Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 2, 2023

Bvlbancha Radio is Live on Traditional Houma Land

Radio Producer Govinda Dalton and Michelle Cook, Dine'

Bvlbancha Radio is Live on the Traditional Houma Lands

By Michelle Cook, Censored News

Listen now

Radio Bvlbancha! Seven years after Standing Rock we are back in the community on the ground, setting up and sustaining community-led radio! Community begins with communication. Being prepared for climate chaos is essential for the survival of our peoples and Earth. I’m so thankful to be here on the traditional lands of the Houma Nation in beautiful New Orleans! Back to the grass-roots where it matters and where it starts. Human rights include communication systems!

Bvlbancha Liberation Radio said, "We are providing a safe space for Indigenous Peoples and allies to discuss pressing land and water issues and adaptation practices, while wrestling with critical analyses of policies that shape how we fight for our lives and our Earth, while living just south of Cancer Alley, just north of the Dead Zone, in the heart of the Mississippi River Delta, where the consequences of the Plantationocene reflect realities and relationships with global systems."

"The Choctaw called New Orleans Bvlbancha, 'place of babbling languages' or 'place of many tongues,' long before the colonizers sailed in to rebrand the sacred site, where ceremony and trade are connected to a web of waterways."

"In the spirit of diversity, exchange and education, Bvlbancha Liberation Radio has been and will continue to strategize pathways for communities to engage in and to influence our collective planetary well-being, knowing that a just and sustainable way forward is not possible unless our communities are able to reckon, repair, heal from and to prohibit the perpetuation of white supremacy mentalities, policies and practices."

Live and powered with solar, Bvlbancha Radio, Houma land, Louisiana

About the co-producers

Michelle CookDiné attorney, is the founder and director of Invest, Divest and Protect, responsible for organizing Native women's delegations to Europe and the United Nations. Michelle organized the Native women's delegation to testify on militarization in Indian country -- Standing Rock and the Border -- before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Jamaica.

Michelle is an artist, spiritualist, law-trained human rights expert, and an enrolled member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation born of the Honagháahnii (One Who Walks Around You) Clan. For several years, Michelle has worked locally and globally with Indigenous Peoples on issues such as access to justice, customary law, and human rights. She has received major grants and fellowship opportunities including a Fulbright Fellowship to study Indigenous justice and customary legal systems in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and an Open Society Fellowship.

Michelle has testified before U.N. bodies and representatives in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and her work and projects have been featured in TIME, Reuters, GLAMOUR, The Guardian, and Cultural Survival International. In 2015, Michelle received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of New Mexico School of Law with a certificate in Federal Indian Law. She was appointed as a Commissioner on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission from 2016 -- 2020. She is a founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) helping facilitate legal infrastructure for Indigenous Peoples encamped in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. She also created and founded the WPLC International Program.

Divest Invest Protect Social Media Handles: Facebook: @divestinvestprotect Instagram: @divest_invest_protect Twitter: @divestprotect

Govinda's Earthcycles bus, with solar panels and a wood stove, after the coast-to-coast broadcast on the Longest Walk 2008, Govinda broadcast live from Red Butte, Havasupai sacred land, during the conference opposing uranium mining and poisoning the water in the Grand Canyon. Photo Brenda Norrell

Govinda Dalton, the master creator of grassroots radio stations for Native communities, has built radio stations across Native lands in North America, including a radio station for the Tiny House Warriors protecting Secwepemc lands in B.C. Govinda's Earthcycles radio bus broadcast live, Long Talk Radio, from coast to coast on the Longest Walk northern route in 2008. From the long stretches across the West to the harsh times with little food in the Midwest, and the bountiful reception in Pennsylvania, the live show shared the endurance of the walkers, the histories of Native peoples, and the voices of struggle for Native rights across this country. Then, with little funding, and few resources, in a borrowed van, Govinda began broadcasting Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio in August of 2016 with co-producer Michelle Cook at Oceti Sakowin Camp.

The Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio files today carry the voices of the movement and the struggle of the Water Protectors. Govinda's broadcasts were live from the Mother Earth Conference, with President Evo Morales, in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010, and the United Nations climate summits in Cancun and Scotland. Govinda broadcast live from the border summit in southern Arizona at San Xavier, Tohono O'odham Nation; gatherings of Western Shoshone at the Nuclear Test Site, and Western Shoshone gatherings to protect from nuclear dumping and gold mining; Havauspai gathering opposing uranium mining; the Acoma and Laguna Pueblo summit on uranium mining; and the Indigenous Peoples forums in Oneida, Wisconsin, on justice for Leonard Peltier, and on boarding schools in Indian country.

Listen: Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio, the first 17 radio shows
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