August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

'Powerlines' Dine' authentic filmmaking on Navajoland

By Censored News

Dine' filmmaker Klee Benally and cast are now shooting the movie Powerlines on the Navajo Nation. Klee said of the photo above, Day 5 of filmmaking in Cameron, "Special thanks to my sis Michelle Babbitt and family for use of the awesome location."
Klee Benally: "Awesome folks who are acting in my feature length Powerlines movie! Tony, Nezbahe, Kayla, and Belinda!

Power Lines is a politically charged coming of age story about a young Diné (Navajo) poet who runs away and finds home.

Produced by Indigenous Action Media in association with Outta Your Backpack Media.

En Français:

Halee is a 16 year old Diné (Navajo) relocation refugee who uses fierce poetry to escape from her painful past and present.
When Halee's abusive father crosses a line, her best friend helps her runaway. Their journey to Halee’s homeland takes a turn when she discovers her father has been hiding a secret that has the power to change Halee’s life forever. 
Bring this independent feature film to the screen by supporting our crowdfunding campaign!
A bit about me and background of the story:
I was born into the midst of a political land conflict created by corporate  interests to access coal beneath my family's homelands on Black Mesa, AZ.
In 1974 U.S. Congress passed PL93-531, also known as the “Relocation Act,” forcing more than 20,000 Diné (Navajo) from our homelands.

For 20 years I toured internationally with the award winning band Blackfire, aBlackfirepolitical punk-rock group that I founded with my brother and sister.
We started Blackfire as a creative means to transform our own anger that came from witnessing our family being torn apart by forced relocation. We used music as a tool for social change. I see this film as an extension of that work.

As a volunteer with Indigenous Action Media since 2001, I’ve directed political documentaries including the award winning feature documentary “The Snowbowl Effect.” I’ve also produced short narrative films, music videos, and mentored withOutta Your Backpack Media (OYBM), an Indigenous youth project I helped found in 2004 and continue to volunteer with today. In all I’ve helped produce more than 60 short films through OYBM.

The impacts of forced relocation and coal mining at Black Mesa, including historical trauma and colonialism, have not been addressed in a feature narrative before. I intend for this project to have a deep and lasting impact on Indigenous youth affected by this crisis, and on a much broader audience.
More about the story concept: 
I began working on the concept for Power Lines in 2008. I felt that a fictional narrative would allow me the most creative freedom to address the issues from a unique perspective. I also believe that independent film can further inspire cultures of resistance and liberation.
The script was completed a year ago and has been in a series of revisions with a range of Indigenous activists and storytellers.
This story is ready to be told, now I just need your help in getting it to the screen.

Donate to Powerlines, authentic Dine' filmmaking at

Mohawk Nation News 'Remembering Dick Hill'



Please post and distribute. 
MNN. Jan. 21, 2015. The beautiful words of Hazel Hill describing her husband Dick. He was a hero to us all.

