Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 24, 2021

Midnight backroom deal threatens to wipe out Apache sacred site. Apache Stronghold makes emergency appeal to Ninth Circuit to save Oak Flat

Apache Stronghold in Globe, Arizona today.

Midnight backroom deal threatens to wipe out Apache sacred site

Apache Stronghold makes emergency appeal to Ninth Circuit to save Oak Flat

Apache Stronghold, Becket Law Firm

Censored News

February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – Apaches in Arizona filed an emergency appeal last night to save their spiritual lifeblood, a sacred site called Oak Flat, from being destroyed by a copper mine that would swallow their holy ground in a 2-mile wide crater deeper than Eiffel Tower. If the court doesn't intervene, the government will turn this historically protected land over to a mining company that can begin the destruction in as few as 15 days.

In Apache Stronghold v. United States, Apache Stronghold, a nonprofit community organization dedicated to the defense of Native American sacred sites, is pleading with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop a crooked land swap, which would completely destroy the sacred land and religious exercise of the region's first inhabitants. Becket is representing Apache Stronghold, arguing that the destruction of sacred sites is a flagrant violation of the free exercise of religion.

Water Protectors Blockade Multiple Enbridge Line 3 Work Sites


February 23, 2021

Womxn Act for Climate Justice -- Join WECAN online

By WECAN International
Register here

Womxn worldwide are continuing to call for a different path forward in 2021 and beyond as we reweave and forge a path onward in the midst of multiple crises, with global communities confronting the Covid-19 pandemic and intensified climate chaos, racism, gender and economic inequity, Indigenous rights violations, environmental degradation, and much more.

Please be welcome to join us on International Women’s Day, March 8th for "Womxn Act for Climate Justice", a dynamic international network-wide event highlighting the struggles and solutions of womxn climate leaders in the WECAN network. During the interactive gathering, we look forward to sharing inspiring updates from WECAN regional coordinators and allies, as well as exploring some of our plans and vision for 2021 and how you can be involved.

We are committed and steadfast in our collective and ceaseless fight for Indigenous rights, Black liberation, gender equity, rights of nature, true democracies, climate justice, and the protection of this planet we hold so dear. We are inspired by womxn and feminists who are leading resistance movements, building climate solutions, and re-imagining a future grounded in justice and care globally. The small window of opportunity for acting on the climate crisis is already upon us— now is the time for systemic change and building the just and healthy world we seek.

Speakers to date include: Neema Namadamu, WECAN Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Environmental Ambassador, WECAN Senior Project Lead/Board Member; Carmen Capriles, WECAN Coordinator for Latin America; Monique Verdin (Houma Nation), member of Another Gulf is Possible, Director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange, and WECAN Indigenous Food Security & Sovereignty Program Coordinator; Daiara Tukano, Tukano Indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, Independent communicator and coordinator of Radio Yande; Karina Gonzalez, WECAN Women Speak Programs Coordinator; Rebekah Sawers (Yupik) and Kari Ames (Tlingit), WECAN Indigenous Representatives in the Tongass Forest, Alaska; and comments and analysis by Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director.

Why Womxn? for this event we chose to use the written word Womxn, which has roots in intersectional feminism, to uplift the varied and intersectional experiences of womxnhood globally. This is an inclusive space across identities and the gender spectrum.

February 21, 2021

Happy Birthday Buffy!

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

Happy 80th Birthday to Buffy Sainte Marie! 

When Buffy came to Dine' College, she told us how she had been blacklisted and driven out of the music business in the U. S. by Presidents Nixon and Reagan.

The covert attack on Buffy was because of her song, 'Universal Soldier,' and her stance against the Vietnam War.

I was a staff writer for Indian Country Today when she performed in 1999, and the article was censored by the newspaper.

Buffy's story is one of the reasons I created Censored News in 2006, after being terminated and censored out of the news business as a working journalist. Here's Buffy on stage in Tsaile (above) and her story as she shared it with us that day. 

The Blacklisting of Buffy Sainte Marie, Censored News:

February 20, 2021

Chili Yazzie: The Planet is in Trouble, Time for Conversations with Indigenous

By Duane Chili Yazzie 
Shiprock, Navajo Nation
Censored News

The energy development interest is mired in a mindset that says there is nothing wrong with how they do business. The first impulse is to oppose any suggestions that energy development could be done in a different way. They bristle at the talk of addressing the climate crisis and of renewable energy. The automatic reaction to the Biden Administration's strategy on the climate issue has been to hit the trenches with contingency plans to hunker down for an all-out campaign to defend their domain.

