Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 19, 2018

Lisa DeVille 'Air Protections Being Weakened by Trump Administration'

By Lisa DeVille, Ft. Berthold POWER President
Censored News

New Source Performance Standards Weakened

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and the Trump administration announced their plans to weaken common-sense air protections, known as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), which limit methane and other toxic pollutants from being released into the air. These current standards need to be kept strong and in place to protect North Dakota communities from the immediate air quality impacts of rapidly expanding oil and gas infrastructure and methane pollution fueling climate change.

These standards require companies to adopt cost effective and common-sense solutions to detect and repair leaks, which industry leaders like ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy already exceeds, as well as other best practices to reduce pollution. EPA's own analysis found that its 2016 final oil and gas methane standards would achieve significant reductions of methane and other harmful air pollution at low cost.

At a time when the industry is reporting high profits, weakening these rules, including creating new loopholes, makes no sense and will mean more air pollution. This is especially true because these rules have already been on the books for almost a year.

EPA has the responsibility to protect Americans from the clear and present health threats from oil and gas pollution, and weakening these rules is an attack on communities located near these facilities who depend on these protections. However, if Wheeler and Trump succeed, the health of my family and others across North Dakota will suffer. That is why it is so important for all North Dakotans to make our voices heard before December 17 and tell Wheeler and Trump that we oppose their attacks on our health protections before it's too late, our health depends on it.

Mohawk Nation News 'Framework Trailriders Charge into Kahnawake'

December 14, 2018

SONORA -- O'odham Voice Against the Wall, O'odham Women's Collective, Toy Drive Photos

Ofelia Rivas and Cynthia Piestewa

By Ofelia Rivas, O'odham
Censored News

CABORCA, Sonora -- The women were busy cooking and baking bread and cupcakes while O'odham photographer Cynthia Piestewa and I shopped for candy and stayed up into the night bagging 150 holiday bags of candy. The event started with a registration of all the children  to assure that each child will get a gift. The facilities had a small kitchen, a large dinning area and an enclosed play area with a trampoline and swing set.
All the families arrived, the adults and children. The organizers with a red shirt and proper red santa hat started musical chairs with a very young DJ playing Cumbria music, prizes for winners were soft toys for girls and cars for the boys.
3 pinatas were donated. Everyone got a plate of food and the celebration continues, the finale of the toys give away. The children lined up with their registration tickets and received a toy and a bag of candy.
This was the first time all the toys were brand new, the happy smiling faces were well worth the months of effort by O'odham VOICE Against the WALL continuous request for help in toys donations and money donations to purchase the toys, candy and food.  The children all signed a oversized card that reads "Mucho Gracias."
Many, many Thank you's to all that sent by PayPal and by snail mail and all efforts by local friends and relatives. Many Thanks to Censored News for your complete support.
There were 270 children and 89 adults at the party!

Photos and article copyright Ofelia Rivas, may not be used wirhout permission.

December 1, 2018

All Charges Dropped against Water Protector Waste Win Young

Waste'Win Young (third from left)  with her WPLC defense team, family and friends after the 1st of 2 hearings on her Motion to Dismiss, held on October 5,  2018.

By Water Protector Legal Collective 
North Dakota District Judge David Reich today dismissed misdemeanor charges of Criminal Trespass and Engaging in a Riot against Waste'Win Young because the State did not follow the law that requires them to turn over discovery material to defendants. The dismissal came in an Order that responded to a Motion to Dismiss that'd been filed by Young's defense team on October 4, 2018. In it the judge specified the State's "failing to disclose the existence of depositions of its law enforcement officers." In a hearing on the  Motion  held on November 5, 2018, the prosecutor asked that the judge grant a continuance so that the materials could be provided, rather than dismiss the State's case outright.
Stating that he had "no inclination to spend more judicial time and resources on a case which: (1) is nearly two years old; (2) has been twice continued; (3) which has already consumed numerous hours of court time and which has required the defendant and her attorneys to make numerous appearances before the court; and (4) which involves misdemeanor charges against a defendant with no criminal record and who would at most in all likelihood receive a deferred sentence if convicted," Judge Reich dismissed the charges that had been hanging over Young's head since February 1, 2017.
"The judge wrote that the Prosecution's discovery violations here 'fail to pass the smell test for due process and fundamental fairness.' To us, the whole case did," said WPLC Cooperating Attorney, Andrea Carter.
"Ms. Young as well as many Standing Rock members have traversed and accessed that land for their entire lives. There are treaties and laws which recognize their right to do so. It is known as an area containing many sacred and burial sites as well as areas people prayed and collected medicine," Carter added.
"The charges and conduct that was alleged of Ms. Young was baseless," she said. "We believe the depositions that were withheld from the defense by the State would have exposed contradictions of opinion and testimony in law enforcement witnesses as well as the State's close cooperation with private security and other facts that would be unfavorable to the State and exculpatory to the defendants charged that day."
Read Judge Reich's  Order on Motion to Abou 

