August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Face of Resistance: Censored News 2014

Thank you to all the photographers who contributed to Censored News!

Censored News 2014: Defending the Sacred and Exposing the Exploiters

Censored News Photos

Around the world, the struggle to defend Mother Earth and human rights, and expose the exploiters is maintained by the good hearts as a sacred trust

by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The year of 2014 was a difficult one for many, and the struggles to defend the earth and defend human rights were fought with sacrifice around the world. The most viewed articles at Censored News include the oil corruption and murder probe of business associates of Chairman Tex Hall, of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara. 

Arizona Sen. John McCain's role in the theft of Apache sacred lands for copper mining in Arizona also topped the list. In France, the auction houses in Paris continued to sell sacred ceremonial items of Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo, Lakota and more Indigenous Peoples.

The fight against the Keystone XL tarsands continued in the Plains, with new camps of resistance. On the border, Tohono O'odham exposed the US spy cameras now monitoring traditional Indigenous Peoples and activists on the border. The border surveillance tower contract this year was given by US Homeland Security to the Israeli Apartheid contractor Elbit Systems, which maintains Apartheid security around Palestine.

Censored News provided live coverage, with Govinda at Earthcycles providing the livestream, at both the Boarding School Tribunal on Oneida land in Wisconsin, and the gathering of the American Indian Movement, AIM West, in San Francisco. 

At the AIM West gathering there were powerful speakers on the attempts to steal Paiute water rights; the secret sterilization of Native American women by the US government; and the poisoning of Native foods with genetically modified seeds. Censored News and Earthcycles were the only media present to provide coverage.

Around the world, Indigenous Peoples continued to be murdered, raped and disappeared by mining and energy companies.The Rights of Nature Tribunals in Ecuador and Peru focused on some of the worst violators in the world. The Zapatistas maintained the struggle for autonomy and dignity, bringing this year to an end with the Global Festival of Rebellion and Resistance against Capitalism in communities in Mexico.

In the US, journalism continued to bottom out. Plagiarism became the standard. Stay-at-home reporters, like those at Indian Country Today, continued to rewrite for profit the hard work of others, with a five minute phone call added to deceive readers into believing that the re-writers are actually reporters out covering news stories. These re-writers rely on stolen photos from the web. Just ask the 'reporters' if they were actually present on the news stories they pretend to be covering. 

Advertisers, casinos, politicians, and the private agendas of media owners, continued to control, censor and distort the news in Indian country. The owners of the news website received a multi-million dollar contract from the US government for domestic and international spying.

Censored News global readers continued to grow, with readers in the Ukraine, Russia, France, China, Germany, Poland, Indonesia, Turkey and the Netherlands topping the list in 2014. Censored News welcomes new readers in Argentina, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico.

Most Viewed Articles
The most viewed Censored News article in 2014 was on the resolution to suspend Tex Hall. A similar copycat article appeared in New York Times in December 2014. The Censored News series was in February and March 2014. Thank you to everyone who sent in photos and documents to Censored News.

Censored News most viewed article in December was on the Paris auction selling Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo and Plains ceremonial items. Earlier, Klee Benally, Dineh, confronted the auctioneers carrying out cultural genocide in Paris:

Bringing the year to a close, Censored News readers honored their Heroes in Resistance, with Lifetime Achievement Awards and more:

Our most viewed photos this year were the photos of Robyn Jackson, Dineh, at Flood Wall Street in New York and Ken Marchionno's photos of the Ride to Wounded Knee in South Dakota. Thank you.

Throughout 2014, the struggles focused on protecting Mother Earth, defending water rights, and fighting the exploiters who target Indigenous Peoples lands with the most polluting and deadly industries. The Boarding School Tribunal exposed the murder and torture inflicted on Native American children, with the demand to charge church officials and government officials in the US and Canada with criminal charges.

