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