August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Resist! Nataanii Means tells Supporters in Spain


Photos: Nataanii Means with water protectors shutting down Credit Suisse in Geneva, Switzerland, before continuing to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, on the 11 country tour of Europe.


Resist! Nataanii Means tells Supporters in Spain: The Legacy of Resistance, Standing Rock and Genocide

Article by Brenda Norrell
Recorded by Pascal Gregis in Madrid
Censored News
June 9, 2017
Audio is available for radio stations
brendanorrell@gmail.com

MADRID, Spain -- Nataanii Means, Dine' Omaha and Lakota, described being in Standing Rock Camp for seven months, resisting Dakota Access Pipeline, as Standing Rock Water Protectors concluded their 11 country tour in Europe.

Describing the Native American resistance in Standing Rock, he said, "This wasn't the first one, and it isn't the last."
"As Indigenous People we grow up in this, because we know nothing else."
"From the time we are born, we are fighting something."
Nataanii, who grew up in Chinle, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, told of the open uranium mines on his homeland, and how radioactivity leaked into Navajos ground water and water sources. Now, the people are dying from cancer. He said this could happen to him.
Nataanii described the large open pit coal mine on the Navajo Nation.
"It is one thing to hear it, it is another thing to live it, it is another thing to die from it."
Nataanii said North Dakota is an oil boom state and the Dakota Access Pipeline was originally supposed to go through Bismarck.
Describing the suicide, and the violence inflicted on Native people, he said this oil boom is contributing to the violence against Native people. He said the violence has resulted in sex trafficking and murdered and missing Native women.
Dakota Access Pipeline did not pass through Bismarck, because the route was moved to 1851 Treaty land, he said.
The 1851 Treaty was the first of two treaties. A Peace Treaty followed because the U.S. wanted its wagons to pass through the land.
"We gave them peace. But the Treaty was never honored."
Treaties are the Supreme Law of the Land, but the U.S. has never honored the Treaties, he said.
Describing the manipulations of the law and permitting that resulted in DAPL receiving a permit, he said, "They fast tracked this pipeline to go through."
Nataanii described how the resistance movement and camp was started by youths and women of Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Tribes.
The youths ran from Standing Rock to Washington D.C. Then, in August, DAPL came in with their bulldozers and they struck artifacts.
Nataanii said he arrived the next day.
From that point on, he joined those who fought the pipeline, in a peaceful way. Resisting in a peaceful way was requested by the elders and it was honored.
Dakota Access Pipeline hired TigerSwan, former Blackwater, mercenaries, as private security.
"On our first encounter, they sicced dogs on us."
"They came out with huge dogs, and they released dogs on us."
Nataanii said the dogs took one woman down by her breast and the security guards laughed.
Nataanii also described meeting with Credit Suisse in Geneva, Switzerland.
"We told them they are investing in the Genocide of our People."
Nataanii described the heartless reaction of Credit Suisse. The bank's sustainability officer denied the genocide of Native Americans.
Nataanii said the fact is that American Indians were reduced to about 200,000 through genocide.
This genocide continues.
"Almost everything was destroyed. That is genocide."
"Now I watch my people die from cancer."
"I watched my dad die of cancer, my grandpa, my friends."
The militarization of the police grew worse at Standing Rock.
"It was hard to remain unarmed."
He said they remained peaceful because there were children in camp. They did not stand a chance against the militarized police and guns.
Standing Rock was not the beginning, and will not be the end.
The resistance continues in New Mexico, and elsewhere, as Keystone XL is also being revived, and the fight continues against Enbridge in Canada.
"We've won before, it is possible to win again," Nataanii said, describing some of those victories.
"I have faith we can stop this pipeline through divestment."
Nataanii described the Tour to Europe, and how Water Protector Rachel Heaton, Muckleshoot, worked hard in Seattle for Wells Fargo to divest in DAPL.
As for Credit Suisse in Geneva, he said, "They are heartless. They have no soul." He said the bank's sustainability officer flew in from Zurich.
Nataanii asked for help in this fight.
"You have voices and can go places we can't."
Urging people to struggle to save this Planet, he also urged the people here not to let it get to the point where the water is flammable.
Due to imminent domain, the people didn't even have a chance to say 'No' and stop DAPL.
Nataanii said the Earth will heal itself, but the people must be humbled.
"Keep fighting, keep up the resistance."
Nataanii told the people here, to keep up the resistance, and the knowledge, because it is helping.
Nataanii Means joined Water Protectors from Standing Rock Camp, Rachel Heaton, Muckleshoot from Washington State; Waste Win Young, Dakota Lakota from Standing Rock; and Rafael Gonzalez, Dakota from Minneapolis. The Tour concluded in Spain and Italy, and included 11 countries in Europe.

