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Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Trade Unionists Call For More Inclusion And Solidarity

More than 476 million people worldwide (6.2 per cent of humanity) belong to Indigenous peoples, most of whom live alongside the societies that colonised their ancient lands hundreds of years ago. In the 21st century, after a long journey during which they were not always able to survive colonial oppression without losing their identity, language or part of their culture, Indigenous peoples have won significant gains in various regions of the world but they continue to face challenges such as discrimination and limited opportunities, making it very difficult for them to enjoy fair labour market integration.

CIA Fingerprints Are All Over Brazil’s Indigenous Genocide

From April 1964 to March 1985, a military junta ruled Brazil with an iron fist. Its crimes against humanity throughout this period were extensive, including institutionalized torture, imprisonment, forced disappearances and mass murder. Typically, the victims were political opponents of the regime, although the country’s indigenous population was a specific, dedicated target. In most cases, their crime was objecting to economic “reform” projects that destroyed their homes or simply living in the wrong place at the wrong time. With the backing and direction of the World Bank, the junta forcibly displaced indigenous people and desecrated their lands to extract valuable natural resources for Western capital.

We Carry The Burden Of Repatriating Our Ancestors

We had reached the top of a sandstone mesa when Theresa Pasqual set down her hiking pole and scanned the storied canyon before us. We could see the centuries-old buildings of Chaco Canyon, a site in northwest New Mexico that her tribe’s ancestors, the Ancestral Puebloans, had occupied before eventually establishing other communities in the region. Pueblo Bonito, the canyon’s largest structure, sprawled from near the base of the bluff where we stood, its walls arcing around hundreds of hollowed rooms. Two colleagues and I had traveled to the canyon with Pasqual as part of our reporting on how the nation’s most prestigious museums and universities had excavated Native American cultural sites like this and how they continued to keep what they took.

Traditional Indigenous Education Creates Stable Productive Members

I never understood why so-called ‘highly intelligent’ people never merely looked at the man-made non-indigenous educational system and realized it is a totally unnatural way for humans to learn, just because we have sophisticated technology does not mean the modern educational construct creates better human beings who are productive members of society if you were ever as privileged as I am to have seen and lived among TRADITIONAL indigenous societies (not the semi-modernized or modernized ones which are just as corrupted as the non-indigenous societies around them) who still use their own natural educational processes - you will quickly notice they have no crime, no homeless people, no addicts, and no mentally unstable children going on murder rampages in their societies (as happens in the USA every month), yet YOU are utterly convinced of the ‘superiority’ of the non-indigenous educational system. Where fools rule ignorance is bliss!

Tribal Nations Turn To Harm Reduction In Battle Against Opioids

A group of children from the Pala Band of Mission Indians was walking home from school in 2016 when they found a plastic bag holding 100 bright blue pills. The kids tossed the bag back and forth as they walked to the tribe’s youth center, where they turned it into the staff. The staff at the youth center quickly called law enforcement, who informed them the pills were fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. That same year, 16 youths from the Pala Band of Mission Indians died of opioid overdoses. For the California tribe — which has a population of around 1,000— the losses were a devastating sign that the opioid epidemic had gained footing in their community.

Seneca Nation Casinos And DOD Contracts: Bullets! Drones! Tanks!

Prepare yourself for a journey down a bizarre rabbit hole, by following the money trail between the Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI) and the United States Department of Defense/Intelligence Agencies. When a government investigator saw what you are about to read, he looked over at his partner and exclaimed “Why the Hell is an Indian Nation providing services to Defense contractors?!” According to their own websites, SNI was “Once a member of the Hodinöhsö:ni´ Confederacy,” meaning SNI is no longer a member of the Six Nations. In fact, they have not been part of the Confederacy since 1848. There is a difference between SNI, a corporation registered under State of New York law, and the Tonawanda Band Senecas, who remain traditional (and unruled by SNI).

Tired Of Being Told To ‘Adapt,’ An Indigenous Community Wrote Its Own Climate Action Plan

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes live among some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. Their home, the Flathead Reservation, covers 1.2 million acres dotted with soaring mountains, sweeping valleys, and lush forests. Flathead River bisects the land and drains into Flathead Lake, the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River. Long before anyone called this place northwest Montana or considered it a tourist destination, it sustained the tribes and they sustained it. “We have a proven track record of sustainability,” says Shelly Fyant, former chair of the CSKT Tribal Council. “We can trace it back 14,000 years.”

Colombian Peace Caravan: Bringing The Hope Of ‘Total Peace’

Ajamu Baraka was invited to serve as part of an international delegation of human rights defenders that would accompany the activists, community leaders, government officials and representatives of the National Liberation Army on an historic “humanitarian Caravan” in January to the Indigenous and Afro-Colombian areas of the Pacific coast of Colombia as part of the peace process initiated by the new government. Ajamu was also an observer and international guarantor in Havana, Cuba during the last round of the Peace Process that produced the Ethnic Chapter of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC in 2016. This is his report back on the Caravan.

