Native Americans

TRIBAL BEAT: THOUSANDS OF NATIVE AMERICANS STANDING UP TO OPPOSE PIPELINE ARE ATTACKED BY DOGS AND PEPPER SPRAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Update Sept. 6, 2016 3 p.m.:  Federal Judge James Boasberg in Washington D.C. today issued a temporary restraining order in response to the tribe's emergency request to halt machines destroying recently identified sacred sites: "The Court ORDERS that no construction activity on the DAPL may take place between Highway 1806 and 20 miles to the east of Lake Oahe. Construction activity to the west of Highway 1806 may proceed."

September 6, 2016 (San Diego) – Thousands of Native Americans with support from hundreds of tribes have converged  in  North Dakota, seeking to protect their water,  lands and ancestors’ remains from the Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Bakken pipeline. (#NoDAPL) The pipeline would transport oil from fracking from North Dakota to Illinois, passing over major waterways including the Missouri and Mississippi  rivers that are the lifeblood for tribes in several states.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a request for an injunction to halt construction, after discovering sacred artifacts at the site, and a court decision is expected this week. But the pipeline owner, Energy Transfer Partners, defiantly bulldozed a two-mile-long by 150-feet-wide swath over Labor Day weekend, despite having no easement approved yet by the Army Corps of Engineers.

On Saturday,  desperate to halt the devastation until a Judge could weigh in, tribal members marched at the site, with at least one chaining himself to earth-moving equipment.  A private contractor hired by the pipeline owner then attacked the Native Americans with pepper spray and with dogs including pit bulls,  leaving tribal members bloodied and outraged.

COBELL BUY-BACK EXTENDED AND EXPANDED TO COUNTY TRIBES

 

By Leon Thompson

Photo: Elouise Cobell speaking at U.S. Dept. of Interior Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (creative commons image from amin2010 wikispaces)

May 22, 2016 (Indian Country) -  The US Department of the Interior announced that it will expand and extend implementation of the land buy-back program mandated by the Cobell v Salazar Settlement, the largest class action lawsuit against the United States government in history.

BERNIE SANDERS STANDS UP FOR NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS AT THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION COMMUNITY MEETING

 

 

By Leon Thompson, Tribal Beat

May 15, 2016 (Pine Ridge, Sd.) – When Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke in San Diego, he said, among other others, “This campaign is about the Native Americans.“  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a politician even talk about Indians let alone include them in his race for President.  Should I be happy that someone is at least talking about the 566 tribes?   We are a mere 1.6 % of the voting population.  Of course, we know that only a third of all Indians live on reservations.  We are many urban Indians.  And we vote. 

NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS MEETS IN SAN DIEGO OCT. 18-23

 

By Leon Thompson

October 12, 2015 (Mission Valley) – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will hold its national conference in San Diego October 18-23.  The NCAI  is composed of Tribes and individual Native Americans to protect and enhance treaty and sovereign rights.  The Organization was started in 1944 in response to the termination and assimilation policies of the United States government toward American Indians.

BEHIND "STANDING ON SACRED GROUND" CONNECTIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

May 22, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Christopher McLeod was disturbed by the environmental injustice. He saw Native Americans subjected to airborne coal pollution, and their water being taken for slurry lines. The Hopi elders told him there was a spiritual side to the injustice. These violations were taking place within a network of sacred places that their people had preserved for countless generations. These consisted of a sacred mountain, sacred springs that gave the Hopi life, and their ancestral burial grounds. The elders told him the cause of the West’s environmental crises is the disconnect from their spiritual link to the earth. This has become the message behind Standing on Sacred Ground, a four part documentary which can be seen on the WORLD Channel, Sundays at 9:00 PM (ET) until June 14, 2015. See video.

LAGUNA MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEER ASSOCIATION PRESENTS 27TH ANNUAL LIVING HISTORY PRESENTATION ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND

 

August 23, 2014 (Mount Laguna)--See the past come alive in this re-enactment of life in the Laguna mountains, going back in time to before the early 1900s. Visit with Native Americans, surveyors, turn-of-the-(last) century mountain men and rugged cowboys of the Campo Cattle Company. Meet the first Cleveland Forest Ranger on the Descanso District, and relive the travels of a 1908 pioneer family from Imperial Valley.

WORLD PREMIER: DOCUMENTARY FILM ON CONFLICTS BETWEEN MULTI-NATIONAL ENERGY COMPANIES AND NATIIVE AMERICAN TRIBES DEBUTS IN SAN DIEGO JUNE 22

 

“You can’t have ‘green’ without social justice.” – filmmaker Robert Lundahl

June 20, 2013 (San Diego)--EMMY® Award winning filmmaker Robert Lundahl takes a hard look at U.S. energy policy and its effects on desert ecosystems, Native American tribes and communities across the West. The film has special relevance locally, where major energy projects in San Diego and Imperial Counties have sparked legal actions as tribal members seek to protect their heritage and sacred sites from destruction.

The filmmaker and Native American elders from California, Nevada & Arizona will be present at the premier of  “Who Are My People?”  The San Diego premier is a special presentation by Activist San Diego on Saturday evening, June 22, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at. Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, 3900 Vermont Street, San Diego, 92103. 

