August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meet Josephine Mandamin (Anishinaabekwe) The “Water Walker”

Meet Josephine Mandamin (Anishinaabekwe), The “Water Walker”


josephine best picture

Photos and article by Ayse Gursoz
Republished with permission by Ayse Gursoz from Indigenous Rising

With a copper pail of water in one hand and a staff in the other, Josephine Mandamin, an Anishabaabewe grandmother took on a sacred walk, traversing over 10,900 miles around each of the Great Lakes. She is known as a “water walker.”
According to the Michigan Sea Grant, the Great Lakes shoreline is equal to almost 44% of the circumference of the earth.
"When you see someone walking with a pail of water, you wonder, where is she going with that water. So the message is, water is very precious, and I will go to any lengths to and direction, any lengths, any distance to carry the water to the people,” said Mandamin. “As women, we are carriers of the water. We carry life for the people. So when we carry that water, we are telling people that we will go any lengths for the water. We’ll probably even give our lives for the water if we have to. We may at some point have to die for the water, and we don’t want that.”
Mandamin joined the team of indigenous representatives from the Indigenous Environmental Network at the People’s Climate March during the week of September 18th to the 24th.
“Why I’m here is because I really feel for the water. And if we could give the message to people that Water is a human right. Water has to live, it can hear, it can sense what we’re saying, it can really, really, speak to us. Some songs come to us through the water. We have to understand that water is very precious.”
In Anishinaabekwe culture, women are given the responsibility to take care of the water.
“The water of Mother Earth, she carries life to us, and as women we carry life through our bodies. We as women are life-givers, protectors of the water, and that’s why we are very inclined to give mother earth the respect that she needs for the water. That’s our responsibility, our role, and our duty, to pass on the knowledge and understanding of water, to all people, not just Anishinabe people, but people of all colors,” said Mandamin.
In the wake of extreme extractive industries such fracking, oil, and coal, access to clean water is rapidly declining.
“In our prophecies, in our Three Fires Midewiwin Society, we are taught that water is very precious.  I was told by a grand chief that 30 years from now an ounce of water will cost as much as an ounce of gold if we continue with our negligence,” said Mandamin. “If we discontinue our negligence, we can change things around.  That’s why I am really embodying the prophecy.  You’ve heard of ‘Walk The Talk,’ this is why I walk.”

First Voices Indigenous Radio: Mapuche author Pedro Cayuqueo

By Liz Hill
Censored News

One of John Kane’s guests this morning on “First Voices Indigenous Radio” was renowned Mapuche journalist and author Pedro Cayuqueo. Amalia Isabel Cordova provided interpretation. If you missed John's fascinating conversation with Pedro, who has become a recognized voice not only for Mapuche issues but also Indigenous and intercultural intellectual debates across Latin America, you can still listen to the show at www.wbai.org - search “Archive.” Tonight, Pedro will talk about his three books and life at Conversation with Pedro Cayuqueo: “Esa ruca Ilamada Chile,” 6 p.m. at NYU, Hemmidinger Hall, 100 Washington Square East. RSVP at cultural.eeuu@minrel.gov.cl (Photo by John Kane)

Listen now to today's show, hosted by John Kane, Mohawk: http://www.wbai.org/server-archive.html

On Louisiana Gulf after Climate March: Nothing has changed

Message from the People's Climate March

By Cherri Foytlin Sep 24 2014
Photo: Cherri Foytlin at the People's Climate March, by Karen Savage.
The view I have now of Brooklyn Bridge, will soon be replaced with fracking rigs. Coming into Baton Rouge, buildings will change to tank farms, New York Harbor will become BP soiled waters, the subway tunnels – pipelines and canals that let the Gulf of Mexico claim our lands. Central Park will turn into a mining-induced sinkhole and four hundred and ten thousand committed marchers will drop to hundreds of the fiercest fighters I have ever known. Yet, there will be strangled liberty and seldom justice.
Returning home, I know that for us, nothing has changed.
People are still sick from the BP spill, workers are still in danger, oysters are still gone, environmental justice communities and Superfund sites still exist, ten LNG plants are still coming, ports are still growing, coal export continues to expand, refineries and chemical plants are still poisoning, and as always we have very little representation with the will or the guts to stand up for the people they claim to serve.

Tewa Women United Gathering for Mother Earth 2014



Five Land Defenders Arrested at Utah TarSands Protest

Five Land Defenders Arrested at Utah Tar Sands Protest

IMG_20140925_004149Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014
BREAKING: Five Land defenders were arrested yesterday morning at the construction site of US Oil Sands’ tar sands strip-mine in Utah. The Canadian company’s 32,000 acre lease-holding are on state-managed land in the Book Cliffs, on the East Tavaputs Plateau, though the land is traditional Ute land, and lays within Indian country, with sections of the tar sands project straddling the boundary of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation.
Currently, the land defenders (including the media team) are being held on Class A Trespassing charges, with a total bail estimated at $10,500.
One of those arrested is a trans woman, and at this time we are unsure if she is being held in solitary, or if she is being housed with the male population. Neither situation is acceptable, we are extremely concerned about the dangers she may be facing.
We will provide updates and media here as they become available.

Navajos to protest liquor permit in Tohlakai NM on Saturday


STANDING FOR TOHLAKAI ALLIANCE
 Navajo Technical University students sign
"standing for Tohlakai alliance"  petittion.

By Standing for Tohlakai Alliance
Censored News
September 24, 2014

TOHLAKAI, NAVAJO NATION -- Who will speak for the people?
The people will!
The people gather – this Saturday, September 27th, 2014, beginning at 9:00 am at the Tohlakai Store.
The purpose:  To raise our voices together to stop the approval of a liquor dispenser’s license being applied for by Western Refining Southwest, Inc. – owner-operators of the Giant gas station and store at Tohlakai.
The message:  We, the citizens of Tohlakai community – and our neighbors, and people of conscience everywhere – view approval of this liquor license as an event that cannot happen.   This is about the safety of our people, our families, our children.  It is about the safety of the thousands of neighbors and visitors who travel the highway – US 491 – which runs right through our community.  It is about Life and the Quality of Life.
It is well known and documented that the excessive consumption of alcohol in the Gallup region is a major cause of death, illness, disruption of families, and many other detrimental outcomes.  These tragedies have come close and affected all of us.  This is the third time – and our fourth generation ! – that we have we fought the owner’s efforts to obtain a liquor license at this Giant store.
Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney signs petition 
supporting "standing for tohlakai alliance" efforts 
to halt liquor license application."
We fight this effort, because we will not stand for the destruction that will most certainly come if alcohol is popularized and dispensed at this location.  We fight this effort, because it is unconscionable to allow it to come to pass.  Just a moment of your compassionate reflection on the disastrous influence of alcohol in our communities would convince you that a liquor license in Tohlakai is totally out of the question.


How many accidents and deaths will it take until you realize the consequences?  How many lines of distraught and vulnerable souls seeking your potions will you tolerate before you see the addictions you are feeding?  How many broken bottles and trashed out flop sites in our rugged hills will you allow to accumulate?  How much panhandling and molestation of our young ones will you witness before you understand what you have done?
Fellow citizens, friends, and neighbors!  Teachers, workers and leaders!  We want to hear from you, and we want you by our side on this.  You elected leaders and candidates for public office:  where do you stand?  Will you band with us to oppose this obvious travesty?  Will you stand with us for the safety and well-being of our people?  Will you support our community’s united and passionate desire for justice and decency in this matter?
Join us this Saturday, September 27th, from 9:00am to 1:00pm at the Tohlakai Store.  Bring your friends and family, and be ready to sign on to this campaign to stop this liquor license!