Top Issues

Theft of Indian water rights by non-Indian attorneys, Congressmen and corrupt tribal officials
This is why we need more whistleblowers: Former Sec. Interior Ken Salazar resigned after this memo was leaked, exposing the scheme to steal Navajo water rights in Congress. It wasn't the Navajo government that halted the theft -- it was the Dineh people. Non-Indian attorneys, Congressmen, and corrupt tribal officials have been in this game for a long time. The states and US are desperate for Indian water rights to keep unsustainable cities and dirty coal-fired power plants operating.
Many Native American tribes in Arizona have already signed the so-called "water rights settlements" presented by their non-Indian attorneys. Currently, Paiutes are fighting to save water rights to Pyramid Lake in Nevada. Here's one of the rights that states and the US fear the most: Water rights guaranteed under Winter's Doctrine. It ensures water rights for future generations on Indian lands and the water mongers want those rights waived. In Sonora, Mexico, the Yaqui Traditional Authority has maintained a water rights blockade on a major highway on their land as Mexico steals their water.

Coal-fired pollution on Navajo Nation
With President Obama's announcement in China that the US will cut power plant emissions, the question remains: Will the Navajo Nation take action? The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station is one of the top polluters in the world. Will the Navajo Times cover this issue? The power plant uses coal that Peabody Coal rips from Black Mesa in Arizona. Peabody Coal's genocidal scheme to remove Navajos from Black Mesa is the real motivation for the so-called Navajo Hopi Land Dispute. The dirty power plant provides electricity primarily to southern Arizona, and the cities of Phoenix and Tucson. Another dirty coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation is the Four Corners Power Plant in New Mexico.

Indian country news infested with plagiarizers and profiteers
National Indian country news is dominated by plagiarizers and profiteers. The victims -- besides those who do the original work and pay the expenses themselves -- are the readers. For years, Indian Country Today armchair reporters have been staying home and plagiarizing. When they don't want you to know who is doing the plagiarizing, they put as the byline at the top "ICTMN staff."
Further, the owners of received a multi-million dollar contract from the US for domestic and international spying this year, with an office at the US Pentagon. What this means for readers is this: There aren't really reporters present on news stories and reporting the facts. Just ask those reporters if they have been present on the news stories they pretend to be covering.
Read Censored News: "Media Pimps: Hollywood isn't the only place where people sleep their way to the top."

Homeland Security gives US border security contract to Israeli firm, includes US spy towers on Tohono O'odham land
Homeland Security gave the border security contract this year to the Israeli defense corporation Elbit Systems, responsible for Apartheid security on the Palestine border. The contract includes the US spy towers on sovereign Tohono O'odham land. See Censored News exclusive coverage of those spy towers on O'odham land: Tohono O'odham government approves 15th spy tower, more land for US Border Patrol:

Bill Gates profiteering from private prisons
The power and money mongers are profiteering from the imprisonment of migrants, American Indians and other people of color in private prisons. The US system fills these prisons with the aid of the media hysteria about the border, and police officers targeting people of color.
Both GEO and CCA are prison for profit vulture corporations. Bill Gates is among the top investors in GEO and G4S.

Truth about cartels and the murdered and disappeared
While remembering the dead and 43 disappeared students in Guerrero, Mexico, remember that it was the US ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) who provided the cartels with assault weapons. Project Gunrunner began in Texas in 2005, according to US documents, and continued based in Tucson with Fast and Furious and Operation Wide Receiver. There was no outcry in the US when it was people in Mexico being killed, including innocent women and children. It was only when a US Border Patrol agent was killed with one of those weapons in Arizona that there was a public outcry. Indigenous Peoples in Mexico and along the border are victims of the heavily-armed cartels. The so-called drug war is just one more of the United States wars created with the aid of spin and fabricated news reports. Meanwhile, the US Border Patrol agents continue to be arrested for smuggling drugs, and continue to shoot through the border and kill citizens of Mexico.

Boarding School Tribunal
Reporters in Indian country were a no-show for coverage of the Boarding School Tribunal in Green Bay, Wisconsin in October. See the original series by Censored News, with videos by Govinda at Earthcycles. Yes, we were there.

