indigenous-land

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‘We Will Fight to the End’: Munduruku Resistance to the Destruction of their Homelands

This is Munduruku land.

The signs are man-made specks in an ocean of nature but are harbingers of a battle to come. It is a fight between the Munduruku, who have long sanctified this river, and Brazil’s government, which plans to flood much of this land to build a $9.9 billion hydroelectric dam, the São Luiz do Tapajós. The dam is one of seven planned for this river and part of a wider strategy across the Amazon that the energy ministry says is necessary to sate the country’s growing need for power. But the Munduruku say they have a constitutional right to remain on their territory — and that the government is refusing to acknowledge it, in violation of the law. […]

“We will fight to the end,” said Juarez Saw Munduruku. “This is our struggle. … I would die defending my land so that another generation can live here.”

SOLIDARITY.

Indigenous people are struggling to clean up 3,000 barrels oil that have poured into the Chiriaco and Morona tributaries of the Amazon River.

As Rivers Run Black in Peru, Indigenous Nations Left Cleaning Big Oil’s Disaster

A disastrous spate of oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon have gone from bad to worse in recent days, leaving Indigenous nations frantically trying to clean up the mess left by the nation’s state-owned oil company.

The catastrophic ruptures in Petroperu’s Northern Peruvian Pipeline occurred on January 25th and February 3rd and have threatened the water supply of nearly 10,000 Indigenous people, says Amazon Watch.

On Monday, Petroperu officials confirmed to Reuters that the oil has poured into two critical Amazon River tributaries that eight Achuar communities depend on for water. According to the news agency, these two tributaries of the Amazon River, the Chiriaco and Morona rivers, are now filled with 3,000 barrels of oil.

Critics charge that the spills continued to spread and caused far worse damage after the responsible company, Petroperu, failed to act to contain the oil released by the pipeline breakages.

A third pipeline rupture was rumored on February 19, reports Amazon Watch, but the state-owned petroleum company took to Twitter to deny those reports.

The devastating spills occurred mere months after Indigenous activists staged massive protests against Peru’s oil industry in September.

Over the weekend, local activist Marco Arana Zegarra posted horrific images of the oil’s spread in the Chiriaco tributary:

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“Those responsible? Where are they?” Zegarra appealed.

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Waterways flow with black sludge and trees and flowers are rendered nearly unrecognizable by a thick coating of oil in video footage of the spills:

“At least this time,” observed Zegarra, “Petroperu has given Indigenous populations suits to wear for cleaning up oil.”

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Petroperu president German Velasquez “denied reports the company paid children to clean up the oil,” reports the Guardian, but then he went on, perhaps damningly, to say that “he was evaluating firing four officials, including one who may have allowed children to collect the crude.”

“It’s important to note that the spills…are not isolated cases. Similar emergencies have emerged as a result of defects in sections of the pipeline,” the national environmental regulator said, according to the Guardian.

The regulator “ordered Petroperu to replace parts of the pipeline and improve maintenance,” states Reuters. The Guardian reports that Petroperu will face fines of up to $17 million if it is proven that the oil spills have affected the health of locals.

“This environmental disaster is just the latest in a long history of oil and gas leaks in the area,” laments Indigenous rights group Survival International, observing that “[m]ore” than 70% of the Peruvian Amazon has been leased by the government to oil companies.“

The group translates a call to action by AIDESEP, an organization that fights for Indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, in which it pleads for “international public opinion, the media, NGOs and civil society to pay attention to this serious event that puts in danger the lives of thousands of people living in the area who have traditionally been neglected.”

Top 10 indigenous films of all time

Indigenous cinema, at least in its contemporary form, is only 40 years old, and the fact that there are films to be left off a list like this is testament to its rapid development and to the artists who have taken up the camera to tell their stories.

Here are 10 amazing films that are a great starting point for a journey into indigenous cinema history.

1. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, 2001 (Canada)

The first Inuktitut language feature is also the most important film in Canadian history, bringing epic film making to a Northern legend. It won Official Selection at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival, and remains the highest grossing indigenous film in Canadian history.

2. Bastion Point Day 507, 1980 / Incident at Restigouche, 1984 (New Zealand / Canada)

These two activist documentaries were often paired on the festival circuit and are among the most important films in contemporary indigenous cinema.  Directors Merata Mita and Alanis Obomsawin seemingly willed indigenous cinema into life with these two endlessly fascinating historical documents.

3. Bedevil, 1993 (Australia)

Tracey Moffat’s dreamscape/ghost story began indigenous cinema’s move away from traditional cinematic narrative structures and remains an under seen masterpiece.

4. The Dead Lands, 2014 (New Zealand)

Toa Fraser’s martial arts epic is bloody and bold, recreating pre-contact New Zealand and featuring remarkable, bone crunching performances. Coming soon to theaters.

