Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 31, 2016


Steve Melendez 'Liberty and Justice for All except Indians'

Photo: Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes hands the first constitution issued under the Indian Reorganization Act to delegates of the Confederated Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation (Montana) 1935 Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographic Division.

Liberty and Justice for All except Indians

By Steve Melendez, Pyramid Lake Paiute
President, American Indian Genocide Museum

I once had a conversation with my brother about how it seemed like every time the Indians try to go into court against the government, they lose. I mentioned that I had read a book by Bob Woodward called The Brethren where he said, “Rehnquist had nothing but contempt for Indian cases…Never to let an opportunity pass, Rehnquist turned an opinion that was in favor of the Indians into an opinion that indicated that in most cases they would lose.  It wiped away decades of Douglas’s opinions”.  Justice William H. Rehnquist would later become Chief Justice Rehnquist of the Supreme Court.
It makes you wonder if there is a culture in America that seems to condone racial discrimination against Indians. Surprisingly, this culture of injustice is in fact written into the law! Black’s Law Dictionary gives the definition , “Discovery---International law: As the foundation for a claim of national ownership or sovereignty, discovery is the finding of a country, continent, or island previously unknown, or previously known only to its uncivilized inhabitants.”
Everyone can see how ridiculous and unjust such a mindset can be. On September 24, 1992, Chippewa, Adam Nordwall, stepped off a plane in Rome,  and took possession of Italy “by right of discovery.” “What right had Columbus to discover America when it was already inhabited for thousands of years?” he asked.
This “Doctrine of Discovery”  says that when he stuck his flag in the ground, the white man owns everything.  If you want to know why the Indians will always lose in the American courts, it is because when it is done to the Indians, it is not called fraud or theft, it is called the Doctrine of Discovery. In order to see how intricate and fine-tuned it has become, you have to know history.
In the 1870s the government seized the Black Hills because gold had been discovered. It is almost like the movie,Avatar was based on this infamous time in American history. The government seized it in violation of the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868. At the time, President Grant stood before a joint session of Congress and said, “The discovery of gold  in the Black Hills, a portion of the Sioux reservation...” Then he suggested that age-old formula for instigating war-- starvation.  He went on to say, “The Secretary of Interior suggests that the supplies now appropriated for the sustenance of that people,  being no longer  obligatory under the treaty of 1868, but simply a gratuity, may be issued or withheld at his discretion.”
Because the Indians were not citizens until 1924, the Sioux had been trying all that time to bring their treaty rights before an American court. In 1920 the Sioux brought their suit to the Court of Claims. The Court of Claims kicked the can down the road for nineteen years and finally dismissed it in 1942. While the Court of Claims was using its delay tactics on the Sioux, Sec. of the Interior Harold Ickes was trying to figure out a way to circumvent the treaty. His solution is found in The Final Report of the Indian Claims Commission. “In 1934 and early 1935, the proponents of an Indian court submitted two more bills to establish an Indian Claims Court. Both bills were ignored…Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes argued against them and directed the Senators’ attention to a bill recently introduced in the House to create an Indian Claims Commission instead of a court, which he considered preferable. With the introduction, in March 1935, of H.R. 6655, an act to create an Indian Claims Commission, the legislative movement to expedite Indian Claims shifted irreversibly from the consideration of a judicial to a commission format. Both Congress and the Secretary of Interior now felt that a commission rather than an adversary proceeding could better “cut through” the red tape…”
The diabolical nature of what Harold Ickes had in store for the Indians is found in the words, “a commission rather than an adversary proceeding”.  He said, “The proposed commission to be composed of three commissioners appointed by the President…”  What Harold Ickes did was put together the perfect apparatus to implement the Doctrine of Discovery(the white man owns everything). The key word here being, “claim”.  The legal definition of “claim” is “various types of liens that can be charged” against someone else’s title. When the Sioux refiled in the Indian Claims Commission in 1950, the Indians were in effect recognizing the government’s title. Since there was no other recourse, the Sioux have never had their day in a court of law.
The Indians can never win because The Secretary of Interior, Harold Ickes rigged the system way back in 1935. When it came to saying one thing and meaning the opposite, the language of the Indian Claims Commission was almost Satanic in its hypocrisy. He said, “The bill does not itself provide for the adjudication of any Indian claim.”   He also suggested they strike out the words, “accorded prima facie weight” which meant it would not be looking for any obviously true facts. This meant that the Commissioners could overlook facts like the Indians had been living there for thousands of years or that they had a treaty.  For the Indians, the ICC carried no weight but the opinion of the three cowboys was quite a different story. When in 1946, the Indian Claims Commission Act was passed, it included the words, “When the report of the Commission determining any claimant to be entitled to recover has been filed with Congress, such report shall have the effect of a final judgment of the Court of Claims…payment of any claim…shall be a full discharge of the United States of all claims and demands touching any of the matters involved in the controversy.”
The Western Shoshone who, after all these years are still trying to get their Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863 honored, took their grievances to the United Nations where the U.S. officials admitted that the United States was relying on the Doctrine of Discovery.

