This is the dilemma that Native ‘Americans’ face every day. The foundations of the United States of America are blatantly unjust. This land was stolen. Native peoples, Africans and many other minority communities have long been recipients of systemic racism. And the roots of it are right there for the entire world to see, printed in many of our founding documents; like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and United States Supreme Court case rulings. We announce it. We flaunt it. We celebrate it.. As a nation we embrace this history because we are largely ignorant of the true nature of our past and have never been held accountable for our actions.
On the 10th day of the national strike in Ecuador, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), Leonidas Iza, presented four conditions to the government of Guillermo Lasso before entering negotiations. The most significant condition was the end of police repression and cancellation of the nationwide state of exception. The indigenous leader also requested assurances that the government would not impose new decrees during the national strike, an end to attacks on demonstrators, respect for the humanitarian protection zones. Government response to requests In response, Ecuador’s Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, said that the government would not give in to the requests made by the Indigenous movements as conditions to end the national strike, which began on June 13. In addition, Carrillo announced the administration’s decision to implement a night curfew in an attempt to reduce demonstrations.
On Thursday, officials from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) paralyzed their activities and joined the national day of protests called to reject the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and ethnologist Bruno Araujo-Pereira in the Brazilian Amazon. Carrying banners calling for justice, human rights defenders and environmental activists gathered in Brasilia and other Brazilian cities to demand protection for the Indigenous Peoples and demand that the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro open an exhaustive investigation into "the chain of crime in the Amazon." In Rio de Janeiro, social activists paid tribute to Phillips and Araujo-Pereira with a remix version of the indigenous song "Wahanararai," which the slain ethnologist sang during his last visit to the Ticuna people. Previously, social networks made a video of him and the Ticunas singing that song go viral.
Flagstaff, Arizona - Hopi farmer Bucky Preston talks to the clouds that form atop Arizona’s tallest mountain. And they talk back. For 2,000 years, communication with the sky has been an important traditional farming method of the Hopi and their Puebloan ancestors. The clouds drift with Hopi prayers from the mountain they call Nuva’tukya’ovi – “place of snow on the very top” – to the tribe’s villages, providing life-giving rain and spiritual sustenance to the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. But last fall, the sacred conversation fell silent. “I did not have a harvest,” says Preston, 72. “It was the first time in my life that happened.” He says other farmers, who grow without chemical fertilizer or irrigation, experienced the same.
Canadian police and security forces have intensified their surveillance and harassment of Indigenous people in recent months in an effort to clear the way for the construction of two long-distance oil and gas pipelines in British Columbia, earning the condemnation of international human rights observers. “The Governments of Canada and of the Province of British Columbia have escalated their use of force, surveillance, and criminalization of land defenders and peaceful protesters to intimidate, remove and forcibly evict Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en Nations from their traditional lands,” the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) wrote in an April 29 letter.
On Friday, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) President Leonidas Iza ratified that his organization will maintain the national strike as long as President Guillermo Lasso does not repeal his neoliberal policies and measures. He also announced that more Indigenous communities will undertake a march from the province of Cotopaxi to Quito City in the next 48 hours, for which his organization is making arrangements to guarantee some food for the thousands of protesters. In response to what Lasso said during a national television channel on Thursday night, Iza recalled that Ecuadorian social organizations have expressed their demands on several occasions and tried to find solutions to them through dialogue processes. The government, however, has not listened to the citizens.
From the early hours of Monday, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) began a national strike against the government of Guillermo Lasso by blocking highways in provinces such as Pastaza, Napo, and Guayas. CONAIE President Leonidas Iza said that the social mobilization, which will continue for an indefinite period of time, emerges as a result of the reluctance of the Lasso administration to continue the dialogue process, the last meeting of which took place on November 10, 2021. Since then, Indigenous communities and farmers have been requested the reduction of fuel prices, the renegotiation of debts, the reduction of interest rates, fair prices for agricultural producers, job creation, and respect for labor rights.
The University of California system is one of the largest and most prestigious post-secondary educational institutions in the country. Its beginnings 170 years ago were as fraught as they were humble. The Morrill Act enabled the creation of land-grant colleges, which were resourced by the sale of federal lands. These lands were, in many cases, stewarded by tribes, and they ended up in the hands of the federal government sometimes by treaty and often through seizure. Although a critical driving force behind California’s continued economic and technological successes, UC has not been sufficiently accessible to the very people whose dispossession was core to its founding. In a monumental move, the State of California is looking to correct historical injustice and promote greater inclusiveness of Native Americans, a group that to this day encounters numerous systemic barriers to post-secondary education.