5. Four Sheets to the Wind, 2007 (U.S)

Sterlin Harjo’s gripping feature is a descendant of Smoke Signals, portraying contemporary Indigenous life with an unflinching eye and open heart. It won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for Tamara Podemski’s remarkable performance.

6. Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, 1993 (Canada)

Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary epic chronicles the Oka Crisis in Quebec and helped shift the dialogue around Indigenous issues in Canada and globally. It was the first documentary to ever win the Best Canadian Feature award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

7. Once Were Warriors, 1994 (New Zealand)

Lee Tamahori’s ferocious and exhilarating portrait of an urban Maori family was the first indigenous feature to have a truly global presence. Among the highest grossing films in New Zealand history.

8. Rhymes for Young Ghouls, 2013 (Canada)

Jeff Barnaby’s debut feature brings the anger to indigenous cinema, a clarion call for both the cinematic community and the indigenous community. A director to watch for years to come.

9. Samson and Delilah, 2009 (Australia)

Warwick Thornton’s Camera D’or winner is a searing depiction of modern life in Australia and a marvel of naturalism and restrained storytelling.

10. Smoke Signals, 1998 (U.S)

Chris Eyre’s road movie based on Sherman Alexie’s screenplay is a touchstone for indigenous cinema, bringing humour to a story of contemporary Indigenous life. Also features the core of young performers such as Adam Beach, Michelle St. John, Irene Bedard and Gary Farmer who would go on to star in numerous other films in the ensuing years.

More films not listed here — Ten Canoes, Charlie’s Country, Patu!, Barking Water, Trudell, Before Tomorrow, Mohawk Girls.

This article was initially published in Muskrat Magazine, edited by Jesse Wente (via cbc.ca).

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Hundreds of Native American protesters temporarily stopped construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Nearly 400 protesters gathered to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8-billion system that, if completed, would stretch across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois — rivaling the length of the rejected Keystone XL Pipeline. So far, 16 members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been arrested, including the tribe’s leader, David Archambault II.

On Wednesday, Archambault contacted the White House and met with North Dakota senators to try to get construction halted on the 1,172-mile behemoth. While the pipeline doesn’t cut through any federally reserved indigenous land, it will hurt the tribes in numerous ways.

follow @the-movemnt

Demian DinéYazhi’ / RISE: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment
THIS LAND IS NOT YOUR LAND, 2016

✌🏾️ to all the lovers and laborers and poets and believers and survivors who carry this indigenous blood and care for this land and its stories.
ahéhéé // ayóó ánóshní

Out of Sight
August 4th - 28th, 2016 
every Saturday and Sunday until closing
King Street Station, 3rd Floor - Seattle, WA
www.outofsight.space

usuncut.com
These 8 Cities Just Abolished Columbus Day
Three more cities adopted Indigenous Peoples' Day in just the past 48 hours.

Following a growing trend, the city council of Albuquerque, New Mexico has voted six to three to recognize October 12th – typically known to most as “Columbus Day” within the USA– as Indigenous Peoples’ day in a new proclamation. Albuquerque has the highest concentration of Indigenous people in New Mexico.

In the past two months, eight cities got rid of Columbus Day in favor of adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Three of those cities adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day this week.

  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico – The city’s formal declaration”encourages businesses, organizations and public entities to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, which shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that our Indigenous nations add to our City.”
  2. Lawrence, KS – Since September, students from Haskell University in Lawrence, Kansas have been taking initiative and pushing for the city to honor their ancestors by declaring October 12th Indigenous Peoples’ day. Just this Wednesday, they won.
  3. Portland, OR – Portland’s City Council declared Indigenous Peoples’ day on Tuesday, something tribal leaders have been seeking since 1954.
  4. St. Paul, MN – In August, St. Paul followed Minneapolis by declaring Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Minneapolis passed its own resolution last year.
  5. Bexar County, TX – The resolution was passed Tuesday, and local activists intend to press for the same thing in San Antonio.
  6. Anadarko, OK – In September, Anadarko declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Anadarko Mayor Kyle Eastwood signed the proclamation while surrounded by tribal leaders from the Apache, Choctaw, Delaware, Wichita and others.
  7. Olympia, WA – Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Jones presented Olympia’s proclamation at a rally in August. Nearly 150 people showed up to support the initiative.
  8. Alpena, MIIn September, Mayor Matt Waligora declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The city says they desire “to develop a strong and productive relationship with all indigenous peoples, including the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, based on mutual respect and trust.”

These cities are following in the footsteps of Seattle and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City came close to passing it in September and will try to pass it again on October 13th, the day after the holiday.

City Council Member Rey Garduño wrote and proposed the proclamation, with guidance from local activists. The campaign was initiated last year during an “Abolish Columbus Day” demonstration at City Hall.

Although these changes have been quite recent, the struggle for the recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day has been going on since 1954, when the idea was first proposed in Portland, OR.

