous Declaration of 2013 in Bali, Indonesia (titled, “Declaration -The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indigenous Peoples: Resisting Globalization, Asserting Self-Determination”). For example, Indigenous peoples continue to be concerned with the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AOA) as a tool of rich countries promoting export competition and import liberalization resulting in the entry of cheap agricultural products into indigenous communities. Indigenous articulation at the time stated this was one cause of the destruction of ecological and sustainable agricultural practices of Indigenous peoples. This remains the case today.
IEN went to Bali to stand with civil society to demand climate justice for all people, for peasants, farmers, fisherfolks, for our Indigenous communities experiencing climate crisis, especially in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that hit the Philippines that killed over 10,000 people.
We have Indigenous communities from the global North to the global South experiencing life
and death situations from an economic system and its trade regimes that give more rights to corporations then people. The WTO defends corporate interests, against that of Indigenous peoples who are rights holders. The WTO has never held up policies on the rights of Indigenous peoples and human rights.
The WTO is a tool of an economic system that promotes extractive industries to rape Mother Earth, causing ecological destruction and health affects to our people of the land – and waters.
The WTO is not interested in the mitigation of climate change. WTO is not about curbing toxic and climate causing emissions and shifting to a no toxic and low-carbon future. Free trade and investments are addicted to a fossil fuel economy. WTO is an instrument of the energy developers pushing for more exportation of oil to the global market.
The WTO runs on oil, promotes investments on the clear cutting of the Canadian boreal forest and the mining of the tar sands in Canada. The WTO will defend the free trade of tar sands pipelines to be built bi-nationally across borders and to be exported to other countries.
The role of the U.S. in WTO negotiations is problematic. It doesn’t matter who is in office, whether it’s the Democrats or Republicans. We are dealing with a deep rooted system of capitalism.
Obama's Climate Action Plan also states that the US will “launch negotiations at the World Trade Organization towards global free trade in environmental goods.”
Back in 2001, in Doha, at the 4th Ministerial meeting of the WTO, trade negotiators adopted a trading regime that included what they called “freer” trade in agriculture, manufactured goods, and services, including the trading in environmental goods and services. We now are seeing this implemented as “Payment for Environmental Services”.
The WTO is moving a green “greed” economy that is about privatization of nature.
As Indigenous peoples, we demand for a stop to the capitalism of nature. All economic frameworks and trade regimes that privatize and financialize the functions of nature, including biodiversity and conservations offsets that put profit above humanity and the planet, must be halted.  The United Nations and World Bank forest carbon offsets initiative called, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is part of what IEN has coined as the WTO of the Sky, the WTO of the Forests.
Mother Earth is the source of life which needs to be protected, not a resource to be exploited and commodified as a natural capital. In Bali, IEN lifted newly round information of the inclusion of rice cultivation in the carbon market system. In Bali, over 77 Indonesian and worldwide organizations endorsed the No REDD Rice Manifesto.
In our Indigenous Declaration, we call for “the halt of all policies controlling the reproductive capacity of Mother Earth through market-based mechanisms that allow for the quantification and commodification of the natural processes of Mother Earth being branded as ecosystem services.”
We have had enough and call for an end to WTO – to junk the WTO! IEN and other Indigenous peoples are calling for an alternative to the WTO – an alternative that comes from the articulation of the people of the land.
The WTO trade ministers are celebrating the WTO Bali Package that officials say could boost global economic output by as much as $1 trillion. The WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo in his closing statement in Bali said, “This package is not an end. It’s a beginning. As a consequence of our progress here, we’ll now be able to move forward on the other areas of our work that have been stalled for so long.”

Our fight is not over. We must continue to organize to declare the WTO and all bilateral and regional trade partnerships as illegitimate. For our Indigenous peoples in North America, including Mexico, this includes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It has been 20 years since NAFTA was signed December 8, 1993. Within our North American region, our Indigenous peoples and Indigenous Nations must have critical analysis on NAFTA and organize our response.

The WTO has abused its legal mechanisms to constrain the self-determination, sovereignty and rights of Indigenous peoples to develop our own policies for our communities and in harmony with our responsibilities to the natural laws of Mother Earth.
We want a world without the WTO. No matter how you reform the WTO or improve its agreements, it will never be fair or just, as it is built on the principles of capitalism, free trade, endless growth and the exploitation of people, Mother Earth and all Life.
For more information:
Tom BK Goldtooth, cell: (218) 760-0442

Longest Walk 4 near Folsom, Calif., Wed., Dec. 11, 2013

Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz, on the last 10 days of the five month journey, approaching Folsom, California and heading to Sacramento. Photos by Jim Prigoff.