BLACK MESA Impoundments Threatened: Human Rights Observers, Sheepherders Requested June 2017




JUNE 2017

Urgent call for volunteer sheepherders at Black Mesa

New impoundment threats issued



Over this past week, law enforcement and Hopi land management officers entered Sovereign Dineh Nation territories at Big Mountain/Black Mesa, Arizona with orders to count Dineh livestock. They issues 5-day notices to Dineh families, threatening to impound so-called "trespassing" sheep, goats, and cattle.


"In times like these it's hard for me to eat or sleep," stated elder matriarch Glenna Begay. "I lay up at night worried for my animals. The sheep are my children. The horses too are relatives. They have been with us since the beginning."

Families and elders resisting forced relocation policies on their ancestral homelands are urgently requesting volunteers to assist with maintaining the daily struggle. This primarily involves herding sheep throughout the day and doing basic chores. In this time of escalated police activity, supporters are also asked to be observant and record police or government actions.

Livestock-related harassment by law enforcement is an annual occurrence that families resisting federal relocation policies endure, however, harassment and livestock impoundments have intensified in recent years. Armed officers conducted raids against families in 2014 and 2016.  These actions serve as painful reminders of the long history of US genocidal campaigns against the Dineh people.

Public Law 93-531, the Navajo-Hopi Resettlement Act of 1974 remains in effect, despite four decades of indigenous resistance and international petition for repeal. It has always been clear to the Dineh people of Big Mountain/Black Mesa that the relocation policy is not about a so-called Navajo-Hopi Land dispute, but rather, is about natural resource development. Peabody Coal has been "carving out Mother Earth's organs" since 1966 on northern Black Mesa.

"When we first walked on Black Mesa, there was abundance of life," explains elder matriarch Rena Babbitt Lane. "This land was never meant to be mined for coal. The Holy People walked here. But the coal company took the water and gave us sickness. That is what Washington gave us back, sickness."

Today, relocation is administered through Ordinance 43, which among other atrocities, authorizes US Bureau of Indian Affairs deputized officers from the Hopi Office of Range and Land Management to enforce harsh and alien grazing controls on Dineh families refusing to relocate.  Animals considered to be trespassing are impounded, large fees are charged, and animals may never be allowed to return. Dineh families depend on their livestock for subsistence and the continuation of their traditional lifeway.

Earlier this year, the majority owner of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station announced it would be closing the plant by 2019. A closure of the generating station would also mean closure of Peabody's Kayenta Mine at Black Mesa. As revenue-hungry government officials seek ways to keep the generation station and mine operating, Dineh residents of Black Mesa continue to voice their support for a final and complete shutdown of coal operations. By taking care of livestock and chores at homesites, volunteer sheepherders can support elders and families' participation in meetings and demonstrations.

At this time we, the international communities beyond the natural boundaries of Dineh territory, are being asked to do something bigger than ourselves. Many families are urgently requesting your support. Please consider a journey to Big Mountain/ Black Mesa to be a sheepherder and human rights observer, whether for a week or a month.
To offer to volunteer your time, or with questions, please contact:
blackmesais@gmail.com / 928-773-8086
or Jake: 937-479-4214

If you haven't come out to the land before, please read and fill out the cultural sensitivity guide and preparedness form:
https://supportblackmesa.org/2008/10/cultural-sensitivity-preparedness-guidebook-registration-form/


Other related announcements:

* Dineh Grandmothers to Speak in Los Angeles
A delegation of DinĂ© grandmothers from Big Mountain/Black Mesa will be visiting the LA area from July 20-August 2, bringing their traditionally-made handwoven rugs and jewelry. There will be 2-3 events where the LA community will be able to purchase these items, connect with the grandmothers and learn how to stand in solidarity with their resistance to coal mining and cultural genocide. To find out more about this tour please visit http://www.sonela.org or e-mail Tanya at wemoonwitch@gmail.com.

* Funds needed to finish house for Big Mountain relocation resister
Creighton Dailey, who grew up nearby on the Navajo Nation in Pinon, is renovating an old stone cabin with his grassroots group Carpenters for a Cause, which will be the primary residence for a lifelong relocation resister at Big Mountain. Additional funds are needed to complete this project, please donate if you are able: https://www.gofundme.com/CFAC3

* Funds requested to repair Black Mesa elder's solar system
A group of supporters is helping Black Mesa elder Rena Babbit-Lane and her family to raise the $3000 needed to purchase a new bank of batteries for their photovoltaic solar power system. For more information, and to donate, visit: https://www.blackmesautility.com/

For more background on the Big Mountain/Black Mesa struggle:
http://supportblackmesa.org/

http://sheepdognationrocks.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-fight-to-protect-altar-black-mesa.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiZ7pPNISyc

For more information on the closure of the Navajo Generating Station:

https://www.navajoenergyfuture.org/

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Black Mesa Indigenous Support
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