August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, September 7, 2015

New film 'Who Are My People?' takes on the Big Greens and Energywashing

Documentary Films and Public Policy Communications
Contact: Robert Lundahl

"Who Are My People?" to Screen at the Joshua Tree International Film Festival 9/19/2015

Film takes viewers inside efforts to construct the largest renewable energy facilities on the planet, "fast tracked" by US "Green Energy" Policies

"Who Are My People?" by documentary filmmaker, Robert Lundahl poses a conundrum for audiences. How can energy plants proposed to mitigate atmospheric carbon and fight climate change be so bad for the environment and for people? The plants destroy corridors for migrating species of plants and animals, deplete biodiversity values on the ground, and grind Native American antiquities, including giant geoglyphs held sacred by tribes, into dust.

To Alfredo Figueroa, Chemehuevi cultural monitor and founder of La Cuna de Aztlån Sacred Sites Protection Circle, it's nothing short of disaster.

It has been recently revealed that the giant Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, known for decimating the birds of the Pacific Flyway, which burn alive in the "Killing Flux" produced by the plant's three giant towers, is also built atop the route of a sacred pilgrimage, atop altars, and cultural resources, on the Salt Song Trail, sacred to the Southern Paiute, Chemehuevi and other Ufo-Aztecan groups.

Who Are My People? features a scene in which Figueroa, Mojave Hereditary Chief Reverend Ron Van Fleet, and Chemehuevi Elder, Phillip Smith, lead a group to the top of Metamorphic Rock, where trails converge, just outside Ivanpah's boundaries.

Here are triangular altars, shaped like arrowheads, that point in the direction of Clark Mountain to the West and Spirit Mountain to the East. Clark Mountain is the site of purifying hot springs, and Spirit Mountain is the center of creation for all Yuman and Hokan language speakers and groups.
The mountain, a Traditional Cultural Property, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 8, 1999.
In the film, Lowell John Bean, Ph.D. explains that for all cultures, history becomes religion, and he places Native opposition to the building of large, renewable, solar plants into context, as the tribes of many different language groups fought "Termination" policies of the US Government in the 1950s, and residential schools in the 1960's, to which Indian youth were compelled go. The schools forbade them from speaking their language, and according to Bean, enacted a deliberate policy of the US government intended to "deculturate" tribal peoples in Southern California and elsewhere.

For filmmaker Lundahl, who made two previous films with Indian communities in Washington State, "Unconquering the Last Frontier," and "Song on the Water, "Who Are My People?" carries on a commitment. "I had worked on a documentary dealing with the conversion of military bases in California, in 2009, and was introduced to Michael E. Boyd, Executive Director of CAre, Californians for Renewable Energy. CAre asked if I would help prepare a legal complaint v. the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy and six of the first 10 Utility-Scale renewable energy plants in California."

Plaintiffs Alfredo Figueroa (Chemehuevi/Yaqui), Reverend Ron Van Fleet (Mojave Hereditary Chief), and Phillip Smith (Chemehuevi), are the subjects of the film.

Lundahl's camera follows these veteran activists (Figueroa worked alongside Cesar Chavez and with the UFW, United Farm Workers), and all, including Quechan elder Preston Arrow-Weed, are known as "Ward Valley Veterans" for their actions in stopping the construction of a nuclear dump site along the Colorado River at Ward Valley.

"Who Are My People?" is a work of history that chronicles a generation of Indigenous activists which came of age in the1960s and 1970s; now elders, they fight what is perhaps their last and most arduous campaign.

As we see in the film, which Lundahl says he was inspired to make by watching Barbara Koppel's Harlan County USA, these activists have quite a bit of fight left in them, as two of the projects that impact tribal lands come to an inglorious end for developers right before the camera's lens. That's no small feat considering each project is valued at over 2 billion dollars. Companies take one third of that up front in cash grants if they can begin construction, which in the case of the projects portrayed, they cannot, as a result of fierce Native opposition.

