Tag Archives: Indigenous populations

#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


Coke, Nestle Near Ownership of World’s Second Largest Aquifer

A concerted push is underway in South America that could see the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest reserves of fresh water, soon fall into the hands of transnational corporations such as Coca-Cola and Nestle.

By Elliott Gabriel. Published 2-26-2018 by MintPress News

The Guarani Aquifer. Image: Public Domain via Wilimedia Commons


A concerted push is underway in South America that could see one of the world’s largest reserves of fresh water soon fall into the hands of transnational corporations such as Coca-Cola and Nestle. According to reports, talks to privatize the Guarani Aquifer – a vast subterranean water reserve lying beneath Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – have already reached an advanced stage. The deal would grant a consortium of U.S. and Europe-based conglomerates exclusive rights to the aquifer that would last over 100 years.

Named after the Guarani indigenous people, the Guarani Aquifer is the world’s second largest underground water reserve and is estimated to be capable of sustainably providing the world’s population with drinking water for up to 200 years. Environmental groups, social movements, and land defenders warn that the exploitation of the freshwater reserve could see the 460,000-square mile (1.2 million sq. km.) reservoir sacrificed for the short-term profits of agribusiness, energy, and food-and-drink giants. Continue reading


Inspired by Standing Rock, First Nations ‘Tiny House Warriors’ Protest Pipeline Project

“As Kinder Morgan tries to force through a pipeline without our consent—risking polluting the land and poisoning our rivers—we are rising up to create a resistance rooted in family, community, and hope.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-8-2017

Greenpeace Canada helped build the first of 10 tiny houses in the path of the pipeline, which will cross through hundreds of miles of First Nations territory. (Photo: Ian Willms/Greenpeace Canada)

First Nations and allies in British Columbia, Canada, are protesting an expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline by building 10 tiny houses in its proposed path, which runs through more than 300 miles of Secwepemcul’ecw, unceded tribal territory.

“We, the Secwepemc, have never ceded, surrendered, or given up our sovereign title and rights over the land, waters, and resources within Secwepemcul’ecw,” tribe leaders said in a statement, adding that they “have never provided and will never provide our collective consent to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project. In fact, we hereby explicitly and irrevocably refuse its passage through our territory.” 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


What can be learned from the movement to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Why indigenous civil resistance has a unique power.

By Molly Wallace. Published 8-17-2017 by openDemocracy

Stand With Standing Rock Nov 11-15 2016. Credit: Flickr/Leslie Peterson. CC BY-NC 2.0.

2016 saw the emergence of a powerful movement against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, through land vital to Native communities, especially the Standing Rock Sioux. For non-Native people who have not been paying attention to indigenous rights struggles over the past several decades, the #NoDAPL movement may have served as a wake-up call to some of the injustices still confronting these communities.

For others, as Tom Hastings points out in “Turtle Island 2016 Civil Resistance Snapshot,” in the Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict, #NoDAPL is simply another in a long line of civil resistance struggles Native communities have mobilized, often successfully, to claim their rights. 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


‘We Exist, We Resist, We Rise’: Thousands March for Native Nations

‘Standing Rock was just the beginning’

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-10-2017

The march began at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters and ended at Lafayette Square. (Photo: Zoë Flo/Twitter)

“Water is life!” was the cry heard throughout Washington, D.C., on Friday as thousands of people filled the streets and marched for Indigenous rights and the sovereignty of native nations, demonstrating that the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline has sparked an ongoing movement.

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.



Leader of Honduran Campesino Movement Assassinated

Rural Honduran farmer and organizer received death threats for years

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published on 10-19-2016

Jose Angel Flores. Photo: WhatsApp

Jose Angel Flores. Photo: WhatsApp

A prominent Honduran leader of a rural land rights movement was killed on Monday night in what supporters claim was an assassination organized by wealthy landowners.

Jose Angel Flores, president of the Unified Campesinos Movement of the Aguan Valley, or MUCA, had been under police protection since March, teleSUR reported, after the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights ordered the Honduran state to protect him from death threats in 2014. Continue reading