The Te-Moak Tribe of the Western Shoshone have lost another court bid to stop the expansion of the Cortez Hills mine project on their traditional territory. On June 18, 2010, the U.S. Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to rule against the Shoshone, reversing its previous ruling in December 2009 that ordered a temporarily halt … Continue Reading: http://intercontinentalcry.org/shoshone-lose-court-bid-to-protect-mount-tenabo/”>http://intercontinentalcry.org/shoshone-lose-court-bid-to-protect-mount-tenabo/
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The Honorable Barack Obama
The President of the United States of America
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500-0004
Dear Mr. President,
Greetings. Upon this historical event, we wish to thank you for your commitment and dedication to bring forth meaningful change for our Peoples. On behalf of the Timbisha Shoshone of the Western Shoshone Nation and the many other Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of North America, we call upon the government of the United States of America (USA) to act in due haste to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution #61/295 at its 107th plenary on September 13, 2007.
We are confident that through your leadership and peacemaking goals as exemplified in your membership on the UN Human Rights Council, you will adopt this historic human rights instrument. We ask for this action immediately.
Mr. President, we write this in recognition of what we believe is your sincere commitment to uphold and strengthen the relationships with the US government and American Indian Nations. In keeping with your invitation to meet leaders of the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of North America which brings us to Washington DC, we offer our greetings to you and extend our hands in the spirit of a renewed and re-visioned expression of this relationship. A critical part of this relationship is recognizing that the time has come to break the chains from centuries of racism, colonization and ongoing oppression across North America. This can begin to be accomplished by the US adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We have entered a new age – a time of reflection and correcting the wrongs of previous eras. Let us set forth on a positive pathway together. As you know, thousands of Indigenous Peoples here in the US, and indeed throughout the world, stood up with trust and faith in your message of equity and justice for all, during your campaign. As Indigenous Peoples are equal to all other Peoples, it is time that the relationship of our Nations and Pueblos with the US must be redefined. This is more than a matter of honor. It is a matter of doing what is right and it is critical to our continuing and ever evolving relationship with the US federal government.
Mr. President, we believe in your commitment for real and systemic change that can imprint upon our future generations and lead the world in a good and honorable way. This can be accomplished by finally and for the first time ever, fully recognizing the rights of the Indigenous Nations.
Although an apology for the oppression of US policies that brutalized our homelands and have devastated our peoples, cultures and ecosystems, is well in order and in fact long overdue, it is not enough. Adopting the UNDRIP is a meaningful and responsible step toward long-term reconciliation that can resonate across the globe with Indigenous Peoples of the World.
The implementation of the UNDRIP institutes a new systemic standard that calls for complementary readjustment among entities of the government states and the Nations of the Indigenous Peoples, normalizing peaceful relations and creating partnerships based on mutual respect and cooperation.
Hopefully, this letter prompts the United States’ immediate attention to and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We know this will produce a positive and constructive diplomatic venue to advance the recognition, respect, and protection of the Human Rights and Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples, both within the domestic and international arenas.
Chairman, Timbisha Shoshone of the Western Shoshone Nation
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at 6:00 PM
The untold story of Johnny Cash, protest singer and Native American activist, and his feud with the music industry
By Antonino D’Ambrosio
(Photo Johnny Cash with Bob Dylan)
President Nixon to Johnny Cash: “Johnny, would you be willing to play a few songs for us,” Nixon asked Cash. “I like Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie From Muskogee’ and Guy Drake’s ‘Welfare Cadillac.'” The architect of the GOP’s Southern strategy was asking for two famous expressions of white working-class resentment.
“I don’t know those songs,” replied Cash, “but I got a few of my own I can play for you.” Dressed in his trademark black suit, his jet-black hair a little longer than usual, Cash draped the strap of his Martin guitar over his right shoulder and played three songs, all of them decidedly to the left of “Okie From Muskogee.” With the nation still mired in Vietnam, Cash had far more than prison reform on his mind. Nixon listened with a frozen smile to the singer’s rendition of the explicitly antiwar “What Is Truth?” and “Man in Black” (“Each week we lose a hundred fine young men”) and to a folk protest song about the plight of Native Americans called “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.” It was a daring confrontation with a president who was popular with Cash’s fans and about to sweep to a crushing reelection victory, but a glimpse of how Cash saw himself — a foe of hypocrisy, an ally of the downtrodden. An American protest singer, in short, as much as a country music legend.
Read article at Salon:
Join The Caravan In Support Of Big Mountain Resistance Communities of Black Mesa, AZ.
November 21-28, 2009
Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,
We are excited to inform you that a caravan of work crews will once again be converging from across the country in support of residents of the Big Mountain regions of Black Mesa. On behalf of their peoples, their sacred ancestral lands and future generations, these communities continue to carry out a staunch resistance to the efforts of the US Government, which is acting in the interests of the Peabody Coal Company, to devastate whole communities and ecosystems and greatly de-stabilize our planet’s climate for the profit of an elite few.
