August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Water Protectors Honored at Oglala Commemoration 2017

Oglala Commemoration honors Guy Dull Knife, Eyapaha, announcer at Oceti Sakowin Camp, Cuny Dog, AIM Security and Red Warrior Camp. Olowan Martinez accepted on behalf of Deb White Plume.

Photos by Jean Roach and Peji Trudell
Published with permission at Censored News

Water Protectors Honored at Oglala Commemoration -- Remembering Leonard Peliter 2017

"Water Protectors honored for fight for Mni Wiconi at Oglala Commemoration! Great Family Reunion! Remembering Leonard Peltier's FIGHT for Justice and Freedom! The Genocidal War didn't just start -- it been going since first contact! FREE Political Prisoners Leonard Peltier Red Fawn and Water Protectors who were targeted and abused!" -- Jean Roach and Peji Trudell
Photos and video copright Jean Roach and Peji Trudell. May not be reposted without permission. Please share our link.

Leonard Peltier's statement to Oglala Commemoration

Click image below to watch video, listen to drum 

Supai Carletta Tilousi 'Grand Canyon is our home. Uranium mining has no place here'

Photo courtesy No Haul Red Butte Gathering 2017
Grand Canyon is our home. Uranium mining has no place here

By Carletta Tilousi, Havasupai
Censored News

The Havasupai resided in and around Grand Canyon for many centuries. This region is sacred – that is why we oppose the pollution of our land and water

The Havasupai – “people of the blue-green waters” – live in Supai Village, located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Today our lives and water are being threatened by international uranium mining companies because the US government and its 1872 mining law permit uranium mining on federal lands that surround the Grand Canyon.

In 1986, the Kaibab national forest authorized a Canadian-based uranium company to open Canyon mine, a uranium mine near the south rim of Grand Canyon national park. The Havasupai tribe challenged the decision but lost in the ninth circuit court of appeals. Miners were just starting to drill Canyon mine’s shaft in 1991 when falling uranium prices caused the company to shut it down for more than two decades.

Havasupai ancestors share stories of the sacredness of the Grand Canyon and all the mountains that surround it. They have instructed us to protect the waters and the mountains from any environmental contamination. That’s why we stand firm against any uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region.

As uranium prices began to rise again in 2007, the uranium company reopened three closed mines on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, north of the Grand Canyon. More than 10,000 new claims were also filed on those public lands and US Forest Service-administered lands on the south side, above where we live.

In 2009, the Havasupai gathered together hundreds of supporters at Red Butte to oppose the reopening of the nearby Canyon mine. Red Butte is the sacred lungs of our Grandmother Canyon. It is also important to many neighboring tribes. We joined in prayer and ceremony to stop the desecration.

The Havasupai tribe also filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service for failing to consult us and other tribes when it permitted Canyon mine to reopen. They did not consider new evidence of its potential to pollute our people’s sole source of drinking water or to harm Red Butte. We are anxiously awaiting a decision on our case that we argued before the ninth circuit court of appeals in December 2016.

Earlier this year, miners drilled Canyon mine’s shaft to a depth of 1,400ft. But before they could start mining and trucking uranium ore to the mill in Utah, millions of gallons of water needed to be pumped from the mine’s shaft after it was flooded with water from underground sources. The company reported that water in the mine’s containment pond had three times the level of uranium considered safe for human consumption.

During our gathering at Red Butte in 2009, we also prayed for federal agencies to use their authority to prohibit new uranium claims. Local governments that rely on tourism, supervisors of our own Coconino County and business leaders joined with Arizona’s governor in supporting a 20-year ban on new claims on more than a million acres of public land that surround the Grand Canyon.

In 2012, we celebrated the Obama administration’s order that honored our request to stop thousands of unproven claims from going forward and to close the area to prospecting for uranium. Now, misguided politicians in Arizona’s Mohave County are asking Donald Trump to overturn the decision because they claim they need uranium mining to help grow their economy. We oppose their request because we don’t want them to pollute our blue-green waters.

Once again, our sacred water and lands are being attacked to profit other people. For this reason, the Havasupai people and citizens throughout the region have been gathering at Red Butte over the past two days to conduct prayer ceremonies and workshops, and to gain support and bring awareness to the poisonous legacy of uranium all around the Grand Canyon.

