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.
By Krista Langlois for High Country News. Sixteen years ago, when Jones joined the board of the Utah Navajo Health System, he realized his neighbors were dying because the closest ambulances — the county’s, in Blanding, and the tribe’s, in Kayenta, Arizona — were an hour away “on a good day.” So Jones asked the county commission if one of San Juan’s ambulances could be housed in a garage in Montezuma Creek. From there, it would take half the time to rush an elder suffering a heart attack to medical care. But the county wasn’t interested. Over the next decade, Jones says, he and other health advocates repeatedly tried to get the commission to improve ambulance service on the reservation. But while the sole Navajo commissioner was supportive, the two white commissioners were usually not.
By Romeo Saganash for The Tyee – In 1984, as a young man, I was asked by the Cree Ambassador to the UN to join the delegation of Indigenous People who were going to New York to create the document that would become the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Over the next 23 years, representatives at the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples discussed and refined the document on behalf of their nations.
By Joanna Kerr for Green Peace. The response from politicians and commentators to the Leap Manifesto, a policy proposal to government from Canadian civil society, has been surprising. Much of the proposals contained in the manifesto flow from an acceptance of things we know to be true: that climate change is real and threatens our society and economy, that some groups of Canadians are more disadvantaged than others, and that dirty energy affects Indigenous communities on the frontlines of industrial sites foremost, to name a few. Far from being an elite and far-fetched radical proposal, the Leap Manifesto, with its roots in the country’s diverse civil society and the latest scientific research, reveals the zeitgeist of how Canadians want to live and do business with one another.
By Pratap Chatterjee for CorpWatch Blog. The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has ordered the government of Venezuela to pay $1.386 billion to Crystallex, a bankrupt Canadian gold mining company, for canceling a 2002 permit to mine for gold in the Imataca Forest Reserve. Crystallex brought its arbitration claim to the ICSID in 2011 stating that Venezuela had violated the company’s rights guaranteed under a bilateral treaty between Canada and Venezuela. Even though most national courts refuse to hear community claims against companiesfor environmental or human rights abuses abroad, a number of international ‘arbitration’ courts routinely rule allow companies to sue governments for investment ‘rights’ written into new bilateral and multilateral treaties. (ICSID alone is currently hearing 211 cases)
By Nicky Woolf for The Guardian. Standing Rock Nation – Dozens of tribal members from several Native American nations took to horseback on Friday to protest against the proposed construction of an oil pipeline which would cross the Missouri river just yards from tribal lands in North Dakota. The group of tribal members, which numbered around 200, according to a tribal spokesman, said they were worried that the Dakota Access Pipeline, proposed by a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, would lead to contamination of the river. The proposed route also passes through lands of historical significance to the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux Nation, including burial grounds.
By Alysa Landry for Indian Country Today. Winslow, AZ – A Navajo woman was shot and killed by police on Easter Sunday after apparently threatening an officer with a weapon in Winslow, Arizona. Loreal Juana Barnell-Tsingine, 27, was shot five times after an altercation that began with a shoplifting call at a Circle K at around 4 p.m. Officers located a woman matching the description of the suspect a few blocks away from the convenience store and a struggle ensued. An officer, who has not been identified by name, said Tsingine displayed a weapon that posed a “substantial threat.” Police have not divulged what the weapon was, though family members claim Tsingine was armed only with a pair of scissors. “While attempting to take the subject into custody, a struggle ensued,” the Winslow Police Department states in a press release.
By Nancy Piñeiro Moreno, Translated by Laura Beratti for Tele Sur – These women have put their bodies on the line, chained themselves to rigs and barricades, in order to protect their land. These six Mapuche women have taken the risk of putting their bodies on the line to stop the drilling rigs from further endangering their community. Aboriginal women are central to the continent-wide resistance against extractivism, and the story of these women from the Campo Maripe community in the Argentine Patagonia is a solid example of their ongoing contribution, and the importance of indigenous resistance for social movements worldwide.
By Staff of CUPE – The North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements protect the rights of multinational corporations to export and use Canadian water for profit. Multinational water companies such as Suez have contracts in Canada and around the world, privatizing water services and delivery. CUPE has built awareness with indigenous communities around the dangers of using public private partnerships to build or restore access to water services in their communities.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – Another member of Berta Cáceres’ Indigenous rights group was brutally murdered by unidentified assailants on Tuesday, following a violent eviction of Indigenous people from their land. Nelson Garcia, a father of five and community leader, was shot four times in the face—”gunned down in his home,” the Nation reported. His assassination occurred less than two weeks after Cáceres’, and only days following her funeral.
By Jake Dacks of BertaCaceres.org. Washington, DC – Concerned DC residents unfurled banners inside the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building today, in front of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) information office, calling for USAID to break ties to the controversial Agua Zarca dam project being built in Honduras. On Thursday, March 3, world-renowned Honduran indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres, who led her Lenca peoples against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River, was assassinated in her home. Berta had received the Goldman award in 2015 – the highest award for environmental activism – in the very same Ronald Reagan building in April of last year.
By School of Americas Watch, HONDURAS – At approximately 11:45pm last night, the General Coordinator of COPINH, Berta Caceres was assassinated in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca. At least two individuals broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying for the evening in the Residencial La Líbano, shot and killed her. COPINH is urgently responding to this tragic situation. Berta Cáceres is one of the leading indigenous activists in Honduras. She spent her life fighting in defense of indigenous rights, particularly to land and natural resources. Cáceres, a Lenca woman, grew up during the violence that swept through Central America in the 1980s. Her mother, a midwife and social activist, took in and cared for refugees from El Salvador, teaching her young children the value of standing up for disenfranchised people.