Russian Activists Call For American Indian Genocide Monument

By Staff of RT – Russian activists are requesting permission to install a monument near the US embassy in Moscow dedicated to the genocide of American Indians. A member of the Russian Public Chamber says the move could soon get official support. The activists have launched a petition in support of the monument on the website. It says that “despite assuming the position of a ‘global policeman’ the United States still refuses to accept the responsibility for killing over 15 million Native Americans.” The petition goes on to call for public support for the monument, which would be dedicated to “the memory of American Indians who perished as heroes in the unfair war with treacherous invaders.”

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Wisconsin Destroying Indigenous Sacred Sites

By Staff of WISDC – The state’s most powerful business group and the building industry are supporting a Republican bill that would allow landowners to destroy some Indian burial mounds in order to develop their property. The measure, Assembly Bill 620, would require the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, which catalogs and protects all Native American burial mounds, to issue permits to allow landowners to do an archaeological dig or use radar to determine if mounds on their property contain human remains. Landowners would be not be required to preserve the mounds if they contain no remains.

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Indigenous Women Lead Fight Against Climate Change In Latin America

By Raquel Reichard for Latina – Why should U.S. Latinas care about this issue? It is having an effect on our lives right now. Our families in Central and South America and the Caribbean are becoming climate refugees. If we do nothing, we’re giving up animals, forests, mountains and beaches that are rich with life and history. Ask yourself, what are you willing to lose to climate change? Your project looks specifically at indigenous women at the forefront of this movement across the Americas.

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140 Food Communities Celebrate Indigenous Food Systems & Worldview

By Rucha Chitnis for Indian Country Today. The walk in the sacred grove was part of Indigenous Terra Madre(ITM) that brought together 140 indigenous food communities from 58 countries in November. A collaboration of the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, Slow Food International and North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society(NESFAS), ITM celebrated the rich food cultures of Indigenous Peoples and showcased their resilient food systems and sustainable practices.

“Indigenous Peoples have a lesson for all of us as we search for a way forward to overcome the crises we face today,” said Phrang Roy, founder of NESFAS and an advocate of indigenous food systems from the Khasi tribe in Meghalaya. “Today there is growing awareness that indigenous knowledge that had been ignored and marginalized as a primitive knowledge system is something we need to look to to build a sustainable, fairer system where food security, nutrition and well being of people is held together.”

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The Myth Of Thanksgiving

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz for Beacon Broadside. “Thanksgiving” became a named holiday during the Civil War, but neither Pilgrims, nor Indians, nor food, nor the Mayflower—all essential to today’s celebration—were mentioned in Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation.

It was during the Great Depression that the Thanksgiving holiday was transformed into a nationalistic origin story to bind a chaotic society experiencing economic and social collapse. But this idea of the gift-giving Indian, helping to establish and enrich what would become the United States, is an insidious smoke screen meant to obscure the fact that the very existence of the country is a result of the looting of an entire continent and its resources. Thanksgiving needs another transformation, a day to mourn US colonization and attempted genocide and celebrate the survival of Native Nations through their resistance.

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Indigenous Grad Students Protest Boy Scouts

By Matthew Argillander and Ryan Kryska in The State News – If you’ve been on MSU’s campus this week, you have most likely noticed the presence of the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow for their centennial exhibition.

After Phillip Rice, a music composition graduate student and member of the Order of the Arrow, sent an opinion letter to The State News expressing displeasure with the event being held at MSU, Shelbi Meissner, a member of the Indigenous Graduate Student Collective and descendent of the Luiseno and Cupeño in Southern-California, teamed up with Rice at Spartan Statue to protest the group’s use of Native American culture and imagery.

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Making The World’s Indigenous Visible

By Aruna Dutt for IPS News – As the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples approaches on Sunday, Aug. 9, concerns are growing that they will not fully benefit from the newly drafted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a policy brief on the SDGs and the Post-2015 Agenda, the Indigenous Peoples Major Group said that there was a failure to recognise indigenous peoples as distinct groups under the expiring Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which resulted in the absence of targeted measures to address their specific situations related to poverty and severely limited favorable outcomes. “Any project not including the participation of Indigenous Peoples is making their needs invisible. The lack of dialogue with Indigenous Peoples and their participation in any process constitutes the main barrier,” Sandra del Pino, Regional Advisor on Cultural Diversity at the World Health Organization (WHO) for The Americas.

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Gardening As Resistance

By Unicorn Riot – In late July Unicorn Riot interviewed three members of Zintkala Luta: a Minneapolis-based educational nonprofit dedicated to offering youth and activists access to nutritional foods and programs which teach native traditions, L/Dakota and Ojibwe language and local organic food cultivation.

They are among a growing movement of others working to create autonomous food systems within their neighborhoods. This movement utilizes urban farming to break away from modern industrial agri-business by creating food sovereignty within local communities. Zintkala Luta, which means “Red Bird”, looks forward to the Fall harvest where they will host the local community for dinner and teach simple recipies made with regionally native vegetable species. They will also be teaching medicinal plant gathering traditions.

