August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sterilization of Native women and lack of informed consent in medical experiments in boarding schools and IHS hospitals

Phoenix Indian School 1951.

With the coronavirus vaccine experiment underway on the Navajo Nation, Censored News examines informed consent and medical experiments on Native People

The sterilizations of Native women and lack of informed consent were exposed in 1976, documenting dangerous medical experiments in boarding schools and Indian Health Service hospitals

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

The exposure of medical experiments on Native Americans in Indian Health Service hospitals in the 1970s revealed the sterilization of Native women without their consent. Dangerous medical experiments on O'odham (Pima) were conducted, including the injection of radioactive fluid. Whiteriver Apache children were most often used in medical experiments without parental consent. Navajo children in boarding schools were used in medical experiments and a dangerous vaccine trial was halted at Gallup Indian Medical Center.

In a U.S. government document dated Nov. 4, 1976, the United States, under pressure, revealed some of these medical experiments underway in IHS hospitals of the U.S. government. Although it is not a complete list, it documents the sterilization of Native women, the role of drug companies attempting to profit, and the disregard for parental consent of Native children in boarding schools and IHS hospitals.

The report by the U.S. Comptroller was issued under pressure from South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk and the Children's Defense Fund.

The report came during a time when many Native people spoke their first language, Dine', O'odham and Apache, and little attempt was made to gain informed consent in medical procedures. It came during a century of U.S. boarding school brainwashing, which began with the kidnapping of Native children. In the abuse that followed, Native children were forced to speak English and were "re-educated." 

The alarming report shows there were 3,406 sterilizations of Native women carried out in the Indian Health Service hospitals in Aberdeen, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City in three years, 1973 --1976. Of these, 1,024 were performed at IHS contract facilities.

The report found there was no informed consent. Native women were never told that they had the right to refuse sterilization by IHS doctors in Aberdeen, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City.

The sterilizations included Native women under the age of 21.

Court order was necessary in an attempt to halt sterilizations on Native women

By court order in 1974, IHS was ordered to halt sterilizations on Native women under the age of 21 and those who were not mentally competent. It included the order that women were informed that federal benefits would not be withdrawn if a Native woman refused to agree to sterilization. The regulation was in place since July of 1973, but IHS had failed to comply.

Medical experiments on Native people in the Southwest

There were also experimental medical procedures and unusual drug dosages found in 24 projects in the Phoenix and Navajo areas.

The report exposes how vulnerable children were used in medical experiments. In a controversial claim, the U.S. states in the report that the "Indian Health Service acts as legal guardian for the children while they attend the boarding schools."

Previously, little was known about vaccine experiments on Native people. Now, with coronavirus vaccine experiments underway on the Navajo Nation by Johns Hopkins University researchers and Pfizer, there are questions about informed consent and the risks.

One vaccine experiment is documented that was halted.

A vaccine trial for pneumonia using Navajos was halted at the Gallup Indian Medical Center when participants became sick during the years between 1972 --1975.

The pneumonia vaccine was developed by Eli Lilly and the National Institutes of Health. Eli Lilly paid the Indian Health Service and the University of New Mexico to use its drug in medical experiments on Native people.

Now, about 45 years later, the same drug company, Eli Lilly, has halted its controversial coronavirus vaccine trials in October of 2020.

Dangerous medical experiments on Pimas

The U.S. report in 1976 describes medical experiments on O'odham (Pima) for the purpose of diabetes research. An intravenous blood catheter was used to take blood samples. Cortisone and a needle muscle biopsy were administered. The procedures posed the risk of tumors and infections at the Phoenix Indian Hospital in 1974, the report states.

In a separate cardiovascular study, a radioactive element was injected into Southwest Indians at Phoenix Indian Medical Center in 1974.

The diabetes and cardiovascular medical experiments were carried out by the National Institutes of Health.

In Sacaton and Phoenix Indian Medical Centers, the pharmacists, as opposed to doctors, were also reported for diagnosing and prescribing medications.