Los Angeles, CA – Gathering in independent formation as a continental alliance of Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [Americas], the Continental Commission Abya Yala has convened in Los Angeles for a four-day gathering to advance a collective geopolitical agenda in defense of right of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. Calling for the implementation of the international protocols and procedures for decolonization in the hemisphere as Indigenous Peoples, equal to all other peoples, the Encounter of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala has denounced as illegitimate and discriminatory the continued normalization of the doctrine of “Internal Colonization” of Indigenous Peoples by the states of the Americas under the so called “Blue Water Rule”.
On Monday, May 30, communities from South Africa’s Wild Coast gathered in front of a court in the city of Gqeberha. The day marked the beginning of a landmark 3-day legal challenge brought by these communities against gas and oil multinational Shell, Impact Africa, and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). The case is the culmination of a long struggle to protect the Wild Coast against oil and gas exploration. In 2014, the DMRE granted Impact Africa an exploration right off the East Coast. Impact Africa then sought to develop an Environment Management Programme (EMPr) required under the Mineral and Petroleum Services Development Act (MPRDA). This was done just months before South Africa implemented the One Environment System, which streamlined mining regulations and environmental authorizations under the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).
My name is Leonard Peltier and I am 77 years old. I am a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe. I am Anishanaabe and Dakota. I was taken to Wahpeton Indian School, an Indian boarding school, in Wahpeton, North Dakota when I was nine years old and did not leave until I was 12. This is my story. When I lost my grandfather in 1952, life changed forever. He was a good and kind man and he was my mentor and knew how to live off the land. But then he got pneumonia and did not survive. I will never forget watching him die from the foot of his bed. Even now, that sad memory comes back to me as I lay in my bunk at night in a federal penitentiary. About a year after my grandpa died, my grandma had to go to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to beg for help for her and me, my sister Betty Ann and cousin Pauline.
Jagdish Koonjul, the Mauritian ambassador to the UN, last month raised his country’s flag on the Chagos archipelago – what Harold Wilson’s Labor government of 1965 named the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), in a flagrant breach of international law. At a stroke, all the rights of the inhabitants – human, economic, civil – were torn up in a move opposed by international institutions ever since. The British government evicted the entire indigenous population of more than 1,500 islanders from their homes on the archipelago. It realized it could establish a new colony, claim sovereignty over the territory, and ignore a 1960 UN resolution on the right of self-determination – so long as no one lived there.
In a May 2021 article in The Atlantic magazine entitled “Return the National Parks to the Tribes,” Native American author and activist David Treuer details the genocidal violence through which Native American tribes were expelled from some of the US’s earliest and most famous national parks. He begins with the story of the Mariposa Battalion, a white militia composed largely of miners who came upon the Yosemite Valley in 1851 during an expedition to hunt and kill members of California’s Miwok tribes. The militia set fire to Miwok wigwams and shot people as they fled, ultimately driving the tribes from Yosemite. Thirty-nine years later, Yosemite became the first national park, the crown jewel in what would become a continent-spanning archipelago of parks.
“We have been historically underrepresented. Our people have been oppressed for far too long. We have to work to address the white, colonized, patriarchal systems that this country is founded on. We have to make sure that we count at the local, state and federal levels. We cannot tolerate being underrepresented any longer. We have to show up to spaces and represent for those who do not have a voice. Times are changing and evolving. We are strong, resilient and have a foundation that we have to hold onto and carry with us. The foundation of being Native; Indigenous to this land. “Rematriation is a fairly new word. So new it’s not even in the dictionary, yet, but it is the opposite of patriarchy. Rematriation means to return the sacred to the mother; it’s a means to restore balance to the world.
The Mayan Council Chilam B'alam of the K'iches, the Mayan Council Komon Ajq'ijab', the National Coordinator of the Territories of Life Network (Coordinadora Nacional Red Territories de Vida), the National Ajq'ijab' Council "Oxlajuj Ajpop," and the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), inform the national and international communities that on May 4th, 2022 they presented a communication requesting urgent action by the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure.