By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. As if leaving Native Americans with nothing but miniscule plots of reservation land and systemic brokenness wasn’t enough, now the white man is at it again- robbing the Apache of a sacred ceremonial ground in Oak Flat, Arizona. The US government gave the Apache land to a foreign mining company, saying the native people could still use the grounds for traditional gatherings “after the land exchange has been completed, so long as it remains safe to do so.” The sacred land will unlikely be “safe” for ceremonies once it is functioning as a mine. John McCain and Jeff Flake, major proponents of the land theft, both received hefty contributions from the mining company, Rio Tinto.
By Brenda Norrell. Carlisle, PA – The Apache Stronghold Convoy visited the graves of the children who never came home at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, remembering the Chiricahua Apache children who were held as prisoners of war. “We need to know our history, where we have been will guide us to where we are going. ” said Wendsler Nosie Sr., Apache. “The Apache Stronghold visited our relatives who never made it back home. It was a real emotional experience for all of us. The Chiricahua Apache children who were there did not arrive as students like other tribes, but arrived as Prisoners of War,” Nosie said after being present at the Carlisle Indian School cemetery.
By Apache Stronghold. San Carlos, AZ – A group of spiritual runners who are members of the San Carlos Tribe, some from the Navajo Nation and others from other various Indigenous Peoples, began their journey from Dzil Ncha Si An (Mount Graham) on Sunday, July 5 and arrived on Monday, July 6, at Chi’Chil’Bilda’Goteel (Oak Flat) on ancestral Apache land deemed holy and sacred to the San Carlos Apaches and surrounding tribes. Earlier on February 5, a spiritual march also began from the San Carlos Apache tribal headquarters to Oak Flat where occupation continues today. The spiritual journey of the Apache Stronghold caravan led by Wendsler Nosie, Sr., former Tribal Chairman and now the Peridot District Council for the San Carlos Apache Tribe, first stopped at the Gila River and Salt River Indian communities for spiritual prayers.
By Apache Stronghold. The description below explains that the most recent version of the NDAA contained a rider that ceded Apache land in so-called Arizona, including the Sacred Site of Oak Flat, to Resolution Copper to mine. There have been many actions in protest of this. And now, a team from Apache stronghold is caravaning from there to so-called Washington, DC to protest and support legislation sponsored by Raul Grijalva to repeal the land grab and block mining. The Apache Stronghold asks for allies to join them in solidarity. We hope that you will welcome them if they pass through your area and that you will join them in Washington, DC for the rally at the Capitol. The tentative travel schedule is copied below.
By Mitch Torres of SOSBlakAustralia. Australia – Fifteen weeks after Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” comment and WA Premier Colin Barnet’s announced plans to close up to 150 Western Australian communities, a wave of actions calling for a halt to community closures have been taking place worldwide, with a reach of over 12 million people from all walks of life. Though the protests have made state and federal governments tone down their rhetoric, new plans show that their nation-wide agenda remains the same: the steady winding back of Indigenous services and community and cultural protections, while paving the way to reap resources from Aboriginal land through measures like the $5 billion “Northern Frontier” plan.
By Christian Poirier, Amazon Watch & Brent Millikan, International Rivers. When Brazilian energy planners proposed to choke the Amazon’s Tapajós River and its tributaries with dozens of large hydroelectric dams, they underrated a formidable foe: the Munduruku people. The largest indigenous group in the Tapajós Basin, the Munduruku are proving to be sophisticated adversaries who are throwing a wrench in the dam industry’s plans. The tribe has frequently caught the Brazilian government off guard with their tactics. They have a flair for the theatrical – they staged a series of dramatic protests in Brasilia, including a “die-in” at the Ministry of Mines and Energy – and the practical. In January, they delivered a protocol to government officials demanding a culturally-appropriate process of free, prior and informed consultation and consent (FPIC). While enshrined in Brazil’s constitution and integral to ILO Convention 169, the indigenous right to FPIC has been systematically ignored in Brazil.