On August 6, 2001 the U.S. officials were asked:
Q:” What is the United States position on its 1863 treaty with the Shoshone tribe? Is the United States discriminating in the protection of property rights with respect to the tribe, including seizing the tribe's lands and allowing the land to be used for dumping radioactive material?”

A: “As is the case with the Shoshone, many Native American tribal land claims are based on aboriginal title that creates enforceable property rights in tribes against third parties or states. The doctrine of aboriginal title is a judicially created doctrine rooted in colonial concepts of property ownership that arose from conflicting claims between the European colonists and Native Americans over land which was lightly populated due to the migratory nature of some tribal lifestyles. The claims were first addressed in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Johnson v. McIntosh, 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543, 574 (1823), which held that as a result of European discovery, the Native Americans had a right to occupancy and possession, but that tribal rights to complete sovereignty were necessarily diminished by the principle that discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it. As a result, the tribes' ability to sell or convey the property was subject to the approval of the sovereign.”
When you realize that the Indian Claims commission was based on the colonial Doctrine of Discovery  and you consider all its whirling, spinning, shimmering parts, you can’t help but marvel at the sheer demonic  genius . Its almost as though the Department of Interior was run by the Anti-Christ.

We can thank Carrie Dann and her struggle which like the Lakota involves a treaty for pulling the veil off the shady dealings and treachery of the United States government toward native people. Right-thinking people will honor her and learn from her. If the late Elouise Cobell had learned from Carrie Dann, she would have known what was coming. She sued the government for over a century of withheld royalty payments.  The government did its song and dance delay tactics for thirteen years. For thirteen years they used the defense of Sovereign Immunity (the king can do no wrong and hence cannot be sued) while they quietly got the Congress to change the requirements of a class action lawsuit . They quietly got congress to appropriate a monetary settlement which amounted to pennies on the million. Then, with one lightning quick stroke, the government waived its sovereign immunity, put money on the table and with its Congressional gavel seemed to say, “Bam, there it is! Bam, there it is!” Elouise got two million, some got $500 and most got zip.

Now, a group of people who have learned from Carrie Dann are the First Nations of Canada.  When the Canadian government passed Omnibus Bill C-45, which broke all the treaties, not only did the natives do their idle-no-more-flash-mob- round-dances, they took their grievances directly to the United Nations. Their argument there is, we have a treaty which is an international contract and if a contract is broken, under the rule of law, the property reverts back to the original owner. From Carrie Dann, more and more people are learning that treaties can only be lost in a legal system based on colonial law. 