Whiteriver Apache children used in medical experiments without parental consent

The medical experiment that most often lacked fully informed consent was carried out on Apache children at Whiteriver in Arizona.

The medical research in pulmonary disease in Apache children included painful and dangerous procedures, carried out without parental consent.

Trachoma research in boarding schools without parental consent

Trachoma research was carried out on children in three boarding schools, Stewart in Nevada; Intermountain in Utah; and in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, 1967 -- 68 and 1972 --73.

The controversial statement in the letter says that "Indian Health Service acts as legal guardian for the children while they attend the boarding schools."

The Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophamatology, University of California, and stated that tetracycline as the best treatment option. However, the side effects were itching, diarrhea, loss of appetite and rash. 

Because of the lack of parental consent, Proctor halted its medical experiments on Native children in boarding schools under pressure from the Children's Defense Fund.

Informed consent is required when an individual is considered at risk, as stated in HEW guidelines, the report states.

Informed consent requires that experimental procedures be explained, as well as the discomforts and risks. There must be a description of expected benefits, along with the disclosure of alternative procedures. Further, there must be an offer to answer questions, and instructions that the participant can withdraw at any time.

Drug companies also gave boarding schools on the Navajo Nation supplements which were distributed. This included dosages of vitamin C at Toyei and Greasewood and iron tablets at Crystal, Hunters Point and Lower Greasewood boarding schools. Tylenol was given out at Gallup Indian Medical Center. These studies were incomplete but showed vitamin C helped with respiratory infections. Tylenol was reported to be safer than alternatives, the report states.

The report on medical experiments in IHS hospitals was addressed to Sen. James Abourezk, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, and in response to his questions about the Indian Health Service. The letter was restricted when first written by the U.S. Comptroller General for the U.S. Accounting Office in November of 1976.

Jean Whitehorse on the sterilization of Native women

Jean Whitehorse, Dine', describes her personal experience with the sterilization of Native women, racism and relocation. Jean's story was recorded live at AIM West Conference in San Francisco in 2013 by Censored News. Jean's story was later told in the feature film Ama, now available.


About the author

Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 38 years, beginning as a reporter for Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. After serving as a longtime reporter for Indian Country Today newspaper in the Southwest, she was censored and terminated. She created Censored News in 2006. She has a master's degree in international health, focused on water, nutrition and infectious diseases.

Copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News, may not be used without permission.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Lakota, Navajo and Hopi volunteers go the distance: Carry meals, groceries and water as pandemic begins eighth month

Photo by Rebecca Kidder. Rebecca said, "May today bring comfort and healing to all our relatives." Lakota volunteers in Rapid City are cooking up homestyle delicious meals for
those sick and in quarantine at Meals for Relatives COVID-19 Rapid City Community Response. Donate at

Censored News celebrates Lakota, Navajo and Hopi volunteers cooking gourmet meals and carrying fresh groceries and water to homes, as the pandemic begins the eighth month

Gatherings Cafe, Minneapolis Indian Center.

Dine' Chef Brian Yazzie at Gatherings Cafe, Minneapolis Indian Center in Minnesota, is feeding Native elders. "Today, the team served BBQ bison, sage-sweet potato mash, and dairy-free coleslaw. The elders were able to receive hygiene bags as well." The gourmet meal for elders on Oct. 16 had help from World Central Kitchen and Chefs for America. 

Rapid City police invade Lakota ceremony, tear down encampment for houseless and arrest six people

Photo: Six persons arrested on Friday night were released on Saturday.

Rapid City police invade Lakota ceremony, tear down encampment for houseless and arrest six people

By Candi Brings Plenty
Censored News
Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

Our Akićita were in prayer, you could hear the beautiful ceremony songs being sung as the Rapid City Police Department interrupted them and forcibly removed them. They also dragged out a Lakota Unči (grandmother) while she was too was in prayer.

