Yurok Tribe Grows Solutions In Soil Of Crises

A drought, a virus and a landslide – these concurrent crises have worsened the food insecurity of Northern California’s Yurok Tribe and spurred some citizens to explore their own solutions.

Their land, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the redwoods of the Klamath Mountains, was declared a rural food desert by the USDA in 2017. The situation worsened when the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with severe drought and a crumbling highway, slammed the reservation and nearby Indigenous communities.

Sammy Gensaw, 26, grew up paddling redwood canoes on the Klamath River and driving the winding mountain roads of California’s North Coast. Since he was 10, Gensaw has been advocating for his people – and the food provided by the river and its valley – at government meetings and with nonprofit groups.

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Remembering The Greatest 4th Of July Speech Of All Time

Frederick Douglass’ speech is one of the 5 or 10 greatest American public speeches (enslaved and escaped, Douglass was a brilliant writer and speaker). Here is one vivid paragraph:

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

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Rethinking 4th Of July With Historical Truths

Ray Raphael offers some context for the Declaration of Independence:

In 1997, Pauline Maier published American Scripture, where she uncovered 90 state and local “declarations of independence” that preceded the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The consequence of this historical tidbit is profound: Jefferson was not a lonely genius conjuring his notions from the ether; he was part of a nationwide political upheaval.

Similarly, Raphael reports:

[I]n 1774 common farmers and artisans from throughout Massachusetts rose up by the thousands and overthrew all British authority. In the small town of Worcester (only 300 voters), 4,622 militiamen from 37 surrounding communities lined both sides of Main Street and forced British-appointed officials to walk the gauntlet, hats in hand, reciting their recantations 30 times each so everyone could hear. There were no famous “leaders” for this event. The people elected representatives who served for one day only, the ultimate in term limits. “The body of the people” made decisions and the people decided that the old regime must fall.

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Water Protectors Make Minnesota’s Line 3 Pipeline The Next Target Of Resistance

The fight for self-governance on White Earth: The Line 3 pipeline will bring tar sands oil — the worst kind of dirty fossil fuel — from Canada through the United States. It will pass through over 40 wild rice watersheds and at least eight waterways, which are a traditional source of food for the indigenous Ojibwe people. This pipeline entangles us even more in an energy system that is destroying the climate, at a time in history when we should shift to a carbon-neutral energy system and economy. LN3 is exactly the opposite of what is needed in a world challenged by a climate emergency. To me, it seems possible that White Earth will be one of the next major pipeline resistance campaigns, like Standing Rock in nearby North Dakota. The situation at White Earth is different than Standing Rock, but the struggle in Minnesota has the potential to bring different native communities together with allies in a broad mobilization of water protectors like the #NODAPL movement did.

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Indigenous Studies Requirement Is A ‘No Brainer’

A land full of rich Ojibwe culture and Dakota history that stretches back hundreds of years can go unnoticed to college students attending a northern Minnesota university in the thick of Indian Country.A small steering committee of faculty and students at Bemidji State University has a solution on how to lift that history and culture to the front of the classroom: make an Indigenous studies course a requirement for all students.

It’s a step, supporters say, that would benefit the roughly 5,000-student body and the university’s commitment to serve the people of the state and region. It could happen, perhaps as soon as the fall of 2021. And a goal for it to happen is to not increase student workload or require additional funding for more staff, said Erica Bailey-Johnson, Red Lake Nation.

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Our Movements Are Greater Than Trump

More women are activated, and this is definitely a positive. The challenge is to move them to recognize the deep roots of the crises we face and how to organize in ways that support, rather than marginalize, women who are the most impacted by these root causes.

Nicole Colson described positive signs that Women’s March participants are developing a deeper political analysis. And, she urges radical organizers to participate in the planning and marches to build relationships with people and challenge conventional narratives.

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America Was Never White

By Joe Krulder for the History News Network. Events in Charlottesville recently cascaded into domestic terrorism. Three dead and dozens wounded as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other “alt-right” members descended upon the university that Thomas Jefferson built; their purpose, it is alleged, to defend a statue – a monument – to the Confederate Civil War soldier, General Robert E. Lee. These radical rightists arrived from all across the United States upon the college town of Charlottesville to protect, in their words, their “white” heritage. Among the many problems I have with so-called “white supremacists” is their purposeful mixing of “heritage” with “history,” rhetorically pining for a once proud “white” America.

But history proves that America was never white.

That I need to make this statement, and worse, that some may take offense from it, shows the blurring rhetoric between what is Heritage and what is History.

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Senators’ Bombshell: DAPL Pipeline Did Not Have Key Permits

By Rob Capriccioso for Indian Country Today. Top Senate Democrats are questioning whether the builder and manager of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had a permit to construct a controversial stretch of the project near tribal land and water sources.

In a letter dated April 3, Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Tom Carper (D-DE), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, took the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which on February 8 granted an easement to Energy Transfer Partners to build the pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, to task on several fronts.

They argued that the Corps has provided “virtually no information to Congress regarding its oversight of the project” and that the Corps’ actions have left real questions over whether it made “efforts to make sure that Energy Transfer Partners complies with even the most fundamental environmental, safety and mitigation conditions of its easement and permits.”

