August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Leadhorse Choctaw Arrested at Ceremonial Grounds at Standing Rock, Now on Hunger Strike in Jail

Leadhorse Choctaw at Seventh Generation Camp Fire before his arrest.
Photo copyright Nobu Suzuki 

Leadhorse Choctaw arrested tending Sacred Fire at Seventh Generation Camp at Standing Rock

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans at NAIS

Leadhorse Choctaw was released from jail late Saturday. He never gave them his name or signed anything, so he was released as John Doe.
He slept on a mattress on the jail floor.

On Saturday morning, 
March 4, Leadhorse Choctaw remained in jail in Fort Yates, North Dakota, on a hunger strike. Water Protector Leadhorse Choctaw said he is willing to die for this cause.

Leadhorse Choctaw was arrested at the Ceremonial Grounds during the raid on the Seventh Generation Camp when the camp was attacked by police. Leadhorse was manning the Sacred Fire when he was pepper sprayed and handcuffed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs police.
"Leadhorse was kidnapped by BIA police and taken to the Fort Yates Jail. He is on a hunger strike and told the court he will die there for the cause," said Neddie Katsitsiaionhne.
Leadhorse asked for the names of the police when they arrived in camp on March 1, 2017. BIA said earlier that they were only coming into the camps to assess the situation. 
Neddie said, "Leadhorse said in court that he was a Ceremony Keeper, and a peaceful man, and was in a closing Ceremony when the BIA trucks came in to the Ceremony Grounds."
"Three people were arrested. They pepper sprayed him and handcuffed him. People had to walk all the way to the Prairie Knights Casino," Neddie said.
Neddie said a special Feast and Ceremony was being held in camp to honor their friend Berta Caceres who was assassinated in Honduras, when police raided the camp.
"We had a Ceremonial Feast which included Berta Caceres. It has been one year since her death, and for our Ancestors to come and join us to feed them, the ones that have passed on. We celebrate their time on Earth and to help us to let them know our Water is Life," Neddie told Censored News.
Seventh Generation, which is Black Hoop Camp, was raided by police on the same day as the original camp, Sacred Stone Camp.
Oceti Sakowin, the large camp, and Sacred Stone Camp were raided and water protectors evicted.
Now evicted and displaced, water protectors have been welcomed to camp, and continue the defense of the water, by Cheyenne River Lakota at their Powwow Grounds in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
Neddie Katsitsiaionhne said, "Call the jail and let them know that Leadhorse is a Man of Truth. Give Leadhorse support in the Fort Yates Jail."
Above: Spiral of Life designed by Leadhorse for the Ceremony honoring Berta Caceres. The Ceremony was raided by BIA police who arrested Leadhorse.
Published with permission.

Below: Leadhorse Choctaw with Berta Caceres during her visit to Mississippi Choctaw Nation.
Leadhorse traveled overland through Central and South America in 2014, sharing traditional Choctaw stickball games. Berta Caceres, later assassinated in her homeland of Honduras because of her defense of her people, land and water, was among those Leadhorse met on his journey through Central America.
U.S. trained special forces were responsible for Berta's assassination.

Watch video below by one of the water protectors arrested with Leadhorse.

Article copyright Brenda Norrell

Indigenous UN Rapporteur: U.S. Failing Native Americans on Consultation, Environment, Sacred Places and Rights of Women

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
End of Mission Statement
3 March 2017
In my capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, I carried out a visit to the United States of America from 22 February to 3 March 2017 to study the human rights situation of indigenous peoples, in particular with regard to energy development projects, and to follow up on key recommendations made by my predecessor, James Anaya, in both his 2012 report on the situation of indigenous peoples in the United States (1) and his 2013 report on indigenous peoples and extractive industries.(2)
Over the last ten days I have travelled to: Washington, D.C.; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Window Rock, Arizona; Boulder, Colorado; Fort Yates, Fort Berthold and Bismarck, North Dakota. I met with representatives of the federal government in Washington, D.C., including federal and regional representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Energy, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Department of Justice. In North Dakota, I met with the Governor, and representatives from the State Historic Preservation Office and the Commission on Indian Affairs. I also met with members of the legislative branch including the office of Senator John Hoeven, chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the office of ranking member Norma Torres of the House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs. Finally, I met with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
I visited several tribal communities: the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona, and other tribes from the Southwest, including the Hopi Tribe, the Tohono O'odham Nation, and several of the Pueblos, as well as tribes from the Great Plains, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Yankton Sioux Tribe, and the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. I also met with leaders from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Southern Ute Tribe, the Northern Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. I received numerous requests for visits from indigenous communities throughout the country who described their difficult situations, but due to time constraints I was unable to visit them all. I did however hold the first-ever virtual consultation where I spoke with representatives from indigenous communities around the country including from Alaska and Hawaii. I also met with representatives of indigenous peoples and a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations working on indigenous peoples' rights.

Traditional O'odham in Mexico Protest Border Wall, Photos by Ofelia Rivas, O'odham

Screen capture from Unity Dance video by Alejandro Aguilar Zeleny.
Photo by Alejandro Aguilar Zeleny.

Photo by Alejandro Aguilar Zeleny
Add caption

Photo by Ofelia Rivas

International media watching traditional dancing at today's event. Photo by Ofelia Rivas

Alejandro of Sonora read poetry during the gathering. Photo by Ofelia Rivas
Photos copyright Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, March 25, 2017 
Wo'osan (San Miguel Gate) on Tohono O'odham land
Traditional O'odham in Sonora, Mexico, Protest Trump's Border Wall on O'odham Land

Border Wall on this Sacred Land would be a 'Scar on the Soul of O'odham' -- Alicia

Article by Brenda Norrell
Photos by Ofelia Riva
Videos and photos by Alejando Aguilar Zeleny
Censored News
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans at NAIS

WO'OSAN, Sonora, Mexico -- The Tohono O'odham tribal government, U.S. Border Patrol and other federal agents halted supporters and reporters on their way down to the border for the protest of the border wall today, issuing written threats of arrests, but the event continued with traditional dances, poetry and speakers.
Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, told Censored News today, "Despite telephone, cell phone and media block, and political resolutions and hypocritical tribal government threats of arrests, people came to support grassroots efforts to take direct action to oppose the border wall."
"It was a very positive event," Ofelia said.
CNN Mexico, which came in from the south, was among the international media that covered the event.
Click arrows to watch videos below.

Traditional O'odham Protested Trump's Border Wall on Saturday, at Wo'osan, on O'odham land in Sonora, Mexico, at the border. Listen to this beautiful O'odham song. "Because the desert is sacred, a dance of unity, in front of a border that wants dehumanizing," says Alejandro. Thank you Alejandro for sharing video.

Video above: Traditional O'odham in Mexico protested Trump's border wall at the gathering in Wo'osan, in Sonora, Mexico, on O'odham land at the border. Alicia said that building a border wall on this sacred land, would be a scar on the soul of O'odham. Thank you Alejandro for sharing videos.

Below: Alicia shares her words in O'odham.

Meanwhile, on the U.S. side of the border on Saturday, the Tohono O'odham government's police, U.S. Border Patrol agents, and other federal agents, issued written warnings which threatened arrest of supporters and reporters, and vehicle impoundments. Supporters and reporters were halted in Sells, Arizona, and south of Sells, by tribal police and federal agents. 

Read more at Censored News and view the threat notice issued:

The Border Wall Protest was Hosted by the Consejo Supremo de O'odham en Mexico, the Traditional O'odham Authority in Mexico

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