Thursday, February 28, 2008

Support for Longest Walk from Big Mountain

Yaa'at'eeh Sh' Dine'eh,
(Good Greetings My Relatives)

In the late 70s not long after Wounded Knee 1973 and the capture of political prisoner Leonard Peltier, Indigenous nations of Turtle Island (western hemisphere) came together to do a spiritual walk across the US from San Francisco to Washington D.C. The 1978 Longest Walk was to bring attention to eleven, anti-Indian legislation that were about to go before the US Congress. These legislations were supported by racist, white organizations and their elected representatives. Legislations were intented to carry out numerous aspects of racism and inhumanities like abolishing all Indian treaties and the sterlization of Indian women.

The traditional Dineh elders at Big Mountain in 1978 were resisting federal relocation laws being enforced in the name of Peabody coal companies. Despite their full time resistance movement at home, they decided to support the 1978 Walk. They had one local volunteer who decided to walk all the way to educate other Indian nations and to bring attention to the injustices occuring on Black Mesa. A medicine man conducted a ceremony for the 78 Walk and gave the volunteer walker a sacred bundle with instructions to offer it to the sacred (Colorado) River before the Walk crossed it.

A few elders came to Richfield, Utah to show their support and solidarity for the Walk of 1978. About a week after the first Big Mountain delegate visited to the 1978 Walk, indigenous spiritual leaders of the Walk and a few walkers came to the river's bank outside of Fruita, Colorado to offer the Dineh bundle's contents. Corn pollen were offered in prayer and the sacred stone offerings were gently dispensed on the water's edge. The Longest Walk of 1978 then proceeded across the bridge over the sacred (Colorado) River. This spiritual walk was becoming stronger with more walkers joining, more awareness that there were still Indians in the U.S., and a busload of Dineh walkers showed up soon after the Walk crossed the Colorado River. The early spring snow storms was harsh as the Walk approached the Backbone of the Turtle Island (The Rockies), and the prayers of the peoples' Walk were only getting stronger, too.

The Big Mountain delegation returned, again, with more of its community members to Pueblo, Colorado where the 78 Walk had a one week rest. The Dineh visit also brought with them their local medicine man and he gathered some Dineh youth walkers to hold a special ceremony to make a staff for the Walk. This Dineh visit also brought the much needed traditional foods like corn meals and fresh mutton. Since the Wounded Knee battle of 1973 (WK 73), the traditional Dineh's solidarity with all Red (Indian) Nations at the Pueblo, CO meeting had re-enforced the continuing alliances of WK 73.

Today and 30 years later, some remaining Dineh resisters and their relatives at Big Mountain wish to show their support again. The targeted date for joining the walkers will be when the northern route of Longest Walk II reach Pueblo, CO. There are other efforts being made to support the two Walks of 2008, southern & northern routes, but for many of you who know about the Big Mountain struggle know that we are a very poor country and that we rely on outside resources to initiate our actions. This time I, Kat-the-Bahe, wish to find possible means to make this commemorative effort possible, again.

Or if you are on the Rez and know of others wishing to visit the northern route at Pueblo, CO., feel free to contact me. My Rez List does not even exist so please forward this to the rest of our Rez families. Perhaps, we can all share resources in order to avoid the high gas prices instituted by U.S. oil companies and to share the efforts in transport. This would be so unique to accomplish such a commemoration and to give the northern route a big boost for their strength and for their prayers that will get them to D.C.

It is very crucial that we communicate and acknowledge one another as the way our ancestors have done throughout the ages. With that and together, we can let all other indigenous and non-native communities know that we are still proud of our ancient beliefs and existence. The northern route as you may know is following the original route of 1978 and as we speak, these walkers' footsteps and prayers are crossing those same rivers, same valleys, same mountain ranges and the same grasslands. The decendents of all our Relations: the Winged People, Peoples of the Water, Four Legged Peoples, Those that Crawled on the Soils, and the Ancestors' Spirits will all know, again, that We have not forgotten them nor have we forgotten our efforts to survive with our coming generations.

Contrary to the times of 1978, our environment is more polluted, our ancient sacred places are evermore desecrated, our wise chiefs and medicine people are nearly gone, our understanding of our human self has become less, and our communications with all our relationships, nature and universe, are more severed. Join the Big Mountain Dineh in bringing not only support but a message of great hope that Mother Earth and Father Sky will have pity on us, for that we will retreive our human identities and begin to recount the proper ceremonies of the human races.

The Longest Walk of 1978 has inscripted its legacies in the indigenous histories, and countless memories and wisdom were born from that era and those events. These legacies are still the driving force of many resistance movements and teachings of today's Native struggles. The Longest Walk of 1978 open the doorway for the Big Mountain traditional and sovereign movement to the world. If it weren't for the Longest Walk of 1978, Big Mountain would have never: joined the Dineh alliances for liberation, created community resource camps, formed alliances with non-Indian environmental groups, and established the seed for the Sun Dances of Dineh country.

Thank you so much for listening.

In the Spirit of Chief Barboncito,

Kat (the Bahe)

Big Mountain Dine'eh

Sheep Dog Nation Rocks 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

California Senate hears testimony on University violating Native rights

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

California Senate hears testimony on University violating Native rights

California Senate Hears Testimony on University's Violations of Federal Law & Native American Rights

Tribes Demand 12,000 Ancestral Remains and 200,000 Sacred Objects Returned from University of California Berkeley