The Havasupai are resilient people. We have resided in and around the Grand Canyon for many centuries. This struggle is not about money to us, it is about human life.

Please stand with us to put an end to mining uranium in our home, which has always been the Grand Canyon.

Carletta Tilousi is a member of the Havasupai Tribal Council

Navajo Council Surrenders to Dirty Coal Industry

Navajo Nation Council surrenders to demands from Arizona and dirty coal industry to keep coal fired power plant operating

Monday, June 26, 2017
French translation by Christine Prat at:
Carol Davis, Diné CARE,
Percy Deal, Diné CARE,
Nicole Horseherder, Tó Nizhóní Ání,
Jessica Keetso, Tó Nizhóní Ání,

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona – Delegates of the Navajo Nation Council voted late Monday night to approve a replacement lease that will keep Navajo Generating Station running for two-and-a-half more years but that also includes a number of amendments weakening the Navajo Nation's control when the plant is retired.

"There's no other way to put it: with this agreement, the Navajo Nation had their hands tied behind their back. We are being saddled with hundreds of millions of dollars of liability," said Adella Begaye of the Navajo community group Diné CARE. "The deal was rammed through by holding the Navajo tribal council hostage through an 11th-hour ultimatum from the very same people that were given permission to exploit and plunder our natural resources."

The tribal delegates, who approved the new lease on an 18-4 vote, gave up their right to settle any legal differences in Navajo courts over the shutdown of the largest coal plant in the West, and they ceded their right to oversee decommissioning and cleanup, which will begin when the plant closes at the end of 2019.

"We respect the Navajo workers whose livelihoods would be affected by the closure of NGS and subsequently Kayenta Mine, but our leaders agreed to a legacy of waste and contamination for generations of our children and grandchildren," said Percy Deal, a Diné CARE member and a formal tribal council member

In February, SRP and the other owners of the plant decided that the most financially prudent course was to shut the plant because they were losing $100 million a year or more running the plant in the face of an energy market that provides far more affordable alternatives.

"The rest of the world is moving emphatically toward a clean energy economy. The utilities are running away from NGS and coal as fast as they can because coal can no longer compete economically against cleaner sources of energy," said Nadine Narindrankura of Tó Nizhóní Ání, another Navajo community group. "It's ludicrous for our leaders to cling to coal. Tying our people to a sinking ship will only bankrupt us and put off the inevitable for two short years."

Diné CARE and Tó Nizhóní Ání have both been deeply involved in issues around coal-fired power and coal mining on the Navajo reservation for years. They contend that underneath the utilities' promise of keeping coal on life support, there was an underhanded scheme to help the owners of NGS walk away from their financial and ethical responsibilities, even though for decades they have enriched themselves by exploiting Navajo natural resources, polluting tribal land, and poisoning the air Navajo families breathe.

"We will never forget the generations of Navajo families lost during forced relocation. It is on the backs of Navajo and Hopi that Arizona lives in comfort while our people still don't have running water and electricity," said Robyn Jackson of Diné CARE. "Navajo leadership now have two and a half years to create a robust transition plan and can waste no time squandering on short sighted efforts to keep the plant running beyond 2019 or foolishly purchasing the Kayenta Mine."

Water is one of the most important issues to the Navajo and the groups are concerned with the 50,000 acre-feet of Upper Colorado River Basin water that rightfully needs to be returned to the Navajo Nation. Despite disappointment over other areas of the lease agreement, both Diné CARE and Tó Nizhóní Ání are relieved that language from the original 1969 NGS lease that was relevant to water rights was included as an amendment, as they suggested to delegates during legislative hearings on the lease. The amended language on water is not a binding agreement but it will build a solid foundation for the Navajo to regain full rights to that water.

The Navajo Nation has vast potential for developing solar and wind power, and both Diné CARE and TNA see no future in coal. Rather, they are urging tribal leaders to work toward an economy that allows the Navajo Nation to provide for its people for generations to come, not just for a couple of years.