November 20, 2018

Statement of Love and Respect from your brother, Leonard Peltier

letterhead 2018 jpg

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been hectic here at the National Office, and I want to bring you all up to date on our needs for financial help. We need help on paying Leonard's legal fees for his transfer and his First Amendment case in Washington State. We are estimating that we will need to raise $5,000 by the end of 2018. For supporters that need a tax deduction we are a 501c3 organization and will happily send you a tax statement for 2018 tax year.
Leonard requested a transfer from USP Coleman, FL to FCI Oxford, Wis. This transfer would place Leonard at the closest federal facility to his family. It would be a 7/8 hour drive rather than the 24 hour drive to see Leonard in Coleman, FL. He has been given a clean bill of health by the Dr. who did his heart surgery last September, and he has completed his management program at Coleman which makes him eligible for this transfer. However, the prison authorities say that he has a medical hold and cannot be transferred at this time. Leonard is going to appeal this through the prison legal system. If they deny his request for a transfer we will file in federal court for the transfer to take place. We hope to have more information on this situation and will be requesting your support for letters in the near future!
Leonard's 1st Amendment case with Attorney Lawrence Hildes, of Bellingham, WA {PELTIER V. SACKS,17-5209 RBL, USDC FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON} is proceeding. A small summary from attorney Hildes follows: "After reviewing the evidence and the arguments, a conservative Federal Judge in Tacoma denied the State's dismissal Motion holding that, unless the art is owned by the government, the right to control its message belongs to the artist, that it is Unconstitutional to censor artwork or other expression because the artist/speaker is controversial,-in fact, that is where the First Amendment protection is greatest, and that the exhibition was advertised to the public, as was Leonard's participation, and the public was encouraged to attend the exhibition and its various speaking and cultural events, and, that therefore, it was a public forum with full protection for Leonard." We are awaiting a trial date early next year, and attorney Hildes plans to have Leonard brought to Tacoma for the trial. See you all there!!
On another positive note, Leonard's AIM brother, Edgar Bear Runner from Pine Ridge will be coming to visit him the first weekend of December and be back in Pine Ridge for the swearing in and Inauguration of his grandson Julian Bear Runner, as Tribal Chairman of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation.
In closing is Leonard's statement to all his friends, family, and supporters on the National Day of Mourning, November 22, 2018.
Thank you for your support in our effort to FREE Leonard Peltier.
Paulette, National Office
Leonard Art Book 075 3