Steve Melendez

Honor Dr. Lehman Brightman on his 86th Birthday

Honor Dr. Lehman Brightman on his 86th Birthday

By Quanah Parker Brightman
Censored News

We are Proud to Announce that we will be Celebrating Dr. Lehman Brightman's 86th Birthday this Coming April 28, 2016 from 3pm - 5pm.
We ask for Anyone Interested in Sending Him a Warm Birthday Gift and or Birthday Card Celebrating Dr. Brightman's 86 Years here on Mother Earth to Please Do so By Sending them Directly to Dr. Brightman's Current Residence :
Kindred Walnut Creek
1224 Rossmoor Pkwy
Room 701
Walnut Creek, CA
Dr. Brightman's Birthday Party Will be from 3PM-5PM at
Doughnut Time
10740 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

We ask Everyone to Please Pray for Continued Healing & For Strength Strength for Lee during Our Interfaith Prayer Vigil.
The Entire U.N.A. Family Would Like to Personally Say Thank You To All Our Family & Friends Praying For a Full Recovery For Our Father.
If You Have Any Questions Feel Free to Contact Us at (510)672-7187
Lila Pilamayaye To Everyone for Praying for The Great Lehman L. Brightman

Quanah Parker Brightman
Executive Director of
United Native Americans


March 30, 2016

In Loving Memory: Long Walk 2 Northern Route Walkers by Bad Bear

In Honor of Longest Walkers of Long Walk 2 Northern Route in 2008 who passed to Spirit World.
By Carl Bad Bear Sampson, Western Shoshone.
In Memory 
Miguel Gomez, 31, Yaqui 
Tomas Reyes, California
Danny Wyatt, Washoe
Willie Lonewolf, Navajo Ute
Long Walker Mucaw Jefferson, Quechan, was on the Longest Walk 2 southern route and passed to the Spirit World after returning home. Photo by Calvin Johnson, Navajo.


PiiPaash Protecting Sacred Water World Water Day

PiiPaash People Standing UP for SacredWater
View this email in your browser

–Piipaash Uumish of Maricopa Colony, AZ
On Thursday, March 24, 2016 the Piipaash District 7 Community held a special meeting in accordance with the Gila River Tribal Council's request to have P-MIP (Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project) present on the proposed Westside Laterals (Pipelines). District 7 Community members used the opportunity to vote in opposition to the Westside Laterals (P-MIP pipelines) and the Reclaimed/Effluent/ blended (sewer) water. 
The project proposes to trade treated sewer/effluent water from Chandler and Mesa municipalities for our Central Arizona Project water at a 5:4 ratio. It then intends to pipe the "reclaimed" water back into our Community (mixing some with more CAP water creating "blended" water) and apply it on tribal and allotted lands for agricultural and other purposes.
The Piipaash Community, as of September 19, 2015, voted to keep the Westside pipelines and all reclaimed/effluent/ blended water from entering into our territory citing serious health risks including pathogens and other pharmaceutical contaminants often found in reclaimed/effluent water. 
At the March 24th meeting , the community decided and voted to submit the District 7 Community's Resolution as an original Resolution re-stating the Community's decision to reject the Westside pipelines and all reclaimed/effluent water from the District 7 lands.
The Piipaash citizens are concerned about the affects of the reclaimed water on the environment, specifically the foods, wildlife and vegetation, cultural and spiritual sites, and the overall impact of the reclaimed sewer water on our underground waters and natural recharge. 
We are requesting the Tribal Council and all concerned committees and departments within the Gila River Indian Community, (Legislative Standing Committee, Natural Resources Standing Committee, Governor, Lt. Governor, Department of Environmental Quality, Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project, Akin Gump et al) and all entities involving Water on or off our traditional territories, to acknowledge the Piipaash Indigenous Nation's resolution to keep Reclaimed/Effluent water off our lands and out of our waters.
We request everyone to urge the Gila River Indian Community's Tribal Council to reconsider their use of Reclaimed/Effluent Sewer water for farming and agricultural use; and to support this community's movement for safe, clean, drinkable water. 