By Morning Star Gali

SACRAMENTO, CA. -- On February 26, 2008, Native American Tribal Leaders, Cultural Heritage Directors, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) experts, and UC Berkeley administrators testified at a Senate hearing held at the State Capitol. The hearing was held following Tribal protests of UC Berkeley's violations of federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Tribal leaders and representatives have voiced concern that UC Berkeley has denied the Tribes' right to bring to rest hundreds of thousands of sacred objects and ancestral remains. UC Berkeley also eliminated their special NAGPRA unit that was created for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the laws.The hearing room was full with 60 Tribal Officials, Native American supporters, and less than a handful of UC Berkeley Administrators and Officials. Senator Dean Florez, Chairman of the Committee on Government Organization facilitated the informational hearing as an intervention to the ongoing eight-month battle between Native American Tribal Representatives and UC Berkeley officials and administrators, including Chancellor Birgeneau. "University of California Berkeley completely and deliberately excluded all Natives from the secretive review process that eliminated the NAGPRA program, and did so in spite of strenuous protests by tribes and other Native Americans," Stated Mark LeBeau of the Pit River Nation and Native American NAGPRA Coalition member. Given that the UC System receives state funding and is therefore accountable to the state, establishing a policy of interaction with tribes is in the best interest of all parties involved, " testified LeBeau during the hearing.Mark Hall, a former Archeologist with the autonomous NAGPRA unit, before it was administratively eliminated, testified, "I am here today not as a disgruntled former employee, but as an Archaeologist and museum professional who is outraged and disgusted with what has transpired with UC Berkley and its NAGPRA obligations."Larri Fredricks, former Interim NAGPRA Coordinator Chair at UC Berkeley testified that the reorganization of the NAGPRA unit into the Phoebe Hearst museum, "was orchestrated in secrecy, deliberately excluded all Native Americans and tribal representatives for the sole purpose of getting rid of the existing NAGPRA unit and reorganizing NAGPRA into the museum. The operations of NAGPRA, in order to serve the best interests of all, should be transparent, be in a neutral place and Native American tribes should be represented. These are after all Native American remains…what other group in America does not have a right to speak for their dead?"The federal NAGPRA policy was established in 1990 to assist tribes in bringing their ancestors and sacred objects home. In California, AB978, or Cal-NAGPRA, was created in 2001 to extend the law to non-federally recognized tribes within California. UC Berkeley is known to hold the second largest Native American collection in the Nation which includes human remains and sacred objects."Despite federal and state law, the University continues to possess the remains of more than 12,000 Native ancestors and more than 200,000 ancestral items and sacred objects," stated Morning Star Gali, Ajumawi Band of Pit River and Native American NAGPRA Coalition member. "The right to control our ancestral remains is a basic human entitlement that nearly all groups in the United States are afforded except Native Americans."Lalo Franco of the Yokut/Wukchumni Nations and Cultural Heritage Director of the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe testified, "Indian people see the return of their ancestors and sacred objects as a return of their cultural and spiritual foundations, which is the very heart of Indian nations. In order to bring their people home to their rightful resting places, to protect those at rest, and to fulfill the mandates of NAGPRA, Native people have over the years begun to understand the limitations of the law's process and regulations." In addressing the University's claims to be in compliance with NAGPRA regulations, Franco stated, "The University scientists hold a professional stake in keeping these ancestors at the University for their own research purposes. However, such activity violates Native American spiritual and cultural practice and likely puts UCB into non-compliance with federal NAGPRA policy."Otis Parrish, Kashia Pomo Elder and NAGPRA Cultural Attaché at UC Berkeley for 9 years before the unit was eliminated stated, "What occurred was a breach of friendship and a violation of trust and honor. My tribe and my relations have all given much to the Phoebe Hearst Museum and UC Berkeley. We have given freely of our knowledge, of our tribal ways, and have trusted in ties of friendship and respect. The University simply threw this away. Native Americans, and a unit which fairly administered NAGPRA were lied to and treated with contempt and disrespect. They didn't consult with the very people at the University who had the most knowledge and experience with both tribes and NAGPRA. And when we asked for Native American tribes to be represented on the review committee, the answer from the Vice Chancellor was an absolute no! Why? I can only assume that they believed tribes would reject their decision." Parrish also testified, "California Tribes…and all tribes were described by administrators as having no relevant knowledge or experience in museums. Remember NAGPRA is a human rights issue – not a 'museum efficiency issue' – and it was designed to give us a chance to repatriate our ancestors and rebury them as they deserve. No other Americans have had their ancestors' graves pillaged and their bones taken away to museum shelves, to be researched on at the whim of scientists."Larri Fredricks stated, "The review was a set up, intended to give legitimacy to a decision that had already been made. Tribes were excluded because they would have seen that decision for what it was: a coup by museum scientists who wanted to keep the remains for purposes of research and by museum administrators who wanted control of the NAGPRA budget."During the hearing, Senator Darrell Steinberg pointed out that he had visited UC Berkeley in the past and saw the remains himself. He insisted that this was a civil rights issue and that the remains should not be held in storage areas. "If there were remains of my ancestors, European Americans, in the Hearst museum at one of the most respected universities in the country, there would be an absolute outcry from people, and I guarantee you something would be done about it quickly but because they're Native American remains, somehow it is different."Jessica LePak, UC Berkeley Graduate student and member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and Native American NAGPRA Coalition attended the day's hearing stated, "The University clearly puts more value on their research interests and has yet to show respect for the rights of Indigenous people and for the spirit of NAGPRA policies".Senator Florez, Senator Jim Battin, and Senator Darrell Steinberg agreed that UC Berkeley has not appropriately collaborated with tribes or acted in a transparent manner as required by the federal NAGPRA mandate. The Senate committee advised Chancellor Birgeneau to meet with tribal officials and Native American NAGPRA Coalition members within a "reasonable time period". As the meeting closed, Senator Florez asked University officials to relay to the Chancellor to meet with proper tribal consultants and Native American NAGPRA Coalition members. He reminded them that he would call the Chancellor to testify before legislature if he continued to refuse to comply with this request.###-- Morning Star Gali
EDITORIAL CONTACTS: Reno Franklin, Tribal Council Member, Kashia PomoTribe, 707-591-0580, ext. 105, http://us.f520.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=reno@stewartspointrancheria.com;Jessica LePak, Oneida Nation, 415-823-9920, jessica.lepak@gmail.com
NATIVE AMERICAN NAGPRA COALITION CONTACTS: Lalo Franco, 559-925-2831; Radley Davis 530-917-6064; James Hayward, 530-410-2875; Morning Star Gali 510-827-6719; Bennae Calac, 760-617-2872; Douglas Mullen, 530-284-6135; Michael DeSpain, 530-284-7990http://www.longestwalk.org/http://www.earthcycles.net/
Photo: Longest Walkers protest abuse of ancestors' remains at UC Berkeley on Feb. 11, 2008/Photo Brenda Norrell (Double click to enlarge)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Update: Alex and Deb White Plume house fire

February 14, 2008

By Kent Lebsock

Debra and Alex White Plume’s friends and family, as well as the many allies they have nurtured through the tremendous work of Owe Aku, responded immediately and generously to our request for help. Following the tragic fire which destroyed their home, its contents and all of the irreplaceable documents and art in the Owe Aku office, their faith in our extended community never failed. Alex began, within hours of the fire, to clear the area and gather a team to rebuild their home. Debra never hesitated for a moment to organize, mobilize and manage the team she leads in taking on the multinational corporations threatening to expand uranium mining in and around Pine Ridge. [As of this writing, the case is being briefed by attorneys on both sides and the critical issue of treaties is being examined by the Court.] In addition, we were able to present important materials on international human rights issues at a three-day historic treaty gathering in Pine Ridge of all the treaty groups from all of the reservations. As a person living in New York City , where the cost of therapy and the delay in subway service, often seems to consume my self-absorbed days, the White Plumes and their tiyospaye continue to teach me that we, as individuals, are only as important as our dedication to the people we serve.

Previously, we had reported that they hoped to be in their new temporary shelter within a couple of weeks after the fire. Unfortunately, although tremendous progress was made by Alex’s volunteer construction team largely because the supplies could be purchased from the generous donations, the cold (it was 30 below zero last week) and the dwindling resources have slowed things dramatically. An exterior has been constructed and, according to my friend Matt in South Dakota , he has put in the electricity and other indoor stuff, so they are down to the point of putting up walls and the things that make a place habitable. For all of these weeks, the White Plumes, their daughter and five of their grandchildren have been living in three motel rooms.

So shamelessly, I am appealing to one and all once again. I know many of you have already given and we are all grateful. I know some of you wanted to give but couldn’t and a few of us pledged to give but never actually got around to doing so (me! – my self-absorbed excuse: unemployment J). But once again, I simply appeal to you that if there is anything left to give, or other sources you can think of to forward this too, or rich relatives you havent’ hit up, please do so. It is going to be a long road to get things where we want them to be, but any help anyone can give is a true blessing that is not unnoticed in many worlds.

Donations can be sent directly to :

Debra White Plume

PO Box 535

Manderson , SD 57756

Pay pal contributions can also be made at:

http://www.hempreport.com/2007/12/white-plume-home-burns-to-ground.html

Thank you so much,

Kent Lebsock

Kent Lebsock

Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way)

International Justice & Human Rights Project

917-751-4239

iamkent@verizon.net

South Dakota:

lakota1@gwtc.net

www.bringbacktheway.com

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Federal complaint against Chertoff by Apache in Texas

Page 1
-1-
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
BROWNSVILLE DIVISION
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
)
)
Plaintiff,
)
Civil No.
)
v.
)
COMPLAINT IN CONDEMNATION
)
[With Declaration of Taking]
37.52 ACRES OF LAND, more or less,
)
[40 U.S.C. §3114]
situate in CAMERON COUNTY, STATE )
OF TEXAS; and TEXAS SOUTHMOST
)
COLLEGE DISTRICT, ET AL.,
)
)
Defendants.
)
COMPLAINT IN CONDEMNATION
1.
This is an action of a civil nature brought by the United States of America, at the
request of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, through the Acting Executive
Director, Asset Management, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for the taking of a
temporary interest in property, under the power of eminent domain through a Declaration of
Taking, and for the determination and award of just compensation to the owners and parties in
interest. Jurisdiction for this action is conferred by 28 U.S.C. Section 1358.
2.
The authority for the taking of a temporary interest in property is under and in
accordance with the Act of Congress approved on February 26, 1931, as 46 Stat. 1421 and
codified at 40 U.S.C. Section 3114, and the Act of Congress approved August 1, 1888, as 25
Stat. 357 and codified at 40 U.S.C. Section 3113, and any acts supplementary thereto and
amendatory thereof; the Act of Congress approved September 30, 1996, as Public Law 104-208,
Case 1:08-cv-00056 Document 1 Filed 02/08/2008 Page 1 of 3
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Division C, Section 102, Stat. 3009-546, 3009-554, as amended and codified at 8 U.S.C. Section
1103(b) & note; and the Act of Congress approved October 4, 2006, as Public Law 109-295,
Title II, 120 Stat. 1355, which appropriated the funds which shall be used for the taking.
3.
The public purpose for the taking of the temporary interest in property is to
conduct surveying, testing, and other investigatory work needed to plan the proposed
construction of roads, fencing, vehicle barriers, security lighting, and related structures designed
to help secure the United States/Mexico border within the State of Texas.
4.
A general description of the land subject to the temporary interest being taken by
the United States is set forth in Schedule “C” attached to the Declaration of Taking filed in this
action and made a part hereof, and a plan or plat thereof is shown on Schedule “D” attached to
the Declaration of Taking and made a part hereof.
5.
The temporary interest being acquired in the property is described in Schedule “E”
attached to the Declaration of Taking and made a part hereof.
6.
The names and addresses of known parties having or claiming an interest in said
property are as follows:
Texas Southmost College District
c/o Chester Gonzalez
Chairman, Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, Texas 78520
Mark G. Yudof
Chancellor, The University of Texas System
601 Colorado Street, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78701
7.
In addition to those persons named, there are or may be others who have or may
Case 1:08-cv-00056 Document 1 Filed 02/08/2008 Page 2 of 3
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have some interest in the property or interests to be taken, whose names are unknown to the
United States, and such persons are made parties in the action under the designation “Other
Interested Parties.”
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff United States of America demands judgment that the property
and interests be condemned, and that just compensation for the taking be ascertained and
awarded, and such other relief as may be lawful and proper.
Respectfully submitted,
DONALD J. DeGABRIELLE, JR.
United States Attorney
By: /s/
Charles Wendlandt
CHARLES WENDLANDT
Assistant United States Attorney
Admissions I.D. Number: 12172
State Bar I.D. Number: 21171500
800 N. Shoreline, Suite 500
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Tel.: (361) 888-3111
FAX (361) 888-3200
Case 1:08-cv-00056 Document 1 Filed 02/08/2008 Page 3 of 3

