August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nihígaal bee Iiná Walkers Begin Third Part of Journey to Sacred Mountains

Photo by Orlando Begay


By Nihígaal bee Iiná
Censored News
This Sunday, June 21st, we will begin the third installment of our journey to each sacred mountain that encompasses our home land. Here is a tentative schedule of where we'll be and what to expect as we arrive to each community.
We will cover over 450 miles on this walk, and will see first hand the impacts of uranium contamination, coal mining, oil and gas drilling, as well as the exploitation of water in our homelands. Every step we walk is a prayer for the healing of our land and our people. This is our path, our collective prayer in the hope that we as Diné people will act to restore Hozhó and protect our home.
To our young people, we are calling on you to come and walk for our land and way of life. NihíDiné'e, If we don't take the time to care for our land and people, no one else will. It's is up to us. This is our time! T'áá Hwó' Ají T'éego!
We need your support and guidance - If anyone can help organize places to stay along our route, community events, or can donate food, please contact us. We are calling out to our people in K'é. Keep us in your prayers.
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Breaking: Indigenous confront Shell drilling rig at sea

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Inflatables, with First Nations activist Audrey Siegl on board, approaching Shell's Polar Pioneer




Tribal Rights Ignored in South Dakota KXL Permit Certification

Tribal Rights Ignored in South Dakota 
KXL Permit Certification


SD Public Utilities Commission Precludes Consideration of Aboriginal Title in KXL Permit Certification Hearing
By Indigenous Environmental Network
Censored News


Tribal Nations, traditional treaty council members and grassroots leaders are outraged over the decision to exclude aboriginal rights and off-reservation rights from the discussion on the whether the KXL pipeline permit should be granted re-certification. The nine tribal nations of South Dakota all stand in resistance to the proposed tar sands pipeline. Four tribes and a number of organizations and individuals are intervenors in the certification case. A major contention of the KXL pipeline by these intervenors is based upon legitimate treaty and aboriginal usufructuary rights, rights acknowledged by international law, federal and state policy and Supreme Court decisions; rights now excluded from being heard.


Indigenous Block at the Tar Sands Resistance March


Click to view larger images.
#keepitintheground


Water ceremony preceding the Tar Sands Resistance March - St. Paul, MN - June 6th 2015
#stoptarsands


For Immediate Release: June 17, 2015
Contacts:
Paula Antoine, Shield the People – Rosebud Spirit Camp, 605-828-0740, wopila@gwtc.net
Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Treaty Council, 605-481-0416, eagletrax@hotmail.com
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, 507-412-7609, ienpipeline@igc.org
Tribal Rights Ignored in South Dakota KXL Permit Certification
SD Public Utilities Commission Precludes Consideration of Aboriginal Title in KXL Permit Certification Hearing
PIERRE, SD - On June 11th, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) granted TransCanada’s “Motion to Preclude Consideration of Aboriginal Title or Usufructuary Rights” from the evidentiary hearing on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline permit certification at the end of July.

Tribal Nations, traditional treaty council members and grassroots leaders are outraged over the decision to exclude aboriginal rights and off-reservation rights from the discussion on the whether the KXL pipeline permit should be granted re-certification. The nine tribal nations of South Dakota all stand in resistance to the proposed tar sands pipeline. Four tribes and a number of organizations and individuals are intervenors in the certification case.

A major contention of the KXL pipeline by these intervenors is based upon legitimate treaty and aboriginal usufructuary rights, rights acknowledged by international law, federal and state policy and Supreme Court decisions; rights now excluded from being heard.

Furthermore, the PUC has made decisions to preclude testimony on climate change and KXL pipeline easements of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Mni Wiconi water pipeline. The KXL pipeline, if constructed, will drive expansion of the energy carbon-intensive extraction and processing of tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest, increasing global carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. The Mni Wiconi water system, over which the KXL pipeline would have to cross in three locations, provides drinking water to thousands of Native and non-native people in western South Dakota.

These recent decisions justify concerns by Tribal Nations, traditional treaty councils, and grassroots leaders that the public permitting process of South Dakota is biased to the wants and will of the oil industry and only serves the interest of TransCanada, a multi-billion dollar Canadian company.