RAPID CITY, South Dakota -- Every Friday for the past two years our community Oyaté has provided a meal for our houseless relatives hosted by the grassroots organization OyateKin ChanteWastepi. The Mni Luzahan Patrol, have been foot patrolling the Rapid Creek since this summer, because in August there were eight Indigenous homicides in our city and two were houseless relatives sleeping by the creek. And just this week we had two houseless Indigenous relatives die sleeping outside. 


 Posted on October 17, 2020



AUDIO STARTS HERE: Listen at Mohawk Nation News

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MNN. Oct. 17, 2020. We are extensions of our ancestors. We are survivors of a treacherous road which we will never forget. We want peace according to the kaianerekowa, the great peace. Form and sound work together to show us what peace is like. The invaders stopped our connection to our people, land and environment. We are part of dimensions which the invaders can’t see. We’ve thought about removing the invaders. But we see they are taking themselves out.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Trump Jr. and Navajo Vice President Super Spreader Virus Event Endangered High-Risk Native Elderly and Children


Donald Trump Jr. arrived without a mask and was welcomed by Navajo Vice President Myron Lizer, in Williams, Arizona, on Thursday, after the coronavirus spread through the Trump family and White House, endangering Native elderly, youths and children at the rally.

This weekend, Oct. 17 and 18, the Navajo Nation reported 95 new cases of COVID-19. Now, 573 Navajo have died from the virus. More than 3,500 Dine' have the virus who have not recovered.

Photo: Trump Jr. gives Navajo President Lizer a hug in Williams on Thursday, after the coronavirus spread through the Trump family and White House. Photo: Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff.

Trump Jr. and Navajo Vice President's Virus Super Speader near Flagstaff endangered high-risk Native elderly and children

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

WILLIAMS, Arizona -- Navajo Vice President Myron Lizer and Donald Trump Jr. ignored the coronavirus spreading through the Trump family and White House staff at a rally on Thursday and endangered high-risk Native elderly and children. Trump Jr. was among those not wearing masks.

While promoting Trump, Navajo Vice President Lizer ignored President Trump's promotion of racism and racial violence, attacks on tribal sovereignty, persistent threat to human rights, caging of Indigenous migrant children, destruction of Native burial places for the border wall, and Trump's disregard for the spread of the coronavirus which has caused the deaths of 571 Navajos.

Vice President Lizer introduced Trump Jr. at the super spreader event at the rodeo grounds.

Arriving in Williams, Arizona, Donald Trump Jr. was among
those not wearing a mask and endangering Native elderly and children.

The super spreader event comes as the coronavirus spiked in the Four Corners region.

All this week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned of extreme danger from "uncontrollable virus spread." The State of Colorado posted a long list of schools and grocery stores with virus outbreaks, and an Arizona family lost 8 members due to the virus. On Friday night, one of the largest hospitals in Salt Lake City, Utah, said it was out of ICU beds because of the rapid spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, while the Navajo Vice President rallied at the super spreader virus event, the Office of the Navajo President and Vice President continued a media campaign telling Navajos to stay home and lockdown -- even though there is no home delivery of food and water to desperate Dine'.

Although the Navajo Nation is under mandatory lockdown this week, there is no uniform delivery of food and water to the sick and desperate. This includes Dine' elderly, people too sick to care for themselves, families with young children with no transportation, and those with the virus sent home by hospitals and told to quarantine.

The highly-publicized giveaways of donated items by the Navajo President's office resulted in the false perception by the public that the most desperate Dine' are receiving help.

Although the Navajo Nation received $714 million in federal virus emergency relief more than four months ago from the CARES Act, the funds have not been distributed to Dine' in need. There are 300,000 Navajos living in 110 chapters. 

The coronavirus spread through the Trump family and the White House during October. President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron all tested positive for coronavirus.

President Trump plans a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona, on Monday and to stop at the Tucson International Airport at 3 p.m. today, Monday.

