August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Shame on McCain! Protest Thursday Save Oak Flat!


Join us to protest John McCain's giveaway of Oak Flat to Rio Tinto this Thursday!

What: Shame On McCain Protest


When: 9:30am – 11:00am, Thursday, August 13, 2015


Where: 88 E. Broadway Blvd, in front of TEP Headquarters where one of three "private town halls" will take place.

Senator John McCain has so much to be ashamed of: giving away sacred Apache Land at Oak Flat, sponsoring Senate Bill 750 which waives ALL LAWs and gives Border Patrol unlimited authority to wreak havoc on public and tribal lands for 100 miles north of the US/MX border, refusing to meet with constituents who disagree with him, and holding "private town halls" where the public is locked out and big industry is invited in.



Hopi's Owl and Panther Project for Refugee Children Celebrates 20th Anniversary







The Hopi Foundation's Owl and Panther Project for refugee children of torture, violence and displacement, includes children and youths from Iraq, Bhutan, Nepal, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Congo
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
The Hopi Foundation's Owl and Panther Program is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, with a second showing of the artwork and sharing of poetry of refugee children at Tucson Museum of Art.
The following article is published in memory of Amy Shubitz, and her work with the Hopi Owl and Panther Program, which allows child victims of torture and displacement to have a creative voice. The Sanctuary Movement gave birth to this program. Before she passed, Amy stood in the church, Southside in Tucson, and turned to me, remembering the thousands of Indigenous Peoples who escaped torture and death in Central America and South America in the 70s and 80s, who passed through this church and were given sanctuary here. It was a powerful moment, one I will never forget. 
The Owl and Panther artwork was first on exhibit in 2013 at the Tucson Museum of Art. Below is the article I wrote of the heart moving exhibit. 
Also, in the news today, Arizona Wildcat has an article on the current exhibit in 2015. http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2015/08/museum-as-sanctuary-voices-displaced
Museum as Sanctuary: Giving Voice to Tucson's Refugees
By Brenda Norrell
July 17, 2013
Someone is dying on the border today. It is 108 degrees beneath the sun and hotter to the west of here. Here, in the Sonoran Desert, there is always a need for sanctuary, for refuge.
Just north of the border , the Tucson Museum of Art opened a new exhibit, “Museum as Sanctuary: Giving Voice to Tucson’s Refugees.” It is collaboration between the Tucson Museum and the Hopi Foundation’s Owl and Panther Program, where art is medicine for refugee children healing from the trauma of torture and exile.
On the museum walls, the real story of this border, and borders around the world, comes alive in the vivid color of the paintings and the haunting self portraits of refugees. It is dramatic self expression that is in itself a voice for refugees who find solace here. The exhibit is the result of a three year project of the museum and the Hopi Foundation. It is not a single voice, but the voices of 31 individuals.
Epiphanie has painted the Ethiopian flag. Another’s father is in political exile from Chile. There is a painting of a woman fleeing from her burning village. One painting is black, except for the stars in the sky, and shares the dark feelings of the painter.
Still, however, there is also the field of dreams.
Mohammad has painted “Soccer Man.”
Bhagat says, “I plan on being a world famous soccer player.”
In another self portrait, a young woman is blindfolded. Wendy is from Guatemala. “Escaping machine guns, bullets, hunger, running from place to place. Seeing people get killed and sleeping with my shoes on. That was my childhood.”
Nada’s husband was disappeared in Iraq. Sarah, from the Congo, says her favorite animal is the cheetah because it can run faster than the others. These expressions
are the original energies of refugees from all parts of the earth, from a mining town in the Atakama Desert in Chile to Ethiopia, Nepal , Bhutan and other countries.
In a collaborative poem from the children of Owl and Panther, there is a description of a “square mile of heaven,” which includes peanut butter cookies, vegetable curry, mesquite and coming together to solve problems without hurting anyone.
In the handcrafts, there is a magnificent bird fashioned from paper towel and toilet paper rolls, painted with brilliant colors. “It is old from 1,000 years ago. I’ve seen this bird in Iraq,” are the descriptive words.
Anish writes of the story of the Owl and Panther, adapted from a Cherokee legend, which gives the program its name.
“They must look into the dark with the wisdom and vigilant eyes of the owl and panther. The great medicine comes to those who are watchful.”
In the Owl and Panther legend, the plants and animals were asked to stay awake for seven days and nights. Those that were able to do, were given great gifts. On the museum walls, the program shares the teaching that children must stay alert, like the cedar, spruce and pine that stay green all winter. They must look into the darkness with the wisdom and vigilance of the owl and panther, who were given the gift of seeing in the dark night.
Here there is the field of dreams, but in border regions around the world, refugees and migrants fill cells and in the US, they fill private prisons for profit. On the border of Guatemala and Mexico, women, sick and hungry, who have walked across continents are imprisoned with their children in migrant prisons.
Tucson is a place of sanctuary, because here there are people who are awake. On the US Mexico border, there are those that walk in this heat, in this death inducing heat, and search for the bodies along the border. Tohono O’odham human rights activists are among the few who respond to the pleas of families in Mexico or Central America. They walk in this sun, cheating death, and search for the living and dead in the Sonoran Desert. The migrants have often survived the beatings and torture of robbers and kidnappers while walking through Mexico.
In this militarized zone of the border, life is precious, all life, including life beyond these borders. In 2007, protests in Tucson focused on US torture and the role of the US Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, southeast of Tucson.
The tortures in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo reveal the same torture techniques that were used in Central America by the Latin military leaders trained by the US at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. The result was the rape, mutilation, disappearance and murder of masses of Indigenous Peoples in Central America in the 1980s.