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Col. Ann Wright says Bush and Cheney are Axis of Evil

Col. Ann Wright: Bush and Cheney are axis of evil

Singing all the way to prison, aging Americans go to prison to protest US torture

By Brenda Norrell
Human rights editor
U.N. OBSERVER & International Report

TUCSON – President Bush and his top advisors have violated international laws prohibiting torture and must be held accountable, Retired Army Col. Ann Wright told a gathering in Tucson.
It is the same style of torture that Carlos Mauricio suffered through in El Salvador in 1983. Mauricio’s torturers were trained by the US military who used the manuals of the U.S. School of the Americas.Col. Wright and Mauricio spoke at the Festival of Hope on Feb. 3, as three more aging Americans, prepared for a hearing and possible prison sentences, following peaceful protests of the Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca.
Exposing the secrets of torture, in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, prisoners of conscience arrived from throughout the United States to prepare for a court hearing in federal court here on Monday, Feb. 4.
Fr. Jerry Zawada and Betsy Lamb, both in prison in Florence awaiting trial, and Mary Burton Riseley, are charged with conspiracy, trespass and failure to obey an officer at Fort Huachuca in November.Already in prison are two priests, Fr. Steve Kelly and Fr. Louis Vitale, for kneeling in prayer in protest of US torture at Fort Huachuca in Nov. 2006.
Mauricio began with these words, “My story belongs to many El Salvadorans.”It is the story of torture.“There were many El Salvadorans who could not come and tell their story, because they were killed.”
Mauricio was a teacher when the Death Squad came for him. They entered his classroom, which he considers a sacred place, and beat him. With blood gushing from his head, he was blindfolded and kidnapped. He felt certain he would be killed. This was the fate of all the others kidnapped, whose tortured and mutiliated bodies were thrown in the streets.
Mauricio did not know why they had come for him. He had spoken out against injustices, but was never a guerrilla. When he was taken to the place of torture, he was first forced to hear the screams of the victims of electric shock and asphixiation.
“I heard women being raped.”Since he had nothing to tell his torturers, they became convinced he was trained in Cuba to withstand torture. Believing it would stop the torture, Mauricio simply agreed that he had been trained in Cuba. But then they wanted the names of the military who trained him, names that didn’t exist. Mauricio said this is the reality of information obtained by torture, people will say anything to make the torture stop. It is not viable information.Severely beaten, Mauricio was left seven days without food or water.
When he was taken to the dungeon, where thousands of coachroaches swarmed above his head in the death chamber, the arrival of the International Red Cross led to his life being spared. He was the only person he knew tortured at the National Police Headquarters who lived.
“What happened to me in El Salvador happened in Abu-Ghraib. They (his torturers in El Salvador) came here to learn torture and were taught torture at the School of the Americas.”
Mauricio said generals were brought to justice for his torture. Now, Mauricio wants to turn that clandestine torture cell into a “place to remember,” for torture victims all over the world.
“Torture is a crime. It is legal in the United States, but it is a crime. That person can be prosecuted under the law.”
He said those responsible now for torture must be held accountable.It took Mauricio 12 years to be able to tell his story.
“It brings healing to my suffering. It brings healing to my trauma,” he told the gathering.“We are very interested in keeping the memory alive of what happened.”
“We need a place to remember.”
Bill O’Neil, attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights in DC, is now defending torture victims from Abu-Ghraib. O’Neil said the name of the campaign here in Tucson, “Torture on Trial,” grabbed him.
“Torture is on trial everyday in this country.”O’Neil, corporate attorney for 15 years, said when the photos of the torture victims at Abu-Ghraib were broadcast on television, he said, “We decided we had to do something.”
“The pictures in public are just the tip of the iceberg.”One of the first victims, seeking an attorney in Detroit, was Saleh, a Swedish citizen who had immigrated to Iraq and was tortured in prison by Saddam Hussein. After fleeing to Sweden, he returned to Iraq after the US invasion, believing Iraq to be safe.
However, he was picked up in a sweep of “anyone who looked suspicious,” and once again tortured in Abu-Ghraib, this time by United States personnel. “It was so incongrous, he didn’t know to process this,” O’Neil said.
O’Neil said the U.S. torture in Abu-Ghraib was “right out of the manual created by the School of the Americas.”Since the United States government has immunity from prosecution, the U.S. could not be sued for torture. With Amnesty International joining the action, a federal class action lawsuit was filed against the private security contractors who participated in the torture at Abu-Ghraib.
In Abu-Ghraib, private security forces wore the same clothing that military personnel did. US soldiers did not always know who was giving the orders. When the private security forces who provided translators -- CACI International Inc. and Titan Corporation – gave orders, soldiers often believed the private contractors to be CIA officers.
Although the lawsuit was filed in 2004, due to US and court maneuvers, the lawsuit still has not gone to trial. The court dismissed Titan from the lawsuit after the company argued it had no control over its employees’ actions. But O’Neil said Titan was supplying translators who delivered the ultimatums such as “killing family members" and participated in beatings.
Now, 256 of the US torture victims at Abu-Ghraib have been identified.O’Neil encouraged torture victims to keep telling their stories. He said when he is driving home from work in DC, he sees others like those gathered here in Tucson, protesting torture outside the home of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Hopeful, O’Neil said he believes there will someday be fair and open trials for the victims of Abu-Ghraib. He believes free and independent courts will someday allow justice.
In the letters from prison read at the Festival of Hope, Jerry Zawada said he made his decision to risk going to prison when he saw the injustice carried out in the case of Fr.’s Vitale and Kelly. During the priests' federal trial in Tucson, attorney Bill Quigley had huge stacks of US government manuals with data of US torture, data that the judge ruled was not admissable in court in the case of the two priests.
In prison, and remembering the goodness of those in this struggle, Zawada ended his letter with these words, “How can I keep from singing?”
Col. Wright described how she was recently prevented from entering Canada because her name was on an FBI list.Col. Wright said there was other news from Canada. The U.S. was recently placed on Canada’s list for countries that engage in torture. However, the US remained on the list for only two days. She said there were likely “a lot of calls between DC and Ottawa.”
Col. Wright, author of “DISSENT: Voices of Conscience -- Government Insiders Speak Out Against the War in Iraq,” spoke out against the imprisonment of the two local US torture protesters, Lamb and Zawada, as they await trial.“The government throws men and women of conscience into jail before they are even tried. The people who should be in jail are the ones making the policies that we are protesting.”Col. Wright listed names, including Albert Gonzalez, David Addington, John Ashcroft and Willian Haynes.
“They are the men who have broken the laws in this country. They are the ones that should be in jail.”“The senior members of our military should be in jail. The generals should be in jail.”Out of 800 inmates in Guantanamo, three-hundred remain. Only one person, who entered into a plea agreement, has been convicted. The majority imprisoned were never charged with a crime. Most are imprisoned as the result of bounty incentives paid to people to simply provide names.Col. Wright said many of the South American generals responsible for torture now live in the United States, with a large number living in Miami. During a protest there, Col. Wright and others were stoned. They held their protest at the police station, because the police refused to protect them. Still, she plans to return to protest the impunity offered by the U.S. to torturers.“Just like, Bush, Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, they are all part of the axis of evil.”
Pointing out the torture, war in Iraq and secret renditions, Col. Wright said U.S. officials must be held accountable.“We need men and women of conscience to stand up to what our government is doing that is immoral and illegal.”With the spirit of a Southern Gospel, singers Ted Warmbrand and Charlie King closed the Festival of Hope with the lyrics, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, from the jailhouse.”
Among the words remembered, were those of Sami al Haj, Sudanese journalist, covering the war in Afghanistan for al-Jazeera television. In 2001, he was arrested, tortured at both Bagram air base and Kandahar, then transferred to Guantanamo Bay, even though there was no evidence he had committed a crime.
Sami al Hajj’s poem, “Humiliated In The Shackles,” was written for his son. It is from a collection, “Poems from Guantanamo,” written with stone indentions on styrofoam cups.

