Skip to content

Indigenous Rights

Apache Stronghold Standing In The Way Of A Massive Copper Mine

In the heart of the Arizona high desert lies a battle for the soul of the land. The ancient, sacred grounds of Apache Native territory are under threat from a looming giant — a massive copper mine that promises riches for the locals, and a pathway to the so-called green transition. But, as is often the case, it comes at a cost. The San Carlos Apache tribe calls it Chi’chil Bildagoteel, English speakers call it Oak Flat. It sits on a mountainous plateau within a 17.3-kilometer oasis in the Tonto National Forest. Rio Tinto and BHP, two of the world’s biggest mining companies, have staked their claim here through a joint venture called Resolution Copper.

Indigenous Peoples Release Final Declaration Of Terra Livre Camp 2024

The last day of activities at the Free Land Camp (ATL) 2024 in Brasilia was marked by the release of a joint declaration signed by the organizations behind the event, which marked its 20th edition this year. Entitled Land, Time and Struggle, the document identified as the “Urgent Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil”, published on April 26, reaffirms the struggle of the Indigenous peoples: “OUR MARK IS ANCESTRAL! WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE!” “The deliberate decision by the powers of the state to suspend the demarcation of Indigenous lands and to apply Law 14.701 (the Indigenous Genocide Law) amounts to a DECLARATION OF WAR against our peoples and territories.

Indigenous Leaders, Land Defenders Censored At RBC’s Annual Meeting

Indigenous leaders and land defenders attended Royal Bank of Canada’s 2024 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 11 to send the bank their message: put an end to fossil fuel financing. Delegates from across North America travelled to Toronto, O to criticize RBC’s ongoing funding of fossil fuel projects and their violations of Indigenous and human rights. But RBC’s efforts to listen to Indigenous and frontline land defenders were shallow to say the least. During the questioning period, a mere 60 seconds were allotted to delegates, some of which were interrupted by RBC’s board, executives and shareholders.

Apache Stronghold Asks 29-Judge Appeals Court To Save Oak Flat

Washington - A coalition of Western Apaches and allies today asked all 29 judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect their sacred site at Oak Flat from destruction by a mining project. In Apache Stronghold v. United States, a special “en banc” panel of eleven judges split 6-5 earlier this year, refusing to stop the federal government from transferring Oak Flat to Resolution Copper, a foreign-owned mining company that plans to turn Oak Flat into a massive mining crater, ending Apache religious practices forever.

Genocide Ixil Case

On April 5th, 2024, the oral and public debate against former military officer: Benedicto Lucas García, accused in the Ixil Genocide case and driven by the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), was resumed by the High-Risk “A” Court. The Public Ministry stated in its opening arguments that it will prove that during the period from August 16, 1981 to March 23, 1982, Manuel Benedicto Lucas García is responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, forced disappearances, and massacres against at least 844 identified victims for this case, which will be proven through witnesses and experts’ testimonies. It also emphasized that behind these 844 names are entire families who were massacred.

First Nations Accuse Government Of ‘Regulated Murder’

There were over 100 people in the gathering hall in the isolated Northern Alberta hamlet of Fort Chipewyan on an evening in early March, as residents waited to hear from Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Laurie Pusher. He made the trek to the fly-in community to address the AER’s response to a massive tailings leak from an Imperial Oil site that was first disclosed in February of last year. When he arrived he was met with scowling faces and angry outbursts, as residents expressed their frustration with the regulator’s failure to promptly notify the community of the leak.

Unequal Before The Law

Federal charges ordinarily cover matters of national reach: immigration, voting rights, racketeering. Not in Indian Country. Tribal members frequently find themselves in federal court for all sorts of allegations— not just serious crimes, such as murder, but lesser offenses, like burglary. Once in federal court, they face sentencing guidelines that are stiffer than if they were tried in state court, where non-Native cases are generally heard. Diversion, probation and other mitigation actions, typical of state courts, are also less common, as is a jury that includes their peers, which is to say, other Natives.

First Nation Sues Alberta Energy Regulator Over Tailings Pond Spill

A northern Alberta Indigenous community is suing the Alberta Energy Regulator for the effects of an ongoing environmental disaster at an Imperial Oil tar sands mine. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) Chief Allan Adam served the CEO of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) with a statement of claim indicating his community intends to hold the regulator legally responsible for the aftereffects of the Kearl mine disaster that began in 2022. Chief Adam hand delivered the lawsuit to CEO Laurie Pushor during an AER townhall meeting in Fort Chipewyan on Tuesday March 5.