February 18, 2021


Wendsler Nosie and granddaughter Naelyn Pike. Photo by Steve Pavey


By Apache Stronghold

Censored News

February 18, 2021

French translation by Christine Prat 

PHOENIX – This afternoon Apache Stronghold filed an appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan's February 12, 2021, ruling refusing to prevent the giveaway of sacred Oak Flat to Rio Tinto/Resolution Copper before the completion of litigation.  The U.S. Government agreed earlier not to proceed with the land transfer "any sooner than" March 11, 2021; however, Judge Logan refused to stop the giveaway even though a trial will last far beyond that date and the giveaway will happen during the trial without an injunction to stop it.

February 15, 2021

SLAMDANCE 'End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock'

By Brenda Norrell 
Censored News

The premiere of 'End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock,' is now featured at the online Slamdance Film Festival.

"Our fear is for the future generations. This is where we belong," says Madonna Thunder Hawk, Lakota, speaking of the river that brings life.

"The Missouri River is our lifeline," Thunder Hawk said.

As one of the Native women truth-tellers in the film, Thunder Hawk says, "The world is ruled by corporations now."

Protecting the Missouri River, the women of Standing Rock proclaimed to the world, "Water is Life."

February 14, 2021

ARIZONA: Border Wall Contractors Continue to Defy Biden Order to Halt Construction Feb. 10, 2021


Video Seems to Show Border Wall Construction Ripping Through Jaguar Critical Habitat in Arizona

Bulldozing in Pajarito Mountains Appears to Violate Biden Proclamation Halting Construction

By Center for Biological Diversity 

Censored News

NOGALES, Ariz.— Video footage shared with the Center for Biological Diversity seems to show construction equipment leveling Arizona mountains in critical habitat for endangered jaguars, in an apparent violation of President Biden’s proclamation halting border wall construction. The footage was reportedly shot on Wednesday, Feb. 10, by members of the Tucson Samaritans, who shared it with the Center.

February 12, 2021


Wendsler Nosie photo by Steve Pavey


By Apache Stronghold

Censored News

PHOENIX – This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan denied Apache Stronghold's request for an injunction preventing the giveaway and destruction of sacred Oak Flat to Rio Tinto/Resolution Copper.  Judge Logan said that Apache Stronghold has no right to ask the Court for help because they are not an officially designated a "sovereign nation."

Judge Logan said that the U.S. Government has no Trust Responsibility to the Apache even though their Treaty of 1852 says, "the government of the United States shall so legislate and act as to secure the permanent prosperity and happiness of said Indians."  In reaching this conclusion, the Judge quoted a case saying, "The exclusive right of the United States to extinguish Indian title has never been doubtedAnd whether it be done by treaty, by the sword, by purchase, by the exercise of complete dominion adverse to the right of occupancy, or otherwise, its justness is not open to inquiry in the courts."

February 11, 2021

In the Spirit of Resistance: Food deliveries, defending the land and cooking for elders

(Above) Dine' volunteers Mercury Bitsuie along with his Uncle Andy Dann and friends, continue to deliver food and supplies to the remote homes on the Navajo Nation.

February 10, 2021


Apache Stronghold, Naelyn Pike

Contact: Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr., Apache Stronghold,


By Apache Stronghold 

Censored News

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative Clinic filed an amicus or "Friend of the Court" legal brief this afternoon in Federal Court in support of Apache Stronghold's efforts to prevent the destruction of Oak Flat or Chi'chil Bildagoteel and the resulting devasting impact on Apache religion.  Notre Dame's filing highlights the fact that the U.S. Government is trying to force the Apache to give up their religion at Oak Flat while it protects the religious rights of non-Indians elsewhere.  This violates Apache constitutional rights.  The filing also notes that the U.S. Government has a trust responsibility to protect sacred sites, not to destroy them.

February 9, 2021

Lakota Youths Running to Cannonball River: Shut Down DAPL Feb. 9, 2021

Lakota Youths Running --  from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River -- to the Cannonball River

Lakota Youths running to the site of the  resistance four and one-half years ago. They are sending a clear message to President Biden: Dakota Access Pipeline is operating illegally -- without a permit -- shut it down!

By Standing Rock Youth Council

Censored News

"Today, February 9, 2021, is the day we need everyone to help us make some noise on social media to #ShutDownDAPL run record yourself in solidarity, post on all platforms you have access, or simply share all #shutdownDAPL posts you see. Tag President Biden and VP Harris in the posts and use the hashtags so we can see the post! #shutdownDAPL #BuildBackFossilFree #byedendapl

"Examples of what to write in your posts listed below

"Hey @JoeBiden, the Dakota Access Pipeline continues to operate illegally endangering the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe."

