Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 21, 2021

Transcending Borders: Fifteen years outside the box at Censored News

Transcending Borders: Fifteen years outside the box at Censored News

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Looking through our censored files, it is good to remember those who had the courage to rise above the borders and restraints.

Thanks to all who shared their stories, including Kahentinetha Horn who shares her trip to Cuba at age 19, and some time with Fidel Castro. 

Thank you to Robert Free, who was at Alcatraz, Wounded Knee and the Trail of Broken Treaties, and went on to work with President Hugo Chavez to bring heating oil to Native Americans. Robert was part of a Native trade and culture exchange in Libya.

Thank you to Debra White Plume, Oglala Lakota, who never gave up the fight against the fat takers. Thank you to Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, who never stops battling and exposing the U.S. Border Patrol and Elbit's Apartheid spy towers on her homeland. Thank you to Louise Benally, Dine' of Big Mountain, for resisting, welcoming and sharing, and the Hopi Sinom elders who stood without fear.

Thanks to all those who welcomed us through the years, including world leaders Presidents Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez. A special thanks to President Morales for inviting a small group of foreign press to his soccer game in the mountains of Bolivia, and sharing a traditional meal of fish, corn and potatoes on clay plates.

Thanks to our longtime friend Subcomandante Marcos, who allowed us to ride across Mexico with the heroes, welcomed us to the rivers, mountains and jungles in the stronghold, and came to visit just south of the border, with the message of no compromise, autonomy, self reliance and dignity.

Thank you to the Yoeme (Yaqui) Vicam Traditional Authority who welcomed us, let us camp in their homeland, and stood strong in the fight for the water, which has now cost Yaqui their lives.

Thank you to Acoma Pueblo Poet Simon Ortiz who stood with the Zapatistas. Simon's poetic verse of 'Indians are everywhere,' inspires a generation transcending borders.

Thanks to all those who organized, wrote, photographed, broadcast, translated, shared their homes in the mountains and barrios, walked across the land on the Longest Walks, stood in the face of oppression, arrest, and police violence at Standing Rock, and the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota who led the fight for the water, and above all thank you to all who welcomed us, and never gave up the fight, young and old, from the north, south, east and west.

Best to each of you, Brenda.

PHOTOS: Group one: 1 -- 7 by Brenda Norrell, photo 8 courtesy Robert Free. In memory of Floyd Westerman, Debra White Plume and Jose Matus. Photos by Brenda Norrell: Kahentinetha and Thomas Square, Mohawks at southern border; Keith Secola, Floyd Westerman; Marcos; Floyd Westerman; Debra White Plume giving Lewis and Clark Expedition a symbolic blanket of small pox in South Dakota; Buffy Sainte Marie at Dine' College where she told of being blacklisted out of the music industry in the U.S. by Presidents Nixon and Reagan because of her songs and stance against the Vietnam War; Yaqui Ceremonial Leader Jose Matus with Zapatistas in the mountain stronghold in Chiapas. Photo 8 courtesy photo Robert Free, with thanks to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' government for heating oil for Native Americans.

Photos group two: In memory of Willie Lonewolf, Ute Dine' and Hopi Dan Evehema. Photo 1: Willie with his drum on mountaintop in Colorado, Longest Walk 2008, courtesy photo. Photos by Brenda Norrell: Longest Walk northern route in Denver 2008; Hopi Dan Evehema at home; Vicam Yaqui in Sonora during Water Rights Forum 2012; Zapatistas Stronghold; and Louise Benally of Big Mountain.

Read more:

When Kahentinetha went to Cuba to have a look around. Kahentinetha Horn is publisher of Mohawk Nation News, among those who made their stand at Oka.

Moments in history from our Censored files: When the American Indian delegation went to Libya to initiate trade, an exchange of arts and culture, and supported Gaddafi. Watch video with Vernon Bellecourt. Shortly before he passed, Vernon was also joined by Mohawks and others in Venezuela to support President Hugo Chavez.

When Venezuela President Hugo Chavez brought heating oil to Native Americans, by Robert Free

When Evo Morales invited us to a soccer game in this home town

Zapatistas arrive near border

About the author

Brenda Norrell, reporter in Indian country for 39 years, created Censored News after being censored and terminated as a longtime staff reporter at Indian Country Today.

She began as a news reporter at Navajo Times in 1982, during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. During this time, she worked as a daily stringer for Associated Press for five years, and as a stringer for USA Today for seven years, covering the Navajo Nation and federal courts. Her work appears in Lakota Times, Outside Magazine and global publications.

She has a master's degree in international health with an emphasis on water, nutrition and infectious diseases.

After being blacklisted by the paid media, she traveled with the Zapatistas, and provided coverage of gatherings in Bolivia, Mexico and throughout the West. On Govinda Dalton's Earthcycles bus on the Longest Walk northern route 2008, the team broadcast the Long Talk Radio live for five months from coast to coast.

Censored News is now a collective of writers, photographers, broadcasters, and translators who work without pay. Censored News is in its 15th year, with no ads, grants, salaries or revenues, with 21 million page views.

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