When I heard pigeons cooing in the trees,
tears covered my face.
When the lark chirped, my thoughts composed
A message for my son.
Mohammad, I am afflicted.
In my despair, I have no one but Allah for comfort.
The oppressors are playing with me,
As they move freely around the world.
They ask me to spy on my countrymen,
Claiming it would be a good deed.
They offer me money and land,
And freedom to go where I please.
Their temptations seize
My attention like lightning in the sky.
But their gift is an empty snake,
Carrying hypocrisy in its mouth like venom,
They have monuments to liberty
And freedom of opinion, which is well and good.
But I explained to them that
Architecture is not justice.
America, you ride on the backs of orphans,
And terrorize them daily.
Bush, beware.The world recognizes an arrogant liar.
To Allah I direct my grievance and my tears.
I am homesick and oppressed.
Mohammad, do not forget me.Support the cause of your father, a God-fearing man.I was humiliated in the shackles.
How can I now compose verses?
How can I now write?
After the shackles and the nights and the suffering and the tears,
How can I write poetry?
My soul is like a roiling sea, stirred by anguish,Violent with passion.
I am a captive, but the crimes are my captors'.
I am overwhelmed with apprehension.Lord, unite me with my son Mohammad.
Lord, grant success to the righteous.

For more information on trial and contacts:
http://www.tortureontrial.org/

Hated Nation: Federal courtroom becomes healing balm

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON – The dialogue in a federal courtroom here evolved into a healing balm, revealing a nation, the United States, that the world has grown weary of, and a growing number of aging Americans willing to serve time in prison to expose the cancer within.
Torture was again on trial in federal court in Tucson Monday, Feb. 4. But in dialogue that surprised those that packed the courtroom, the healing remedy of grace and understanding were combined with wisdom and the spiritual foundation for a better world.Two of the protesters of US torture arrived in court suffering from cold and sleep deprivation. Betsy Lamb and Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada, in prison awaiting trial, had spent the night in cold, bare holding cells. Those holding cells are where all inmates from the privately-run prisons in Florence wait all night before a court appearance.
Dressed in thin prison clothes in a cell without a bed, there is only a cold, stone floor to lie on.
Mary Burton Riseley, in a wheelchair and sick with the flu, appeared with fellow defendants Lamb and Fr. Zawada.
Fr. Zawada, Lamb and Riseley went to Fort Huachuca on November 18, 2007 to hand out flyers with a message they had written to enlisted personnel and officers, and speak to them about interrogation training and the use of torture. After moving past temporary barricades at the Fort's main gate, they were stopped from going any further. They knelt down and were arrested.
The drama that unfolded in federal court was of epic proportions and rare for any courtroom.
It was the sort of dialogue that the world benefits from, including a serious look at US torture, the war in Iraq and the courage of those willing to suffer and make a difference.
There were also humorous moments. Those began when US Army prosecutors played a video of the peaceful protestors walking toward Fort Huachuca the day they were arrested.
On the video, an Army soldier says, “I fuckin’ knew it! Here comes that goddam priest! Shit!”
Although the Army prosecutor, Capt. Evan Seamone, told the court that the soldier had been counseled over his language, it wasn’t long before Magistrate Jacqueline Marshall was suggesting that the Army prosecution was doing entirely too much to aid the case of the defendants.
Earlier, attorneys for the defendants had entered into stipulations. No witnesses took the stand. Each defendant was charged with trespass on a military installation and failure to comply with an officer. The charge of conspiracy was dropped in the stipulations.
During the hearing, Capt. Seamone told the court that waterboarding and other forms of torture were not being taught at Fort Huachuca.
However, the defendants pointed out that the torture manual that resulted in masses of people being tortured, raped, mutilated and murdered in Central and South America was produced at Fort Huachuca.
Further, the manual and the training at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga., continued to provide torture training to military leaders and soldiers throughout the world. (SOA is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.)
Attorney Bill Quigley pointed out that protesters of US torture have gone to prison for longer periods than some of the US military personnel who have actually committed the torture, even torture resulting in homicides in Iraq.
For Riseley, the aging ill defendant seated in a wheelchair, it was her first time to face the court charged with crime. She referred to the book, “Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey Through Iraq.” Author Tony Lagouranis describes how the US carried out torture in Iraq. Riseley said when Lagouranis considered cutting off the fingers of a detainee, he woke up.“
Torture is not a dead issue,” Riseley told the court.” She spoke of how the world was growing to hate the United States, as the US morally excludes others.
Quoting a passage from John, she said, “Perfect love removes all fears.” With so many catastrophes facing the world, including climate change and war, humanity has no choice but to reach out with love in order to prevent becoming extinct like the dinosaurs, she said.
Riseley, who grew up in a military family, said it is her responsibility as a US citizen not to allow torture to continue.
“There exists a culture of torture that is passed down,” she said. “I hope the pressure mounts.”
Riseley said the movement to halt US torture may be small in numbers and the individual actions may seem of little consequence to some, but that is how all of the great social movements for change began, from the women’s movement to the Civil Rights Movement. Every time someone sat down on a bus it brought about change, she said of the Civil Rights Movement.
Lamb began her address to the court by saying she was cold and shaking. “I slept on the cold floor of a holding cell,” she told the court.
Speaking out against the torture in Abu-Ghraib and Guantanamo, Lamb said, “I believe it is the government that should face charges.”
During the eight weeks Lamb was in prison, she received more than 250 letters from around the world, thanking her for taking a stand against US torture.
Earlier, when Fr. Zawada, 71, first entered the courtroom, he did so as a handcuffed happy spirit, fragile, humble and smiling to his friends who packed the courtroom. His kindness and love soon filled the courtroom.First Fr. Zawada described how he spent the previous night in a holding cell, standing up all night in a jail cell of 31 men. He had not slept in 48 hours and was very sleepy. The guards had not allowed him to bring the notes he had written for his sentencing plea.
Fr. Zawada, however, said he was lucky because his fellow defendants were so articulate.
To his attorney Bill Quigley from New Orleans, he said, “Bill has reflected what I have wanted, something of the heart of God.”
Fr. Zawada described his services as a priest in the Philippines and with Chicago’s poor. He explained how he came to understand what depths he must go to, in order to halt the buildup of nuclear weapons and the pervasive mode of war by the United States.“I never planned to get arrested,” he said.
Fr. Zawada was in Baghdad when the bombs fell. He saw people die and knew how the U.S. killed innocent people in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
“I hate prison,” Fr. Zawada said, explaining how the noise and waiting for hours to go to the toilet were difficult as one grows older. But he could not promise that he would not be arrested again.
“I’m willing to spend a lot of time in prison if I have to,” said Fr. Zawada, a resident of Las Vegas. “I can’t promise you that I won’t risk being arrested again.“It is time for us to give our country a good name. We don’t need things, but we need a soul.”
Praising the work in the Tucson area, of those who search for dying migrants, Fr. Zawada shared his joy with the court.“Tucson is the first place where the Sanctuary Movement began. I think that’s beautiful.”
Fr. Zawada said he gained his inspiration to risk prison in peaceful protest of torture from longtime friends Fr. Louis Vitale and Fr. Steve Kelly. The two priests are now in prison, serving five month sentences for kneeling in prayer in protest of US torture at Fort Huachuca. Fr. Kelly remains in "the hole," or solitary confinement in a state of resistance in a California prison.
After the three defendants, Lamb, Riseley and Fr. Zawada, explained their reasons for taking action, and spoke from their souls, each was given 500 hours of community service, or payment of a $5,000 fine, and two years supervised probation.Lamb and Fr. Zawada were released after serving eight weeks in prison.
In the courtroom was Carlos Mauricio, torture survivor from El Salvador. Mauricio, a teacher, had been blindfolded, kidnapped and severely beaten in 1983. He narrowly escaped execution by the Death Squad in El Salvador. The International Red Cross arrived at the National Police Headquarters where he was being tortured at the time that he was taken to the death dungeon.
After the court sentencing in Tucson, Mauricio said this should never exist. He said that no one in the United States should be in court or prison for protesting torture. When Mauricio came to the United States, he thought he was leaving behind a country that engaged in torture.
“I am again in a country where any person can be tortured.”But, he added, “I do celebrate today. I felt the feeling of solidarity. It is the most beautiful thing a person can share with another person, this feeling of solidarity.”
When Retired Army Col. Ann Wright, another voice against torture, left the federal court building, a rainbow filled the sky above Tucson.
“It is a rainbow of justice,” Col. Wright said.
Photo: Attorney Bill Quigley meets with activists opposing torture outside federal court in Tucson.Photo by Brenda Norrell Photo 2: Defendants Mary Burton Riseley, Fr. Jerry Zawada and Beth Lamb in happier times/photo www.tortureontrial.org/
Brief video of Col. Ann Wright, 'Say No to Torture' in Tucson:
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2008/02/col-ann-wright-no-to-torture-brief.html