For TransCanada’s Keystone XL permit to be granted re-certification it must show that it can still meet the conditions upon which the permit was granted in 2010. The United States Department of State has not completed its review of the project. Tribal concerns include:
  • TransCanada’s admission that it has no Emergency Spill Response plan for when the Keystone XL pipeline leaks in South Dakota.
  • The proposed pipeline route places it through 200 miles of high risk landslide areas in South Dakota and crosses significant waterways, including the Missouri River, a major source of drinking water.
  • Lack of impact assessment on man-camps and the increased risks of crime, sex trafficking, and sexual violence on vulnerable South Dakota and Native communities.
  • Incomplete or flawed cultural resources impact assessments and inventory of sacred sites and significant cultural areas along the proposed route.
Grassroots leaders, Tribes and South Dakota landowners will not be bullied by Big Oil or dissuaded by seemingly biased rulings. They remain strong and committed in this fight to protect the Great Plains against Big Oil and the Keystone XL pipeline. Community organizers are planning a large march and rally immediately preceding the evidentiary hearing on the Keystone XL permit certification, starting on July 27th.

Quotes:

Paula Antoine, Chairperson of Oyate Wahacanka Woecun (Shield the People – Rosebud Spirit Camp): “We consider ourselves the stewards of the land, of Mother Earth. Despite the SD PUC’s inability to recognize tribal rights, our unified efforts will continue. The detrimental effects of the project to South Dakota’s land, water and people will devastate our small towns, our agriculture and tourism industries. Our concern for the health and welfare of all residents of our state must be shared by the SD Public Utilities Commission.”


Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Treaty Council Representative: “The South Dakota PUC displays a horrifying historical disregard and disrespect of Oceti Sakowin lands and water. It is a blatant example of “settler colonialism”. This is colonialism which is intended to displace, “take over”, replace and destroy the natural occupants of Turtle Island and their rights to live in a safe manner.  We truly live in a state that still lives by 1800’s mentality of conquering in an inhumane way. Canada and the United States are repeating predatory methods in the guise of committees and flawed environmental reviews. We have to name it and it is unacceptable in this day and age. We will not relent in protecting our human rights.”

Dallas Goldtooth, KXL Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network: “The PUC’s decision amounts to a complete disregard for the inherent treaty rights of Oceti Sakowin peoples to address their concerns on how this dirty tar sands pipeline will affect our territories, water, air, and relationship to the sacredness of Mother Earth. Treaties are the supreme law of the land, and not to be broken. This is yet another  unjust action by South Dakota ignoring its obligations to recognize the Treaty rights of the Oceti Sakowin and to continue to silence the voices of those on the frontline of this issue.”

Migrants Shot, Others Missing, at Arizona Sonora Border



Attacked and Lost in the Sonoran Desert


Migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador were fired on, some died, others fled to ranch, between Altar and Sonoyta, while as many as 100 remain missing.

By Frontera NorteSur

Censored News

Amnesty International and migrant advocacy organizations are demanding answers to the whereabouts of a group of Central American migrants that reportedly vanished June 2 in the Sonoran Desert.

Scores of migrants, perhaps more than 100, could be unaccounted for in the aftermath of an attack on their group near the Sonora-Arizona border. According to survivors’ testimonies, the aggression took place after a truck carrying migrants broke down in the desert. Several other vehicles also transporting migrants presumably on their way to the United States stopped to check out the situation,  but were attacked by two unidentified men wearing military-style clothing who opened fire on the large group.

Three migrants, who remain publicly unidentified, were reportedly killed in the attack, and two vehicles burned. Although 13 of the Central Americans were later found safe at a nearby ranch, the survivors said other migrants scattered in the desert as gunfire was directed at them. More than two weeks later, the fates of many migrants in the convoy are not publicly known.

“It is worrisome, apart from the lack of information about the possible whereabouts of other persons-possibly including various women and a child-that the conditions in that zone of the desert are very extreme,” said a statement this week signed by Amnesty International, the Institute for Women in Migration, Casa del Migrante Saltillo and other Mexican migrant advocacy organizations.

The groups demanded the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission, National Executive Commission for Victim Attention and the Mexican federal attorney general’s office in investigating the June 2 incident, clarifying the migrants’ fates and guaranteeing the rights of survivors.

The statement’s signatories criticized Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) for allegedly not informing the rescued migrants of their rights to humanitarian visas and forcing them to sign deportation papers.

In response to pressure from non-governmental organizations, the INM later agreed to issue humanitarian visas with a limited time frame.  Nonetheless, an undetermined number of survivors had already reportedly left Mexico in a development that could further complicate an investigation of the June 2 events.

Sources: La Jornada, June 16, 2015. Article by Jose Antonio Roman. Proceso/Apro, June 16, 2015. Article by Mathieu Tourliere.


Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico

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