The School of Americas torture manuals, confirmed publically in 1996, were produced at Fort Huachuca. More recently, soldiers trained at the Fort Huachuca U.S. Army Intelligence Training Center, have gone on to torture at Abu-Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo.
Here in Tucson, torture comes full circle.
During the Fort Huachuca protest, the Hopi Foundation Center for the Prevention and Resolution of Violence, which serves refugees and victims of torture, offered a presentation of poetry from its Owl and Panther Program. The Owl and Panther Program began in 1995 with creative writing, giving young victims of torture and exile an opportunity to express themselves through poetry.

Vicki Hernandez, among the youths, said, "You can't just torture a little bit."

"Torture in any form is a crime against humanity."
Years earlier, in December of 2000, Amy Shubitz, director of the Hopi Foundation's Center for the Prevention and Resolution of Violence, insisted that I not miss the poetry readings of the children of the refugees in the Owl and Panther Program. Amy said the project serves torture victims and perpetrators arriving from around the world. She said it grew out of the Sanctuary Movement, which provided shelter to those fleeing persecution, primarily in Central and South America.
At one of these gatherings, speaker Federico Anaya Gallardo, a human rights attorney from Mexico City working closely with the Zapatistas, told the children in
the program, “Take care of the pain. Humans are not animals, not coyotes. We are more like bees or wolves, we cannot live if we are not together."
Frederico shared the story of Eleanor Roosevelt's initiation of the Declaration of Human Rights, as the world was recovering from the horror of the Holocaust.
"We struggle so no one can take our accomplishments away from us," he told the children. "Human rights are for everyone, even those who do not respect them. We respect the rights of our enemies. The difference between a good person and a bad person is the good person works also for the rights of the bad.
"The first rule of human rights is not to remain silent. All witnesses have the duty to say what we saw."
Amy walked with me through a small adobe church and said that more than 10,000 Indigenous Peoples had passed through this church fleeing torture. Amy asked me to tell this story, her story, and I agreed.
Shortly after that, Amy became ill and died in 2003. She never reached old age and the time when we hoped to write this story. When she passed, Marge Pellegrino wrote, “Refugees from Mali, Mauritania, Sudan and Uganda cry with those from Guatemala, Salvador and Honduras, part of the more than 10,600 Amy helped usher through Tucson in the 1980s when they escaped the death squads in Central America.”
Today, in the art of Amy’s beloved Owl and Panther Project, are the words of Tek on the walls of the Tucson Museum of Art.
Love to mix color and show the beauty of the desert,” says Tek. Tek’s colors are wild color, vibrant colors.
Wrapped in these images are the Sonoran Desert itself, the blood red color of the cactus fruit, deep red of the earth, the blue of the water and sky, and the green of the pungent chaparral. There is the yellow of the sun, with its dualities of life giver and life taker.
Now, at the end of the day, the sun has ended its machete blows. The monsoon rain clouds have gathered, providing some shade and promise. With those dark monsoon clouds comes the threat of deadly torrents rushing across the top of the dry baked earth, torrents of rain in the arroyos that carry away people and cars,
mangled with trees and cows.
Meanwhile, on the Tucson Museum wall, a butterfly necklace hangs on the self-portrait of a young woman with long dark hair.
“The butterfly necklace represents happiness and beauty of the worlds,” she writes.
Amy would have liked that.
Poem: Collaboration of Owl and Panther, March 2012
A square mile of heaven,
just what I needed,
windy and loud,
my tummy full of
peanut butter cookies,
going for seconds
of vegetable curry,
the smell of mesquite,
people working together
solving problems together
without fighting,
having fun
lots of little hands,
yowls of laughter,
floating on the wind,
talking our way
through border patrol,
snoring in the van
on the way back home,
a day in that
square mile of heaven,
just what we needed.




The Tucson Museum of Art hosted the exhibition of works created by the Museum as Sanctuary participants entitled Museum as Sanctuary: Giving Voice to Tucson’s Refugees. This exhibition is an opportunity to display works of art—and stories—that highlight culture, community, and identity.
The Museum as Sanctuary Program is a unique partnership with The Hopi Foundation’s Owl & Panther Project and the Tucson Museum of Art. The Hopi Foundation’s Owl & Panther Project works with refugee families in the Tucson area who have been impacted by torture, trauma or traumatic dislocation.  At TMA individuals have focused on the benefits of creative expression through art-making and in-gallery activities.  Participants of the program come from countries all around the world such as Iraq, Bhutan, Nepal, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Congo to name a few.


