Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 25, 2019

Radio: Tohono O'odham Ofelia Rivas on WGDR with Moccasin Tracks and Mother Cell Radio

Ofelia Rivas testifying at the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights in Jamaica in May 2019
Photo by Brenda Norrell, Censored News in Jamaica
Article by Brenda Norrell
Radio broadcast by WGDR, with Moccasin Tracks and Mother Cell Radio
Censored News

Listen to Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham who lives on the southern border, which begins with the words of John Trudell on reality :

Ofelia Rivas testified at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in May to describe the militarization targeting Indigenous Peoples.
This militarization by police at Standing Rock and Homeland Security's Border Patrol at the border, continues today.
Ofelia describes how the U.S. Border Patrol targets O'odham on their own land on the Tohono O'odham Nation.
"Every time we walk out our door we are followed and interrogated," Ofelia said on the radio program.
Ofelia describes how the U.S. invasion has resulted in the ongoing efforts to destroy the O'odham culture, their way of life, and Ceremonies.

The U.S. Border Patrol continues to disrupt their traditional Ceremonies, including a traditional hunt.
"We are survivors, we continue to do our Ceremonies."
The U.S. Border Patrol has set up checkpoints at every entrance to the Tohono O'odham.
Upon leaving their homeland, O'odham have to declare their citizenship. Ofelia said when she declares she is Tohono O'odham, she is placed in a secondary checkpoint, which means more delays and harassment.
When Ofelia returned from testifying at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Jamaica in May, she was delayed two days with the SSSS status slapped on her airline ticket, after she testified.
"They put four S's on my ticket, which means I'm a severe threat to the United States," said Ofelia, a traditional O'odham grandmother who lives on her homeland.
"I went through much more extensive surveillance and search," Ofelia said of the ordeal returning from testifying before the human rights organization for the Americas, held in Jamaica.
Ofelia said she is never surprised at this response to her speaking the truth.
"It is intimidation."
Now, there is another threat to the traditional way of life, which was recently approved the Tohono O'odham government, which operates much like the U.S. government.
The integrated fixed towers, spy towers, were approved by the elected government of the Tohono O'odham Nation. However, the Gu-Vo District continues to oppose these towers.
"We opposed those towers to protect our sacred burial places and our sacred lands," Ofelia said. The planned construction of towers -- approved by the tribal government which is working with U.S. Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol -- with its roads and lights, will disrupt burial places.
The Tohono O'odham government approved these towers. US Homeland Security's contract for construction of the spy towers went to Israel's Elbit Systems, which provides Israel's Apartheid security and towers in Palestine.
Ofelia concludes with the reading of her poetry of the land.

More by WGDR and Moccasin Tracks
We are grateful to have a community radio station where collaborations happen and together we can bring voices on air that we don't hear on mainstream radio. We are all volunteers and bring these voices on air to create awareness, educate and bring understanding so that we may have mutual respect for each other and the work we need to do to help balance, restore and heal all life on this precious Earth. The Native American voice is crucial as we move together with the learning the knowledge that has sustained Earth for millennium. In this podcast Grandmother Rivas from the O'odham Nation shares her experiences of living in the traditional territory of her Nation that is now occupied by the US Military without consent of the Traditional People. Moccasin Tracks is a weekly Live broadcast currently (June 2019) at Goddard College Community Radio, WGDR. Listen Mondays 9AM-10:30AM (eastern time) at where Moccasin tracks is archived for 2 weeks. Podcasts (interviews) are posted at Moccasin Tracks is syndicated on Pacifica Radio Network weekly. Deb Reger is host, producer and engineer for Moccasin Tracks. In Solidarity with Traditional Original Peoples!!

Photo and article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News
Radio broadcast: Moccasin Tracks 

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