August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, April 12, 2019

Wikileaks Exposed U.S. Obsession with Evo Morales and US Attempts to Derail Indigenous Rights

During the Conference on the Rights of Mother Earth, we joined President Evo Morales in his mountain home community, as Morales played soccer and shared a traditional feast. Photo by Brenda Norrell 2010

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Why Julian Assange's arrest matters.
When Wikileaks released the US State Dept. cables, I spent 6 months reading, researching and writing about the contents of those cables. It was clear that the US was obsessed with Bolivian President Evo Morales, and afraid of the Mohawks. The US attempted to derail the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and was among five countries that formed a global coalition that pressed for more mining, as Indigenous were being murdered by mining companies. Here's one of the Censored News articles. -- Brenda Norrell

Wikileaks reveals how the US and Canada worked globally to systematically violate Indigenous rights 

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
June 2011

Here's the top six ways that the United States and Canada, as revealed by Wikileaks, has worked against the rights of Indigenous Peoples, by engaging in espionage and the promotion of mining, while violating Indigenous autonomy, self determination and dignity.
1. The United States worked behind the scenes to fight the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In Ecuador, the US established a program to dissuade Ecuador from supporting the Declaration. In Iceland, the US Embassy said Iceland's support was an "impediment" to US/Iceland relations at the UN. In Canada, the US said the US and Canada agreed the Declaration was headed for a "train wreck."
2. The United States targeted and tracked Indigenous Peoples, community activists and leaders, especially in Chile, Peru and Ecuador. A cable reveals the US Embassy in Lima, Peru, identified Indigenous activists and tracked the involvement of Bolivian President Evo Morales, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Bolivia Ambassador Pablo Solon, prominent Mapuche and Quechua activists and community leaders. President Chavez and President Morales were consistently watched, and their actions analyzed. Indigenous activists opposing the dirty Tar Sands were spied on, and other Indigenous activists in Vancouver, prior to the Olympics.
3. The United States was part of a five country coalition to promote mining and fight against Indigenous activists in Peru. A core group of diplomats from U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, Switzerland and South Africa formed an alliance with mining companies to promote and protect mining interests globally. In other illegal corporate profiteering, Peru’s government secretly admitted that 70-90 percent of its mahogany exports were illegally felled, according to a US embassy cable revealed by Wikileaks. Lowe's and Home Depot sell the lumber.

4. Canada spied on Mohawks using illegal wiretaps. Before Wikileaks hit the headlines, it exposed in 2010 that Canada used unauthorized wiretaps on Mohawks.
Wikileaks: "During the preliminary inquiry to Shawn Brant's trial, it came out that the Ontario Provincial Police, headed by Commissioner Julian Fantino, had been using wiretaps on more than a dozen different Mohawks without a judge's authorization, an action almost unheard of recent history in Canada."
4. The United States and Canada tracked Mohawks. In one of the largest collections of cables released so far that targeted Native people and named names, the US Consulates in Montreal and Toronto detailed Mohawk activities at the border and in their communities.
5. The arrogant and insulting tone of the US Embassies and disrespect for Indigenous leaders is pervasive in US diplomatic cables. The US Embassy in Guatemala stated that President of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom, called Rigoberta Menchu a "fabrication" of an anthropologist and made other accusations. Menchu responded on a local radio station that Colom was a "liar."
6. The collection of DNA and other data, makes it clear that US Ambassadors are spies abroad. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton states that the Intelligence Community relies on biographical information from US diplomats. In cables to Africa and Paraguay, Clinton asked US Embassy personnel to collect address books, e-mail passwords, fingerprints, iris scans and DNA.
“The intelligence community relies on State reporting officers for much of the biographical information collected worldwide," Clinton said in a cable on April 16, 2009. Clinton said the biographical data should be sent to the INR (Bureau of Intelligence and Research) for dissemination to the Intelligence Community.
The cables, the aftermath
As for reactions, Mohawks are unimpressed with the cables and have little to say about either the content or the arrogant tone of the US Embassy.
John Kane, Mohawk host of the radio show Let's Talk Native Pride, said, "I think one of the reasons you haven't got much response from this is just as you have suggested; it's no surprise. While some would be outraged to be treated this way or spoken of in such terms, we know what we are up against. We also know that 9-11 was an opportunity for both the US and Canada to put Native resistance on par with terrorism. No Department of Homeland Security or PATRIOT Act or Canadian Border Service or joint task force of US and Canadian alphabet soup will change the disposition of Mohawk Warriors."
The US and Canada have tried to play word games to make people believe the two countries have now supported the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
When the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, four countries voted against it: the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Although the four countries eventually took action on it, the US and Canada gave only lip service and included language in an attempt to prevent the Declaration from being used in federal courts to ensure rights, including the right of free, prior and informed consent and the right to ancestral territories.
Indigenous rights were the focus as tens of thousands of Indigenous Peoples and grassroots people met in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and then Cancun, Mexico, to establish new climate standards for the protection of Mother Earth in 2010. Globally, efforts have increased to expose the scam of carbon credits, protect water rights and to protect forests, rivers and oceans.
Wikileaks exposure of the race for Arctic oil by numerous countries, has led to new efforts to protect the homeland of the Inuit.
During the last week of May 2011, the American Indian Movement was in Venezuela to support President Hugo Chavez. AIM thanked CITGO for heating assistance for poor families, as the US imposed new economic sanctions on Venezuela. Anishinabe First Nation Chief Terrance Nelson released a statement questioning if the US is targeting Chavez as its next "bogeyman."
Chief Nelson also said that for Native people in the US and Canada, economic sanctions from the colonial governments are nothing new.
"As indigenous peoples in North America, our experience with the colonial governments has been continuous undeclared economic sanctions enacted against our people," Chief Nelson said.