Thank you to our translators: Christine Prat for French translations, Alice Holemans at NAIS for Dutch translations, and welcome to Selina Berger now translating Censored News articles into German.

Censored News, now in its 9th year, has no advertising, grants or sponsors. It was created by Brenda Norrell, a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, after being censored and terminated by ICT. She has been a reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She began as a news reporter with Navajo Times, while living on the Navajo Nation for 18 years. She served as a freelance reporter for AP and USA Today while living on Navajoland and wrote for regional newspapers and magazines.

Yankton Sioux seeks dismissal of Transcanada's KXL tarsands permit

Faith Spotted Eagle
Thomasina Realbird, Yankton Sioux
Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Treaty Chair
Censored News
Wednesday, December 31, 2015

YANKTON SIOUX NATION -- In a determined move, the Yankton Sioux Tribe will square off with Transcanada on January 6, 2014 in order to seek the dismissal of Transcanada’s bid to certify the KXL pipeline to pass through South Dakota. The Tribe will present argument that so much has changed from the findings of fact and conclusions of law and fifty original conditions that were to be met by Transcanada, that it now appears to be a new pipeline.  
The other three tribes will present argument in support of Yankton’s motion.
This past fall of 2014, forty one intervenors and four tribes filed interventions against the development of the KXL pipeline at hearings held by the SD Public Utility Commission which is facilitated by three commissioners of that body. In addition to Yankton, the other four tribes are Cheyenne River, Rosebud and Standing Rock.  
Other intervenors are non-profits, citizens and landowners from South Dakota and Nebraska.  
Many of the SD intervenors are part of the NOKXL Dakota which is a powerful coalition of tribes, landowners and non-profits including Dakota Rural Action, which was a intervenor when the SD Public Utility Commission certified the KXL pipeline in 2010. Bold Nebraska and other Nebraska landowners were also accepted as intervenors.  
The PUC accepted all interventions including Indigenous Environmental Network, the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, the Sierra Club,, the South Dakota Wildlife Federation, and the Rosebud Public Utility Commission.
In a December 2014 PUC hearing, the tribes and other parties presented their objections primarily through pre-hearing motions but were not permitted to make arguments during the actual hearing.   
The PUC hearings appear not to allow oral arguments which is unusual for an administrative body engaged in adjudicatory rule-making.  It remains to be seen whether that will change during the January 6th hearing.
The January 6th hearing will also be the date that parties submit initial discovery requests to other parties seeking information that is relevant to the proceeding. Following the January 6th date , an agreed upon calendar has been set for additional discovery deadlines throughout the next four months which will conclude with a final hearing the first week of May.  The intervention process has brought together a power coalition of intervenors who are asserting their right to a due process as citizens of this country.   The tribes are asserting their rights to protect treaty land, water and the human right to live safely in a land that they have inhabited for centuries. The land involves not only treaty lands but lands that are considered unceded and in an occupation status; and actual lands that are in title status with certain tribes such as Rosebud and Oglala.  Yankton has been fighting KXL pipeline since 2008 and will continue to do so until KXL goes away.
Following the January 6th PUC hearing, the NOKXL Dakota coalition will host a Prayer Circle in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate unity, solidarity, continued opposition and victory of unification which will not concede lands to a foreign entity or compromise the climate for generations to come.  

For questions contact:   Thomasina Realbird (303) 673-9600 or Faith Spotted Eagle at (605) 481- 0416.

Thank you Christine Prat for French translation!

Par La Tribu Sioux Yankton
Thomasina Realbird, Sioux Yankton
Faith Spotted Eagle, Présidente du Traité Ihanktonwan*
Publié sur Censored News
Mercredi 31 décembre 2014
Traduction Christine Prat