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Dakota Pipeline Is One More Story Of Indigenous Injustice

By Mark Trahant for Trahant Reports. Every preposterous and painful image from North Dakota is another reminder of injustice: The massive police, military-style occupation of Standing Rock Treaty lands, the rush to protect the frantic construction schedule for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the brutal law enforcement march against people who are fighting for the simple idea that water is life.

I’m angry. If the United States lived up to its own ideals there would be no stolen water, land, and dams on the Missouri River and the Army Corps of Engineers would have a long history of real negotiation with the tribes instead of a pretend consultation.

Then every tribe in the country has its own Standing Rock story. Often several stories. Vacant lumber mills that promised jobs but left behind toxic debris. Phosphate clean-up plans that were too expensive, so the waste is buried instead. Or three million gallons of heavy metal sludge released by the government into the Animas River where water flowed into Navajo farms and communities.

Stories to tell. Injustice.

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#NoDAPL Vow to Stay All Winter, File Lawsuit Against Police

By Staff for Common Dreams. Native American leaders vowed on Saturday to protest through the winter against a North Dakota oil pipeline they say threatens water resources and sacred lands and are planning lawsuits over police treatment of arrested protesters.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said he and other tribal leaders were working on providing food, heat and shelter for protesters opposed to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline.

“We’re just working through some technical details as far as where the land is, and the type of land that can be used for some permanent structures,” Archambault told reporters in Mandan, North Dakota on Saturday morning.

At least 10 shelters were being readied on tribal land against temperatures that can fall below -35 Fahrenheit (-37 Celsius) for days at time, he said.

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A Talking Puppet s Teaching Kids An Endangered Language

By Tristan Ahtone for Yes Magazine. Norway – A good puppet has to be liked, so Binnabánnaš was given a pair of friendly brown eyes, a set of uneven blue antlers, and leather shoes with red trim and curled toes reminiscent of samiske komagers, the traditional reindeer skin shoes worn by the Sámi, the indigenous people of Northern Europe.

He also has a job: to teach the Sámi language to children on Norwegian television on his own three-minute show. For example, Binnabánnaš teaches words that begin with the letter “B,” the difference between big and small, and colors. Think Sesame Street with an indigenous twist.

“Binnabánnaš could look like a reindeer calf, or it could be a cow calf. Some people thought it was a goat,” said Tamie Sue Runningen of NRK Sápmi, a unit of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation responsible for producing Sámi content.

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Indigenous Peoples Day Sweeps Nation; 27 #NoDAPL Arrests

By Nika Knight for Common Dreams. As the movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day finds success in communities from Phoenix, Arizona to the state of Vermont, the battle for Indigenous rights in the face of industrial development rages on.

In North Dakota, 27 Indigenous water protectors were arrested in Monday’s action to peacefully occupy a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. The arrests at the hands of militarized police came less than a day after a federal court of appeals ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux’s request for an emergency injunction against the controversial pipeline project.

Meanwhile, on Alcatraz Island, a sunrise ceremony saw hundreds gather to honor the culture of Indigenous peoples and express solidarity with the fight against Dakota Access.

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Appeals Court Halts Dakota Access Pipeline Work Pending Hearing

By Staff for Indianz. A federal appeals court has handed a temporary victory to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe as the #NoDAPL fight continues.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order on Friday that preventsDakota Access Pipeline from doing construction within 20 miles on both sides of Lake Oahe. That’s exactly what the tribes and the #NoDAPL resisters have been seeking as they work to protect sacred sites and burial grounds near the Missouri River.

But the court cautioned that it was not making a decision on the merits of the underlying lawsuit. Instead, the order was described as an “administrative” one that will give the court more time to consider the tribes’ request for an injunction.

“The purpose of this administrative injunction is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for injunction pending appeal and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion,” the clerk of the court wrote.

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Global Call To Action In Solidarity With Dakota Pipeline Resistance

By Staff, Rising Tide of North America. The Red Warrior Camp, in partnership with the Camp of the Sacred Stones issued an official Call to Action Wednesday for allies from around the world to stand ?in solidarity with the groups by joining the NoDAPL Global Weeks of Solidarity Actions from September 3 – 17.

The groups call on supporters to organize protest actions at Citigroup, TD Bank, and the Japan-based Mizuho Bank locations to highlight the companies’ financing of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. If built, the new pipeline is expected to deliver 570,000 gallons of crude oil across 1,172 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, where it will link to infrastructure able to transport the oil to the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Call to Action:

“Water is a necessity for all life. Water is life. Now is the time for all people from all walks of life to join together to stop the desecration and destruction of water, land and life! Please join our Indigenous led movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline by planning or joining an action near you!”

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The People’s Caravan From Cleveland RNC To Philadelphia DNC

By Staff for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. There are three major defining factors of this moment: white rage and misogyny escalated by the presidential elections; extractive dig-burn-dump economies promoted by politicians; and rising militarism at home & abroad applauded by the electorate.

We believe that no matter who becomes the next US president, these growing norms will have serious long-term implications for Black, Latin@, Arab and Muslim peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Asian & Pacific Islander, working class White folks, women and trans people… long after the next president is elected.

We are building a diverse and interconnected movement that has the roots we need to weather the storms our communities face and change the systems that cause us harm.

This July 2016, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) is organizing a People’s Caravan from Cleveland to Philadelphia of 40-50 frontline community leaders from the US and Honduras.

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