August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, October 29, 2021

Oak Flat's Holy Ground Destroyed by Vandals by Apache Stronghold


Vandals topple and destroy crosses, eagle feathers at Oak Flat Campground 

By Apache Stronghold
Censored News

OAK FLAT, Arizona – Late Thursday evening, on October 28, a representative of the Apache Stronghold found three of the four crosses of an Apache holy ground toppled and found ceremonial eagle feathers left lying on the ground.

This a repeat of the same action that took place on March 17, 2018.

The Apache Stronghold is demanding an immediate response from the U.S. Forest Service and law enforcement officials and is asking local and national leaders to condemn this hate crime and to help ensure that it does not happen again. Law enforcement has been called on to investigate the action and pursue those responsible for this targeted crime towards the Apache people and their religious practices.

"We gather at this site for blessings and healings, it is our Church, "said Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr., an Apache Stronghold leader and a former San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman. "This is the second time that we are seeing this level of violence against us here, we need more protection."

The Tonto National Forest is the land manager of Oak Flat which is supposed to be protected by the U.S. Government by Treaty with the Apache People. It is also supposed to be protected under various laws, including the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

It is still unclear whether damage or vandalism has also occurred to other sites at Oak Flat, especially those sites newly exposed after this summer's fire.

Images of the desecration taken by Dr. Nosie on October 28, 2021:

More information at: Instagram: @protectoakflat

Twitter: @ProtectOakFlat, @BECKETlaw

In Defense of O'odham: Indigenous Rise in Defense of Their Territories -- by Ofelia Rivas

Ofelia Rivas. Photo Jason Jaacks.

Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, joined Indigenous defenders from throughout the Americas battling corporations, governments and invaders

Statement by Ofelia Rivas, O'odham
National Meeting of Peoples and Communities in Defense of their Territory, in Honduras, with testimony from the regions of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Bogota, Los Angeles and Madrid
Censored News
Oct. 29, 2021

O'odham original territories invaded and bisected into two countries are today without land rights, without cultural and sacred sites protection and without human rights protection. These existing elements create a much needed true dialog with the first people of the lands.

Recommend: 1. Acknowledgement of original peoples as human beings apart of the natural world of Mother Earth. 2. Recognition of the original people original lands and distinct cultures documented and undocumented histories. 3. Restoration of human rights, land rights and all legal rights.

These elements are needed to support defenders against corporations and government from disappearing original people, killing defenders and illegally occupying lands.

In northern Sonora Mexico we are defenseless against the illegal invaders, unable to protect sacred sites and entire communities. Also in southern Arizona, United States, we are defenseless against government projects such as the Elbit Systems  surveillance towers in communities and other border projects.

Gold mines with un-monitored leach fields and chemical waste dumps and the lack of water protection has plagued northern Sonora, Mexico. Now, 47 communities are reduced to small rancheras with very few people. The O'odham of Mexico communities are displaced and absorbed into nearby townships with loss of government required membership numbers for assistance. O'odham existing in communities have no assistance for electricity or water to communities.

Ofelia Rivas: O'odham Rights website:

Ofelia Rivas en espanol
Translation by Alejandro Aguilar

Los territorios originales de O'odham invadidos y divididos en dos países se encuentran hoy sin derechos sobre la tierra, sin protección de sitios culturales y sagrados y sin protección de derechos humanos.

North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival Celebrates the Women of Standing Rock

Opening night of Human Rights Film Festival Celebrates the Women of Standing Rock

November 2 -- 18, 2021

Filmmaker Shannon Kring and rights activist Phyllis Youg will participate in Q&A following the film

FARGO, North Dakota (Friday, October 29, 2021) – The 2021 North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival & Summit opens Tuesday, November 2 with afternoon and evening film screenings at the historic Fargo Theatre in Fargo, North Dakota. The event is free and to the public. Due to the ongoing pandemic, limited seating is provided for in-person events, and masks and vaccination requirements are in place. Tickets can be reserved at

At 1:30 p.m., 1971 critically acclaimed feature documentary THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON will screen. The film is about the short life and death of Fred Hampton, a young African-American civil rights activist in Chicago and leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party. During the film’s production, Hampton was fatally shot on December 4, 1969, in a pre-dawn raid at his apartment by the Chicago Police Department. The raid was revealed to have been organized in cooperation with the FBI. The film is screened in partnership with the North Dakota Film Society.

At 7 p.m., the festival will recognize the 5-year anniversary of the peaceful protest against the installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock with the screening of the documentary feature film, END OF THE LINE: THE WOMEN OF STANDING ROCK.

WECAN Delegation COP 26 -- Rising for Communities and Mother Earth

WECAN Indigenous Women's COP 26 Delegation Glasgow

Dear Community,
The past months have brought strong winds of social unrest, spreading among many countries and continents. People are rising demanding systemic change in diverse movements, and WECAN feels the urgency of this moment from social movements to climate actions.

In the coming week, the WECAN team is traveling with our outstanding delegation to COP26 in Glasgow to join civil society calls for governments and financial institutions to take meaningful and significant climate action.

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