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Save Oak Flat Campaign Aided By Historic Preservation Label

By Gale Courey Toensing in Indian Country Today Media Network – Legislation to save an Apache sacred site from destruction by an international mining company got a helping hand recently when the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the land on its 2015 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Almost all of the places that make it onto the list are preserved.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva(D-AZ) introduced the bipartisan Save Oak Flat Act,H.R. 2811, on June 17. Grijalva’s bill would repeal a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA) that authorizes approximately 2,422 acres of land known as Oak Flat in the Tonto National Forest in Southeastern Arizona to be transferred to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of the giant international mining company Rio Tinto.

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Indigenous Communities Slam Mining Injustice In Honduras

By TeleSur – Communities condemn the corporate sell-off of land for mining extraction and the creation of a “transnational dictatorship” in Honduras. Indigenous people in Honduras are protesting an international conference on mining in the capital Tegucigalpa to condemn the human rights abuses committed at the hands of transnational corporations in their territories.

While the Honduran government claims to be concerned about the environment and proposes “responsible and ecological” extraction, popular movements have slammed authorities for enabling environmental and human rights disasters through the whole-sale sell-off of Honduran territory to foreign mining companies.

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Newsletter – Struggle For Independence Continues

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Today, there continue to be struggles for independence in the US and around the world. In the US, as the country celebrates the 4th of July, more are understanding that the so-called “founding fathers” have taken credit for a mass movement of colonists who sought independence, where nearly 100 “Declarations of Independence” were written before the Jefferson version; and where the issues of racism, sexism, and ethnic cleansing of the Indigenous were not recognized. Rather than celebrating the slave-owning plutocrats who hijacked this country we celebrate those who continue the struggle for self-determination here and around the world.

The struggle, as we can see in Greece, is against the plutocratic bankers who profit while the 99 percent suffer the consequences of their wealth extraction. True independence is a worldwide struggle that is ongoing.

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Newsletter: Billionaires Fear Revolt As People Power Grows

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Last week there was a populist revolt from across the political spectrum. Congress received tens of thousands of phone calls every day from people who are clear which side they are on: they want people and planet before profits; they want an open, transparent democracy not a secretive oligarchy.

The campaign to stop Fast Track for corporate trade agreements like the TPP is a clarifying moment. It is democracy vs. oligarchs making decisions for us. It is transparency vs. secret law. It is the people vs. big business. It is a mobilized people vs. big money. These are the issues that unite people into a movement of movements. These are conflicts that let us know who is on the side of the people.

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How Indigenous Kayactivists Protest Against Shell

It was hard to miss. Draped over the boardwalk at Jack Block Park on Saturday, a 300-square-foot cutout of a solemn face looked out over the water-based protest against the Polar Pioneer, the Arctic drilling rig floating in Elliott Bay. “Chief Seattle is watching,” it read.

Looking at the sign probably made some people uncomfortable. Seattle is named after the Duwamish-Suquamish Chief Seattle, and his profile is plastered all over official letterheads and various pieces of Northwest kitsch. Still, sloganizing the face of a man who helped “Seattle” exist—in that he signed a treaty in 1855 giving over 54,000 acres of land to the federal government in exchange for an unfulfilled promise of treaty rights and a reservation for his descendants—can feel like a grotesque kind of tokenism when, often, there are no native people present to explain what it means.

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Living The Indigenous Way, From The Jungles To The Mountains

“Living well is all about keeping good relations with Mother Earth and not living by domination or extraction.” — Victoria Tauli Corpuz, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
But as the fingers of economic development reach into ever more distant corners of the globe, many of these communities find themselves – and their way of life – under threat.

The march of progress means that efforts are being made both to extract the resources on which these communities rely and to ‘mainstream’ indigenous groups by introducing Western medical, educational and economic systems into traditional ways of life.

“There are two uncontacted communities near my home but there is the threat of oil exploration. They don’t want this. For them, taking the oil out of the ground is like taking blood out of their bodies,” Moi Enomenga, a Waorani who was born into an uncontacted community, told IPS.

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Abandoned Uranium Mines Plague Navajo Nation

In the 1940s, surveyors discovered significant uranium deposits throughout the once worthless desert landscape of the reservation. Between 1944 and 1986, as the US government aimed to cut off all dependence on imported uranium, nearly 4 million tons of ore were extracted to fuel the Cold War nuclear arm’s race. With the end of the war, the mining companies moved out. They were not required to clean up their mess and left behind the legacy of their extraction efforts, including mining waste and abandoned mines.

The incidence of Navajo neuropathy is five times higher on the western side of the Navajo reservation than on the eastern side. Some researchers believe this discrepancy is linked to the land: On the western side, the mines were mostly tunnels, whereas in the west they were primarily open pits.

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