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Apache Wendsler Nosie in Paris Part 2 -- Struggles for Mount Graham, Oak Flat and Religious Freedom


This is the second part of Wendsler Nosie Sr.'s speech, at the gathering organized for him in Paris by the CSIA, on March 23rd 2019. The division in several part is mine, from a publishing point of view, it is neither Mr. Nosie's choice, nor that of the CSIA. (See First Part).

Transcript by
Christine Prat, for the CSIA
Censored News
English and French

PARIS --Wendsler Nosie Sr. had concluded, in the first part of his speech in Paris, "In 2006, is when we began to change our world". Then he went on:

"Prior to that, in the 1980's, we had the Mount Graham issue, our sacred site that was being under attack. This huge mountain, in the way we can identify to the way people describe things, is not different than Mount Sinai. And the elevation of the Mount almost reaches 12000 ft, in the desert. So, we had people who came here to Europe, from America, with several members of the tribe."
"On Mount Graham, they were going to build 32 telescopes. And there were numbers of major universities in America involved. And then, in Europe, were Germany and Italy involved. So, the people made their trip here. I know a lot of these people are gone now, and I know they were very thankful to the organizers in France. It spread the word in Europe. I don't know if you know, but by France being involved in helping in the issue, it made Italy and Germany have to carry the story in Europe. They had to start defending themselves. So, in America, as it became a world issue, 8 years later we found out that the United States Airforce was involved in building a telescope in the middle of the rest of the telescopes. And it had to do with lasers. The plan for the United States was to use the satellites, by using the lasers, because the next great weapon is lasers. So, the United States had to build the project before the rest of the world found out about the lasers. And they were able to do this by giving what is in the federal government called 'an exemption from law'. There are laws to follow but why did they exempt it from all federal laws? Why? "
"Ok, I am going to leave that story right here for now."
"So, let me come to Oak Flat. In 2002, the argument started about another holy place of us. And it had to do with mining. The company in America is called Resolution Copper. But they are a subsidiary of Rio Tinto [a Canadian company]. So, the same action was taken, the federal government gave an exemption again. So, a light went off! Because of Mount Graham, because Mount Graham had different countries involved and a possible military project. So now, at Oak Flat, they gave an exemption. If you work at the federal government, there are laws to follow before any land is transferred. All Americans are subject to the law. So, why did the United States Congress give an exemption from all these laws to a foreign company?"
"So, when I got into it more, as I did for Mount Graham, we found that 75% of the minerals that will be taken from this land, will be coming to Europe. Then, we also found that, in the property rights, 4% will be hold by China. There are two main minerals in this holy place. One of them is uranium, and that's going to be sold to China, and China was going to sell that to Iran. And the other mineral has to do with cleaning military weapons. So, this is what brings me to Europe again. This is what our people face."
"What's crazy is that those minerals sit in our holy mountains. These holy places are our language, our ancient songs, our ceremonies. So, our children, like my grand-daughter [he points at a poster of Naelyn Pike], their argument is 'in America, if somebody doesn't quite believe the Bible, they can come to this side of the world, and see the references of where the Bible comes from, the holy places [sic, see note below]. They can come back. But like you saw in the video, the open pit, with copper, that's what is going to happen to our holy mountain.' From the ones before me to my parents, to me, we had the opportunity to touch these holy places. So, my grand-daughter touched this place. But she is not ready to have a child yet, but I am sure it will probably happen in 5 years. And Resolution Copper is ready to take this place from us in 2020. So, this is where our children say 'Why do they still assume we are different?' Then, they say 'they came to America to express freedom of religion, and our military fight for freedom of speech', so, they ask me, 'Why destroy ours?' "
"From everything that I know, and I am not afraid to say this in America, I have already said it to Congress – most of the leaders in America – 'then let's be truthful, America was founded on deception'. You can't build anything on a foundation that is not there. So, the only way we are going to fix America, is go back to the beginning. I have told most of the religions in America 'you always go to the second chapter, but you never go to the first chapter, which is the Indian people. So, you are still misled, the whole people of America', and then also probably the world, and it is a great deception."

French transcript by Christine Prat at:

Copyright Christine Prat Best, Christine /div>

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