Tag Archives: indigenous cultures

Indigenous People Demand an End to Detention on Stolen Lands

“As the original caretakers of these lands and territories, we have inherent authority over migration and demand an end to these barbaric acts.”

By , Published 7-26-2019 by YES! Magazine

U.S. Border Patrol agents conduct intake at the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas. Photo: CBP/flickr

Not far from a detention center in McAllen, Texas, Indigenous people will gather on Saturday for a demonstration, joining their voices to the ongoing chorus of protests over the detention of asylum-seekers along the U.S. southern border.

Taking a Stand on Our Stolen Land is organized by the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas and Native Voice Network on traditional Esto’k Gna territory. Continue reading


Critics Charge New Trump Plan ‘Recklessly Weakens Protections’ for What Remains of ‘Illegally Reduced’ Bears Ears Monument

“The Trump administration continues to prove its utter disregard of our public lands and outdoor heritage.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-26-2019

The Interior Department on Friday released its management plan for Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. (Photo: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr/cc)

Conservation groups and congressional Democrats slammed the Trump administration Friday over its destructive new management plan for the “illegally reduced” Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

In December of 2017, the administration provoked mass outrage with its decision to reduce Bears Ears by about 85 percent. The Bureau of Land Management—an agency of the U.S. Interior Department—published in the Federal Register on Friday a management plan for, as one critic put it, “the meager remnants of the original monument.” Continue reading


How Native American food is tied to important sacred stories

File 20180613 32307 1y11v1q.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

The First Salmon ceremony being performed. U.S. Department of Agriculture , CC BY-ND

Rosalyn R. LaPier, The University of Montana

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, on June 11, that asked Washington state to remove culverts that block the migration of salmon. The ruling has significant implications for Northwest Coast tribes, whose main source of food and livelihood is salmon.

The legal decision stems from the 1855 Stevens treaties when Northwest Coast tribes retained the “right to take fish” from their traditional homelands. Fighting to protect salmon habitat, however, is more than just upholding tribal rights. Salmon is viewed as sacred. Continue reading


‘Historic First’: Nebraska Farmers Return Land to Ponca Tribe in Effort to Block Keystone XL

“We want to protect this land,” said the tribe’s state chairman. “We don’t want to see a pipeline go through.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-15-2018

In a move that could block the path of the Keystone XL pipeline, a couple in Nebraska signed over a portion of farmland to the Ponca Tribe. (Photo: @BoldNebraska/Twitter)

In a move that could challenge the proposed path of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline—and acknowledges the U.S. government’s long history of abusing Native Americans and forcing them off their lands—a Nebraska farm couple has returned a portion of ancestral land to the Ponca Tribe.

At a deed-signing ceremony earlier this week, farmers Art and Helen Tanderup transferred to the tribe a 1.6-acre plot of land that falls on Ponca “Trail of Tears.” Continue reading


#DeleteFacebook? Not in Indian Country

The social network has done more for bolstering the modern Indigenous rights agenda than perhaps any other platform of our time.

By . Published 3-23-2018 by YES! Magazine

“It’s not just Indian Country that would feel the extreme disconnect in a Facebook-less scenario. The entire Indigenous world would reel from its absence.” Photo: Sacred Stone Camp/Facebook

In the last 48 hours, I’ve seen several people turn to one social network, Twitter, to vent their frustrations about another one: Facebook.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which data from over 50 million Facebook profiles were secretly mined for voter insights, it sparked what some have called a #DeleteFacebook movement.

But not in Indian Country. Continue reading


Corporations Have Legal Personhood, But Rivers Don’t? That Could Change

Indian Country could finally see an end to nonconsented infrastructure projects if they follow New Zealand’s Maori in achieving legal protection for natural entities.

By . Published 9-12-2017 by YES! Magazine

The Whanganui River, New Zealand. Photo: Pinterest


In mid-March of this year, New Zealand officially recognized the Whanganui River as a living entity with rights. The river, which the Maori consider their ancestor, is now offered protection through the New Zealand legal system against any human or human-led project that threatens its well-being. It is a critical precedent for acknowledging the Rights of Nature in legal systems around the world.

The communities seeking protection for their natural entities through this approach are operating from a non-Western, often indigenous paradigm that holds a spiritual reverence to homelands and natural systems and an urgency to protect their natural resources. These values are not held in the laws of colonial governments like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, or the United States. But that does not mean they cease to exist, and, in fact, we are seeing a revival. Continue reading


The Native American casualties of US immigration policy

The O’Odham nation lives on both sides of the US-Mexican border, and for that they are persecuted.

By Ophelia Rivas and Neil Howard. Published 8-28-2017 by openDemocracy

My name is Ophelia Rivas, but my family knows me as Ilya. You know, the place where I come from is beautiful land. We’ve lived there for centuries and we have a way of life that we’ve followed for all those years. We continue parts of it right now, but the political effects that are imposed on our people because of these borders are greatly impacting our people.

