By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams. More than 80 people were arrested in North Dakota on Saturday, as police armed with pepper spray descended on a protest near the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction site. The 83 water protectors were hit with charges ranging from rioting to criminal trespass, according to the Morton County sheriff’s department. Saturday’s arrests follow reports of escalating police abuse at the protest sites, including beatings and unnecessary strip-searches of those arrested. On Twitter, Ojibwe activist and attorney Tara Houska wrote: Journalists, attorneys, indigenous protectors arrested & maced while demonstrating today. Whose interest is North Dakota protecting? Construction on the pipeline is continuing despite a request from the federal government to put a halt on activity so that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can properly consider objections.
By Intercontinental Cry Magazine. Despite making up a tiny fraction of the world’s population, Indigenous Peoples hold ancestral rights to some 65 percent of the planet. This poignant fact speaks well to the enormous role that Indigenous Peoples play not only as environmental stewards, but as political actors on the global stage. We’re seeing that role play out right now on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota; but there are hundreds of other indigenous struggles just like that almost never make headlines. All over the world today, Indigenous Peoples are confronting the destructive practices of industry—leading the charge against climate change while defending the lakes, forests and food systems that all of us depend on. At the same time, they are blocking governments from weakening basic rights and freedoms and turning to the courts of the world to correct over 500 years of historical wrongs.
By Stephanie Woodard for In These Times. SUQUAMISH TRIBE DESCENDANT JEANETTA RILEY, A 34-YEAR-OLD MOTHER OF FOUR, LAY FACEDOWN ON A SANDPOINT, IDAHO, STREET. One minute earlier, three police officers had arrived, summoned by staff at a nearby hospital. Her husband had sought help there because Riley—homeless, pregnant and with a history of mental illness—was threatening suicide. Riley had a knife in her right hand and was sitting in the couple’s parked van. Wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle and Glock pistols, the officers quickly closed in on Riley—one moving down the sidewalk toward the van, the other two crossing the roadway. They shouted instructions at her—to walk toward them, show them her hands. Cursing them, she refused.
By Ian Zabarte of Native Community Action Council. Las Vegas, NV — Indigenous rights and environmental advocates from throughout the US condemned nuclear colonialism on what is recognized as “Columbus Day” Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Native Community Action Council held a press conference in front of the Thomas and Mac Moot Court at the Boyd Law School on the campus of UNLV for participants in the Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues at UNLV. Since 1951 the US and UK have conducted nuclear testing within Western Shoshone homelands causing a wide variety of adverse health consequences know to be plausible from exposure to radiation in fallout. The proposed Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository, if licensed, will add significant risk factors to the lives of the Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams. As the movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day finds success in communities from Phoenix, Arizona to the state of Vermont, the battle for Indigenous rights in the face of industrial development rages on. In North Dakota, 27 Indigenous water protectors were arrested in Monday’s action to peacefully occupy a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. The arrests at the hands of militarized police came less than a day after a federal court of appeals ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux’s request for an emergency injunction against the controversial pipeline project. Meanwhile, on Alcatraz Island, a sunrise ceremony saw hundreds gather to honor the culture of Indigenous peoples and express solidarity with the fight against Dakota Access.
By Michael J. Dax for Yes! Magazine. But because the Sacred Stone Camp sits on private land, North Dakota’s numbing temperatures loom as the most daunting obstacle. In the past weeks, trucks arriving daily have dropped off an assortment of donated goods faster than the camp expected, and the pile has grown uncontrollably. Large blue tarps haphazardly cover many of these supplies, and Allard is eager to find a more permanent place that will better shield them from the elements. As the donation pile continued to mount, she had a small plot of land flattened to make room for as many as a half-dozen 10-by-40 tents, which will house the kitchen, pantry, and commissary. Meanwhile, with some of the monetary donations that have steadily accumulated, she dispatches volunteers to Bismarck to buy necessary goods, especially tents to house the overflowing donated goods.
By Derrick Broze for Activist Post. Indigenous nations from Canada and the United States have signed a treaty agreeing to oppose future proposals for pipeline, rail, and tanker projects that attempt to carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands. On Thursday, tribes from Canada and the northern United States signed a treating declaring their opposition to future proposals for pipelines that would carry crude oil from Alberta to other locations across Canada and the United States. The tribal nations are opposed to the pipelines based on potential threats to the environment. The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America, who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries, they said in a statement. Targets include projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc.