Piipaash Indigenous Nation  

for more information conatact Owe Aku International Justice Project or 720-469-1178
Copyright © 2016 Owe Aku International Justice Project, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are an ally in our struggle to preserve sacredwater

Our mailing address is:
Owe Aku International Justice Project
7685 S. Olive Cir.
Centennial, CO 80112

Standing Rock Spirit Camp to Block Dakota Access Pipeline

NOW! Spirit Camp going up to Block Dakota Access Pipeline!

March 29th, 2016

Spirit Camp Press Contact:

Media contact personnel, Dakota Kidder,, 701-329-9311.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Tribal Historic Preservation Office Section 106, LaDonna Bravebull Allard, 701-854-8645.

Dutch translation by Alice Holemans NAIS, Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat/Censored News

Tribal Citizens Rise Up Against Bakken Oil Pipeline

 Horse Ride and Spiritual Camp To Be Held Along Proposed Route of Dakota Access Pipeline

Cannonball, North Dakota - On April 1st, 2016, tribal citizens of the Standing Rock Lakota Nation and ally Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota citizens, under the group name "Chante tin'sa kinanzi Po" will have a Horse Ride to celebrate the founding of a Spirit Camp that will be erected along the proposed route of the bakken oil pipeline, Dakota Access. This camp will be called Iŋyaŋ Wakȟáŋaǧapi Othí, translated as Sacred Rock, the original name of the Cannonball area. The Spirit Camp is dedicated to stopping and raising awareness of the Dakota Access pipeline,  the dangers associated with pipeline spills and the necessity to protect the water resources of the Missouri river.

Chante tin'sa kinanzi Po is a grassroots group with the following mission statement: "They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse." - Chief Sitting Bull. His way of life is our way of life--standing in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline is our duty.

Group: Chante tin'sa kinanzi Po translates as People, Stand with a Strong Heart!

Spirit Camp Name: Iŋyaŋ Wakȟáŋaǧapi Othí translates as Sacred Rock Camp

Both are in the Lakota language.

Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), owned by Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., is proposed to transport 450,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil from the lands of  North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The threats this pipeline poses to the environment, human health and human rights are strikingly similar to those posed by the Keystone XL. Because the DAPL will cross over the Ogallala Aquifer (one of the largest aquifers in the world) and under the Missouri River twice (the longest river in the United States), the possible contamination of these water sources makes the Dakota Access pipeline a national threat. The construction of Dakota Access will threaten everything from farming and drinking water to entire ecosystems, wildlife and food sources surrounding the Missouri. The nesting of bald eagles and piping plovers as well as the quality of wild rice and medicinal plants like sweet grass are just a few of the species at stake here.

We ask that everyone stands with us against this threat to our health, our culture, and our sovereignty. We ask that everyone who lives on or near the Missouri River and its tributaries, everyone who farms or ranches in the local area, and everyone who cares about clean air and clean drinking water stand with us against the Dakota Access Pipeline!


Waniya Locke (Ahtna Dene, Dakota, Lakota, Anishinaabe) Standing Rock Descendent states: "We do not need oil to live, but we do need water, and water is a human right and not a privilege."

Virgil Taken Alive, Standing Rock Member states: "Of the many atrocities we as Native Americans have faced and overcame, this is one which will affect not only us but all of mankind. Earth is our mother. We have to protect her.".

Joye Braun, community organizer on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation states: "The dangers imposed by the greed of big oil on the people who live along the Missouri river is astounding. When this proposed pipeline breaks, as the vast majority of pipelines do, over half of the drinking water in South Dakota will be affected. How can rubber-stamping this project be good for the people, agriculture, and livestock? It must be stopped. The people of the four bands of Cheyenne River stand with our sister nation in this fight as we are calling on all the Oceti Sakowin or Seven Council Fires to do so with our allies, both native and non native in opposing this pipeline."

Paula Antonie, Chair of Shielding the People, Rosebud Sioux tribal citizen, states:

"The DAPL poses a threat to our people, cultural and historically significant areas. We will stand with our Hunkpapa relatives in defending against any major environmental, public health and safety hazards within our treaty territory."

March 28, 2016

ASU Hosts Clyde Bellecourt, American Indian Movement!