"From here, the nation as a whole needs to make a commitment to transitioning our economy, energy production and leadership," said Jessica Keetso of TNA. "With the 2018 elections coming up, we need to elect leaders who know what climate change means and the importance of developing sustainable businesses and infrastructure. The Navajo Nation needs to put solar and wind energy on or near the NGS site, so that we can utilize the transmission lines and receive revenue back to our Nation.

"It's the only thing that makes sense and it will be one of the only good things to come from this senseless replacement lease."


Leonard Peltier Statement for Oglala Commemoration 2017

Statement from Leonard for the Oglala Commemoration

Greetings Sisters, Brothers, friends and supporters.

Well, here we are, another year, another memorial. After 42 yrs this does not get any easier. It seems as if you get lost for words. At times I feel as if it has all been for nothing, but I know that's just weakness speaking. The struggle is never for nothing. So many of our children, grandchildren and in my case now, great-grandchildren, depend on us to try and save our lands, our Nations, our culture, religion and our People. But the young people should know many of us are growing old and soon it will be our time to leave this world. The next generation has to step into our shoes and become leaders. As they say, they will have to step up to the plate and be a strong hitter of the ball. These are words that I have repeated many times over the years.

To see the younger Sisters and Brothers who are doing just that is an enormous relief from the stress that stems from feeling we may have lost the Battle for Survival as a Nation of Peoples. From in here all I can see is a lot of areas where we are losing ground. Like the young drinking, drugging and gang banging - KILLING our own kids on our Rez. Streets with these drive by shootings, "How cowardly is that!” Then there are so many children who are living in this world of oppression. They take their own lives because they believe it is their only way out. Our young girls/women - fed up with the Rez life of dysfunctional family life and poverty and all of the evils that go with it - seek a better life by marrying out of our race, which in reality, is effectively an act of genocide AGAINST OUR OWN RACE. This is a strategy perpetuated by the usa government that has been going on for centuries now - 'breed the Indian out of the Indian' was their Plan. I know it’s true, "AS IT HAS HAPPEN WITH IN MY OWN FAMILY!” They wanted a better life. One with which they could at least escape poverty and be able to support their family.

SO WHAT ARE THE ANSWERS? How do we correct or fight this and will the Powers that be allow us to correct it? Those remain very hard questions to answer. But we have tried and must continue trying. AIM and the other native organizations (it wasn't just the American Indian Movement), who believed in reversing those plans, all pushed hard through Native country and made them work in a lot of areas. Those that believed in our principals taught their children the ways of their tribes, culture, etc. I'm hearing their children are doing good things and are strong advocates of Native culture, our Nation, and Our People. Some Native Nations have almost eliminated alcohol and drugs, and more of their young people are finishing high school and going to college. Some are restoring their lands to their Natural Habitat after yrs, of destruction by mining or development. Although we have made many gains we are still a long way from being successful. So we elders need you young people to stand up and take over, as we have always said, and pursue a life on the good red road.

When I first heard about Standing Rock - WOW! - what a proud, warm feeling went through my body. Here were MY people leading the way to try and save our - HELL, not just OUR's, but "The world’s!" future generations. This is what we in the 60's, 70's were doing with some of our political issues and protests. Standing Rock's water is a stand-in for the water we all depend on. It is so important for life. Without water we People, the Animals, the Land itself, CANNOT LIVE. IT’S SIMPLE AND THERE ISN'T ANY TRUTHFUL ANSWER OTHERWISE. Why can’t they understand this? The answer is because they don't give a damn!

Well, I have said enough for now. Some of what I have said I’m only repeating and probably will repeat them the rest of my life. Until we win and the world is a safer place for all peoples, then I don’t feel like it is being said in vain. You all have a good day and thank you very much for all these the years of support and the love you have shown me. You’re awesome and it will be worth every moment of these 42 yrs of hell I have lived in if we - not me as one man -but we as a Nation and a culture, can emerge victorious.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse - Doksha, Leonard Peltier

Visions of Oldwatermark
Visions of Old

Visions of Old

This is a painting that was loved by the owner for over 20 years. They respectfully gave it back to the ILPDC so another owner can admire and purchase it. All proceeds of sales go to the continual fight for justice for Leonard Peltier.

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