Indigenous Shadow Report on racism submitted to United Nations

Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report to United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlights Racism by United States

By International Indian Treaty Council

GENEVA – The International Indian Treaty Council, in coordination with the Western Shoshone Defense Project, submitted a Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on January 6th, 2008. The UNCERD is the “Treaty Monitoring Body” for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It monitors compliance of the coutries which have ratified the Convention with its provisions, including the United States.

Submissions from Indigenous Peoples, tribes, organizations and communities from around the country were included in the report. It highlights a range of human rights violations and examples of racial discrimination reported by Indigenous Peoples in the US. These include the destruction of sacred sites, threats to spiritual and cultural practices, environmental racism, violence against Indigenous women, Homeland Security-promoted border and immigration policies, Treaty rights violations, widespread discrimination in education, health and prisoners’ rights. Information was also included from Indigenous Peoples in countries outside the US who are affected by US policy.

The report will be considered in the upcoming examination of the US by the UNCERD in February in Geneva, Switzerland.

The UNCERD, during the review, will question US representatives on US compliance with the Convention based on the US official report to the Committee, called the Periodic Report. United Nations guidelines require that governments consult with Non-Governmental Organizations in their counties when they compile their Periodic Reports, but the US has generally ignored this guideline. The Consolidated Indigenous Report was submitted to ensure that the voices of Indigenous Peoples would be heard during this examination.

Alberto Saldamando, IITC General Counsel, who co-coordinated the development of the report stated, “In compiling this report to the UNCERD, it was clear that the institutionalization of racism and discrimination against Native Peoples is ingrained at every level of US society. The data and the many inputs we received from Tribes, Native Peoples and individuals vividly demonstrate that racial discrimination thrives in schools, universities, prisons and in the so-called administration of justice in the US, at every level of government and society at large.

"Even in textbooks, Indigenous Peoples in the US are reduced to caricatures with little humanity and even fewer rights, particularly those rights recognized by the recently adopted UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We hope that the government and people of the US are willing to correct the highly disproportionate impact of discrimination and poverty on Native Peoples in the US, in keeping with the UN Declaration. The international arena is one of the few spaces we have to denounce the racial discrimination directed against us. At some point it has to happen.”

Julie Fischer, Western Shoshone Defense Project and co-coordinator of report stated, “We are extremely pleased with the completion of the Indigenous Joint Shadow Report. As we continue to move forward in this long struggle, we are witnessing more and more native voices coming forth and standing to be counted. The Report reflects those voices and the commonality of the struggles of the indigenous peoples of this Turtle Island.

"The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has been a strong force in the struggle of the Western Shoshone and other indigenous people. With the information contained in this Report, it is our hope to equip the Committee with the information it needs to hold the United States and its multi national corporations accountable to the rights of the first peoples and respect for their traditional laws, lands and resources.”

In recent years the UNCERD has made very important decisions upholding Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights, in particular its General Recommendation XIII which affirms Indigenous Peoples’ Free Prior Informed Consent in matters affecting them, and calls upon States to uphold this right. The Western Shoshone Defense Project served as the co-coordinators with IITC for the development of this Report, and has successfully used the ICERD “Early Warning and Urgent Action procedures” to raise questions challenging the legitimacy of the Indian Land Claims Commission process and the purported “loss” of their ancestral lands in violation of the Treaty of Ruby Valley.

In 2006, the UNCERD issued a full Urgent Action decision stating in part that the “Committee has received credible information alleging that the Western Shoshone Indigenous Peoples are being denied their traditional rights to land, and that the measures taken and even accelerated lately by the State party in relation to the status, use and occupation of these lands may cumulatively lead to irreparable harm to these communities.”

Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone Nation elder and spokesperson, stated following the 2006 decision, “"We are very pleased with the UNCERD's decision against the United States. Hopefully, the United States will begin to address its poor history with the Indigenous Peoples and begin to act in a more honest and good faith manner. The struggle of the Western Shoshone Nation is the struggle of all Indigenous Peoples. It is not just about abuse of power and economics – it is about the stripping away of our spirit.

"The UNCERD decision confirms what the Western Shoshone and other Indigenous Peoples have been saying for a very long time - it is a first step that we can use in our ongoing work and in our corporate engagement and public education strategies. We also hope this decision and the Western Shoshone struggle can be used to encourage and strengthen other peoples' struggles to protect their spirituality, the lands, resources and their rights as Indigenous Peoples," Dann said.

The UNCERD has responded very positively to Indigenous Peoples’ recent submissions regarding New Zealand and Canada as well. Alberto Saldamando, IITC General Counsel, and IITC Board member Lenny Foster (Dineh Nation) will attend the UNCERD session in Geneva and present the Report. The Western Shoshone and representatives from other Tribal Nations and organizations are also planning to attend. Indigenous Peoples around the country are eagerly waiting for the UNCERD’s response to their submissions.

The UNCERD currently has one Indigenous expert member, Francisco Cali, Maya Kaqchikel from Guatemala, who was just re-elected to another 4-year term by the state (country) parties to the Convention at the UN General Assembly session on January 17th.

The “Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report to the UNCERD on the United States” can be downloaded at http://www.treatycouncil.org/

Contact: Alberto Saldamando
IITC General Counsel
Tel: (415) 641-4482
Email: alberto@treatycouncil.org

Col. Ann Wright, 'No to torture,' brief video

video

Retired Army Col. Ann Wright, speaking at the Festival of Hope in Tucson, Feb. 3, 2008. Brief video by Brenda Norrell.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Longest Walk 2 Media Alert

News Advisory Morning Star Gali

(510) 827-6719

Julie Hernandez
memma3@yahoo.com
925-286-5869
http://www.longestwalk.org/

30th Anniversary of Historic Native American Rights March Inspires “The Longest Walk 2”

Hundreds To Embark On 5 Month Walk from Alcatraz to Washington D.C. for Environmental Protection and Native American Rights, Commencement Events Planned

On Monday, February 11th and Tuesday February 12th, Tribal Dignitaries, Religious Leaders, Environmental, and Union Groups will hold events to commence the Longest Walk 2—a trans-continental walk for environmental protection and Native American rights.

More than three hundred participants of the Longest Walk 2 will embark on a five-month journey on foot from San Francisco, arriving in Washington, D.C. on July 11, 2008.

American Indian Movement Co-founder Dennis J. Banks states, “From Alcatraz Island to Washington, D.C., through the elements of the seasons, we shall walk; nothing shall deter us from completing our mission: All Life is Sacred, Protect Mother Earth.”