NATION SIOUX YANKTON – Dans une action menée avec détermination, la Tribu Sioux Yankton va croiser le fer avec Transcanada le 6 janvier, afin d’essayer d’obtenir le rejet de la demande de Transcanada de faire officialiser le passage de l’oléoduc Keystone XL à travers le Dakota du Sud. La Tribu avancera l’argument selon lequel tant de choses ont changé dans la constatation des faits et les conclusions légales ainsi que les cinquante conditions initiales devant être remplies par Transcanada, que c’en est devenu un nouvel oléoduc.
Les trois autres tribus présenteront des arguments soutenant la motion des Yankton.
Durant l’automne 2014, 41 intervenants et quatre tribus ont déposé des interventions contre le développement de l’oléoduc KXL durant des sessions de la Commission d’Utilité Publique du Dakota du Sud animées par trois membres de cette institution. En plus des Yankton, les quatre autres tribus sont celles de Cheyenne River, Rosebud et Standing Rock.
Les autres intervenants sont des ONG, des citoyens et des propriétaires de terres du Dakota du Sud et du Nebraska.
Beaucoup d’intervenants du Dakota du Sud sont membres de ‘NOKXL Dakota’ [Pas de KXL Dakota], qui constitue une puissante coalition de tribus, de propriétaires de terres et d’ONG, entre autres l’Action Rurale du Dakota, qui est intervenu quand la Commission d’Utilité Publique a certifié l’oléoduc KXL en 2010. Bold Nebraska [Nebraska Sans Peur] et d’autres propriétaires de terres du Nebraska ont également été acceptés comme intervenants.
La Commission d’Utilité Publique a accepté toutes les interventions, entre autres celles du Réseau Environnemental Autochtone, du Conseil Intertribal sur la Politique Publique, du Sierra Club, de, de la Fédération pour la Vie Sauvage du Dakota du Sud, et de la Commission d’Utilité Publique de Rosebud.
Au cours de la session de décembre 2014 de la Commission d’Utilité Publique, les tribus et les autres parties ont présenté leurs objections essentiellement par le biais de motions préalables mais n’ont pas été autorisées à argumenter lors de la session proprement dite.
Il s’avère que les sessions de la Commission d’Utilité Publique n’autorisent pas les arguments oraux, ce qui est inhabituel pour une institution exerçant un pouvoir de réglementation juridictionnel. Il reste à voir si cela va changer durant la session du 6 janvier.
Lors de la session du 6 janvier, des parties présenteront des faits déjà découverts pertinents pour la procédure. Après la date du 6 janvier, un calendrier accepté par tous a été fixé pour d’éventuelles découvertes de faits au cours des quatre mois qui se concluront par une dernière session dans la première semaine de mai. Le processus d’intervention a réuni une puissante coalition d’intervenants qui défendent leurs droits à une vraie procédure en tant que citoyens de ce pays. Les tribus affirment leurs droits de protéger les terres des traités, l’eau et les droits humains de vivre en sécurité sur une terre qu’ils habitent depuis des siècles. La terre n’inclut pas seulement les terres selon les traités, mais aussi des terres qui n’ont jamais été cédées et sont considérées comme ayant le statut de territoire occupé ; et des terres qui appartiennent en titres à certaines tribus comme Rosebud et Oglala. Yankton a combattu l’oléoduc KXL depuis 2008 et continuera jusqu’à ce que le KXL s’en aille.
Après la session du 6 janvier de la Commission d’Utilité Publique, la coalition NOKXL Dakota hébergera un Cercle de Prière dans la Rotonde du Capitole pour célébrer l’unité, la solidarité, l’opposition ininterrompue et la victoire de l’unification qui ne cèdera pas de terres à une entité étrangère et ne compromettra pas le climat pour les générations à venir.
Si vous avez des questions, contactez : Thomasina Realbird (00 1) (303) 673 9600 ou Faith Spotted Eagle (00 1) (605) 481 0416

*Le 25 janvier 2013 les Nations Sioux ont signé un Traité International (c.à.d. Inter nations Sioux, ouvert aux autres Nations voulant les rejoindre) pour Protéger le Sacré des Projets de Sables Bitumineux.
L’introduction :
Les représentants de Nations, tribus et gouvernements Autochtones souverains, participant au Rassemblement pour Protéger le Sacré des 23 au 25 janvier 2013, pour le 150ème anniversaire du Traité Entre les Pawnee et les Sioux Yankton, se sont rassemblés sur les terres Ihanktonwan et ont résolu par consentement libre, préalable et informé de s’engager par traité à être pour toujours respectés et protégés.
Voir le texte intégral du Traité, en anglais

Thanks to Alice Holemans NAIS for Dutch translation!