(Photo below) This event at the White House on Sept. 26 resulted in the spread of the coronavirus through the Trump family and White House. Article

AIM West online International Film Festival extended through Oct. 22, 2020

Watch films at Roxie Virtual Cinema:

Indigenous Self-Determination in The Time of COVID-19

Co-Presented by and proceeds to benefit the Oakland Intertribal Friendship House!

In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day and the 50th Anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz, A.I.M. West presents two new and extraordinary feature films and a program of shorts, all of which revolve around the theme of Indigenous Self-Determination in The Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


“Critic’s Pick… The film wonderfully weaves personal stories with archival footage that contextualizes the continued violence against Native Americans.”- NY Times.

Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.

Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.

Lummi Nation pulls out of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine experiment

Photo by AIANTA

Coronavirus vaccine trials halted as more volunteers become ill, Lummi Nation withdraws from AstraZeneca experiments

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

LUMMI NATION, Washington -- The Lummi Nation pulled out of the controversial AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine study this week, after a volunteer in the trial became ill with a neurological disorder.

Lawrence Solomon, Chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council said, “We will continue to look for ways to protect our people from this virus. But after consultation with the Lummi Public Health Department, it was clear that the AstraZeneca vaccine trial was not a good fit.”

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Seven Questions: Johns Hopkins questioned about 40 years of vaccine experiments on Navajos. Censored News awaits response.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Oct. 15, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona -- Johns Hopkins University researchers have been carrying out medical research on Navajos on the Navajo Nation for 40 years. During those years, very little has been made public about the vaccine and medical research which was carried out in Indian Health Service Hospitals on the Navajo Nation.

Now, Johns Hopkins medical researchers are leading the controversial coronavirus vaccine experiments on Navajos and the Navajo government is pushing the vaccine experiments.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A Nation in Denial

Standing Rock Water Protectors 2016

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The need for the rewriting of history books has never been more obvious, as the true history of this land is revealed. The current politicians are like a homeopathic cure -- a little poison to cure the disease of racism and oppression.

It is a disease rooted in the genocide and slavery which this nation of deception was built on. Many are too young to remember the oppression and manipulation by the border town media 40 years ago, when Native people were often tortured and murdered in the border towns of Rapid City, South Dakota, Farmington and Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona and elsewhere.

The censorship and media spin continue today, as does the murder of the innocents.

It is a nation in denial. 

Notes: The need for authentic history books:
This column serves as an encouragement to Native and African American authors to write the true histories, revealing the truth of the United States history of the genocide of Native Americans and kidnapping and slavery of African Americans, as well as the current government-encouraged racism and terror.
Parents, home schools and independent schools will have these books for future generations, regardless of the decisions by public schools.
There is a need for more authentic history books written for preschool through high school, books that are written in common language.
'Rethinking Columbus' is a great collection that was censored by Tucson schools. The authors in the blacklisted book include Buffy Sainte Marie, Cree, and Rosalie Little Thunder, Lakota. The books were loaded up and removed from classrooms. It took months, but I was able to locate a couple copies in libraries and book stores.
Rosalie Little Thunder's letter describes the massacre of buffalo at Yellowstone National Park. It includes a personal family story of massacre and survival and her arrest at Yellowstone. 
Above all, Little Thunder's letter describes the significance of the slaughter of buffalo. 
Buffy Sainte Marie was among those censored when Tucson schools blacklisted "Rethinking Columbus." This is the song by the same name:
Buffy writes:
And yet where in your history books is the tale
Of the genocide basic to this country's birth?
Of the preachers who lied? And the people who died?
How a nation of patriots returned to their earth?
Where does it tell of the starvation hell?
As the children were herded, and raped and converted?
And how do we rescue the missing and murdered?
My country 'tis of thy people, you're dying
Buffy Sainte Marie was blacklisted and driven out of the music industry in the United States by Presidents Johnson and Reagan.