By Malu ‘Aina for Center for non-violent education and action. As President Obama announces his plans to federalize Hawaiians as a tribe, Hawaiian community leaders and groups who have for many years protested attempts to turn Hawaiians into Native Americans (the Akaka Bill), will hold a press conference Friday, September 23rd at 12 noon in front of‘Iolani Palace. They will restate their opposition to the Obama Administration’s Department of Interior (DOI) rule change. “This change is intended to circumvent legal, congressional processes, and Hawaiian community input,” said Healani-Sonoda Pale, founding member of the group, Protest Na‘i Aupuni and one of the organizers of the press conference. “President Obama tasked his DOI to come up with a process that will allow him to use his Executive Order privilege and designate federally chosen groups of Hawaiians as recognized. Without any congressional oversight or congressional vetting, President Obama and his successor will confer immense power on a pseudo native government,” Sonoda-Pale said. “And this will allow the DOI to move forward with a process of creating land and resource settlements that typically follow legitimate, congressionally conferred federal recognition.”
By Nick Engelfried for Waging Nonviolence – On Friday, federal agencies halted work on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project where it cuts close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The decision came after a long court battle and a wave of nonviolent direct actions led by indigenous organizations. While it remains to be seen whether the Army Corps of Engineers will ultimately allow construction to continue, Friday’s news marks an important milestone for a movement years in the making.
By Staff, Rising Tide of North America. The Red Warrior Camp, in partnership with the Camp of the Sacred Stones issued an official Call to Action Wednesday for allies from around the world to stand ?in solidarity with the groups by joining the NoDAPL Global Weeks of Solidarity Actions from September 3 – 17. The groups call on supporters to organize protest actions at Citigroup, TD Bank, and the Japan-based Mizuho Bank locations to highlight the companies’ financing of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. If built, the new pipeline is expected to deliver 570,000 gallons of crude oil across 1,172 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, where it will link to infrastructure able to transport the oil to the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Call to Action: “Water is a necessity for all life. Water is life. Now is the time for all people from all walks of life to join together to stop the desecration and destruction of water, land and life! Please join our Indigenous led movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline by planning or joining an action near you!”
By Indian Country Today Media Network. North Dakota – A group of nearly 100 people crossed onto private land to stop bulldozers that were clearing land for the Dakota Access pipeline on September 1. Construction was shut down for the day on Saturday as private security guards from Dakota Access LLC arrived with barking guard dogs to push back the crowd of water protectors, including women, children and horses. It was reported that company security guards used pepper spray in addition to canine units. In a statement released in a live-stream on Facebook, Red Warrior Camp leaders said that at about 3pm on Saturday September 3, “water protectors successfully stopped pipeline construction as it reached Hwy. 1806 through nonviolent direct action and mass assembly.”
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams. Construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been temporarily halted as protests against the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project continued this week at the North Dakota state capitol building as well as at a “spirit camp” at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers. According to the Associated Press, pipeline developers on Thursday agreed to pause construction until a federal court hearing next week in Washington, D.C.—but a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners vowed the work would still be completed by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Indigenous and environmental activists continue to gather in opposition to the pipeline, with between 1500 and 2000 people currently engaged in active resistance. . . If candidate Clinton does nothing to address this issue yet continues into November promising Native Americans that she is our champion, then her words will be nothing but false promises—just more bombast, more white lies to Indians.
By Gretchen Gordon and Prabindra Shakya for Tele Sur – While recent years have shown a steady advancement in recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples, the World Bank adopted a new policy framework that threatens to undermine this progress and put Indigenous communities at risk. In 2012 when the World Bank began a review and update of its suite of environmental and social safeguard policies, there was a hope that the Indigenous Peoples Policy, which dates back to 2005, would be strengthened to provide greater protection and to incorporate advances in the understanding of Indigenous rights
By Leonard Peltier for American Indians and Friends. June 26th marks 41 years since the long summer day when three young men were killed at the home of the Jumping Bull family, near Oglala, during a firefight in which I and dozens of others participated. While I did not shoot (and therefore did not kill) FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, I nevertheless have great remorse for the loss of their young lives, the loss of my friend Joe Stuntz, and for the grieving of their loved ones. I would guess that, like me, many of my brothers and sisters who were there that day wish that somehow they could have done something to change what happened and avoid the tragic outcome of the shootout. This is not something I have thought about casually and then moved on. It’s something I think about every day. As I look back, I remember the expressions of both fear and courage on the faces of my brothers and sisters as we were being attacked.
By Survival International. The Olympic torch is set to arrive on June 25 in a state where the Guarani tribe is widely feared to be facing annihilation due to systematic land theft, malnutrition, suicide and violence. The torch’s arrival in Mato Grosso do Sul in the southwest of Brazil comes as part of a nationwide tour before the start of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August. It is set to be carried by Rocleiton Ribeiro Flores, an indigenous man from the Terena people, in the city of Dourados which is close to Guarani territory. Last week, one Guarani man was killed and several others – including a twelve year old boy – were seriously injured in an attack by ranchers’ gunmen on Tey’i Jusu community.