 Door Yankton Sioux Tribe
Thomasina Realbird, Yankton Sioux
Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktowan Treaty Chair
Vertaald door NAIS:
Foto: Faith Spotted Eagle
In een vastberaden zet wil de Yankton Sioux tribe op 6 januari 2014 afrekenen met Transcanada. De stam wil de vergunning van Transcanda om door zuid Dakota te trekken laten intrekken.
De stam zal met argumenten aantonen dat er zoveel veranderd is in feiten en besluiten in de wet en de vijftig oorspronkelijke voorwaarden die Transcanada moest vervullen - dat het nu lijkt alsof het een heel nieuwe pijpleiding betreft.
De drie andere stammen zullen een motie tot steun aan de Yankton’s indienen.
In de herfst van 2014 hebben eenenveertig mensen en vier stammen interventies ingediend tegen de ontwikkeling van de KXL pijpleiding tijdens hoorzittingen die georganiseerd werden door de SD Public Utility Commission.
De vier stammen zijn Yankton, Cheyenne River, Rosebud en Standing Rock.
De anderen ‘intervenors’ (*)zijn non-profits, burgers en landeigenaars van Zuid Dakota en Nebraska.
Velen Zuid-Dakota ‘intervenors’ maken deel uit van de NOKXL Dakota, een machtige coalitie van stammen, landeigenaren en non-profits waaronder Dakota Rural Action, die ook tussengekomen was toen in 2010 de SD Public Utility Commission de KXL pijpleiding bevestigde.
Bold Nebraska en andere landeigenaars uit Nebraska werden ook aanvaard als ‘intervenors’.
De PUC aanvaardde alle interventies waaronder inbegrepen het IEN (Indigenous Enviromental Network,) de Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, de Sierra Club, 350 org., de South Dakota Wildlife federation, en de Rosebud Public Utility Commission.

In december 2010 dienden de stammen en andere partijen voornamelijk hun bezwaren in tijdens de voorbereidingen van de hoorzitting maar werden niet toegestaan om hun argumenten te verdedigen tijdens de eigenlijke hoorzitting.
De hoorzittingen van PUC staan geen mondelinge argumentvoering toe, wat toch hoogst ongewoon is voor een administratieve unit dat zich bezighoudt
met het afwegen van de wetten.
Het blijft nog af te wachten of er iets zal veranderen op de hoorzitting van 6 januari.
Op de dag van de hoorzitting op 6 januari zullen de partijen de verzoeken voor informatie van de aanvankelijke bevindingen aan de andere partijen overhandigen. Informatie dat relevant is voor het verdergaan van de procedure.

Het interventieproces heeft een krachtige coalitie van ‘intervenors’ samengebracht die hun recht als burgers van dit land in het komende proces verdedigen.
De stammen verdedigen hun rechten om niet enkel treaty- land maar land dat nooit overgeven werd en nog steeds ‘bezet’ is; en land dat rechtmatig hoort aan Rosebud en Oglala.
Yankton vecht reeds tegen KXL sinds 2008 en zal blijven vechten tot KXL weggaat.
Volgend op de PUC hoorzitting van 6 januari zal de NOKXL coalitie een ‘Prayer Circle ‘organiseren in de Capitol Rotunda. Zij zullen eendracht, solidariteit, voortdurend verzet dat geen grond zal overgeven aan een vreemde entiteit of het klimaat in gevaar zal brengen voor toekomstige generaties, te vieren.

(*) ‘intervenors’ US law: zijn personen die geen partij zijn in een lopende rechtszaak maar die zichzelf partij maken door zich ofwel bij de aanklager te voegen of zich verenigen met de met de beklaagde in verzet tegen de beschuldigingen.

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