Statement of Love & Respect from your brother, Leonard Peltier

Greetings Sisters, Brothers, Elders, Friends and Supporters.
Well here it is, sorry to say, another year, and I'm still writing to you from a prison cell. I am still in pain from my illnesses with no knowledge of whether I will ever get treatments for them. BUT I'm alive and still breathing hoping, wishing, praying for not just my pains, but for all Native Nations and the People of the World who care and have positive feelings about what is happening to Mother Earth and against the evils committed by Wasi'chu in their greed for HER natural resources .
It doesn't seem as if any changes for the good or safety of Mother Earth will happen soon. But the good hearted People are fighting back, and some good People are winning in the struggles to beat back some of this evil and to make THE Changes, the safety networks, we need for our grandchildren and great grandchildren so that they will be able to live happy successful lives, at least decent lives, that most of the poor underprivileged in my generation never got to experience or enjoy in our short lives.
SO, I sit back and look at the world, and I wonder if I will ever get to see the outside world again, free from this prison cell? At 74 it is not looking too good for that to happen. BUT I keep my hopes alive and pray as hard as I can that it will happen. If not, when they bury me I want to be laid to rest face down and with a note pinned to my ass with the words in large bold letters, 'KISS MY ASS!!'… just in case someone wants to study my bones years from now :)!!
On a more pleasant issue one of my grandaughters Ashley is in college at University of Arizona, Flagstaff, and she wants to be a Medicine Woman! How awesome is that? My Baby, a doctor! Wow! How proud am I! You would not believe just how much I am! I could use a little help now and then for her; don't send it to me, but send it to ILPDC earmarked for her use ONLY !!. She is going on a long hard journey, so she will need help now and then. One day, if she continues her studies to be a Medicine Woman, I know things can change as time goes by, but if she makes it, she will be an enormous help to Native Nations' hospitals.
My friend Harvey Arden passed yesterday on Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:20 P:M. He was a very good and kind man who loved Native People and the poor and sick. We are all going to miss him. I hope he has a good safe journey to the Spirit World, and I hope our Relatives will all be there to greet him with open arms; that would be very pleasing to him. See you soon, my Kola.
Politically we are finally making gains in Congress; two great Native ladies made it in the House of Representatives! They are Shanice Davids, Ho Chunk of Wisconsin, for Kansas and Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, for New Mexico. On Pine Ridge MY nephew Julian Bear Runner made it as President of the great Lakota Nation! I'm hearing more states are doing away with Columbus Day! Hell, we may just win the War for Survival yet.:)
My last thoughts on this day, that we Native People call a Day of Mourning, are for my Sisters' and Brothers' family by blood and by AIM that are now in the Spirit World, and to them I say Lila Pilamaya, thank you for your love and work for The People.
My thoughts are also with the youth such as the Water Protectors and all people young and old who are working to protect Mother Earth. I hope someday in the near future to be with you and part of this march and join you in the feast prepared by Native People and wonderful supporters who have joined together today to honor our Ancestors.
In The Spirit of Crazy Horse
Leonard Peltier

©2018 ILPDC | 116 W Osborne Avenue Tampa, FL 33603

November 17, 2018

AIM-WEST Annual SF West Coast Conference Summit November 17-18, 2018

Saturday, today, at AIM West
Photo by Tony Gonzalez 
By Tony Gonzalez
AIM West
Censored News

Location 2969 Mission Street
San Francisco


Welcome all my American Indian Movement-West (AIM-WEST), an inter-tribal non-profit human rights organization based in San Francisco is pleased to welcome everyone to its annual AIM-West Coast Conference/Summit in San Francisco beginning Saturday, November 17 and Sunday 18th from 9 am to 5 pm.  Coffee, rolls, fruits and lunch will be provided.  The Conference will be held at the ANSWER COALITION Office located at 2969 Mission Street/26th in the Mission District.

In solidarity this year with the 50th Anniversary of the American Indian Movement (AIM) 1968-2018, the AIM-West Coast Conference is dedicated to the memory of AIM co-founder Nowa Cumig ("In the Center of the Universe") aka Dennis J. Banks, (Ojibwa Nation) who passed (4/12/37-10/29/17) to spirit world one year ago on October 29th.  A Chanupa/Pipe ceremony will be held commemorating his life and the legacy he left at the opening of the Conference starting at 9 am.  The Mejica Traditional Teo-Kalli Danzantes will lead in the spirits with drum and sage at 8 am to bless and welcome all participants.  Flowers and Banners, and All Drums are Welcome!

Long time friends of DJ Banks such as AIM spiritual advisor Fred Short, Long Walkers like Wounded Knee DeOcampo, Lee Polanco, including Wounded Knee 73' Veteran Ms. Jessie Riddle, and many others from miles around will par-take in the solemn occasion.  There is no more grieving here on this day.  Instead we encourage all our relations, friends and allies to share their thoughts, tears of joy, or experiences and moments they had with Comandante Dennis Banks, including his vision of what he perceived would be best for the Movement of the Peoples to carry forward.  We extend our hand in friendship to all.  The public is welcome

                                                                                                                                                                                 AGENDA (subject to change)
Monday, November 17th:

8   am     Teo-Kalli Traditional Mejica Danzantes - 

9   am     Pipe ceremony one year since the passing of AIM Leader, Dennis Banks -

11 am     Welcoming words and introduction to the AIM West Coast Conference - Roll Call and any changes and additions to the two day program of events -

12 noon                                        LUNCH (Potluck, bring to share)

12:15     FILM:  "Ojibwa Warrior" The Life and Times of Dennis J. Banks…78 minutes, 2018 by NCI and OWP

1:45       Opening Statements and Solidarity with AIM 50th Anniversary from friends and organizations -

              National and International solidarity speakers - also cite issues of concern on agenda for (a) panel discussion and (b) preparation of strategies and resolutions for action (tomorrow);

              Panama - Guest Speaker, Puksu Igualikinya, Kuna Nation;
              Caravan Report back from Mexico, Gloria La Riva

2:45                 BREAK 

3 pm     Post Elections - 2018 tally the score…and continue voter registration in 2020 -

             California state of affairs -  Burning of homes, whole villages, crops and animals -

             Ohlone and Sacred Sites and Shell Mounds -

             Amah Mutsun and Juristic Gravel Project -

             Indian Canyon and cultural center -

             Mercury in the Bay, water quality and health and well-being -

            18 Unratified Treaties -

            NAGPRA - Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act - UC Berkeley with thousands of ancestor's bones

4:30    Closing prayer/blessings

Sunday, November 18th:

9:30 am  Border Wall and the Militarization along the border - David Garcia, Tohono'Oodham Nation -

10:15     Child Development and Code Talker relations - Jean Whitehorse, Navajo Nation -

11 am    Human Rights Defender Leonard Peltier and Clemency Campaign -

12          Noon                     LUNCH    Film  "Dolores"

1 pm      Mascot and Racism in Sports -

1:45      Extractive Industries, Keystone XL and DAPL, Divestments and Public Banks -

2:30     International and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2019 -

3 pm   Access to media, U streaming, and Live Streaming events, marches and protests - (Frank Sterling?)

3:30    Youth Suicide, gang prevention, Restorative Justice and police violence -

4:15    Raffle….

4:30    Closing comments, prayer/blessings to all my relations!


November 16, 2018

Indigenous Peoples Denied Access to Sacred Site as Ski Area Opens with Sewage Snow


Friday, November, 16, 2018

Indigenous Peoples Denied Access to Sacred Site as Ski Area Opens with Sewage Snow

By Indigenous Action
Censored News

Flagstaff, Ariz. — Continuing years of ecological destruction, threats to public health, and desecration and assault on Indigenous Peoples’ ways of life, Arizona Snowbowl ski area opened with snow made from millions of gallons of 100% treated sewage today. Police blockaded parts of the San Francisco Peaks, a mountain in Northern Arizona held sacred by more than 13 Indigenous Nations and managed by the US Forest Service as public lands. They threatened to arrest anyone without a ski pass who attempted to access the area. Snowbowl supporters also attempted to assault demonstrators.

Approximately 20 people gathered to offer prayers at 7:30am this morning at the base of Snowbowl Road while four law enforcement vehicles patrolled and surveilled the prayer circle.
As the group went up the mountain they were followed by law enforcement. Multiple people were pulled over and harassed for supposed minor traffic offenses.

A little more than a mile from Snowbowl ski area, people got out of their cars and walked up the mountain singing, carrying banners and prayer staffs.

Ray Ray, who lead the demonstration in prayer up the mountain, stated, "Am I not allowed to pray and go to the Sacred Mountain that my ancestors and that my people have been praying to long before this was considered America? That a sacred space can be privatized by a company that pays for my religious rights to be taken away, for my freedom of speech to be taken away, is tyranny and malice from the company, the employees, the security and patrons of Snowbowl.”

Support vehicles were pulled over and threatened with tickets for “impeding traffic” even though they were following the walkers to ensure their safety.

More than 20 law enforcement agents from varying agencies including the “State Gang Task Force” were patrolling the ski area as the group arrived.

Law enforcement agents including a US Forest Service Ranger blockaded the walkway with a sign to the only ski run Snowbowl was able to open and threatened anyone without a ski pass with arrest for “trespassing.” The sign read, “Ski pass required beyond this point. All sledding prohibited. No pedestrians on ski slopes.”

