Ecuador Approves Controversial Mining Law

Ecuador Approves Controversial Mining Law

Ecuador Approves Controversial Mining Law 27196-128x96

On Monday Ecuador’s legislature approved a controversial new mining law that gives companies eight years to pursue large-scale open pit mining anywhere in the country.

The decision comes just a few days after indigenous groups set up a series of blockades in a continued effort to prevent the law from being legislated.

Indigenous People, environmental activists, and campesinos alike, say the law will be a social and environmental disaster that will infringe on the human rights of local communities, contaminate water supplies with heavy metals, and irreparably damage the environment.

Simply put, “We can’t accept the law. It will affect our environment,” said CONAIE President Marlon Santi, who, following last weeks protests, called for a national mobilization to demand that the government convene a National Assembly of Peoples to discuss the legislation.

Set for the 20th of January, the mobilization marks “[a] commitment to carry out a revolution,” says the indigenous leader Blanca Chancoso.

It is not an effort to “destabilize the government,” but one to prevent the theft of land, and to strengthen laws that protect the environment and
ensure food security.

“If the government wants to demonstrate that it is truly revolutionary [it] will have to join the Ecuadorian people for the revolution by the people and for the people,” says Chancoso.



Chief Bylas encounters Geronimo while visiting sheepherder camp

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

At a sheep camp near Mt. Turnbull, Chief Bylas was visiting the sheepherder camp when one of his men spotted Geronimo and his men approaching the camp.

Immediately Chief Bylas instructed his men to spread out and not to group in one spot because they were outnumbered so the men took up positions. When Geronimo and his men arrived and dismounted, he announced that his men were hungry and demanded to be fed.

The sheepherder responded they didn’t have enough to feed his group of men.

But Geronimo was looking at the sheepherder horses and selected a young pony, the sheepherder protested that the pony belongs to someone, but Geronimo had the pony shot and had the pony butchered.

Plains Indians were tallest

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

In Vanessa Hudgens as Quileute Werewolf?! someone claimed that Native people are taller than average. Curious, I did some investigating and came up with this:

Standing Tall:  Plains Indians Enjoyed Height, Health AdvantageEquestrian Indian tribes on the American Plains in the late 1800s were the tallest people in the world, suggesting that they were surprisingly well-nourished given disease and their lifestyle, a new study found.

These results contradict the modern image of American Indians as being sickly victims succumbing to European disease, said Richard Steckel, co-author of the study and professor of economics and anthropology at Ohio State University.

31 Utah bison headed for the Book Cliffs

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

State officials this week are taking the final steps toward restoring bison to the Book Cliffs, a remote and rugged area in eastern Utah where bison images appear on ancient rock art and skulls have been found in the fossil records.

”We’re bringing them back to their native range,” said Dax Magnus, a wildlife biologist for the state Division of Wildlife Resources.

Eventually, state officials expect the Book Cliffs herd to grow to around 450. That would make Utah which already has one herd managed by an American Indian tribe and two herds controlled by the state among the West’s leaders in the number of wild bison roaming within its borders.–UtahBison.xml

Elder speaks softly with drum

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

A tribal elder is more than just another aging person. To be called an elder is a sign of respect for someone who has had a lifetime of lessons, who is committed to preserving tradition through language, song and ritual, and who has the desire to pass it on to younger generations.

Horace Axtell, 84, is a Nez Perce elder who was born in Ferdinand, Idaho in 1924. His family had been baptized but still held the Nez Perce ways close. Axtell spent his youth absorbing traditional ways of the tribal elders, some of whom were survivors of the 1877 Big Hole (or Bear Paw) War when Chief Joseph led his people north. On their trail were cadres of soldiers, who under President Ulysses Grant’s orders attempted to clear the Nez Perce homeland.

His father eventually left the family, and his grandmother, mother and an aunt raised him. At his birth he was named Isluumc, but also given an English name, as was custom.

Mott Community College returns Native American remains unknowingly stored in artifacts room

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Flint Journal extras: See more articles about Native American remains found in the Flint area.

FLINT, Michigan — For four decades, they sat in wooden, glass-top cases on a shelf waiting to be found.

Forty-four years later, the ancestral remains of a Native American child and adult unknowingly stored at Mott Community College have finally been laid to rest.

MCC recently returned the skeletal remains found in a science collections room to their closest relations, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, who buried them in November.

“They weren’t honoring the memories that may be attached to them just lying in a display case,” said Michael Simon, manager of the college’s president’s office and Board of Trustees.

Tribal Colleges’ Top Priority for Obama: ‘Full and Forward Funding’

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

As enrollment at tribal colleges spikes, American Indians are hoping the Obama administration will make good on campaign promises to increase funding.

From 1998 to 2001, Carrie Billy served as the first executive director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities under the Clinton administration. During her tenure, TCUs received their largest ever federal funding increase as well as the establishment of the American Indian Teacher Corps Program, the Tribal College Technology Information Program and other important advances in tribal college funding and programming. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Georgetown University Law School.

Billy took over as head of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, which oversees 36 tribal colleges in the United States, last summer.