Navajo Council to finalize hardship aid criteria before program opens to Navajos

Office of the Speaker
October 13, 2020

Hardship Assistance program approved, Council to finalize 

criteria and application before Controller opens program to the public

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Nearly $50 million was added to the Navajo Nation CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus) Act Hardship Assistance Expenditure Plan through Navajo Nation Council Resolution No. CS-74-20. The Navajo Nation Council is planning to consider and then approve an application process this week, thereafter giving the Office of the Controller all necessary approvals to implement the hardship assistance program.

Zapatistas: Part Six: A Mountain on the High Seas

Part Six: A Mountain on the High Seas
Oct. 7, 2020

Communique from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

October 5, 2020
Translations in Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Greek, and Spanish original

To the National Indigenous Congress—Indigenous Governing Council:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:
To all honest people who resist in every corner of the planet:

Sisters, brothers, hermanoas:
Compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas:

We Zapatista originary peoples of Mayan roots send you greetings and want to share with you our collective thought about what we have seen, heard, and felt.

First: We see and hear a socially sick world, fragmented into millions of people estranged from each other, doubled down in their efforts for individual survival but united under the oppression of a system that will do anything to satisfy its thirst for profit, even when its path is in direct contradiction to the existence of planet Earth.

Tewa Women Lead Occupation and Lockdown of Santa Fe Racist Obelisk in Plaza

By Brenda Norrell 
Censored News

The racist obelisk in Santa Fe Plaza was torn down on Monday, on the third and final day of the occupation and lockdown led by Tewa women. Pueblos demanded that the Mayor of Santa Fe keep his promise to remove the obelisk, a clear symbol of oppression and a glorification of the brutal murderous conquistadors who seized the land of Pueblos for the City of Santa Fe and the State of New Mexico.

Monday, October 12, 2020

'Obelisk Down!' Poem by Simon Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo

Censored News

Just like that.
With ropes.
Pulled by human hands?
Yeah, I believe it.
I've stood by it. And I can imagine it.
Hand on rope. Pulling. Pulling hard.
Obelisk on a concrete form. Or stone form.
Ropes tough. Hands tough. Numbers of people.
An obelisk of conquest. Spanish first. Americans second.
Power of foreigners. Is not enough. People at present.
Santa Fe residents. A mixture of Americans.
Indigenous. Anglos. Anglos? White people is what's meant.
Indigenous peoples. Locals and from other parts of the Americas.
Pull the ropes harder. Heavy shit. Obelisk and cement and stone.
Pullllll. Yeah, we can do it!
You can do it.
Conquest pulled down.
Take it to the city dump.
Dump it.
Or just leave it and Earth will reclaim it.
You can do it.

Oct 12/20
Indigenous Day 2020
Simon J. Ortiz
Not to be republished/reprinted without permission
Copyright Simon J. Ortiz

The racist obelisk on Santa Fe Plaza was torn down today. Thank you Acoma Pueblo poet and author Simon Ortiz for allowing Censored News to publish your poem.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Mohawk Nation News 'History: Mohawk Activism in the 60s, Audio'



tosa serihon ne sarasehtsen tanon ohni ne sewatenrosonha tanon ne tehsewariwayenawakonneh teyonsanikonharen.

MNN. 12 OCT. 2020.

In 1968 the ABORIGINAL TRADITIONAL CONFERENCE sent me and a Chicano to deliver the following message to Rev. Ralph Abernathy of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held in Washington D.C.

and to attend the funeral of Senator Robert F. Kennedy at Arlington Cemetary. 



 Listen at:


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nia’wen tsi wasewata’honsat

This letter set the course of the relationship of the three movements, AIM, Chicanos and the Black People. 





I could have been Joe Cocker singing this song: “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane. I  ain’t got time to take no fast train. Lonely days are gone, and I’m headed home, Whoa, cause my baby wrote me a letter”. 


MNN Mohawk Nation News  For, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0′