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Indigenous Rights

Feds Pause Progress Of Mine That Will Destroy Sacred Indigenous Site

San Francisco, CA - The federal government has temporarily halted plans to construct a copper mine on sacred Indigenous land in Arizona known as Oak Flat, citing an error in oral arguments made at a March hearing. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) official filed a letter to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, May 18, saying it made an error during oral arguments on March 21 when the 9th Circuit reheard Apache Stronghold v. United States, a case that encapsulates a nearly decade-long fight to save the land sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe. The letter states that the government was mistaken about when the U.S. Forest Service would issue the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which would finalize a land exchange between the U.S. Forest Service and Resolution Copper, kickng off construction of the mine.

Ox Sam Camp/PeeHee Mu’Huh Ordered To Leave Or Face Arrest

Orovada, Nevada — For nearly two and a half years, local Native American tribes and leaders have been trying to stop the Thacker Pass lithium project, an open-pit mine that will destroy a sacred site. But despite lawsuits, rallies, regulatory hearings, and community organizing, Lithium Nevada Corporation has now begun construction of the mine at the place Paiutes call “Peehee Mu’huh,” or rotten moon. But the construction has not gone unopposed. On May 11th, Native Americans from the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone and other regional tribes set up a tipi at Thacker Pass and began prayers directly in the path of the construction of Lithium Nevada’s water pipeline.

Call For Solidarity From The #EkoniAci Movement

In order to enforce the moratorium on logging on their territory, Nitaskinan, members of the Atikamekw of Manawan are currently setting up a new blockade. It is located at km 16 on the road to Manawan, north of St-Michel-des-Saints. Logging companies have been informed that they will not be able to return with their machinery when the thaw occurs on May 19th. We need to be many to ensure that they respect this instruction. It is possible to come now to help set up the camp. Those who can free themselves, the most sensitive moments are likely to be from May 19 to 26. The blockade will remain in place afterwards and solidarity will still be necessary.

Lula Recognizes Six New Brazilian Indigenous Reserves

The Amazon rainforest plays a critical role in the mitigation of climate change, but in recent years it has been the target of a steep increase in deforestation. A demarcation decree by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil has established six new Indigenous reserves in the South American country where no mining will be permitted and restrictions will be placed on logging and commercial agriculture. The lands include an extensive area of about 1.5 million acres of Amazon rainforest. The decree was signed on the last day of the 19th Terra Livre gathering, attended by thousands of Indigenous peoples in the country’s capital city of Brasília.

Norway: Youth Demonstrated Against ‘Green Colonialism’

On March 3, the largest civil disobedience action in recent Norwegian history came to an end. 16 Sami activists occupied the lobby of the Oil and Energy Department, and over 1,500 demonstrators attended in Oslo, including around 100 activists partaking in the occupations. Beginning as a single day occupation to spread awareness about the illegal construction of wind turbines on Indigenous land, the demonstration ended as a burgeoning, semi-mass movement. Although the movement forced the current government to meet with movement’s leaders, unfortunately nothing was won; the demonstration ended without the government agreeing to a single demand or concession.

Shaky Ground: How The United States Uses The Law To Steal Indigenous Land

In Federal Anti-Indian Law: The Legal Entrapment of Indigenous Peoples, Peter d’Errico exposes the capriciousness and hostility with which the United States uses the law to apply — or deny — justice to the original peoples of this land. “When we enter a realm called ​‘federal Indian law’ … we are entering a semantic world created by the United States to control Native peoples and claim their lands,” writes d’Errico, an attorney and professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Despite its confusion and contradictions, federal Indian law — in d’Errico’s terms, ​“anti-Indian law” — has long had an unchanging purpose.

What Does Indigenous Reclamation Mean?

In the past year alone, the movement led by Native communities to reclaim lands and spaces — sometimes called the “Land Back” movement — saw huge gains in mainstream momentum. Some of that has come from rallies, like those led by Indigneous activists fighting to close Mount Rushmore. Other conversations about Native lands have been sparked by major court decisions, like the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the McGirt case in which it ruled that a large portion of Oklahoma is still Native land. And with U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland now the country’s first Native secretary of the interior, many Land Back advocates are finding renewed hope in their aspirations.