Bad Bear's Photos Longest Walk 4 in Miwok Country California




Longest Walk on last 10 days of five month journey

Photos and videos by Carl Bad Bear Sampson
Censored News

PLACERVILLE, Calif. -- Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz is walking through Placerville, Calif., on Wednesday at noon, after walking through Miwok country and being hosted by Miwok at Shingle Springs.
Kwassuh, Wesley Dick, Northern Paiute said, "Strengths and power from all red nations as the sacred staff are carried and prayers are made and joined across ndn country. Thank you walkers from the lands of the Toi Ticutta, renamed Nevada, as Treaties will be honored, sovereignty will be recognized and justice four our ndn people will be lived as our ndn ways will live it."
The walkers will arrive on Alcatraz on Dec. 21, with a Sovereignty Gathering on Dec. 22, 2013. The walk began on July 15 in Washington DC in affirmation of Indigenous sovereignty. Photos and videos by Western Shoshone Long Walker Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, thank you for sharing with Censored News.
Sharing Long Walker Terri Sznkowski's photo of our friends Bruce and Willow from Longest Walk 2 northern route, and Wounded Knee from the Long Walk 2 southern route, now on Longest Walk 4 today in Placerville, Calif. 

Earlier videos by Bad Bear



Mohawk John Kane: Stop trying to 'solve' the Great Mystery!

Stop Trying to 'Solve' the Great Mystery!

By John Karhiio Kane (Mohawk)
Censored News

When you pull up my blog online (, this is my intro:
"People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "The Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but, rather, awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored every day in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told; knowledge is what you experience.” I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. [And] I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that."

We live in a world where one of the most overused concepts is "science." Now, the basic idea of studying and dissecting an object or a concept for better understanding is both noble and consistent with most forward thinking cultures, including our own. However, the problem isn't the open-minded approach to learning but, rather, the practice of cherry picking info or skewing the findings to backfill preconceived notions or spiritual beliefs.

Christian Scientists, the Church of Scientology, Quantum Healing and a host of other religious brands actually jam "science" or scientific terms right in their names; and you can bet they cite a ton of scientific data to "prove" their spiritual claims. I have heard plenty of the "born-again" experts detail scientific proof that evolution is false and that science supports creationism. But think about it — Papal Bulls from the 1400s also were based on scientific evidence of racial superiority. And we saw how those ideas were played out through the centuries.

But science isn't just being appropriated by desperate men trying to save their religions. The “religion” of power and wealth also has invested in “convenient” science. Governments and corporations – some intertwined with one another – and established religions, are finding ways to undermine Indigenous peoples by gathering scientific evidence to void the entire concept of Native populations.

One general concept currently being circulated is that if we – the original people of this continent – all migrated here only slightly before the White man or if we are really just White men with great tans then somehow our claims to land and resources are invalid.
The notion that we all left Europe, traveled through northern Asia and crossed the Bering Strait is still taught in schools as a "theory" when it barely qualifies as a hypothesis. The windows of time that were established by science for such a possibility have been slammed shut again and again but the "theory" is clung to regardless.

The unlocking of DNA is the next scientific breakthrough for solving the "Indian problem." You see it all comes down to, "if we can figure out where they came from that is not where they are now or at least make up a compelling story of such, we can cut the cord that ties them to the land." So connect us genetically to Europeans or Asians and who cares how we got here?
Now let's be clear that it isn't just the White man trying cut our legs off here. There are those among us touting ancient Egyptian connections, Jewish connections, African connections and connections to alien worlds through worm holes. Our own Creation stories have been altered to match up with other cultures and get promoted as an exact account of our creation rather than the lesson of Creation. Hell, there are those among us that suggestTekanawida was actually Jesus Christ.

And that is the reason for beginning my column this week with my blog’s introductory statement. By all means speculate all you want about our origins. Create stories and fantasize but do so without creating dogma. The Great Mystery was never presented as a challenge. It is not a pass or fail test. It is like the Ohenton Karihwatehkwen — an acknowledgement not necessarily of a higher power but of things that are simply unknowable. In a world that presents itself with all of Creation so open and honestly, it is pointless to obsess on the unknowable.

If there is a point to this folly then what is it? Solving the Great Mystery is not only futile but also dishonest. I can point to an agenda and a strategy behind this mockery. Every major religion on Earth has made a claim to knowing the Great Mystery but how has the planet fared with these claims to knowing the unknowable?

The ties to our past have in too many cases been weakened by the attempted genocide of our people but the good news is that we can still know the present. The same Creation that produced the world of our people seven generations ago has also produced this one. The paths of those that came before us are still available to us. Our cord to our mother has not been cut. Who else can make that claim? Our "original instructions" are not from someone's account of the past. They come from Creation, every day!