Indigenous Human Rights Hearing In DC Scrutinizes Uranium Industry

Washington, D.C. — Members of the Navajo Nation, Ute Nation and Oglala Lakota Nation will testify on Wednesday during a thematic hearing on the impacts of uranium exploitation on the human rights of Indigenous peoples in the United States. The hearing is being held by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and will “allow Native communities who have lived for generations with the waste from historic uranium mining and milling to hold U.S. government officials to account in a public forum,” according to a press release.

Thousands March For Missing And Murdered Indigenous People

On Valentine’s Day, actions were staged throughout several Minnesota cities and  Indian reservations to memorialize Indigenous people who are missing, or have been murdered. Minneapolis, Duluth, Bemidji, Fargo-Moorhead, Mahnomen on the White Earth  Indian Reservation and the Red Lake Indian Reservation all organized events including opportunities for family members to speak of their lost loved ones and the community to show support. Nearly 300 braved the cold weather in Bemidji on Wednesday, also recognized as the Day of  Remembrance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives, to hear organizers and family members speak of lost relatives and their efforts to prevent future cases of missing, or murdered, people.

Campus Divestment Activists Eye Fossil Fuel Profits On Stolen Land

Samantha Gonsalves-Wetherell, a senior at the University of Arizona, has spent years urging university officials to take climate change seriously. As a leader of UArizona Divest, she and her classmates have been pushing the university toward three goals: to divest from fossil fuels by 2029; commit to no further investments in fossil fuels; and to implement socially responsible investing goals.  “It’s hard to both combat the climate crisis and also fund it,” said Gonsalves-Wetherell. She has met with university officials to ask them what stocks the university has invested in and how much revenue oil and gas investments bring in. 

Ghost Nation Responds To Governor Kristi Noem: ‘She Must Apologize’

Wanagi Oyate (Ghost Nation) of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has issued the following statement, condemning South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s misguided and misinformed rhetoric regarding sacred Lakota practices and allegations of criminal activity. Chief Bear Cross of Wanagi Oyate (Ghost Nation) expressed his concerns over Noem’s statements, saying “The only people on Pine Ridge Reservation affiliated with the name ‘Ghost’ is Ghost Nation. We are not and have never been associated with violence, drugs, trafficking or the Mexican Cartel. Governor Noem’s remarks are damaging and dangerous.”

Press Freedom Advocates Demand Police Drop Charges Against Journalist

Press freedom advocates joined together on Jan. 29 to call for the dropping of criminal charges against Indigenous journalist Brandi Morin, who was arrested while covering Edmonton police’s raid on an inner city homeless tent encampment.  Morin, a former Alberta Native News contributor, was charged with obstructing a peace officer on Jan. 10 while filming the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and City of Edmonton’s final raid of an eight-encampment sweep on assignment for the online news outlet Ricochet. If convicted, Morin could face up to two years in prison. Morin was arrested while filming the dismantling of the Indigenous-led 95th Street and Rowland Road encampment, which had been cordoned off with police tape. 

Tribes Say SunZia Line Threatens San Pedro River, Sue To Stop Work

Two Arizona tribes filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management for approving a high-voltage transmission line, alleging the government failed to account for historic and cultural sites through the line's San Pedro Valley route. The Tohono O’odham Nation and the San Carlos Apache Tribe, along with Archaeology Southwest and the Center for Biological Diversity, filed the suit on Jan. 17 over the authorization of the SunZia transmission line. The plaintiffs want a federal court to halt construction and require the BLM to comply with the law before continuing further activity.

British Columbia Court Convicts Three Indigenous Land Defenders

Three Indigenous land defenders charged more than two years ago with defying a court order have been found guilty of criminal contempt in B.C. Supreme Court. Justice Michael Tammen, who delivered his decision this morning, will now consider an application by all three to stay the charges based on alleged misconduct by RCMP officers during the arrests, which occurred along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Wet’suwet’en territory on Nov. 19, 2021. The hearing began following the verdict this morning. “There can be no doubt that Sleydo’, in occupying the metal structure on Nov. 19, 2021, knew that her actions would tend to depreciate the authority of the court,” Tammen said, adding that two others arrested the same day and standing trial this week were defying the order and “reckless” in blocking access to the pipeline route.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.