Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 22, 2016

AIM West Live Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

Above: American Indian Movement live Tuesday. Webster Arthur, Nez Perce, his daughter Raquel Arthur, Blackfeet, Nez Perce and Paiute, Ray Valdez, Yaqui, and Richard Seukteoma, Hopi, Shoshone and Paiute. Raquel describes the racist attack on marchers in Reno which left one grandmother in the hospital for a month and now in a wheelchair. The driver of the white pickup truck that plowed into marchers against Columbus Day, was only charged with a misdemeanor.

Above: American Indian Movement West Coast Conference Live Tuesday Afternoon, with Idle No More Youths.

Webster Arthur, Nez Perce, “It makes me feel darn good to be here.”

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- The American Indian Movement's West Coast Conference on Tuesday focused on attacks of Indigenous in Central America and the racist attack on Native Americans marching against Columbus Day in Reno, Nevada.
Webster Arthur, Nez Perce who makes his home in Nevada, told the AIM West gathering, “It makes me feel darn good to be here.”
Arthur spoke of the genocide and how the invaders have attempted to steal and poison the water in their attempts to kill off Indian people. He said he and his daughter are leaving soon for Standing Rock to support the water protectors.
Arthur’s daughter, Raquel Arthur, Blackfeet, Nez Perce and Paiute, said she organized the event to protest Columbus Day in Reno to bring awareness of hate.
“There is a need to speak truth. Without truth, you can not have healing," said Raquel Arthur, President of the Northern Nevada Chapter of AIM.
Raquel described the historical trauma of growing up in this country and its schools.
“It’s all about the children, and those yet to be born.”
Raquel described how a pickup truck drove through Native American marchers on Oct. 10 in Reno. The driver was charged with only a misdemeanor, even though a grandmother is now in a wheelchair and spent a month in the hospital.
Raquel said on Oct. 10, they gathered in Reno and offered prayers and songs.
“It was good, it felt good. It was healing.”
Four men walked up and sat in the background.
“You could feel the energy from them. I had a really ugly feeling from them at that time.”
“I knew in my heart that something was wrong.”
These men were drinking and smoking marijuana in the back.
As Native Americans were marching to the Reno Arch, two men in a truck passed the marchers. There were threats.
When they got to the Arch, they continued to march and pray.
Raquel said she was carrying the sage, the medicine, as they marched.
They were at the Arch only about a minute and half when a truck came up.
These men were aggressive.
They threatened to kill “F… Indians.”
“Do you want us to kill your homies?”
In a few seconds, it escalated.
Raquel said the Native Warriors were standing to protect the people.
Two of the marchers were charged with assault.
Raquel said the driver’s intent was to harm.
"The intent was to take life."
The driver of the white truck drove into the marchers. Yet, the driver was only charged with a misdemeanor.
Raquel said police did not follow protocol. Reno police failed to administer a sobriety test.
One of the elders in the march is now in a wheelchair. She spent over a month in the hospital.
Although the grandmother is non-Indian, her grandchildren are Native.
The grandmother brought her grandchildren to the anti-Columbus Day March to teach them to stand up.
Raquel told of the grandmother’s strength, when she was in the hospital. The grandmother said she would rather be hit by the truck than have her grandchildren run over.
“She gave me words of encouragement.”
“She understands sacrifice.”
Emotionally, physically, there is hardship.
Raquel said she believes this was a white supremacist group that attacked them that day, driving their truck into the crowd.
The young ones in the truck seem to be taking orders from the older men present.
"This is a sick mentality that is in this country," Rachel said.
People are being killed for standing up against hate, she said.
Raquel said the commitment to stand up is a lifetime commitment.
“If you are not willing to put your life down, you should not be standing up.”
“We are in this for life.”
“That is what is in our hearts, in our blood.”
Raquel said the driver received a misdemeanor charge, no more than a slap on the wrist.
She said that one of the Warriors said he was protecting all of the children, not just his own children.
The media fabricated lies, she said.
Joining Raquel here, Ray Valdez, one of the Yaqui Warriors, Defenders of the People, spoke of the way of prayer.
Together, with one of the Hopi Warriors, they led the AIM Song.
Richard Seukteoma, Hopi, Shoshone and Paiute, spoke on sacrifice.
"There's no end to your commitment. It is a lifetime."
"When we pick up the Pipe, or the Sacred Canupa, it is for all people."
"You have to feel it in your heart."
"It is about protecting who we are and future generations."
"Thank you My Relatives."

Jean Whitehorse, Dine', is speaking on boarding schools and the takeover of Alcatraz.

Jean's ancestors were held captive in the prison camp at Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo, New Mexico.
Jean spoke on the Beauty Way, the way of harmony.
"Everyday we should pray. We should have a positive attitude, no matter what was done to us."
Jean, a great-grandmother, said she does her best to teach her five-year-old great-granddaughter.
Jean said federal Indian policies are for the benefit of the United States, so Congress "can control us."
Jean said in boarding school, she was given a number.
"We were punished for speaking our language."
"They put soap in our mouth."
At five years old, she could not speak English, still she was punished for speaking her language.
"Our parents weren't there to speak up for us, to protect us."
The boarding schools taught the children to call their parents by their formal names.
"I never said, 'mom,' I never said, 'dad.'"
"I wake up with it everyday. It hurts."
She described having to kneel on her knees for two hours, on runners.
The BIA controls peoples lives.
"They treated us like we were incompetent to handle our affairs."
"They administered all rights to minerals."
She described how Peabody Coal's coal transport caused a decrease in the water in the aquifer on Black Mesa.
In Oakland, after boarding school, she listened to the Black Panthers as she road the bus from the YMCA where she stayed while at BIA relocation school, which was vocational training.
Alcatraz was taken three times.
At nineteen-years-old, she wanted to go home.
"The longer they kept me here, the more I was learning about myself."
She learned about Treaties and rights.
She learned of Indian self determination.
Native children were being taken from the homes.
Native women were told the sign papers they didn't understand, including giving up their children when they were pregnant. They also were told to sign papers which resulted in sterilization.
"They targeted our unborn children."
Native women were labeled unfit and unable to raise children.
Jean went to the clinic with an appendix infection. She didn't know she was agreeing for sterilization when she signed papers.
"There are a lot of women who never had children."
For Navajos, wealth was considered the number of children one has.
"Our elders say, 'your wealth is your children.'"
Jean said she doesn't want her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter to live with the pain she lives with, to wake up with that pain.

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