For more information about "Who Are My People?" visit http://whoaremypeople.com. For more information about filmmaker Robert Lundahl and RL | A visit http://planet-rla.com

"Who Are My People?" is set to screen at 2:00 pm, September 19, 2015, at the Beatnik Lounge, Downtown Joshua Tree, CA.

Mohawk Nation News 'Dodge a Bullet'

DODGE A BULLET

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Please post & distribute. Nia:wen.
MNN. Sep. 7, 2015. About five years ago Mr. SOS got in touch with me by email. He was affiliated with a group at McGill University environmental issues and a group of Montreal Island history aficionados. He also worked with kahnawake elders to list Mohawk place names on Montreal Island and surrounding areas.
Recently an issue came up about Turcot Yard, the land south of the escarpment on Upper Lachine Road across the river from Kahnawake. Historically, from Ville St. Pierre to Atwater was a seven mile lake. In 1535 Jacques Cartier came upstream from the kaniatarowano:onwe/St. Lawrence River/river of the Mohawks and landed there at Hochelaga.
French kidnap ongwe'hon:weh to take home.
French kidnap ongwe’hon:weh to take home.
Cartier wrote about his walk along the escarpment and the food the kanion’ke:haka/Mohawks had grown there. Montreal Island was covered with over 50 kanion’ke:haka villages and hundreds of streams, creeks, lakes and ponds. The lakes were filled with life and beech and other nut trees and orchards created food and an unending fresh water supply. The lake was turned into a landfill. St. Pierre, the rail yards, highways and expressways were built on top.


Turcot Yard. Splattered on top of kanionkehaka/Mohalland.
Turcot Yard. Splattered on top of kanionkehaka/Mohawk land.
Mr. SOS is 62 years old, very fit, does not eat cooked food. The web does not reveal previous jobs. He has a small pension. He later said he was paying $1000 a month in child support. He claims to be a Jew and part ongwe’hon:weh [cultural appropriation]. His townhouse is cluttered from top to bottom with papers and stuff, like a busy work place, with no place to sit or chat. He has no car and uses a neighbor’s bike.
Mr. SOS’s townhouse is in a housing project at the Whisky Trench road that comes from kahnawake and hooks up to Highway 20, which goes downtown to Montreal. Turcot yard was a rail yard, which is no longer viable. Expressways were built in 1966, which are now falling apart and being taken down. The construction workers found an old French village but decided to continue the construction.
Why don't you stay over tonight?
Why don’t you stay over tonight?
On September 4, 2015 I called Mr. SOS and asked him about it. He talked about the escarpment and the lake, which is all Mohawk land. I had never personally met him. He invited me to his place in Lasalle to look at maps and discuss the history. Though I live 5 minutes away he asked me to stay overnight. I declined. He insisted and made me feel uncomfortable. He invited me to have supper. He picked herbs outside and made a salad. Later he told me he uses his shit and piss to nourish his garden. Yuck!
Once again he insisted I stay overnight. I left. We arranged to meet the following day, Saturday, September 5, to walk on the land in question. I parked on the street. His ‘son’ was inside waiting to meet me and then left. We started walking down the hill by the park. About two minutes later, SOS said he forgot the map and ran back to his house. 20 minutes later he returned with a knapsack on his back. He took my bottle of water and put it in his bag. I kept my car key and cell phone in my bag.
Project telecommunications!
Project telecommunications system!
SOS talked about setting up 100-people communities to share food, responsibilities and profits. He talked about finances, investments and so on. It would take millions. He had $45,000 but had access to lots of money. he told me his family is wealthy. His mother grew up in the Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City. His father was a businessman.
It was hot and muggy. We walked along the Lachine Canal to the bridge over to Ville St. Pierre.
I thought he lived in the project for 30 years. But he’s only been there for 5 years. He was evasive about his previous residences other than in BC and Pointe Claire Quebec.
We walked up the main street of St. Pierre to a bridge. SOS said we should go down the right side of the bridge and walk along the road to the old St. Raphael hotel site. There we crossed Highway 20 and got onto the north side of the road to Angrignon Mall. It curved through a huge Turcot Yard construction site with high piles of dirt and rocks. SOS then insisted that we walk through this deserted construction site. He wanted us to cross, climb over the fence and then walk through the rubble. I refused. About 500 ft. further was a busy road going over to the shopping mall, which had traffic lights and a sidewalk. I insisted we go there. missing murdered
I kept asking for water, which he kept withholding. “Let’s find a place, sit down and then drink some water”, he said. I said ‘no’, I want it now! So he had to give it to me.
We walked over the overpass and down the stairs to get to the Lachine Canal though a construction site and some shrubs. In a shack were 3 people who waved to us. We walked by, went through the shrubs to the Canal. We walked and he did not talk much.
Later I called my friend and told her about the event. She said his house in Lasalle might be a communications center; that Lasalle is part of the Seigneury of Sault St. Louis land claim by the Mohawks of kahnawake. Another friends said, “He might be a cop!” His sister said, “He might be a CSIS hit man!” Or an infiltrator? He bicycles over to Kahnawake, makes friends, gets involved with people there in language, arts, and other programs. He has become familiar with the community.
Throughout the 20 kilometer walk I questioned him about his monetary interests, misunderstanding and misinformation about us. He had a nervous laugh. Almost like he was playing nice. Was he working on my untimely disappearance? Another missing ongwe’hon:weh woman!
Mr. Nice Guy spy.
Mr. Nice Guy spy.
He wants to live by the kaia’nere’kowa. He thinks if somebody commits a murder, they should be forced to live by the Great Peace and to forgive them. I answered, “When we were being murdered, not one of you stood up for us and you still don’t. For murder, the criminal is executed, along with his entire family. This goes for the genocide that continues today by all those who are benefitting, including you, Mr. SOS”.
The next day I got itchy like mosquitoes were biting me all over my body. Did I dodge a bullet? Is Mr. Nice Guy somewhere in our neighborhood? Anyone with a voice and knows how to use it gets targeted. Anyone could turn into an agent anytime.
As Elvis sings, “As the snow flies on a cold and gray Chicago morning, a poor little baby child is born in the ghetto”.
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