OUTCRY ARISES OVER NATIVE PEOPLES LOSING LANDS AND WAY OF LIFE

 

 

Pollution of earth and water is driving indigenous peoples from their homelands

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2013 (San Diego)--Around the world, including here in the U.S.,  native people are losing lands they have occupied for countless generations.  The earth and water that sustained life in their communities is being destroyed –once-mighty rivers and wetlands reduced to barren, parched or even contaminated land.  The story is the same from tribes along the Colorado River to those deep in the Amazon, from the deserts of Southern California to the jungles of Mexico, from the coal fields of Appalachia to the copper mining pits of Arizona to indigenous people’s lands in Canada threatened by the Keystone Pipeline.

The culprit?  Growing demand for energy and water. 

Now, native people are speaking out.  They hope to educate the public to conserve precious resources, sharing knowledge of the heart-breaking price being paid by people who have been given no choice—and whose very cultural identity centers around the lands and waters being lost.

CONGRESS PASSES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

 

San Diego Republicans drop opposition, vote to pass measure

By Miriam Raftery

March 1, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two Republican Congressmen from San Diego, Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa, previously voted against renewal and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act to include protections for Native American, gay and immigrant women.

But this week, both shifted their stance and joined with Democrats to pass  the measure 286 to 138. Local Democratic House representatives Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas also voted in favor. (View roll call) The bill has also been approved by the Senate, where California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein supported it, and is expected to be signed into law by the President.

The law had expired, leaving all battered women without the protections afforded by the Violence Against Women Act, due to the House blocking the measure for over a year.  But after mounting public pressure by women’s groups, Native American rights advocates, immigrant and gay rights organizations and others, 87 House Republicans joined with all 199 Democrats to pass the reauthorization bill, expanding rights to include all women.

INDUSTRIAL SCALE WIND & SOLAR PROJECTS: WHAT WORKS? AND WHAT DOESN'T?

 

By Roy L Hales  sandiegolovesgreen.com

February 8, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--As problems with the large wind and solar projects in East County continue to surface, I suspect there will be a tendency to say Big = Bad. I’ve been doing that myself the last few weeks. I think we need to isolate the problems and deal with them one at a time.

The wind farm at Ocotillo appears to lack the necessary wind, but am also aware that one of the problems with wind farms in East Germany has been too much wind. The Czech and Polish governments are said to have flipped the switches, to cut off the flow of surplus energy into their countries.  The alleged lack of wind at Ocotillo could be an insurmountable problem, which raises serious questions about how the facility came to be built in the first place. The alleged surplus in East Germany will cease to be a problem once we develop a method of storing the excess energy for months rather than minutes.

CA NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION ISSUES REPORT BACKING VIEJAS AND QUECHAN CLAIMS OF OCOTOILLO WIND SITE HARM TO SACRED SITES

 

Commission urges CA Attorney General to file suit if mitigation requests not met

Update February 12, 2013: A hearing set for February 15 in San Diego has been postponed.

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2013 (Ocotillo ) – The California Native American Heritage Commission (CNAH) has issued a report in support of the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians and the Quechan Indian Nation claims that the Bureau of Land Management failed in its duty to protect cultural resources including human remains and sacred sites at the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility.  The draf staff report details a disturbing pattern by the BLM, Pattern Energy and a project archaeology consultant of ignoring tribal concerns and failing in its duty to protect cultural resources.

The tribes petitioned the NAHC to investigate and conduct a public hearing to consider tribal requests to declare the entire 12,500 acre site a ‘sanctified cemetery’.  Tribes also seek to have the project halted to assess damage and want agencies to consult with tribes to agree on mitigation measures to prevent further harm to a broader region. The case has broad national significance, with hundreds of millions of acres of public lands slated for renewable energy projects.

The NAHC has cancelled a Public Hearing that had been scheduled at the State of California Building on Front Street in Downtown San Diego for February 15, offering no explanation for the indefinite postponement.

FEDS DRAW CRITCISM FOR HEARINGS ON SACRED SITES: TRIBES ASK WHY NO RECORDINGS WERE MADE NOR NOTES TAKEN

 

Tribal representatives say Interior Dept.  is not sincere about resolving concerns over sacred site desecrations by renewable energy projects on public lands

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Why did the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) host the first in a series of five “listening sessions” with Native American leaders ostensibly to address tribal concerns over impacts of renewable energy projects on public lands—yet didn’t bother to take notes or record the sessions?

Why are no listening sessions scheduled in California or anywhere near our state, where some of the most controversial renewable energy projects are being built atop the graveyards of Native Americans’ ancestors?   

SAVE OUR SACRED SITES RALLY

 

June 11, 2011 (Mesa Verde) -- La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle and the Colorado River Environmental Warriors invite the public to join in a protest June 18 that tribal members hope will help stop destruction of  sacred Native American sites by approved desert solar power projects in California.   Native Americans have raised concerns about numerous desert solar farms planned in the state,  including a project in Imperial County that would bring power to San Diego.  The June 18 protest is slated for Blythe, however, where construction is underway and ancient geoglyphs are reportedly being destroyed.