Dear Professor/Student/Community Leader,
ASU Project Humanities invites you and your students to join us for a lecture by Clyde Bellecourt, founder and Director of the American Indian movement.
Clyde Bellecourt was a major figure in the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 and played a founding role in an ongoing Indian School System, Legal Rights Center, and the International Indian Treaty Council. He will deliver a keynote address focusing on issues as Native identity, Indigenous rights, and the history and future of the American Indian Movement as it relates to our Humanity 101 principles: respect, integrity, empathy, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, and self-reflection. This is during American Indian Week at ASU, a student-led, staff supported university-wide celebration. Project Humanities will lead this effort with anticipated support from partners such as the School of Social Transformation, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, American Indian Policy Institute, Center for Indian Education, etc.
Project Humanities invites all to this free opportunity on Wednesday, April 20th, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm in the Arizona Ballroom at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus at Arizona State University.
Attached is the flyer for the event. For more information, please visit the Project Humanities website at or call our office at 480-727-7030. We look forward to seeing you and your students/organization at this event!
Thank you,
The Project Humanities Team
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 873003
250 East Lemon St.
Discovery Hall, Suite 112
Tempe, AZ 85287-3003
480.727.7030 (main)
480.965.3218 (fax)

Photo of the Day: Occupying Oak Flat

Photo by Sandra Rambler, San Carlos Apache
Censored News

On March 17, Shane Norte and Kooper Indigenize Curley throw their Oak Flat signs below Da'Wus'ii'Teel (Apache Leap) as they continue to occupy Chi'Chil'Bulilda'Giteel (Oak Flat) for over a year in Arizona.

Photos Memorial Land Defenders Caceres, Garcia, Wolverine, 43 Students

Photos by Sharon Kravitz
'Say Their Names'
Published with permission at Censored News
Vancouver BC

March 27, 2016

Photos Western Shoshone on Sacred Peace Walk to Nevada Test Site

Photos by Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, Western Shoshone

Photos by Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, Western Shoshone

Sacred Peace Walk to Nevada Test Site

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Walking in prayer, the Sacred Peace Walk began at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas and continued through traditional Western Shoshone homelands to the Nuclear Test site.
"The Nuclear Test Site is on Western Shoshone land, under the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley," said Western Shoshone Buck Sampson, whose son Carl walked on the 60-mile annual walk this week.
"This is what I learned back in the '80s, Sundancing. Every step is a prayer, and every prayer is to the Creator, Sundancing in the old ways," Buck said.
The Sacred Peace Walk concluded with a sunrise ceremony and prayers by Western Shoshone Spiritual Advisor Johnny Bobb.
"Johnny Bobb is the leader for the Indian walkers," Buck Sampson said.
Buck said Johnny Bobb is responsible for issuing permits to non-Indians who cross the boundary into Western Shoshone territory of Yucca Mountain. Johnny Bobb serves as Chief of the Western Shoshone National Council.
Sacred Peace Walker Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson has walked on the Native American Longest Walks 2, 3 and 4 across America and documented the walks as a photojournalist for Censored News.
"Walking on these walks is praying. Prayer is knowledge and knowledge is power," Carl said.
Atomic Testing and the United States Disregard for Human Life
The US Nuclear Test Site is a harbinger of horror which resulted in global atrocities and mass destruction for mankind.
Further, Western Shoshone, US military, and Southwest residents were exposed, unprotected, to radiation and fallout.
Above ground nuclear testing began here in the early 1950s. The mushroom clouds became a symbol of the widespread disease and death that resulted. Those images were a symbol of the United States disregard for all life, including the Western Shoshones, whose land, water and air were poisoned with radiation.
Sacred Peace Walkers walked in prayer to sacred Yucca Mountain, where the Nuclear Test Site is located. Yucca Mountain was targeted earlier for a US nuclear waste dump.
The Sacred Peace Walk offered prayers of healing and prayers for the unity of mankind.