Utah Climate Defenders Shut Down Tar Sands Mine

Warriors uniting to defend Sacred Water by halting the expansion of tar sands in so-called "utah".
Direct Autonomous Media

The Unitah county sherrif's department gropes at a protester on a tripod, after refusing to comply with their request for a female officer. The boys club laughed at their request and proceeded to terrorize the land defender on film. Photo: Direct Autonomous Media


Land defenders strike back against mining industry for
Colorado River poisoning.

By Direct Autonomous Media and Tarsands Blockade

BOOK CLIFFS OF UTAH -- Land defenders strike back against mining industry for Colorado River poisoning.
Several dozen climate justice land defenders will enforce a shut down at the US Oil Sands tar sands mine today in the Book Cliffs of Utah. The action comes just days after a century-old mine poured millions of gallons of toxic sludge into waterways that sustain 40 million Americans.
“Thousands of mines like open wounds tell the story of a century of exploitation, destruction and violence–against the people of this land and the land and water themselves,” said Melanie Martin of Peaceful Uprising, on behalf of the crowd. “US Oil Sands continues that sick tradition by squandering precious water in a thirsty region and saddling future generations with a toxic legacy there is no way to clean up.”
For live updates and more pictures of this ongoing blockade, check out Peaceful Uprising and their website:



Mohawk Nation News 'Kahnawake's Joke Norton'

KAHNAWAKE’S JOKE NORTON

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Please post & distribute. Nia:wen.
MNN. Aug. 10, 2015. After meeting with Donald Trump, Joe “One-armed-Bandit” Norton, of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Inc. told us, “Everything’s got to change”. He lost two referenda to put his casino in our community. The Donald and Joe decided to put it in the St. Lawrence River off Kahnawake.
Joe, the INDIANS found out!
Joe, the INDIANS found out!
Now his partner is running for President of the US. It looks like the Donald is behind the false face running Kahnawake, and eventually all of the Rotinoshonni communities in Canada and US.
Joe helps himself to our sovereignty and money to make himself and his outside friends into billionaires [Mohawk Internet Technology]. His name JOSEPH NORTON and his title are both owned outright by the corporation known as the CROWN.
He’s helping Canada steal everything we have: the economy that depends on our resources, justice to keep us out of the way, social issues to distract us, health care to keep us sick, foreign affair to lie to the world about us, defense to design deadly “INDIAN Details” to control us, governance to keep the bankers happy, our energy to sell to the highest bidder, environment to ruin our land, pipelines to carry away stolen oil and gas, military to protect their international partners and terrorism to try to scare us if we resist. Joe and other band councils are front men of this diabolical plan.
Door man Joe, "Seh:kon and good luck!"
Door man Joe: “Seh:kon Sir and good luck!”
Joe never mentions the kaianerehkowa, the Great Peace, in any public statements. “Joke  Norton” is trying to municipalize us, as per Canada’s 1924 business plan. He is implementing the final step in the genocide called CANADA. On October 14, 1998, he signed ten deadly agreements with Quebec to undermine us: to cover fiscal matters on consumer goods and services; tobacco, fuel and alcoholic beverages; transportation and user fees; economic development; administration of justice; registration of births, marriages and deaths; child care; police services; combat sports; and liquor permits. Joe signs with Quebec.
Joe puts a dollar value on everything. He pretends to represent us. Historically, in all Mohawk communities only 5% take part in the imposed European election system.
Chiefs: "$100 for me and $1 for you!"
Chiefs: “$99 for me and $1 for the rest of the people! Just like our  mentors!”

In 1979 he got someone to put forward a fake resolution to return Kahnawake to a traditional ”form” of government, not the real traditional government. He is trying to bring in “an extraordinary new process”! [What does that mean?]
Joe knows that every living thing on ono’ware:geh is ours, rocks, water, minerals, trees, oil gas and so on. Admiralty courts cannot make a declaration on this. Canada is not a country and has no constitution. Joe wants a nation-to-nation relationship with Quebec, which is a colony. He wants us to “cohabitate and share our resources with the colonial settlers, for the sake of our health, education and justice”.
Only 2 INDIANS working here.
Only 2 INDIANS working here.
Joe is the viper in the grass. He says the world wants to do business with us [him], to be like Trump, to earn funds in private enterprise to pay our bills. Macleans magazine declared him to be the most influential INDIAN owned by the corporation of Canada. Joe wants to be like the crooks that taught him about capitalism. He falsely assumes that we all want to be just like them.
Joe Norton’s dictatorial laws for Kahnawake are outside of the Admiralty rules he has signed up for. As Alice Cooper reminds us of the danger among us, “I wanna kiss you, but I want it too much (too much) I wanna taste you, but your lips are venomous poison. One look could kill (could kill), My pain, your thrill”.
MNN Mohawk Nation News kahentinetha@mohawknationnews.com more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go towww.mohawknationnews.com  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada]J0L 1B0 Thahoketoteh@mohawknationnews.com