By assisting with direct, on-land projects you are helping families stay on their ancestral homelands in resistance to an illegal occupation and working for climate justice. These communities serve as the very blockade to coal mining! More than 14,000 Dine’ people have been forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands due to spin created by the U.S government & Peabody Coal, under the guise of the so-called “Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute.” Families are now in their THIRD DECADE resisting this travesty and, as you can imagine, many residents are very elderly and winters can be rough. With their guidance, the aim of this caravan is to honor the elders and to generate support in the form of direct, on-land support: chopping and hauling firewood, doing minor repair work, offering holistic health care, and sheep-herding before the approaching cold winter months arrive.
“The Big Mountain matriarchal leaders always believed that resisting forced relocation will eventually benefit all ecological systems, including the human race,” says Bahe Keediniihii, Dineh organizer and translator. “Continued residency by families throughout the Big Mountain region has a significant role in the intervention of Peabody’s future plan for Black Mesa coal to be the major source of unsustainable energy, the growing dependency on fossil fuel, and escalating green house gas emissions. We will continue to fight to defend our homelands.”
Peabody Coal’s Disastrous Coal Mining Operations on Black Mesa: At this moment, decision makers in Washington D.C. are planning ways to continue their occupation of tribal lands under the guise of extracting “clean coal,” which does not exist. In 30 years of disastrous operation, Dine’ and Hopi communities in Arizona have been ravaged by Peabody’s coal mining, which has taken land from and forcibly relocated thousands of families, has drained 2.5 million gallons of water daily from the only community water supply, and has left a toxic legacy along an abandoned 273-mile coal slurry pipeline. Peabody’s Black Mesa mine has been the source of an estimated 325 million tons of CO2 that have been discharged into the atmosphere. Coal from the Black Mesa Mine could contribute an additional 290 million tons of CO2 to the global warming crisis!* Ignoring protests from Dineh and Hopi communities and their allies, the U.S. Government (Office of Surface Mining) has permitted Peabody Energy to extend it’s massive strip-mining operations until 2026 or until the coal is gone. Peabody Coal Co. plans to seize another 19,000 acres of sacred land beyond the 67,000 acres already in Peabody’s grasp at Black Mesa. Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal Company, is the world’s largest private-sector coal company, operating mines throughout North America, South America, and Australia and is the twelfth largest coal exporter. In addition Peabody is proposing new coal-fired power plants in several states. Peabody’s coal mining will exacerbate already devastating environmental and cultural impacts on local communities and significantly add fuel to the fire of the current global climate chaos!
We are at a critical juncture and must take a stand in support of communities on the front lines of resistance now! Indigenous and land-based peoples have maintained the understanding that our collective survival is deeply dependent on our relationship to Mother Earth. Victory in protecting and reclaiming the Earth will require a broad movement that can help bridge cultures, issues and nations.
BMIS wishes for this caravan to be an important opportunity for people of all backgrounds to listen and work with the families of Black Mesa to generate more awareness that relocation laws & coal mining need to be stopped, that these communities deserve to be free on their ancestral homelands, and to come together to strengthen our solidarity and find ways to work together to protect Black Mesa & our Mother Earth for all life.
Ways you can support:
Join the Caravan & Be Self-Sufficient! By joining one of the volunteer work crews, you are expected to be adequately prepared and self-sufficient prior to your visit on Black Mesa, which is a very remote area in a high desert terrain. There is no electricity, no central heating, and no running water. You must come prepared, and bring everything you will need. There could be extreme weather, and it will be cold especially at night! Each participant will need to bring food, water, outdoor camping gear (although we will likely be staying inside with families), very warm clothing, and appropriate attire for hands-on manual work. Coming equipped with chainsaws, trucks, shovels, axes & mauls dramatically increases your effectiveness as a work crew!
Read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide: All direct, on-land supporters of Black Mesa are required to thoroughly read over and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide. This document is an in-depth guide that contains important information that you will need prior to and during your visit with a host family on Black Mesa. This guide gives you crucial information about what to expect, what to bring, how to be adequately prepared, background and current his/herstory, safety and legal issues, cultural sensitivity, code of conduct, and a suggested list of what to bring with you. We want to ensure that each person is informed about the agreements & basic requests by these communities, that each person is safe and accounted for, and that we have your contact and emergency contact info should an emergency arise. It is of the utmost importance that each caravan participant understand and respect the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Please print out & bring this guidebook with you during your visit to Black Mesa http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/
Pre-register: To help us estimate how many people to expect as well as to help us make necessary accommodations for all.