CODY, WY. 05-08-2015 — James Walks Along was forced to abandon an address to the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (YES) of the joint federal and state Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) by Brian Nesvik, IGBC Chair and Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) Wildlife Division Chief, at the committee’s meeting in Cody, Wyoming on April 30, 2015. “This has never happened before,” said James Walks Along, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Northern Cheyenne Nation. “I was shocked by the disrespect I was shown.” The YES-IGBC is a joint federal and state agency cross-jurisdictional body that takes the lead on grizzly bear management in Greater Yellowstone. In 2013 the YES-IGBC voted to delist the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and supports opening trophy-hunting seasons on the grizzly.
For centuries, Linda Thomas’ ancestors walked this rugged landscape near modern-day Superior as she does today. “We have always harvested acorns and berries and had ceremonies here,” says Thomas, who lives in the small Apache town of San Carlos about 50 miles away. “My granddaughter won’t be able to come here and do that anymore if it’s . . . it’s going to be poisoned.” Thomas talks of her granddaughter as wind whips through the 5-year-old’s hair, both of them standing on a hill of rocks and cactus overlooking sites at the Oak Flat campground. Thomas says the child’s Apache name is Zuhnabah. The girl says her name is Serenity, which Thomas agrees also is her name. Yavapais and Apaches used this land for generations.
On the fifth anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the United Houma Nation (UHN) of southern Louisiana is taking yet another stand in its 30-year campaign to win recognition, launching a petition this week calling on the Obama administration to support the tribe’s fight for federal recognition. The UHN is an indigenous tribe with 17,000 members residing in a six-parish area along the Gulf Coast where the land is literally slipping away from under them. Due to coastal erosion, southern Louisiana is losing over 16 square miles of land per year, or the equivalent of one football field every hour. “The United Houma Nation is severely affected by coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and the lack of corporate and government accountability around the pollution of their traditional lands and waters,” the petition states.
A United Nations mission is due to take place this month to assess the impact of Ethiopia’s massive Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric power project on the Omo River which feeds Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, lying mostly in northwest Kenya with its northern tip extending into Ethiopia. The report of the visit by a delegation from the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) from Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) comes amid warnings by Survival International that the Kwegu people of southwest Ethiopia are facing severe hunger due to the destruction of surrounding forests and the drying up of the river on which their livelihoods depend. The UK-based group linked the Kwegu’s food crisis to the massive Gibe III Dam and large-scale irrigation taking place in the region, which are robbing the Kwegu of their water and fish supplies.
Thousands of protesters rallied in Australia’s two largest cities Friday against government plans to forcefully shut down Indigenous communities. Indigenous elder and activist Jenny Munro said the rallies were a “call to arms” to all Australians. “This is about the community being made aware about the truth of what goes on in this country,” she told progressive news website New Matilda. Munro joined thousands of other protesters in Sydney who marched from Belmore Park to the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy. In a statement issued online, march organizers said they were both frustrated by plans to redevelop the Block – a chunk of the suburb of Redfern earmarked for affordable Indigenous housing. Activists say the very organization charged with providing affordable housing – the Aboriginal Housing Authority (AHC) – is now trying to gentrify the area with commercial office blocks and student accommodation at the expense of Indigenous residents.
Under smokescreen cover of a admirable petition to help the Navajo protect their sacred San Francisco Peaks against a ski resort, the University of Arizona and its partners have secretly renewed their Mount Graham telescope permit for another 20 years. On Mount Graham, in order to promote their astronomers, the University of Arizona has achieved several firsts, including securing two congressional exemptions from federal cultural, religious and environmental laws. In order to promote the Mt. Graham telescopes, the University of Arizona has become: the first University to fight against the listing of an Endangered Species ( July 21, 1986) the first University to secure a congressional legislative exemption from federal environmental, religious and cultural laws (1988) the first University to promote a project whose biological basis (1988 USFWS Biological Opinion on the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel) is acknowledged to be fraudulent the first University to litigate against the rights of Native Americans to practice their religion (1992)