After 9/11 the world discovered that there was the O’Odham nation, which is the second largest reservation in the United States after the Navajo. These reservations are considered concentration camps of the indigenous people in the United States. Our traditional lands are divided into different political boundaries. Less than one-third of our lands are now cordoned off, like a concentration camp. Continue reading


With at Least 200 Killed, 2016 Was Deadliest Year Ever for Earth Defenders

New report finds ‘activists are being murdered, attacked, and criminalized by the very people who are supposed to protect them’

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-13-2017

“We are fighting for our lands, for our water, for our lives,” Jakeline (right), who has received death threats for protesting mining in Colombia, told Global Witness for the report. (Photo: Global Witness)

Last year was the deadliest in history to be an environmental activist, according to a new report that found, on average, nearly four people were killed per week.

Defenders of the Earth, released by U.K.-based human rights group Global Witness, lists the names and locations of 200 environmental advocates who were killed around the world. While the report found Brazil, Colombia, and the Philippines were the nations with the most murdered environmentalists in 2016, Honduras has been the deadliest country for environmental activists over the last decade. Continue reading


Environmental activists in Honduras refuse to submit

One year after Berta Cáceres’ murder, indigenous peoples are in revolt, fighting for their rights to exist in a system that has no part for them to play.

By Michael Phoenix. Published 3-3-2017 by ROAR Magazine

Berta Cáceres. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Let us wake up! Let us wake up, humankind! We’re out of time. We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction.

These are the words of Berta Cáceres, the community organizer, human rights defender, environmental activist, indigenous Lenca woman, leader and rebel who was shot dead one year ago, on March 3, 2016, by unidentified gunmen at her home in La Esperanza, the capital city of the department of Intibucá in southwestern Honduras.

Berta was a co-founder of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), an organization fighting neoliberalism and patriarchy in Honduras and working for respect of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples in particular. She was a long-term opponent of internationally funded exploitative development projects in indigenous territories in Honduras, such as the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, set to be built on the territory of the Lenca people in the Río Blanco. Continue reading


A Trip To Sacred Stone

“Law enforcement agents seemed to be enjoying what they were doing.”

Sacred Stone Camp Flags of Nations, North Dakota

Sacred Stone Camp Flags of Nations, North Dakota

This Occupy World Writes Exclusive Report written by Carol Benedict.

On October 27, mass arrests were made of 83 people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). When Davis Gonzalez heard about it, he decided to do something. He knew he had 4 days away from work in which he could get there, find his clan, and see how he could help. He and Shaw Day, a Bois Forte, Ojibwe tribe member, along with their daughter, left Minneapolis for an incredible journey.

Before they even reached Sacred Stone Camp, they got word that 49 of the people arrested were being released from jail – 200 miles away from where they had been arrested at. Davis and Shaw decided to go directly to that location to see if those being released had immediate needs and contact with their families.

What they saw at the law enforcement facility was quite unique. The North Dakota courts would not release any of the people until Saturday morning, after businesses were closed for the week, and demanded cash only with no bonds. Each person released had to have $1,500 cash paid on their behalf. Once that had happened, no effort was made to put the person released back where they came from – they were on their own with nothing.

The most concerning to everyone that had been arrested was the observation that the “out of state law enforcement officers seemed to be enjoying what they were doing to us,” one of them told Davis. They were placed in cages, similar to dog kennels, clad only in underclothes and left that way for long periods of time. Access to toilets, medical assistance and water were denied.

Supporters rallied for the cause, and a bus was supplied to take some of the people back to the camps. Davis and Shaw took two young women with them and headed back to Sacred Stone Camp.

By the time they got back, the roads were all closed going into the camps. They drove around until finally parking outside the camps and trying to rest in their vehicle. When morning arrived, they were able to find their clan and talk with other water protectors.

They observed that within the camps, the youth wanted to do something; march, dance, any activity. The elders, however, were encouraging conversation and reflection. The sense of spirituality was prevalent. Everyone there was there for the same reason, driven by the same compelling force that this was something far bigger than any of them as individuals will ever be.

The following things were also noticed and discussed:

  • Internet inside the camps has been blocked.
  • A no-fly zone has been placed over the area to prevent news crews from filming any actions on the ground
  • After the no-fly zone was enacted. law enforcement destroyed the camps
  • Possessions returned to the camps were smashed, destroyed and thrown in a pile like a heap of garbage
  • Cars that were impounded by law enforcement had the oil drained out of them and mechanical sabotage was performed on steering columns and engines
  • North Dakota is the 1st state in the country to legalize use of weaponized drones
  • Jack Dalrymple, Governor of North Dakota, has financial interests in DAPL

Remember that the original route for this pipeline went through Bismarck. When the people of Bismarck rejected the plan because they were concerned about the pipeline poisoning their water, the pipeline was re-routed through land belonging to Native Americans through a treaty that remains in effect, and was forced on them under eminent domain laws, even though all 5 of the criteria for meeting eminent domain requirements had not been satisfied.

What should concern us all though is the utter disregard shown by the authorities for the rights and well being of the residents of Standing Rock, as well as the people who’ve gathered to support them. As winter approaches and no resolution presenting itself, the water protectors have vowed to stay. Meanwhile, the world watches as our government continues to violate the treaties it made with the original inhabitants of our country. We as a people need to tell the authorities that their callousness and greed are not OK; that as human beings we have to do better by our fellow man or woman than this.

If you wish to show your solidarity by supporting the water protectors’ efforts, your can donate to the Official Sacred Stone Camp Go-Fund-Me campaign.