Western Shoshone Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, shown in the photo with the buffalo above on the Sacred Peace Walk, has provided Censored News with photos of the Longest Walks 2, 3 and 4 as he walked across America. Thank you!

Photos copyright Carl Sampson, Censored News

March 24, 2016

Chahta Shadow Warriors Message to Daughter of Berta Caceres, COPINH

Bertha Zuniga, Neddie Katsitsiaiohne, Leadhorse Choctaw, USUBA Delegation of COPINH. Delegation of Chahta Shadow Warriors. Warrior Society Message to Bertha Zuniga and COPINH, on New Year's Day, March 19. Bertha Zuniga is the daughter of Berta Caceres assassinated in Honduras as she battled mega hydro dams and corporate destruction of the land, water and air. Photos and videos by Neddie Katsitsiaiohne and Leadhorse Choctaw, published with permission at Censored News. (Please wait for video to load below.) Thank you.


Bertha Zuniga neddie katsitsiaiohne leadhorse usuba delegation of COPINH. Delegation of chahta shadow warriors. Warrior society message to Bertha and COPINH. New year's day march 19.
Posted by Neddie Katsitsiaionhne on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

O'odham Human Rights Group Brings Distinguished Speakers to Tucson

Acoma Pueblo Poet, Professor and Author Simon Ortiz 
is the speaker on March 26, 2016

Ofelia Rivas photo by Brenda Norrell


By O'odham VOICE Against the WALL
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat at:

Cat Mountain Lodge, 520-578-6085,
Date: February 27 to March 26, 2016

         TUCSON -- O'odham VOICE Against the WALL announces a benefit bringing emerging and established poets, writers and scholars to Tucson at Cat Mountain Lodge, one of TripAdvisor's top ten Tucson bed and breakfasts, from February 27 to March 26.

         Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo, and Laura Tohe, 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation, headline the Distinguished Speakers 2016 series.  Other speakers include poet Ruben Cu:k Ba'ak and scholars Dr. Julian Kunnie from the University of Arizona and John Zerzan. 

            Ofelia Rivas, founder of O'odham VOICE Against the WALL, will also be speaking at all events. O'odham VOICE Against the WALL provides solidarity to the O'odham of Southwestern Arizona and Northern Sonora in efforts to maintain traditional culture and ancestral land in areas currently under illegal occupation by the United States and Mexico. Since 2003 it has advocated against a militarized border and for the rights guaranteed by inherent and domestic and international law, and documented abuses against the indigenous peoples on O'odham land.

            Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo, speaking on March 26, is one of the key figures in the second wave of what has been called the Native American Renaissance. He is one of the most respected and widely read Native American poets. The author and editor of 25 books, Ortiz is currently Regents Professor of English and American Indian Studies at Arizona State University.

            The work of Laura Tohe, speaking March 19, has been published in the journals Ploughshares, New Letters, Red Ink, World Literature Today, and many others. She is an English professor at Arizona State University and her most recent publication is Code Talker Stories (2012), an oral history of the Navajo Code Talkers. 
            Ruben Cu:k Ba'ak, Tohono O'odham, speaking March 12, is a poet and prose writer and a recent ASU graduate in economics pertaining to the Tohono O'odham homeland.

            Dr. Julian Kunnie, speaking March 5, is a professor of Religious, Latin American, Middle Eastern and North African studies at the University of Arizona  He is the author of numerous articles in various internationally recognized journals and books.  His most recent book is The Cost of Globalization: Dangers to the Earth and Its People (2015.)

            John Zerzan, speaking Feb. 27, has been active in the anti-authoritarian movement from the '60s on and has articulated a critique of technology and civilization that illuminates their regressive quality. His most recent book is Why Hope? The Stand Against Civilization (2015.)

         The Ramada at Cat Mountain Lodge is at 3030 Donald Avenue, north of Ajo Road and Western Way off the west side of Kinney Road.

            A donation of $20 - $40 is requested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  All events begin at 6:30 pm, with featured speakers at 8 p.m.