By Alicyn Gitlin and Leona Morgan for Sierra Club. TUSAYAN, Ariz. – The controversial Canyon Mine, located just six miles from Grand Canyon’s South Rim, is filling with surplus water after a wet winter. In an effort to dispose of the water from the bottom of the mine shaft, mine owner Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc. is trucking the contaminated water to the White Mesa Mill uranium processing facility near Blanding, Utah and spraying it, into the air and on the adjacent Kaibab National Forest, in an attempt to evaporate it. The Plan of Operations requires that all excess water be retained in holding ponds and be treated on-site. Simultaneously, Energy Fuels has allowed state environmental permits intended to help protect groundwater to expire.
By Julian Brave NoiseCat for The Guardian. North Dakota – Just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, water protectors set their makeshift and traditional structures ablaze in a final act of prayer and defiance against Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline, sending columns of black smoke billowing into the winter sky above the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. The majority of the few hundred remaining protesters marched out, arm in arm ahead of the North Dakota authorities’ Wednesday eviction deadline. An estimated one hundred others refused the state’s order, choosing to remain in camp and face certain arrest in order to defend land and water promised to the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, in the long-broken Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.
By Billy J. Stratton for History News Network. Resistance to colonial oppression has long been a way of life for Lakota and Dakota peoples living at Standing Rock. Their interactions have been defined to a large extent by conflict over land and resources, and through resistance to systematic efforts aimed at the destruction of their cultures and sense of identity through government policies such as allotment, termination, and relocation, along with their forced assimilation in boarding schools and the repression of Native spirituality and religion. Native peoples’ claims to the lands of the Northern Plains, expressed in the very names of North Dakota and South Dakota, have been systematically eroded over the past century and a half through the instruments of war, broken treaties, theft, and corruption.
By Staff of Associated Press. A U.S. federal judge on Monday denied a request by Native American tribes seeking to halt construction of the final link in the Dakota Access Pipeline, the controversial project that has sparked months of protests by activists aimed at stopping the 1,170-mile line. At a hearing, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected the request from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who argued that the project would prevent them from practicing religious ceremonies at a lake they contend is surrounded by sacred ground. With this decision, legal options for the tribes continue to narrow, as construction on the final uncompleted stretch is currently proceeding. Another hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27, as the tribes seek an injunction ordering the Army Corps to withdraw the easement. Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order on the grounds that the pipeline would obstruct the free exercise of their religious practices. “We’re disappointed with today’s ruling denying a temporary restraining order against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but we are not surprised,” said Chase Iron Eye.
By George L. Pauk for Popular Resistance. The Apache Stronghold will again run, march, and pray to save the sacred land known as “Oak Flat” on February 16, 17, 18, 19. It is the third anniversary of this event that somehow echoes back thousands of years. (http://www.apache-stronghold.com/3rd-anniversary-feb-16-19.html) Oak Flat has become another of the recent flagrant abuses of American Imperialism on the body of indigenous nations. The surreptitious insertion of a note in a huge military appropriation bill turned the sacred Apache Tribe land over to foreign mining corporations. It was a masterstroke of political payola. Senator McCain led the greedy pack —and other politicians joined. They have tried to pay back the huge mining corporations for their campaign contributions. They passed a “quick-one” by the human rights community to trash a piece of high desert land that is a traditional sacred site of a small tribe of Apache indigenous people.
By Staff for #NoDAPL Solidarity Team. As you know, The Department of the Army has granted the final easement permit that is needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline! Drilling has begun! We need you now! We are calling all able bodied, prepared Water Protectors to the frontlines! Come to camp prepared! The conditions are hazardous and North Dakota State Legislature is passing laws that target Water Protectors! Be prepared for these conditions. Several contingents of US Veterans are on their way back to camp. Join us! We need you now! This is our last stand! Lastly, the NoDAPL Global Solidarity Campaign currently share access to our website, mailchimp, Zoom and Maestro systems with other amazing organizations.
By Deborah MacKay for the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers. Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.
By Gina Magana, Organizer for Punt the Pipelines. Super Bowl 51 is HERE, in Houston, Texas and we have an opportunity to convey a critical message to millions of people. We must demand an end to a Carbon Based Economy, switch to a Clean Energy Economy, and end all new pipelines to protect our sacred water people, and planet. We need your help. In the air above the stadium we will fly an airplane with an urgent message to divest. On the ground, we will be at the gates of the Super Bowl drawing attention with banners, signs, while we march, drum, dance, sing, and pray to protect our sacred water, people, and planet. Please, donate $1, $10, $100 or whatever you can to help fund this Super Bowl LI Action to Punt the Pipelines for People and Planet. The airplane will reach tens of thousands of people at the game and millions on television and through social media.
By Indian Country Media Network. In an effort to make the 700 acres of beachfront property he purchased in 2014 on the North Shore of Kauai as secluded as possible, three companies controlled by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are suing more than 300 people—living and passed on—with ancestral links to the land. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports there are close to a dozen small parcels within the estate purchased by Zuckerberg that are owned by Hawaiian families who have rights to be on the property. The legal action Mark Zuckerberg is trying to push is called “quiet title and partition,” and according to the Star Advertiser it isn’t uncommon in Hawaii.
By Beverly Bell for Other Worlds – Gustavo started Otros Mundos / Friends of the Earth Mexico in 2007. Under his leadership, Otros Mundos has become a focal point for environmental defense throughout Mexico and Mesoamerica. The group organizes impacted peoples and their allies for campaigns around water, energy, and climate crisis, amongst other issues. It also educates, connects, and mobilizes activists and advocates around the world for effective action toward economic and environmental alternatives. Gustavo is an electric light switch – solar electric – sparking and connecting currents across the region.
By Andy Campbell for Huffington Post. Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are taking aim at protesters with a handful of bills that would make another pipeline protest far more dangerous. The oil-friendly legislature argues that its constituents are frustrated over the protests, which led federal authorities to halt construction of the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline as thousands of protesters braved cold weather and violence for months. A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.
By Simon Moya-Smith for Indian Country Media Network. The number of Native Americans killed by police nearly doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to reports. Last year, an estimated 21 Native Americans were killed by law enforcement. In 2015, police killed 13 Native Americans, The Counted, a tabulation of all police killings in the U.S., revealed. A 2014 study by The Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice reported that, per capita, Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other demographic in the U.S.
By Tristan Ahtone for Yes! Magazine. As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to occupy the Oval Office, much of Indian Country is bracing for the worst. But the U.S. Congress has an opportunity to welcome tribal nations to the table in a unique way: It can seat an Indian delegate. For more than 200 years, the Cherokee Nation has held the right to send a nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, much like Puerto Rico or the District of Columbia. That right stems from treaties signed by the United States and the Cherokee Nation—treaties that are currently in effect and backed by the U.S. Constitution. It’s a right that’s also enshrined in the Cherokee Constitution: “In accordance with Article 12 of the Treaty with the Cherokees, dated November 28, 1785 (Treaty of Hopewell), and Article 7 of the Treaty with the Cherokees dated December 29, 1835 (Treaty of New Echota), there shall be created the office of Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, appointed by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Council.”
By the Society of Native Nations. The Society of Native Nations (SNN) has been asked by the Big Bend Defense Coalition of Alpine, TX and the surrounding communities in West Texas to help stop the Trans Pecos Pipeline. SNN has committed to help by starting a camp, which will be open on Dec 30, 2016 to receive Water Protectors. The camp has been named “Two Rivers Camp”, known as “La Junta de los Rios” by the local native communities such as the Jumano, Apache and Conchos People. The Trans Pecos Pipeline (TPPL) is owned by Kelcy Warren, billionaire and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The TPPL is a fracked gas pipeline that is being built through west Texas. It will go under The Rio Grande River into Mexico where the gas will be exported to various foreign countries.
By Staff of Indian Country Media Network. “Bears Ears has been home to Hopi, Navajo, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni for countless generations,” the coalition said. “Our ancestors lived, hunted, gathered, prayed, and built civilizations here, and it remains vital today as a place of subsistence and spirituality. Our oral traditions speak of this area, and of certain spiritual resources found only there. The protection of the Bears Ears cultural landscape is powerful medicine for healing—of the land, of plants and animals, and for all people. The Bears Ears National Monument will also ensure continued access to tribal ceremonies, firewood and herb collection, hunting, grazing and outdoor recreation.”