The Longest Walk 2 follows two routes, a Northern and a Southern one that will cover more than 8,000 miles in total, stopping each evening in communities along the way. People from all over the world are joining the walk with its peaceful and spiritual call to action to protect Mother Earth and defend Human Rights.

The Longest Walk 2 also marks the 30th anniversary of the original Longest Walk of 1978 that resulted in historic changes for Native Americans.

2008 Longest Walk 2 Commencement Events Schedule:
Monday, February 11th
4:30 a.m. Spiritual Gathering & Celebration of Indigenous Resistance at Alcatraz Island
This is a public event and members of the media are invited to respectfully attend and cover the ceremonies to initiate the Longest Walk 2. A limited number of tickets to Alcatraz Island will be provided for news reporters. Please RSVP by February 10th with Morning Star Gali at mstargali@gmail.com or call (510) 827-6719.
12 Noon News Conference at University of California, Berkeley at Sproul Plaza
Upholding the Longest Walk 2’s mission, Native Tribes and Social Justice allies will rally together to demand Religious Freedom and Social Justice. Tribal officials, spiritual leaders, environmentalists, and concerned citizens will address religious freedom and federal law violations committed by the University of California.
Tuesday, February 12th
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. News Conference at Rumsey Indian Rancheria
Commencement ceremony with statements announcing we are coming to communities along route to listen and include local issues along with desired action into The Longest Walk 2 Position Paper to be delivered in Washington D.C. The Rumsey Indian Rancheria is located at 14455 Highway 16
Brooks, California.
12 Noon News Conference in Sacramento at the State Capitol
Official send-off for both routes of the walk. Speakers will address specific legislation issues impacting Native Americans and the Environment. The press conference will be held on the North-end of the Capitol Building.
For a complete itinerary, specific directions and additional information, please visit:http://www.longestwalk.org/.
###
*Visuals for all media events: Excellent Visuals with Native American Tribal Leaders, Traditional Singers, Colorful banners at Alcatraz Island and UC Berkeley, Sproul Plaza.
*Media: High Resolution Photos of all events available upon request.
*Speakers are Available for interviews in advance.

Mohawk Nation News: Algonquins are Mohawks? Who knew ...

GENEOLOGICAL GENOCIDE OR CULTURAL AMNESIA –
SHARBOT LAKE ALGONQUINS ARE MOHAWKS! WHO
KNEW WHAT? WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT?

MNN. Feb. 3, 2008. Everyone has a sense of their own
family history. Our parents and grandparents remember
where they grew up and what languages they spoke.
They remember what their parents told them about the
moments of success and the great challenges they had
to overcome. Every family learned its own way of
surviving, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

From the looks of it, the “Algonquins” of Sharbot Lake
are about to become amusement park Indians. The
Ontario and Canadian government bureaucrats have
put out a big casting call. To get an acting contract you
have to pretend to be an “Algonquin”. Rumor has it you
might even get to be a full-fledged Canadian after that.

The working title of the drama is, “It’s Just too Much
Trouble to be a Mohawk”. It’s so catchy that it might
end up being the final title, just like “Snakes on a Plane”.
Hurry! Hurry! Get your Algonquin status here. For wigs,
noses and ID cards, just step into the Wardrobe
Department on the right. It doesn’t matter what kind
of Indian you are, or even if you aren’t one, so long as
you can pay the part.

Sharbot Lake, 28 miles north of Kingston Ontario, is
where all the action is. The problem that Ontario and
Canada are dealing with is the opposition to uranium
mining and those pesky people who are worrying
about the future of the environment.

Sharbot Lake is named after one of 4 or 5 Mohawk
families that moved from Kanehsatake around 1840.
Kanehsatake is a Mohawk community near Montreal.
It’s famed for the “Mohawk/Oka Crisis of 1990” and
their recent resistance to Indian Affairs corruption which
diverted their social program funds into a paramilitary
attacked on the community.

Chief Francis Sharbot, a Mohawk was born January
18, 1822, at Kanehsatake. He married Mary Lavallee
who was born in 1835 and died in 1897 at Sharbot
Lake. They raised a big family who are the ancestors
of the Indigenous people there.

Like the residents of Mohawk communities Kahnawake,
Kanehsatake, Akwesasne and Tyendinaga, the
residents of Sharbot Lake also have Huron ancestry.
Though the Hurons, or Wendat, were never part of
the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, they are Iroquois.
Their language and culture are basically the same as
ours.

In the 1600s the Hurons and Algonquins were allies
of the French. The Hurons and the Mohawks/
Haudenosaunee saw early on that there was animosity
between the French and British and no one could be
friends with both. The Hurons went with the French
and the Haudenosaunee went with the British.

After many years of conflict, the French and their allies
sued the Haudenosaunee for peace. They wanted the
prisoners that we held. In September 1700 we brought
them to Montreal. As the Hurons had broken the “Great
Peace”, trusteeship of their land was forfeited to us.
This included the tract south of the Ottawa River where
Sharbot Lake is located. The Hurons remained in the
area and settled in with the Mohawks.

From the early 1600s to the early 1800s the occupation
of the area was almost entirely Mohawk and Huron.
Together they kept out the Algonquins. Those
Algonquins who hunted and trapped there seasonally
remained in their own communities outside the area
protected by the French until the latter 1700s. They
remained closer to Montreal at Kanehsatake and at
Sillery near Quebec City.

As the area south of the Ottawa River is Haudenosaunee
territory, according to the Two Row Wampum, any
Indigenous people who remained in the area had to
adopt our culture, language and ways. If we went to
live on Algonquin land, we too had to adopt their language,
culture, laws and identity, which many have.

From the early 1800s a few Algonquins began to move
into the Sharbot Lake area. They lived and married into
the Mohawk families and followed Haudenosaunee ways.

Now Canada and Ontario want to make a claim for
Haudenosaunee land. They know the Mohawks won’t
part with one inch of it. Somebody had an idea. They
started registering the Mohawks as “Algonquins”. During
the era, colonial agents were in charge of repressing
Indigenous knowledge. Many lost touch with their roots.
Those who objected to their classification as “Algonquins”
found they had to go along with it if they wanted any
respect for their rights.

Since 1995 the Canadian government took away all the
registry records from Golden Lake “reservation” offices
near Ottawa. They retroactively registered the Sharbots
there as Algonquins, even though they are Haudenosaunee.

The bureaucratic manipulators thought that if they turned
them into Algonquins and told them it was their land, they
could get it away from the Mohawks and everything
would be hunky-dory. “Sharbot Mishigama First Nation”,
a Huron name, was changed to “Shabot Obaadijwan
First Nation” so that the land claim could be started. The
colonists have been trying to create the fiction of
“continuous Algonquin presence”. The considerable
resources spent on the Algonquin claim could be greatly
compromised if this misinformation were known and
publicly understood.

They also figure the Mohawks are under attack from so
many directions, they won’t notice. Too bad! When the
greedy uranium miners at Frontenac Ventures Inc. tactics
got out of hand, our brothers and sister at Sharbot Lake
sent us a wampum asking for our help. We went there
and found a whack of other foolishness which MNN
reported on.

Chief Doreen Davis, the land claims negotiator, has no
proven Algonquin ancestry. Someone said she may be
a descendent of the Gigue family. These are Mohawks
from Kanehsatake. Don’t forget, any Indigenous people
who lived at Kanehsatake, whether they were Lakota,
Nippising or Algonquin, became Mohawks as it is
Haudenosaunee land. No matter their Indigenous ancestry,
if they can trace their lineage to Kanehsatake, they are all
Mohawks.

Those at Sharbot always knew they were Mohawks. They
were told this by their parents and grandparents. The
Bradeurs, White Ducks, and Antoines have always been
part of the Sharbot Mohawk family, no matter their
indigenous origins.

Everyone knows that the land claim is fraud, except a
couple of squirrels in the trees. If they knew, they’d be
good and mad too!

People like “Chief” Harold Perry of Ardoc Algonquins had
no right to sell millions of dollars worth of Haudenosaunee
land. It’s fraud! It’s a treasonous conspiracy. He is
impersonating an Algonquin and passing the land off as
Algonquin.

The colonists are playing on Indigenous mystification to
the hilt. They are trying to bring the pseudo Algonquins
on as business partners. At “Pine Lake” the Ontario
government is helping them set up a “Band Office” and
“pow wow” grounds to move them along with their
conversion of the Mohawks into full-fledged Hollywood
“Algonquinists”. We can just see the Ontario Provincial
Police “Blue Wolf Drummers” banging away on their
western prairie drums. Will they dye their hair blue and
pierce their bodies? Hey, phonies, don’t you know the
Haudenosaunees use water drums?