“This is our sacred mountain, our church, how can we be trespassing? How can you restrict access to public lands?” asked Klee Benally, volunteer with, to Coconino County Sheriffs and the Forest Service Ranger, “Where does the public land end? What gives you the right to restrict access to my church?” Benally asked but the agents refused to respond to the question. The County Sheriff replied, “If you cross that sign, you will be arrested.”

When asked again where the public lands ended and why Indigenous Peoples couldn’t freely walk on the mountain, the Forest Service Ranger stated, “You can figure that out in court.”

Sheriff's then started checking if everyone walking through the area had ski passes.

Vontrivia Zee, a Flagstaff resident who joined the prayer gathering and demonstration stated, “The cops really didn’t have the knowledge of why we couldn’t go on the mountain. They were violating our rights.”

“At 25 and as a Native woman, I see and feel the struggle of my people and racism within Bordertown Flagstaff.” stated Tylene Halfmoon, “I felt I owe it to my ancestors, and all the indigenous people out there suffering from homelessness, drug and alcohol dependence, broken homes, domestic violence, people being targeted by police for simply being brown, and for my grandmas who lived that hard life back then. All in all, today gave me hope that there are still people out there that care and this is something that will need to continued and taught to our future generations, so that they can understand we are not a weak people: we are strong, tough, resilient, and we are still here even after they tried to kill us all off with mass genocide.” stated Halfmoon.

“From our water, to our earth, to our air to the very stance that we take upon the earth. They want to take that away.” stated Ray.

As a Muslim, I recognize the value of sacred sites because we have our own in my religion. To see this mountain be continuously desecrated for capitalist profits and to totally go against wishes of 13 Indigenous Nations who have been here for tens of thousands of years or more before this so called country was ever created.” stated Sumayyah Dawud, who came from Phoenix to offer support. “It's unacceptable what they're doing and so this is why I came today and why I've come in the past and will keep coming to stand up against this colonial abuse and state violence and capitalist oppression. We are facing catastrophic climate change and what they are doing to this mountain with this sewage snow is contributing to the violence against the earth.”

Snowbowl supporters yelled racist statements at the group throughout the morning.
As the group stood their ground holding banners and chanting, two Snowbowl supporters attempted to push through the crowd and assault the demonstrators. They responded quickly by defending their friends and chanting.

“I experienced at this event so many levels of violence and oppression against people standing for their survival.” stated Mary Begay, a lifelong Flagstaff resident and volunteer Mountain Protector, “We were walking through the desecration as we were restricted from our movement by law enforcement who were there only protecting the company and their profit. Mountain protectors were constantly being verbally assaulted by skiers and two female mountain protectors were assaulted physically by a man who forcefully swung the sharp edge of his snowboard at our faces and would have seriously injured them if they had not blocked it with their hands in time. We will not be intimidated by police or racist Snowbowl supporters. When sacred sites and cultural survival is under attack, we must fight back.” stated Begay.

Snowbowl is the only ski area in the world to make snow from treated sewage. They are allowed to use 180 million gallons of treated sewage per season by the US Forest Service. The effluent is piped up the mountain from the City of Flagstaff who maintains a contract to sell the wastewater to the ski area.

“That people are choosing to pay to ski on what amounts to a frozen river of treated sewage is ridiculous.” stated Eva Malis. “This wastewater has been proven to contain harmful contaminants and cancer causing agents, and the EPA does not require testing or treatment for pharmaceuticals or hormones that have been found in this effluent.”

Snowbowl has long been controversial due to their presence on the San Francisco Peaks. The ski area operates under a special use permit on public lands managed by the US Forest Service. For decades they have been subject to multiple lawsuits that have shaped legal precedent for Indigenous religious freedom and sacred sites.

The Forest Service approved ski area expansion and treated sewage snowmaking in 2005.
Lawsuits by environmental groups and Indigenous Nations ultimately failed and Snowbowl started making treated sewage snow in 2012. The Hopi Tribe is currently in litigation with the City of Flagstaff over the city’s contract to sell wastewater to snowbowl with an Arizona Supreme Court decision on the case coming any day.

For more information: