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Treaties

We Are A Nation

When I was a child, my grandmother, Maggie, always called the United States (US), the ‘enemy.’ She was the one who taught me who I was as Oglala Tituwan Oceti Sakowin (AKA Sioux), and also about the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. At first I didn’t understand why she called the US the ‘enemy’. All three of her children, including my father, had been in the military service during World War II, and her husband, my grandpa, had served during World War I. But as I got older and heard the stories about the boarding schools, about the Wounded Knee Massacre, and experienced racism myself on the first day of first grade, I finally started learning what exactly she meant.

President Biden Can’t ‘Heal The Nation’

President Joe Biden makes me laugh. One would think at his age, he would know that you can't heal a major illness, or wound, until you start at the source. I am referring to his continually saying, "We have to heal the soul of the United States (U.S.)." That's never going to happen until the powers-that-be, including President Biden, begin to heal the original illness, or wound, as you wish, which is the mistreatment and injustice they continue to give to the Original Nations, the American Indian Nations who are us. Some call it Karma. We call it the circle. Whoa!! No one wants to think about that let alone verbalize such an idea. Yet, that is precisely what the 1894 Sioux Nation Treaty Council has been doing for the past few years through letters to President Biden. He has been given the opportunity to "heal" the U.S. What is his response? The first year, there was NO response. So another letter was sent.

Despite Oceans ‘In Crisis,’ Global Treaty Talks Falter

In the wake of collapsed U.N.-backed talks, ocean defenders this week are urging global governments to reach a robust treaty by year's end to safeguard the world's high seas from exploitation and the climate crisis. "Government promises to protect at least a third of the world's oceans by 2030 are already coming off the rails," Will McCallum of Greenpeace's Protect the Oceans campaign said in a statement Monday. A failure to reach a Global Ocean Treaty in 2022 would mean "no way to create ocean sanctuaries in international waters to allow them to achieve that 30×30 goal," he said. "This treaty is crucial because all of us rely on the oceans: from the oxygen they give to the livelihoods and food security they provide."

Support For Nuclear Ban Treaty Is Rising

Nuclear tensions and nuclear spending are on the rise, but the elevated danger of nuclear weapons is overshadowed as other urgent global threats from the COVID pandemic, climate and environmental emergencies, and other urgent crises dominate news headlines. The United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force in January, receives scant media attention, even as the United Nations prepares to mark September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Unlike other nuclear treaties and agreements, the TPNW, or nuclear ban treaty as it is also known, prohibits all activity including development, testing, production, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, and the use or threat to use nuclear weapons.

Treaties Offer New Aid In Environmental Fights

Native treaty rights are becoming powerful tools for protecting the environment against government mismanagement and destructive private industries, as worldwide efforts intensify to halt climate change and protect the environment . With the right to hunt, fish and gather on lands ceded to the federal government, treaties also offer growing leverage on state and federal governments to ensure the health of the habitats upon which those rights were granted. “Tribes exercising treaty rights is not a one-sided thing,” said Paul DeMain, citizen of the Oneida and Ojibwe tribes and a board member of Honor the Earth, an Indigenous environmental advocacy organization. “Non-Native citizens also benefit from natural resources being protected and preserved for tribal subsistence hunting, gathering and fishing.” Treaty rights are already surfacing in the fight against

For The Nez Perce, A Proposed Gold Mine Is A Symbol Of Broken Promises

As a citizen of the Nez Percé, or Nimíipuu, which means the People, I look at gold mining as a symbol of broken promises. In 1855, when my ancestors entered into a treaty with the United States, we ceded millions of acres in what eventually became Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In exchange we reserved an exclusive homeland and rights to fish, hunt, gather and pasture throughout our vast aboriginal territory. Then in 1860 gold was discovered, and thousands of prospectors flooded across our borders in violation of the treaty, damaging our sacred places and natural resources and causing unspeakable injury to our people. The United States failed to uphold the terms of the 1855 Treaty and instead forced the Nez Percé to enter into a new treaty in 1863.

Blackfeet Federation Seeks Permanent Protection For Badger Two Medicine

Recently, the Blackfeet Tribal Council, MT announced its goal of securing permanent Federal government for the Badger Two Medicine area, sacred site to them. Specifically, they are seeking a new type of federal legislation that would authorize and establish a Cultural Heritage Area, the Badger Two Medicine, 130,000 acres within the Lewis-Clark National Forest area, to be co-managed by the Tribe and USFS. “Badger Two Medicine is a heart and soul spiritual place to the Blackfeet people. It is where we still come together to help one another,” explained Earl Person. “Without it, our people will be weakened.” Old Person, now 91 a nationally recognized Tribal Leader spent more than 60 years in Tribal politics, most often serving as Tribal Chairman.

The Supreme Court Ruling On Oklahoma Was Welcome, But…

The U.S. legal system from the Supreme Court on down delivered a suite of rulings over the past week that have reaffirmed Indigenous land rights and environmental protections. From the Virginias to the Dakotas, they pushed back on the industrial development that would have further imperiled tribal lands and the environment. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that 3 million acres of eastern Oklahoma — including most of Tulsa — remain American Indian reservation land. Last Monday, the court also denied a Trump administration request to allow the construction of the long-delayed northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry slurry crude from the Alberta tar sands to Nebraska.
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