Six Nations Lawsuit ‘Will Result In A Significant Damage Award’

Officials at Crown-Indigenous Relations worry the Crown may lose a lawsuit launched by Six Nations of the Grand River’s elected council over the community’s numerous outstanding land claims, internal documents suggest.

Negotiators with the Treaties and Aboriginal Government branch informed their deputy minister, the department’s top public servant, of the law department’s opinion in an August 2020 briefing package obtained by APTN News.

“The First Nation is claiming approximately 900,000 acres of land that was improperly surrendered in southwestern Ontario,” the memo explained.

“Justice Canada advises that portions of the Six Nations litigation claim poses high risk for the Crown, and will result in a significant damage award.”

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How New Zealand’s Maori Are Reclaiming Land With Occupations

Two years ago, a small pocket of land three kilometres from Auckland’s international airport became the most prominent site of a struggle by Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people, to reclaim land confiscated by the crown more than 150 years ago.

Ihumātao contains evidence of New Zealand’s first commercial gardens, where thousands of hectares were planted with kumara, a tropical sweet potato which thrived in the warm and nutritious soil. The adjacent stonefields, today a category one Unesco heritage site, are rich with ancient nurseries and storage pits. When William Hobson, then-governor of New Zealand, founded Auckland in 1840, the produce of Ihumātao sustained the growing population.

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How Laws Keep Indigenous People From Protecting Sacred Spaces

Phoenix – Tourists speeding toward Grand Canyon National Park rarely notice the rocky protuberance that juts above the flat expanse of Arizona’s Coconino Plateau.

But to the Havasu ‘Baaja, known to the world as the Havasupai Tribe or “People of the Blue-Green Water,” the isolated hill forms the center of their lands and spiritual life.

Red Butte (Wii’I Gdwiisa or “Clenched Fist Mountain”) is the abdomen of Mother Earth. Mat Taav Tiivjunmdva, a meadow about 3 miles north of the distinctive mountain close to the Canyon’s South Rim, is her navel.

But Red Butte and Mat Taav Tiivjunmdva are part of the Kaibab National Forest and do not lie within the trust land borders of the Havasupai, who were evicted from Grand Canyon National Park in 1919.

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Confederated Salish And Kootenai Win The Day

Congratulations to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on their recent acquisition of the National Bison Range.

In September 2018, I made my first official trip as assistant secretary-Indian affairs to the homelands of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The purpose of the trip was to learn about the irrigation project on the Flathead Reservation. I learned about the challenges with rate setting, aging infrastructure, the differing needs of Indian and non-Indian water users, water rights, the history behind the project and the need for a fair and just water claims settlement with the federal government.

In addition to the irrigation project, I had the opportunity to visit the National Bison Range and learn about the cultural significance of the bison, and the range, to the Salish and Kootenai peoples.

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Stories Of Resistance From El Maizal Commune

El Maizal Commune lies in the fertile lands between the Lara and Portuguesa states in western Venezuela. Founded in 2009, this rural commune has since become an important political and economic force in both the region and the country. It not only produces huge amounts of corn every year, but also raises cattle and pigs, along with a growing number of additional side enterprises. Most importantly, El Maizal Commune forges new social relations and new human beings: people committed to the socialist project that Chávez promoted during his lifetime.

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Peace In Colombia Should Mean Land Reform And An End To Hunger

Since the end of April, Colombia’s streets have smelled of tear gas. The government of Colombian President Iván Duque imposed policies that put the costs of the pandemic on the working class and the peasantry and tried to suffocate any advancement of the Havana peace accords of 2016. Discontent led to street protests, which were repressed harshly by the government. These protests, Rodrigo Granda of Colombia’s Comunes party told us in an interview, “are defined by the wide participation of youth, women, artists, religious people, the Indigenous, Afro-Colombians, unions and organizations from neighborhoods of the poor and the working class. Practically the whole of Colombia is part of the struggle.”

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Land Exchange For Alaska Native Veterans

Juneau, AL – Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday proposed letting Alaska Native Vietnam War veterans exchange promised federal land allotments that many say are not available in their cultural regions for state lands.

Details would need to be worked out through the legislative process, with lawmakers eyeing adjournment in about two weeks. Several legislators attended Wednesday’s announcement, along with Alaska Native veterans.

Dunleavy said he sees this as an opportunity to “right a wrong” the federal government should have addressed long ago.

“We’re going to help them get land as close as possible to where they grew up or where they hunted or where they berry picked, especially where they want their families to take part,” the Republican governor said.