Indigenous Leaders Call For An End To Environmental Destruction

Indigenous peoples around the globe agree that their health and the health of the planet are interdependent and in jeopardy. On day two of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, or UNPFII, this fact—that Indigenous people make up 5% of the world’s population but are responsible for 80% of its biodiversity—was repeated again and again by global Indigenous leaders. “As we are all aware, Indigenous peoples have least contributed to the problems of climate change nonetheless, due to their interdependence with their vital environment in their ecosystems, they suffer at its worst effects,” said Francisco Cali Tzay on Tuesday, a Mayan Cakchiquel from Guatemala and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Repatriation Reform Bill Unanimously Passes IL House Of Representatives

Illinois - For more than 30 years, tribal nations have been asking the state of Illinois and its state-run institutions to return the remains of their ancestors for reburial within the state. For just as long, Illinois has made that nearly impossible. But now, legislation moving through the Illinois General Assembly would finally pave the way for the remains of thousands of Native Americans to be repatriated. The legislation, which unanimously passed the Illinois House of Representatives this month, comes after nearly two years of consultations among the leaders of more than two dozen tribal nations, the Illinois State Museum and the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Kichwa Community Demands Justice For Violation Of Territorial Rights

A public hearing was held for the writ of amparo lawsuit filed by the Puerto Franco Kichwa community, who sued the Peruvian State and the Cordillera Azul National Park (PNCAZ) for failing to title their traditional lands, the imposition of an exclusionary conservation model and the generation of profits from the sale of carbon credits without their consent, in the San Martin region of the Peruvian Amazon. On 22 March, a public hearing was held as part of the amparo process that has been going on before the Mixed Court of Bellavista since 2020, brought forward by the Indigenous Kichwa community of Puerto Franco and the Ethnic Council of the Kichwa Peoples of the Amazon (CEPKA).

Indigenous Mexicans Risk Their Lives To Defend The Environment

They were driving back from a community meeting in Aquila, Michoacan, where the discussion had centered on getting the Ternium mine in the area to cease activities. They dropped someone off, then were never seen again. Later, their car was found empty, riddled with bullets. Antonio Díaz, an Indigenous Nahua leader opposed to the mine, and Ricardo Lagunes, a human rights lawyer who has taken on numerous key cases in Mexico, went missing on January 15 of this year. “I miss my brother a lot,” Ana Lucia Lagunes, Ricardo’s sister, told TRNN. “But while this is directly affecting my family now, [such forced disappearances and murders] are affecting thousands of other people, too.

Defining Genocide And America’s Selective Memory

On December 9, 1984 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved the Genocide Convention and developed an international law that recognizes acts of genocide. Article 2 of the Genocide Convention lists the following acts. (a) Killing members of the group.  (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group. (e) Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group.

Wounded Knee And Today’s Fight For Treaty Rights

The 1973 Siege at Wounded Knee is the longest “civil unrest” in the history of the US Marshal Service. For 71 days, the American Indian Movement (AIM) and members of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) nation were under siege in a violent standoff with the FBI and US Marshals equipped with high powered rifles and armored personnel carriers.  Two people were killed, over two dozen wounded.  At stake, sovereignty and self-determination guaranteed through treaty rights. Fifty years have passed but for American Indians the struggle for recognition of the nation-to-nation treaties continues to be seen as survival. 

A Looming Court Case Threatens Native Sovereignty

In mid-January, Montana state Senator Keith Regier floated the idea of a bill that would call on federal lawmakers to investigate alternatives to the tribal reservation system, created by federal legislation in 1851 in an effort to silo Native American people, remove them from their traditional way of life and create space for white settlers. Regier claimed he was motivated by genuine concern for the ​“lives and well-being” of Native Americans and all Montanans, asserting the system was built on race and that reservations are not ​“in the best interests of either the Indians inside our borders or for our common Montana citizen.”

My People Don’t Need To Be Saved, We Want To Be Respected!

I believe that if one is going to work or volunteer in American Indian communities, then 1. You must have the heart for it, not everyone from the outside can handle Indian Country. My people have suffered hundreds of years of trauma and still live the effects of it in our communities. So if you aren’t coming to our lands with a genuine heart and the want to really understand our people, then you aren’t ready to help us. 2. If you have never lived among us, been around us, learned our ways or even aware of them… then as outsiders you must learn or have value in it enough to respect it.
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