We take this opportunity to remind our brothers and
sisters at Sharbot Lake that they have always been
welcome in our Haudenosaunee communities. They
don’t need to get sucked into denying their past or
signing away the rights of their future generations.
Just come as you are and enjoy being part of our family.
You don’t have to live a lie.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News


See Category: “ Sharbot Lake

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mohawk Nation News: Six Nations 'Confederacy Council' being municipalized

SIX NATIONS “CONFEDERACY COUNCIL” BEING “MUNICIPALIZED” - TIME TO
DECLARE CONTINUING INDEPENDENCE

Mohawk Nation News
Feb. 2, 2008. There are some very confused minds
at Six Nations. The latest update from Hazel Hill lays out the
complete violation of the Great Law. A whole slew of interest
groups have sprung up purporting to have a say in nation
business. For one, the traitorous band council can never
have a voice. Neither can these kitchen table, arena groups
and social clubs. Anyone outside the clans, the Two Row
and Great Law has no voice.

After we physically reclaimed our land in 2006, talks began
about reclaiming the rest of it. The negotiators called “sell-
outs” and the “Confederacy Chiefs” have fallen into the
colonial trap of meeting behind closed doors and working out
a “self-government” deal under Canada , without the knowledge
or consent of the people. In other words, they’re selling out
despite 200 years of resistance by our ancestors.

The sell-outs are letting colonial law override the Great Law.
This is turning into a “joint venture” business deal. The
actions of the sell-outs is collusion, fraud and betrayal. We
cannot negotiate with anyone that doesn’t own anything.
We own everything. The intruders are making offers to these
sell-outs. Then they take it to the people for sanctioning.

They are working towards “municipalizing” the “Confederacy”.
They are falling right into the colonial “divide and rule” trap.
We’ve told the sell-outs over and over again that we will not
give up anything. The colonists present the terms and tell the
sell-outs, “Take it or leave it! Get it past the people and then
get back to us”. And, “If you succeed, it’ll be worth your while”.
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

The sell-outs deliberately restrict themselves to the
“community” of Six Nations so that a municipality can be
set up by Canada . The update constantly refers to the “Crown!
Crown! Crown!” “Nothing but servants of the Crown, my
liege!” Today this means the sell-outs are serving the
“gangsters” who have taken over.

Everyone knows the Mohawks will never give up anything.
The Halidmand Tract is part of the greater Haudenosaunee
territory. The sell-outs and the limited “community” they are
appealing to live on our territory. They have no authority to
make any deal on our behalf.

All Mohawks must be brought in from all our communities
and those scattered throughout Onowaregeh, as the Great
Law provides. We are a nation, not a community. The
Haldimand Tract is Mohawk land. The other nations who
live on our tract may be finding it easy to give away our
rights as it’s not theirs. The British have always gone to
other nations like the Mississauga to trade and barter
Haudenosaunee land.

The sell-outs have been in there too long, had too many
dinners and late nights with the colonists. This leaves them
open to fraud, softening up and seeing too much of the
colonial side.

A colonial white lawyer, Aaron Detlor, is running the
“Confederacy” show! He set up the Haudenosaunee
Development Institute HDI without the Mohawks to
bypass the people and our decision making process
through the clans and all the other Haudenosaunee
communities. No business can be conducted without
us.

HDI mimics the colonial system and puts an HDI stamp
on it. HDI plans to use our land as collateral to go to
the colonial banks, developers and investors. We don’t
use land as collateral for anybody or anything ever! We
don’t issue permits to foreigners.

We never gave up our sovereignty, our land and our
independence. The only right the “Crown” has is to come
to us with their hat in their hand to ask us to exist here.
Nothing below or above the ground can ever be sold. It
turns out all the so-called “leases” are frauds. It is up to
the Canadian government to prove to us they are not, which
they can’t. This ain’t do-able! We will do what the Lakota
Nation just did, terminate all leases and agreements and
continue our independent sovereignty and the reclamation
of all our lands and resources. This would respect
international law, Haudenosaunee rights and Canadian law.

Just because the intruders have big guns, are ruthless,
vicious and can control our people, our land and our
resources by threats, force and deceit doesn’t make their
shenanigans any less criminal. Might is not right.

Where are the sell-outs and colonists meeting? In some
conference room somewhere? Shouldn’t it be in public
just like the Great Law states where we can keep an eye
on everybody and so we are all well informed? This is
not such a radical idea. Even the colonists have their
Parliament which they mostly use as a rubber stamp. Are
the colonists scared? Nothing is going to happen to them
if they meet with us in public and are truthful, forthright and
law abiding. They have to respect the fact that we are the
true possessors of this continent.

Why is Alan McNaughton calling himself a chief of the
Mohawks? According to the Great Law, the chief has to be
condoled and take the name of one of the original 50 chiefs.
Alan represents Alan, something like Joseph Brant did. He
was a British subject and mason who sat as a ceremonial
“Pine Tree Chief” with no power. His only purpose was to
translate for the Confederacy. Yet the British got him to sign
all kinds of fraudulent documents. Joseph Brant and Alan
McNaughton can’t sign s—t! If one chief is missing out of the
circle, the meetings cannot be conducted. It goes to the clans
and the war chiefs. Only a warrior designated by the clans can
sign on our behalf. This has to be done in front of all the people.

We have to question these guys who call themselves chiefs like
“Chief Pete Sky”, “Chief Alan McNaughton”, “Chief Leroy Hill”
and “Chief Summerfall Winterspring“. These chiefs are
advocates of a foreign ideology known as the Handsome Lake
Christian based code. The Great Law does not allow us to serve
somebody like a bunch of dummies.

We finally figured out what’s wrong with the people at Six.
They seem to be suffering from “Brantosis” – a newly
diagnosed psychological disorder. It is believed to be
caused by the “bread and cheese” they eat every May 24th
on the Queen’s birthday. Sometimes it is affected by a
peculiar fungus that acts on some people to induce the
delusion that they have become Joseph Brant.

It’s sort of like the ergot on bread that LSD comes from.
The cheese also makes them constipated and full of s--t.
This makes them think they are higher than the people.
In a sense it’s true because they’re so stoned and Oh!
Phew!

The trouble is they’re being used and they develop a
compulsion to sign everything away to anyone waving a
foreign flag, just like Joey Brant did. If anyone knows of
a good antidote, please send it quick to the sell-outs, and
chiefs Peter, Alan, Leroy and Summerfall.

The other antidote is for them to read Seth Newhouse’s
version of the Great Law. There is only one Confederacy
Grand Council fire in Onondaga in so-called New York
State . We still have 9 Mohawk Chiefs, 9 clan mothers and
three clans. The Grand Council is not at the Onondaga
longhouse in Grand River . The Mohawk council pulled
out of the Grand Council in the 1700s thereby rendering
all treaty making void. Without the Mohawks no Grand
Council can be conducted. Every international alliance
or trade agreement [Treaty of Canadaigua, Oneida ’s land
grant to the Thirteen Colonies before 1776, etc. ] made
since then is fraudulent. We are the Elder Brother and we
have to be there. It’s time for the Confederacy Chiefs and
clan mothers at Grandeur River to lose their delusions of
grandeur and to stop this on-going charade.

When Hazel says, the “creator, creator, creator”, we are
being put down as subservient. No one can tell us or give
us permission to do what is right. This “creator” stuff is
Christian gobbledegook. It’s meant to establish a hierarchical
system with someone sitting on top of everybody’s head.
This unknown made-up wizard that represents the European
oligarchy can give and take away. It’s a trap to misinterpret
our relationship to the natural world and to each other. The
“kasastenera kowa sa oiera”, the great natural power,
describes us as being part of the natural world, not above
or beneath anything.

It’s all part of the sales pitch to lie to us and make us think
that we can sell our land and resources, which we can’t.

Whether they realize it or not, these sell-outs are working
to bring us marching back into the 19th Century to
complete the colonial vision. They could never bring
our ancestors into submission.

The whole effort at smoke and mirrors is to help the
colonists extract our assets from us. They want us to
forget about the coming generations in our society and
theirs. It’s a short term deal or “fix” for the benefit of a
few colonists and their controlled puppets.