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Minnesota Returns Land To Lower Sioux Indian Community

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) officially returned 114 acres of land to the Lower Sioux Indian Community, four years after the transfer was approved by the state legislature.

The Star Tribune reports the land transfer became official on Feb. 12, with the MNHS returning around half of its southern property along the Minnesota River back to the tribe.

“I don’t know if it’s ever happened before, where a state gave land back to a tribe,” Lower Sioux President Robert Larsen told the Tribune. “[Our ancestors] paid for this land over and over with their blood, with their lives. It’s not a sale; it’s been paid for by the ones that aren’t here anymore.”

The decision was finalized when the MNHS board cast its votes in January.

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Justice In Nicaragua’s North Caribbean Coast

We have prosecuted six cases of usurpation of the communal domain of Indigenous peoples, where people who are not natives of that community misappropriate land of Indigenous peoples. So, how has this procedure been carried out? In the territories, the owners of the land, who are the presidents of the territorial governments, file a complaint with the National Police. The National Police receives these and it does all the investigative work. Then they refer the cases to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office files the accusation before the Single Local Court. We have sentenced these people with the maximum penalty of 3 years and have thus sent them to the penitentiary in Managua or Matagalpa.

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Prayer Walk Demands Justice For Native Man Assaulted By US Feds

Native groups have taken to Petroglyphs National Monument in Tiwa Territory, commonly known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, to demand justice for Darrell House, a native man who was brutally tasered by rangers of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), while he offered prayers on a hike with his sister and dog one week ago.

A prayer walk from Ogahpogeh (Santa Fe) arrived to the site on Saturday afternoon, as reported by The Red Nation’s Nick Estes, who tweeted, “#JusticeforDarrell walk ended at Petroglyphs National Park. Askia Trujillo from Ohkay Owingeh led the prayer walk. Walkers are demanding the firing of the two rangers who brutalized Darrell and an apology and restitution, as well as #LandBack.”

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Emergency Urbanism

Los Angeles is on the brink of one of the largest mass displacements in the history of the region. As eviction courts reopen, nearly half a million renter households, concentrated in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, are at risk of expulsion through unlawful detainers, or eviction filings—UD Day is here. In a deal struck with the landlord and banker lobbies, the California legislature has put forward tenant protections that postpone some evictions, keeping tenants in a state of permanent displaceability. In a cruel hoax, such protections convert unpaid rent into debt, turning the small-claims court into yet another arena of violence against working-class communities of color.

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A New Model For Community-Owned Farmland

Today Agrarian Trust announces the launch of a transformative new model for community-based farm and ranch ownership and tenure, the Agrarian Commons. After several years of development and collaborative input, the Agrarian Commons launches in 10 states across the country. Co-founded with 12 farms representing 2,400 acres of diversified agriculture serving local foodsheds and communities, the Agrarian Commons is a profoundly collaborative endeavor and central to Agrarian Trust’s mission to support land access for the next generation of farmers.

Agrarian Trust was founded in 2013 to address the staggering loss of farmland and the extreme challenges facing farmland seekers. Initially launched as a project of the Schumacher Center for New Economics, Agrarian Trust was established by a diverse group of stakeholders from across the United States, many of them farm service providers and beginning farmers who have witnessed firsthand the formidable obstacles facing agriculture’s next generation.

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Without A Country In Which To Love…

Burkina Faso, in the Sahel region of the African continent, has been struck hard by the global pandemic; officially reported deaths from COVID-19 are second only to Algeria in Africa. In the past sixteen months, nearly 840,000 people out of twenty million have been displaced by conflict and drought; in March alone, 60,000 people were forced from their homes. Last year, the United Nations calculated that the number of Burkinabè residents who had little access to food was 680,000; this year, the UN estimates that the number will rise to 2.1 million. Conflict over resources and ideology had already greatly strained the region, where the climate catastrophe-generated desiccation of the Sahel has produced a serious agrarian crisis.

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Landless Workers Are Challenging Unequal Land Distribution And Corporate Agribusiness

Brazil is among the most unequal countries in the world when it comes to land distribution and is home to the world’s biggest landed estates. This structure of land concentration and unproductivity has historic roots dating back to Portuguese colonization, which established a foundation of social inequality in the country that persists today.

In Brazil—as elsewhere—the relationship with the land is fundamental for the country’s development. To talk about land is to talk not only about people, but also about the control of natural resources and of economic, social, and cultural development; land is an expression of society as a whole.

Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research’s new dossier, “Popular Agrarian Reform and the Struggle for Land in Brazil,” discusses the current stage of the struggle for land in the country.

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