US Israeli pact targets traditional Tohono O'odham with 15 new spy towers


Breaking News Exclusive!

US Israeli spy tower pact targets Tohono O'odham sacred mountain and spying on traditional O'odham

By Brenda Norrell
copyright Censored News 
French translation by Christine Prat
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=3140

GU-VO, Tohono O'odham Nation -- The US has targeted two traditional Tohono O'odham districts, Gu-Vo District and Chukut Kuk District, with 15 new US spy towers built by the Israeli Apartheid corporation Elbit Systems, responsible for Apartheid security surrounding Palestine.

On Tohono O'odham land, the US conceals the fact the US Homeland Security gave the spy towers contract to the Israeli corporation Elbit Systems, responsible for the Apartheid security surrounding Palestine and a manufacturer of drones.

The Gu-Vo District opposes this proposal. Gu-Vo is in the western most district of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

The Gu-Vo District said in a statement, "The Gu-Vo District opposes these proposed tower sites to protect cultural sites on the holy mountain now called the Ajo Mountain Range. The mountain holds human remains of our people and also places of our cultural practices (medicine bundles) home and home of the ceremonial deer and bighorn sheep and mountain tortoises that are protected under the Endangered Species Act."

"The United States government military forces, the border patrol, have not been forthcoming with impact information, such as health effects and have deliberately misinformed the people regarding the immediate environmental impacts such as the roads they will build on the mountain and installation of electrical power lines to the sites as well as that these proposed tower sites will have a 25-year or longer impact on the mountain, the animal and plant life and
Tohono O'odham 1916
the O'odham lives."

"The Gu-Vo District communities landscape have already been greatly impacted by numerous unauthorized roads and destruction of our mountains and hills of great significance to the O'odham way of life. Our future generations will face more restriction to live on our original lands as our rights as original Indigenous peoples continue to deteriorate."