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

Frontera NorteSur 'Dones over Tijuana'

3D Robotics drone
December 11, 2013
Drones over Tijuana

Former Wired magazine editor now owns spy drones over Tijuana

Frontera NorteSur
Tijuana News
Posted at Censored News

If Tijuana’s new municipal government has its way, drones will fly over the northern Mexican border city in 2014. In an interview with the Mexican press, Mayor Jorge Astiazaran Orci, a member of  President Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party who took office at the beginning of December, said his administration is working with a California firm to deploy small drones as a means of fighting crime and carrying out other public safety tasks like detecting fires.

Mohawk Nation News 'Pole Dancers'

MNN. Dec. 11, 2013. Canada has announced they are heading North to try to make an illegal corporate grab of 1.2 million square kilometers of Indigenous sovereign territory from the Arctic to the North Pole. International law provides that the owners, the natural Indigenous people, animals and other inhabitants, must be consulted about this invasion of their territory. Prime Minister Harper thinks he can smooth talk the Inuit into letting him steal what can’t be bought. North Pole Dances
The attached brilliant film, “Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change”, outlines the deep knowledge of the Inuit about the destruction created by the invading scientists, governments, developers and other intruders.  “Inuit Knowledge & Climate Control”.arctic sun

On January 2006 and August 2009 the Women Title Holders of Great Turtle Island notified the International Forum of Nations of the Indigenous inherent jurisdiction which cannot be violated.
polar-plungeAfter doing a few “polar bear” plunges, fancy pole dancing and double talking, they will return empty-handed.
PM Harper to Finance Minister Flaherty: "Brrrr! They can keep their North Pole!"
PM Harper to Finance Minister Flaherty: “Brrrr! They can keep their North Pole!”

MNN Mohawk Nation  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

Mohawk Nation News 'Canada's Apartheid Policy'


 Mohawk Nation News

MNN. Dec. 10, 2013. Canada created the apartheid model in South Africa. Ambiguous Champion explains, “South African officials regularly came to Canada to examine reserves set aside for First Nations, following colleagues who had studied residential schools in earlier parts of the century.” The “pass system” criminalizing the movement of the Black people was based on the Canadian government’s “pass system” forced on Indigenous people until recently. Most totalitarian regimes were started and funded by the shareholders of the Corporations of CANADA and UNITED STATES to implement “apartheid” legislation modeled after the Indian Act. Apartheid is a system of racial segregation against the natural people of the land.

Mohawk Nation News 'Twilight Zone'


MNN. Dec. 8, 2013. Riots break out in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, after Toronto-based Barrick Gold’s security kills several local Indigenous people. Activist Jethro Tulin, of the Porgera Alliance and the Akali Tange Association, a local human rights organization, has visited Canada many times to advocate for the victims of mine-related violence. This violence is the corporate mindset of Canada worldwide. 

American Indian Genocide Museum: Houston needs your help!

Racist Mascots -- Houston needs your help!

By American Indian Genocide Museum

News update: Houston schools give approval to stop using mascot names:

Jacqueline Battise, Advisory board member of American Indian Genocide Museum confronts Lamar High School Alumni outside of HISD Board Meeting. Concerning the " Redskins" mascot name change.  Thursday December 12th, 2013.

...Two dozen people, including several Native Americans, spoke at Thursday's meeting, more than half of them supporting the removal of cultural references from mascot names.

"The Lamar High School Redskins mascot name is just the tip of the iceberg of the racial discrimination against my people here in America. I am a human being. I am not a mascot," said Steve Melendez, the president of the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston. "If you want to honor me, teach the truth about genocide that took place here in Texas."...

HOUSTON -- This Thursday 12-12-2013 the Houston Independent School District will have a board meeting regards our racist school mascots and to retire them. One of the school mascots is called " the RedSkins " and the drill team are the squaws. The high school is named after the Republic of Texas President Mirabeau Lamar. One of Lamar's first policy to carry out as President of Texas was a policy of Indian extermination. Today, he is called the " Father of Texas Education". On Thursday, a group of people will speak before the school board. We can use all the support we can get throughout Indian Country and people across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  
We need folks to come out and join us Thursday or write letters of support in removing the racist mascot names from our schools. Senator Rodney Ellis is lending his support to this issue. We need a good number of people to either show up or write/email in to the school board.  Thanks.  ( link to petition)
Anna Eastman- President
c/o HISD Board Services
Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center
4400 West 18th Street
Houston, TX 77092-8501

Email Anna Eastman at
Telephone: 713-556-6121
Fax: 713-556-6115

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