dick hill
Your strength was like a mountain
Both physical and spiritual the same
Your mind as brilliant as the sunrise
New challenges welcomed as each day came
Your spirit was unshakeable
Yet gentle as a breeze
You could tackle any problem
And handle it with ease
You stood strong upon your principles
Your mind once set was like a trap
For those who dared to challenge you
Your words stung like they’d been slapped
You didn’t dress in fancy clothes
Or parade in feathers & fanfare
You didn’t wait for photo ops
All that attention you didn’t care
You did your job you didn’t ask
To be told there was no need
You simply stood upon the Law
And others followed by your lead
Your name was known across the homelands
Each territory knew just who to call
Whenever the Crown would attempt to reign
You’d lead charge and say f**k em all!
There were those that didn’t like you
Others feared what they could see
But they all learned to respect you
Cause they knew you would succeed
You didn’t tolerate bullshit
Nor ego driven fools
You’d pointedly put them in their place
Playing only by your own rules
It didn’t matter what title they wore
Nor what commandeering rank
You pulled no punches and spoke your mind
Your message always clear & frank
You didn’t take kindly to two faces
Or people with no mind of their own
Who only repeated what others said
And cowered when truth be shown
There were those who thought you arrogant
Others admired your carefree ways
But everyone knew when your truck pulled in
The OPPressors had numbered days
From Ganienkeh to Kanesetake
From Gilkison to the Glebe
There was the sewer line in Brantford
And many others in between
You helped shut down the thruway
That crossed over Seneca lands
From Tyendinaga to Akwesasne
You were always willing to lend a hand
From Eagles Nest to Ipperwash
You brought the truth out from the dark
Delivering the map that proved the burial grounds
While Harris cried “I want the F**kin Indians out of the Park”
You worked tirelessly at Kanonhstaton
Keeping the Peace by whatever means
Took A.R.T. and M.E.L.T. & showed the truth
So they quickly dissolved those teams
You stopped construction of the city lines
At Erie Ave & Birketts Lane
No friendship swayed you stood your ground
Hoping others would do the same
There was never any question
It was your duty to give support
You said to hell with Crown jurisdiction
And scoffed at injunctions from the courts
You fought hard and always did your best
To uphold the Law and never bend
Fighting for the land and the people
A true warrior till the very end
A sword and a shield together
Bound together under Creators Law
No earthly man could break the bond
We stood strong throughout it all
A year ago He called you home
Your spirit’s dancing now it’s free
I will always love and miss you Hon
& You will always be a HERO to me
Written in loving memory for the man who captured my heart, and whose love and memory is my keepsake that I will hold in my heart forever~ my husband, my soul mate ~ Richard (Dick) Hill.
A True Warrior is not measured by the outcome of war, but at having the Courage to have gone in to battle.
Always & Forever
January 21, 2015
MNN Mohawk Nation News or more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L for original Mohawk music visit

Mohawk Nation News 'Modern Day 'Indian' Land Theft'



Please post and distribute. Nia:wen.
MNN. JAN. 20, 2015. Christine Elliott is the wife of former Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty. He was a balancer for the robber baron shareholders of the Corporation of Canada. He chose to have a conflict with the Kanion’ke:haka at  Kane’ko:ta by committing a modern-day INDIAN land theft.
Thahoketoteh, the Asera’kowa of the territory, put a claim on Lot 1 Concession 11.
Christine Elliott
Christine Elliott
Flaherty then registered a corporation to purchase a portion of that claim to build his “Honeywood Cottage”. He targeted that land through insider information [Toronto School Board properties]. It’s flagrant theft! Kanekota has been trying to come to a peaceful accord for years.  Kane’ko:ta is a British military protectorate for the Mohawk forever.

“Jan. 20, 2015.
TO: Christine Elliott, 114 Dundas St. E. Suite 101, Whitby ON L1N 2H7.
As the Kani’stern:sera designate for Kane’ko:ta, it is my duty to protect our birthright, children and future generations. The title of Ono’ware:geh and the lineal descent of the Kanion’ke:haga is vested in the women. Kane’ko:ta is a British military protectorate on the vast Ro’tino’shonni territory known as Ga’nien:geh.
According to the law of the land, Kaia’nereh:kowa, you have infringed on our natural birthright ne akwa’hon:sta known as “Lot 1, Concession 11, Nottawasaga Township” on Kane’ko:ta. Captain General Haldimand in 1784 proclaimed the headwaters of the Grand River, six miles on each side, to Lake Erie, as a military protectorate for the Mohawk forever. Your occupation of said parcel is unlawful. Trying to remove us from our canoe into your Admiralty law of the seas vessel constitutes complicity in genocide, according to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention of the Crime and Punishment of Genocide.
On December 10, 2014, Asera’ko:wa requested a meeting at the building. You responded: “I have never owned, nor did my husband own or build a home on the property that you have referenced”. This is your “Honeywood Cottage” that was built on the said property. Since 2005 your family has disregarded our request for a meeting to discuss how we can co-exist. As this is akwa’hon:tsa, we hereby provide another notice to meet at your building on the said lot. You are contravening the law of the land, Gus’wen:tha, and the Captain General’s royal proclamation. Please respond upon receipt of this letter.
Kohtihon’tia:kwenio, Kanion’ke:haka.
cc. General Sir Peter Wall,Chief of the General Staff, UK Army, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW 1A2HB England, Fax 02072182474.”
With the law behind us, “we’re going to break on through to the other side”, as Jim Morrison let ‘s us know.
MNN Mohawk Nation News or more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L for original Mohawk music visit