Decolonizing Thanksgiving And Supporting Indigenous Peoples

This week, as some people in the United States celebrated the mythical 'Thanksgiving' dinner, Indigenous Peoples held a National Day of Mourning and continued their resistance to defend the land and water. As Native American, Matt Remle, writes: "Despite colonial efforts to exterminate, terminate, relocate, and assimilate Indigenous populations, Native communities continue to resist efforts to both desecrate Unci Maka and strip Native peoples of their languages, spirituality and communities." Settler colonialism continues to this day in the United States and around the world as do resistance efforts to reclaim what has been lost, including land, access to sacred sites, clean water, culture and sovereignty. Remle makes the point that non-Indigenous people benefit from this resistance. Around the world, Indigenous people are leading the way to end exploitation and build a better future for all of us.

OAS Statute Of Queen Isabella Disrespects Indigenous People

On Monday October 10, when the nation celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day,  D.C.-based peace activists transformed a prominent statue of Queen Isabella I of Castile by dressing her in traditional indigenous garments. The statue stands in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood at the entrance to the headquarters of the Organization of the American States (OAS). Queen Isabella sponsored Christopher Columbus’ 1492 expedition that led to the extermination of millions of indigenous peoples, laying the foundation for Spanish colonialism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  The statue was gifted to the OAS in 1966 by the fascist leader of Spain, Francisco Franco. General Franco clearly looked to Queen Isabella as the embodiment of his own ideals, and of the right of Christian Europeans to rule as dictators over other peoples.

Supporting Native American Students In Higher Education

In 2019, 25% of Native Americans over the age of 25 had an associate degree or higher. When compared to 42% of all those over the age of 25, the gap is evident. Coupled with challenges that many Native higher education students face — including financial instability, the need for support in more ways than one is apparent. From the research done on the matter to the strides made in tuition assistance and how institutions of higher education can go the extra mile in creating a more inclusive academic environment, here’s what you should know. With regard to Native Americans and higher education data, one Forbes article notes that “Only 36.2% of Indigenous students entering four-year institutions of higher education in 2014 completed their degrees in six years, as compared to 60% of all other undergraduate students in  the U.S.” While this highlights the fact that the matter isn’t a new issue, understanding the challenges behind low enrolment or graduation can largely be found in financial matters, according to newer research.

Foundational Fairytales And The Lies They Tell On Books, Children And Truth

There used to be a time in occupied America when only whites were allowed to write, read, and publish books. In fact, when Europeans started occupying the continent in 1492, one of the first things they did was burn the thousands of existing books Indigenous people had written in an attempt to destroy peoples' existing relationship with books and their contained knowledges. According to those initial colonizers, destroying the written ensured we lost access to writing, to our ways of thinking, and to centuries-old acquired knowledges on mathematics, medicine, astronomy, maps, history, plant science, poetry, literatures, and even tax-records. Only four books survived the first 100 years of the occupation, in the entire continent.

India: How Tribal People Are Losing Their Land Rights

How will you feel if someone promises to remove an injustice you have suffered for years, but in the end leaves you suffering even more than before? Something similar appears to be happening to tribal communities in India in the context of the Forest Rights Act 2006. They were promised by the government that the historic injustice caused to them in the context of arbitrary classification of some of their land as forest land during colonial times will be corrected now. To realize this they were asked to file claims for the land cultivated by them but whose legal ownership was stated to be that of the forest department, hence leading to frequent harassment and eviction attempts. After a decade of such attempts the picture that emerged was that that several hundred thousand tribal households may face eviction from a big part of the land earlier cultivated by them!

Indigenous Organizers In Alaska Lead The Way Toward Livable Climate Future

In the United States, the public and politicians are moving in opposite directions on climate change. Grassroots environmental activism is spreading on the local state, regional and national levels, while Congress generally continues with a “business-as-usual” approach, rejecting the foremost way to avoid the worst consequences of global warming: the Green New Deal. While the Green New Deal remains aspirational in the U.S., it has been adopted by the European Union, and scores of countries around the world have committed to pursuing its goals. Among the many organizations in the U.S. fighting for environmental sustainability and a just transition toward clean, renewable energy is Native Movement, an organization dedicated to building people power for transformative change and imagining a world without fossil fuels.

Caribbean Asks For Reparations

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic on September 26, 2020 during the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said that [...] the international campaign for reparatory justice, widely promoted by governments across our Caribbean Community and by social activists within the industrialized metropoles, must form part of any serious efforts to achieve the sustainable development agenda […]. On November 3, 2020 during the "Peacebuilding and sustaining peace" debate organized by the United Nations Security Council the President of the "CARICOM Reparations Commission" Hilary Beckles [...] called on the Council to acknowledge the global reparatory movement, adding that while most crimes against humanity were committed in past, the current century will be one of peace and justice […].
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