Host or attend regional organizational meetings in your area: We strongly urge participants to attend or organize regional meetings. Caravan coordinators are located in Prescott, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Colorado, Ithaca, NY, and the San Francisco’s Bay Area. The meeting locations and dates will be posted at the BMIS website as coordinators set them up. This caravan will be collaborating with the annual Clan Dyken Fall Food & Supply Run on Black Mesa.
Raise Awareness about Black Mesa and the caravan. You can obtain literature from BMIS.
Organize fundraisers: At the weeks prior to every caravan, grassroots supporters from all over throw benefits to raise the much-needed funds, for such things as supplies, wood, and direct, on-land people-support. Please contact BMIS for guidelines prior to any fund-raising in the name of Big Mountain and Black Mesa.
Collect supplies: Chainsaws, axes, mauls, axe handles, tools of all kinds, organic food, warm blankets, and especially trucks –either to donate to families or to use for the week of the caravan–are greatly needed on the land to make this caravan work! Check back on the BMIS website for an ongoing list of specific requests from the land.
Donate: We are not receiving nor relying on any institutional funding for these support efforts, but are instead counting on each person’s ingenuity, creativity, and hard work to make it all come together. We are hoping to raise enough money through our community connections for gas, specifically for collecting wood and food for host families, and for work projects.
Stay with a family on Black Mesa: Families living in resistance to coal mining and relocation laws are requesting self-sufficient guests who are willing to give three or more weeks of their time, especially in the winter. Since it is crucial to have good help out there and not create more work for the families, all supporters are required to read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity Preparedness Guide. Contact BMIS in advance so that we can make arrangements prior to your stay, to answer any questions that you may have, and so we can help put you in touch with a family.
We can’t wait to see you in November!Give Back To Mother Earth! Give To Future Generations!
Black Mesa Indigenous Support
Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to working with and supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa in their Struggle for Life and Land who are targeted by & resisting unjust large-scale coal mining operations and forced relocation policies of the US government.
Black Mesa Indigenous Support
P.O. Box 23501, Flagstaff, Arizona 86002
Message Voice Mail: 928.773.8086
This was originally posted by Brenda Norrell at http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/
From the Denver American Indian Commission:
The Denver American Indian Commission believes the city’s rich community of diverse tribes deserves a proactive change most of us can agree on — that rapidly approaching Columbus Day could be transformed into a day to honor our all of cultures and values. Only in recent years and in some places has the holiday become a tribute to Indian America, but the DAIC believes our Denver community could join the growing chorus of tribal nations and other Native and non-Native entities that choose to honor the continent’s original residents and its vital, pre-1492 history. We feel this is an opportunity we can’t take lightly.
Our present and future generations view their culture and themselves as being directly affected by how we celebrate our history. As it stands, the holiday reinforces the inaccurate notion that North America came into being in 1492, when “uncivilized” Native inhabitants appeared only to play a short-lived role in the founding myth, and soon vanished into history.
With growing, abundant evidence of complex pre-Columbian cultures in North as well as South America, we want to restore our ancestral tribal nations to the dignity they deserve. Therefore, the DAIC is joining a growing number of tribes and nations, like the sentiment of the 10,000-member Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians that this year voted unanimously to replace recognition of Columbus Day with a day to commemorate the cultural and religious center of Choctaw life.
“For Native Americans, Columbus Day should not be a day of celebration,” said Mississippi Band Chief (Miko) Beasley Denson. “His arrival on our shores marked the beginning of centuries of exploitation of our people and our land. Much better that we should celebrate our rich culture and our traditions.”The following have eliminated, replaced or changed Columbus Day, according to media and internet information: Navajo Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Tohono O’odham Nation, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, and Gila River Indian Community; Cities of Berkeley, Portland, and Duluth; the states of Alaska, South Dakota, Hawaii, Nevada, and Alabama, and several colleges and universities, including Brown University, Rhode Island.
Although Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations’ tribal offices remain open on the holiday, the Osage Nation and United Keetoowah Band’s tribal offices close and the tribes refer to the day as Osage Day and Native American Day, respectively. As an organization, the Native American Rights Fund does not observe Columbus Day as a holiday. The 350-member Gathering of Indigenous People in the Americas since 1992 has referred to the day as the International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.
The DAIC supports and joins the Episcopal Church in repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery, an inadequate excuse offered by the early Christian Church for the brutal Colombian invasion and theft of Native homelands. The Doctrine is also the basis for subsequent laws and policies that damage Native North America today.
Let us join the many tribes and nations that have already made positive changes in their communities.
Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.
Sympathetic signs from President Barack Obama have inspired hope among Sioux spiritual and government leaders that some federal land in the Black Hills might one day be returned to Native American control.
Leaders for Sioux tribes in the Dakotas, Montana and Nebraska are holding meetings to shape a proposal on Black Hills land for the Obama administration, one they hope will be better than the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1980. That forced settlement was about millions of dollars, not acres of land, and it has consistently been rejected by tribes of the Great Sioux Nation.