"I am joining Lakota youth’s #NODAPL challenge to demand you #shutdownDAPL. #ByeDenDAPL

@POTUS consultation is not consent and the Standing Rock Sioux are still fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"I’m taking the Standing Rock Challenge because it’s time to #shutdownDAPL and #BuildBackFossilFree for our youth, land and water."



February 8, 2021

Indigenous Water Protector Jailed in North Dakota for Refusing to Cooperate with Secret Grand Jury

Indigenous Water Protector Jailed in North Dakota for Refusing to Cooperate With Secret Grand Jury

Steve Martinez Takes Stand Against Use of Grand Jury to Repress Indigenous Environmental Movement
February 8, 2021

Contact: Leoyla Cowboy, Executive Director, Water Protector Legal Collective
Natali Segovia, Attorney, Water Protector Legal Collective Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Attorney at Law

By Water Protector Legal Collective
Censored News

BISMSRCK, North Dakota – Water Protector Steve Martinez is confined in Burleigh County Detention Center after refusing, on principle, to give testimony before a federal grand jury. This Grand Jury, like the one at which Martinez refused to testify three years ago, ostensibly involves a criminal investigation into events leading to the grievous injury of Water Protector Sophia Wilansky. It has been the position of Morton County, North Dakota that Ms. Wilansky was not injured as a result of excessive force by law enforcement, but by the actions of Water Protectors. In a federal civil rights lawsuit against Morton County, however, Wilansky says she was shot in the arm with a concussion grenade by a sheriff’s deputy on November 20, 2016, when law enforcement attacked hundreds of unarmed people objecting to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (“DAPL”) with high pressure fire hoses, impact munitions, explosive grenades and chemical weapons.

Akantu -- Origin Series -- Music and Spoken Word CD from Tiokasin Ghosthorse

New music and spoken word CD from Tiokasin Ghosthorse

By Liz Hill, Ojibwe
Censored News

STONE RIDGE, N.Y., Feb. 8, 2021 via REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — "Akantu: Origin Series" is a new CD from Tiokasin Ghosthorse. The CD, which includes four tracks of spoken word and music, is Ghosthorse's fifth release. Like all of Ghosthorse's past projects, "Akantu: Origin Series" was inspired by and is dedicated to Mother Earth.

"Akantu: Origin Series" was recorded live on October 12, 2017 at The National Sawdust in Brooklyn,  New York. "This was a gathering of Original Nations and notions of beings with the elemental evolution of letting the mystery go where it will with music, spoken word and presence," says Ghosthorse.

February 4, 2021

U.S. argues in court for corporate seizure of Sacred Oak Flat


By Apache Stronghold 

Censored News

French translation by Christine Prat

Feb. 4, 2021

PHOENIX – In a riveting and emotional hearing in front of U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan at the Federal Court in Phoenix, the Department of Justice attorney claimed that the destruction of Oak Flat, or Chi'chil Bildagoteel, was "not a substantial burden" even though it would prevent the Apache from practicing their religion.

After running the 70 miles from Oak Flat to the Courthouse, Dr. Wendsler Nosie and Naelyn Pike testified regarding the importance of Chi'chil Bildagoteel to the Apache.

February 2, 2021

ACLU files amicus brief supporting Standing Rock Thunderhawk vs Morton County

American Civil Liberties Union Files Amicus Brief in Standing Rock ​Thunderhawk ​Litigation

ACLU brief highlights how roads of every kind have historically served as sites of protest

Thunderhawk v. County of Morton, North Dakota

Media Contact​: Fonda Shen ​​

Feb. 2, 2021

NEW YORK — ​Yesterday, ​​the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), together with its North Dakota affiliate (ACLU of ND), filed an ​amicus curiae brief​in support of the ​Thunderhawk ​plaintiffs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. ​Amicus Curiae​or “friend of the court” briefs are filed by third parties with an interest in the litigation, and can carry significant weight with the court when submitted by organizations with expertise in an issue salient to the case—such as with the ACLU and free speech.

February 1, 2021

Apache Stronghold running from Oak Flat to Phoenix for hearing Feb. 3, 2021


 Apache Stronghold Running from Oak Flat to Phoenix Courthouse for the Preliminary Injunction Hearing Wednesday Morning

By Apache Stronghold 

Photos by Naelyn Pike

Censored News

OAK FLAT, Ariz. — Wendsler Nosie Sr., along with granddaughters Naelyn and Báásé have left to run from Oak Flat to Phoenix to the Preliminary Injunction Hearing. The Apache Stronghold will be bringing a sacred, ceremonial feather and stone to the Federal Court house for blessings.