"These U.S. proposed towers also are not on the border but in our communities and on the border of the Tohono O'odham Nation reiterating discrimination and deliberate attack on the O'odham," said Gu-Vo District.

While the US attempts to conceal who this contract has been granted to, the US border contract was celebrated in Israel.

Last year US Homeland Security gave the $145 million Integrated Fixed Tower to Elbit Systems, an Israeli defense contractor, instead of to a US corporation. Prior to this contract, Boeing spent $1 billion attempting to build spy towers before announcing that its spy towers on the Arizona border did not work.
US Border Patrol with spy cameras pointed into the home
of a traditional O'odham woman

The Israeli spy towers are the latest attack on the traditional O’odham, and a means of surveillance and oppression, for O'odham who live in their sovereign homeland.

The increase of US and Israeli militarization on sovereign Tohono O'odham land has resulted in widespread human rights abuses, including rapes and murders carried out by US Border Patrol agents. 

US Border Patrol agents have been arrested and convicted in every region of the US border for running drugs. A Congressional hearing revealed that hundreds of US Border Patrol and ICE agents have been arrested and convicted of drug smuggling and serving as "spotters." Spotters are look-outs for the Mexican cartels and provide safe passage for the cartels to transport large loads of drugs into the US. 

The US government has armed the Mexican cartels since 2005 by way of the US ATF's Project Gunrunner, Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious. The US media has failed to expose how US agents are involved in drug smuggling at the southern border. The US uses the excuse of this so-called war on drugs in an attempt to justify these US Israeli spy towers, which violate all laws of privacy and human rights in the US.

Meanwhile, universities have partnered with Israel to target Indigenous Peoples in the creation of drones and surveillance. 

The University of Arizona in Tucson is boycotted by O'odham human rights activists for designing drones and border surveillance which target and kill Indigenous Peoples globally. San Carlos Apache also boycott the University of Arizona for taking the lead, with the Pope, in placing massive telescopes on sacred Mount Graham in Arizona.
Above: US spy tower near Sells, Arizona, on the sovereign Tohono O'odham Nation, viewed with outrage by a delegation of Mohawks, Lakota, Dine' and Pueblo during the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas in 2007. The spy tower was located next to the "cage," constructed of a metal fence and concrete floor where migrants were detained, including Indigenous Peoples from Mexico and Central America, walking and hoping for a better life. Large numbers of Indigenous Peoples have died on the Tohono O'odham Nation of thirst and dehydration. The Tohono O'odham Nation created a law which made it a crime to give a drink of water, or aid, to migrants. This law was opposed by Tohono O'odham human rights activists who say they have been instructed by their ancestors to carry out a spiritual way of life for all of creation, the Himdaag way of life.
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Below is the current proposal of Aug. 2015:



In the news:
Reuters: US Homeland Security awards contract to Elbit:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/02/us-elbitsystems-arizona-contract-idUSBREA2104K20140302

Epoch Times: During the Congressional hearing on border agent crime, the US admitted that since 2004, over 130 agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been arrested, charged, or otherwise prosecuted on corruption charges. The convictions include alien and drug smuggling, money laundering, and conspiracy.  
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/congressional-hearing-examines-ethics-violations-at-dhs-242766.html

Israeli newspaper Haaretz: State of Arizona used Elbit drones on Arizona border in 2004:
http://www.haaretz.com/news/israeli-drones-used-by-arizona-border-police-1.136572

Background:
The IFT systems will consist of surveillance equipment (e.g., ground surveillance radars and surveillance cameras) mounted on fixed (i.e., stationary) tower(s); all necessary power generation and communications equipment to support these tower sites; and command and control (C2) center equipment (including one or more operator workstations) that are capable of displaying information received from surveillance towers on a common operating picture (COP), based on current BP AoRs.

copyright, Brenda Norrell, Censored News
For permission to republish: brendanorrell@gmail.com

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