These sell-outs must be replaced immediately by the
real representatives who will conduct talks under the
guidance of the Great Law. We are being lied to.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

See Category: “ Six Nations

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Native film fest Syracuse, NY, Feb. 16, 2008

New York State Premiere Major Motion Picture
plus Award Winning Documentary
One Show Only
Palace Theatre
Saturday, February 16, 2008
James Street, Syracuse, NY

7:00 PM “THE LAST WINTER” Starring: Ron Perlman, James Legros, Joanne Shenandoah, Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Josh Guildford, Jamie Harrold, Pato Hoffman, and Larry Fessendon. “Apocalyptic in title and tone” says The New York Times.

4:15 PM “Our Land Our Life” Featuring the original music of Joanne Shenandoah Voted “Best Documentary” at the American Indian Film Institute's Festival

4:00 PM “What Are We Fighting For”Voted “Best Music Video” at the American Indian Film Institutes' Festival
Tickets: $20.00 for all three films $50.00 for VIP for all three films and Reception
5:30 pm - VIP - Private Fundraising Reception $50.00 pp includes VIP seating for all three films and Champagne/Wine and Cheese & hors-d'ouvres between showings.
Tickets can be purchased at the Palace Café 315-463-2627
Mon-Thurs 8:00-3:00 and Fri/Sat 8:00 - 8:00.

DETAILED SYNOPSIS
FEBRURARY 16, 2007 PREMIERE
"THE LAST WINTER"
Joanne Shenandoah as Dawn Russell
In one of the most pristine landscapes in the world, a team working to exploit oil resources of Alaska is tormented by an unseen evil. After one crew member is found dead, a disorientation slowly claims the sanity of the other members of the team as each of them succumbs to an unknown fear.
This creeping dread bursts open when a malevolent wind brings down a plane that approaches the station. Explosions and carnage wreak havoc on the team and all functions fail in the camp, forcing two of the members out into the cold on a desperate bid for survival. As these two journey to find help, they find themselves utterly alone in a world that is unraveling- either they are being stalked by an invisible herd of menacing phantoms, or they are going mad. Movie fone - Review Synopsis.
THE LAST WINTER opens in Los Angeles, continues in NYC"Far and away the scariest movie of the year - and certainly the smartest... What we don't know, what we don't want to know, what we can't figure out in time; these are the true demons stalking "The Last Winter."" Bob Strauss, L.A. DAILY NEWS"taps into a collective dread compounded by the guilt of our complicity. The scrappy, familiar banality of Fessenden's vision -- the base camp is a dump, the crew unglamorous, their mission compromised -- only amps up the visceral dread." Carina Chocano, LOS ANGELES TIMES. "elegantly restrained horror ... metaphorically resonant ... Feverishly Real, Terrifying. Larry Fessenden is among the most thoughtful Americans working on the lower-budget end of this oft-abused and mindlessly corrupted genre."Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Cast: James Legros, Larry Fessendon, Connie Britton, Joanne Shenandoah and Ron Perlman.
"OUR LAND OUR LIFE"
"BEST DOCUMENTARY"American Indian Film Institute, Nov. 10, 2007Directors: George Gage & Beth Gage74 Minutes o USA o Documentary Feature
Carrie and Mary Dann, two elderly Shoshone sisters, are engaged in a thirty-year battle for rights to their own land. The U.S. government unlawfully seized a significant parcel of Shoshone territory in 1974, beginning a battle that went to the Supreme Court and beyond, and inciting humanitarian intervention from organizations including Amnesty International and the United Nations. Directors Beth and George Gage eloquently piece together the story of the long and tireless efforts that two incredible women put toward securing indigenous rights in the United States. This is a film that reveals shocking information about crimes that continue to be committed against Native Americans.
Meet Carrie Dann and the Gages at the VIP reception.
"WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?"
Lori Piestewa - Hopi
(Joanne Shenandoah)"BEST MUSIC VIDEO" American Indian Film Institute, Nov 10, 2007Director: Eric Benda, Pearly Leung & Joanne Shenandoah7 Minutes o USA o Music Video
This music video was made to honor those who have served during the time of war, past and present, a tribute to the young mother and first US female soldier to die in the Iraqi war Lori Piestewa, a member of the Hopi nation.
“The song "What Are We Fighting For" was born after I watched the clips on television with soldiers sending messages back home to their loved ones and friends. I know a good number of soldiers who have sacrificed their home life here in America to make their contributions to war, and I thought about those whose love life may also have suffered. I wondered how a woman would feel who has lost her lover to war and didn't know if she would ever see him again.”
Joanne Schenandoah Oneida Nation TerritoryBox 450Oneida, NY 13421Tel & Fax 315-363-1655

Native groups file suit over Chukchi Sea lease sale

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2008
Contact: Jack Schaefer, Native Village of Point Hope, 907-368-2235
Steve Oomittuk, City of Point Hope, 907-368-2537
George Edwardson, ICAS, 907-852-3746
Faith Gemmill, REDOIL-IEN, 907-750-0188

Native Groups Sue MMS Over Chukchi Sea Lease Sale
Elders Resolution Prompts Region-wide Lawsuit

POINT HOPE, Alaska – Today the Native Village of Point Hope, the City of Point Hope, the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS), and the Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL) Alaska Native Network, a project of the Indigenous Environmental Network filed a lawsuit to fight the Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193. Minerals Management Service (MMS) plans to hold the lease sale on February 6, 2008.

The Point Hope Elders Advisory Council, the traditional Inupiat leaders of the Native Village of Point Hope, a federally recognized tribal government, recently passed a resolution supporting a legal challenge to prevent offshore oil and gas activities in the Chukchi Sea.

“We support a legal challenge to MMS for holding Lease Sale 193 and we encourage others to follow us. As the traditional leaders of Point Hope, we ask all Inupiaq people to join us in our opposition to leasing the Chukchi Sea to oil and gas exploration and development. Help us protect our garden and the way of life we all share,” said David U. Stone, Sr., President of the Point Hope Elders Advisory Council.

The City of Point Hope, the municipal government for the community established in 1966, has joined the lawsuit.

“The people of TIKIGAQ [traditional name for the people of Point Hope] have hunted and depended on the animals that migrate through the Chukchi Sea for thousands of years. This is our garden, our identity, our livelihood,” said Steve Oomittuk, Point Hope City Mayor. Without it we would not be who we are today. Even at this present day and time the animals from these waters shelter, clothe, and feed us. We would be greatly impacted if anything happened to our ocean and the animals that migrate through the Chukchi Sea. We oppose any activity that will endanger our way of life and the animals that we greatly depend on,” Oomittuk said.

The approximately 30 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Chukchi Sea 193 lease area include core habitat for polar bear and Pacific walrus, and encompasses the migration route of the bowhead whale, which the Inupiaq people of the North Slope have subsisted on for thousands of years.

North Slope residents are frustrated that MMS has ignored their concerns through government to government consultation and other public meetings. They believe litigation is the only choice still available to them to avoid oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea and hopes other Inupiat will also file suit.

“The Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope is the regional tribal government for eight villages on the North Slope. We have a responsibility to our people to stand up against threats to our whaling culture and to protect our way of life. An oil spill in the Chukchi Sea could devastate the bowhead whale migration and other animals we have subsisted on for thousands of years. MMS continues to ignore our concerns. The elders have spoken and told us to fight this and we will do so through this lawsuit,” said George Edwardson, President of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS).

The REDOIL Network is an Alaska Native grassroots organization with members of the Inupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Tlingit, Gwich’in, Eyak and Dena’ina Athabascan tribes, that resists unsustainable fossil fuel development.

“The REDOIL Network, as a project of the Indigenous Environmental Network has joined in the lawsuit to support the Inupiat and their subsistence rights which are threatened by proposed offshore development in the Chukchi Sea. The Inupiat right to continue their way of life as they have for generations should be upheld in this decision instead of being compromised for multi-national oil company profits” said Faith Gemmill, REDOIL Campaign Organizer.

“We’ve hunted and fished in the ocean since time immemorial. We have always believed that we own the ocean and that it is our garden. We can’t afford to stop our religious, cultural and subsistence activities that depend on the ocean. The ocean is what our history and upon which our culture are based,” said Jack Schaefer, President of the Native Village of Point Hope.

The Alaska Native organizations are being represented by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm in Juneau, Alaska. Several conservation groups have joined the Alaska Natives in their lawsuit.

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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