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Indigenous Rights

Parole Commission: It’s Long Past The Time To Free Leonard Peltier

For the first time in 15 years, Leonard Peltier will be afforded a full parole hearing on Monday, June 10 at the United States Penitentiary at Coleman, Fla. Peltier (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) has been incarcerated for 48 years for the killing of two FBI agents at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in June 1975. For five decades, Peltier has maintained his innocence and hoped for the chance to clear his name. Monday’s hearing may well be his last chance at vindication. The incident that led to Peltier’s imprisonment happened some 49 years ago, when two FBI agents — Jack Coler and Ronald Williams — arrived at a residence on the reservation to pursue a suspect who had taken a pair of shoes in a robbery.

Indigenous Tribes Lead DC Rally To Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

Indigenous campaigners, climate action groups, and other environmental justice advocates converged in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to amplify the message they have aimed to send to the federal government for more than eight years, since they led a historic, monthslong mass civil disobedience action in 2016 with tens of thousands of supporters in an effort to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe organized Tuesday's rally, calling on President Joe Biden and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to revoke all permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and end operations for a project that transports 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day nearly 1,200 miles, running just a mile upstream from the Standing Rock reservation.

Mexican Indigenous Group Fights To Preserve Sacred Sites

Guadalajara, Mexico — Dressed in white clothing embroidered in colors and symbols representing the sacred universe, Mario Muñoz Cayetano, a man with a good-natured expression and deep gaze, speaks on the importance of a presidential decree to legally protect sacred territory. “For us, nature is one big, gigantic church, but we don’t need cement or even a building in order to respect it. A hill, a cave, a spring, a river, rocks, mountains … to us, they are temples,” says Muñoz, president emeritus of the Wixárika Union of Ceremonial Centers of Jalisco, Durango and Nayarit A.C., an organization made up of Wixaritari that monitors the conservation and protection of sacred sites.

What’s The Difference Between Indigenous Nations Co-Managing Or Co-Stewarding Their Land?

For a decade, wind farm companies had been eyeing Molok Luyuk — a mountain ridge of religious importance to tribes in northern California, whose people have worked for years to protect it. It’s also widely biodiverse with elk, mountain lions, and black bears, as well as 40 rare plants such as the pink adobe lily. Mia Durham is the secretary for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a tribe that has been in a relationship with Molok Luyuk for thousands of years. In response to petitions filed by wind energy companies that wanted to develop the area, the tribe and its allies asked President Biden to protect it in 2019.

Why Is New Caledonia On Fire?

New Caledonia’s capital city, Noumea, has endured widespread violent rioting over the past 48 hours. This crisis intensified rapidly, taking local authorities by surprise. Peaceful protests had been occurring across the country in the preceding weeks as the French National Assembly in Paris deliberated on a constitutional amendment that would increase the territory’s electoral roll. As the date for the vote grew closer, however, protests became more obstructive and by Monday night had spiralled into uncontrolled violence. Since then, countless public buildings, business locations and private dwellings have been subjected to arson.

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.
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