The Albuquerque Police Department have a notorious record of harassing and killing oppressed people. Their law enforcement divisions have shot 50 people resulting in 28 fatalities since 2010. In Albuquerque, Indigenous people compose 4.6 of the city’s population, but 13% of its consistently homeless population.

This name change is a fantastic trend that needs to grow fast, but it needs to be followed up by concrete action and legislation. Nationwide (and worldwide – particularly in Latin American countries that have suffered from US-backed coups), Indigenous people suffer from economic inequality, health problems, and human rights abuses. It’s time we celebrate their culture and tradition rather than their oppressors’, and it’s time we give back to those we’ve taken so much from.

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Amazonian Women March on International Womens Day 2016

On #InternationalWomensDay women from 7 different Amazonian Indigenous Nations began a march in Ecuador against new oil blocks in the rainforest. They call on their government and the international community to respect their rights:

“We stand for our families our planet and the rights of nature!”
"They want to criminalize me for defending my territory.”
“Don’t threaten the rights of Indigenous women, uncontacted peoples and activists!”
“We women are at the front, demanding that they respect our Indigenous rights, our territory, and our rainforest.”

At the very same time, Chinese oil company Andes Petroleum began to enter the Sápara territory in violation of their rights. Sápara representatives are now delivering a formal protest letter in response to this illegal entry onto their lands.

Please support these women fighting for the survival of their culture and the protection of the Amazon rainforest. Call the embassy of China and tell them to stay out of Sápara territory. ACT TODAY: http://amazonwatch.org/news/2016/0307-stand-with-amazonian-women

“If Andes Petroleum enters Sápara territory, they’ll destroy our people.” - Gloria Ushigua

Breaking: Honduran Indigenous Leader Berta Cáceres Assassinated, Won Goldman Environmental Prize | Democracy Now!

Honduran indigenous and environmental organizer Berta Cáceres has been assassinated in her home. […] At approximately 11:45 pm last night, the General Coordinator of COPINH, Berta Caceres was assassinated in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca. At least two individuals broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying for the evening in the Residencial La Líbano, shot and killed her. COPINH is urgently responding to this tragic situation.

Berta Cáceres is one of the leading indigenous activists in Honduras. She spent her life fighting in defense of indigenous rights, particularly to land and natural resources.Cáceres, a Lenca woman, grew up during the violence that swept through Central America in the 1980s. Her mother, a midwife and social activist, took in and cared for refugees from El Salvador, teaching her young children the value of standing up for disenfranchised people.

Cáceres grew up to become a student activist and in 1993, she cofounded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to address the growing threats posed to Lenca communities by illegal logging, fight for their territorial rights and improve their livelihoods.

Berta Cáceres and COPINH have been accompanying various land struggles throughout western Honduras. In the last few weeks, violence and repression towards Berta Cáceres, COPINH, and the communities they support, had escalated. In Rio Blanco on February 20, 2016, Berta Cáceres, COPINH, and the community of Rio Blanco faced threats and repression as they carried out a peaceful action to protect the River Gualcarque against the construction of a hydroelectric dam.

(Read Full Text)

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Over the past four years, the Unist'ot'en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation have literally built a strategy to keep three proposed oil and gas pipelines from crossing their land. Concerned about the environmental damage a leak could cause on land they’ve never given up, they’ve constructed a protection camp to block pipeline companies. As opposition to the development of Alberta’s tar sands and to fracking projects grows across Canada, with First Nations communities on the front lines, the Unist'ot'en camp is an example of resistance that everyone is watching. 

I don’t believe a position that is “anti-GMO” is a tenable one, because most insulin that is synthesised today is derived from a genetically modified organism, usually from E.Coli or yeast (S. cerevisiae). Being anti-GMO in principle would mean protesting medicine for diabetics.

I understand having objections to particular GM crops, say BT corn; I also understand having objections to the industry monopolies possessed by unscrupulous agribusiness firms like like Monsanto. Further, I think it is perfectly reasonable to have objections to unsustainable farming practices that deplete soil and eat up forests, or predatory business practices that take up tracts of indigenous land.

What I don’t understand is being against fruits and vegetables that have received the transgenic equivalent of a vaccination: like the Ringspot-resistant Papaya, or the Sharka-resistant Plum.

It’s the lack of clarity and specificity in this conversation that I find maddening: I think complex questions deserve complex answers, and those aren’t to be found in a consumer boycott, or a sign that reads “hell no GMO.” If you are protesting GM crops, but can’t tell me the names of five, then why are do you feel entitled to speak on behalf of people who work in agriculture and horticulture?
— 

biodiverseed

If you want to learn about the wide variety of crops available, check out the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment’s Global GM Crop Database.

#GMOs
Colonial courts kick Indigenous people off their land, while Trudeau does nothing

by Bradley Hughes

Despite appeals to Prime Minister Trudeau and to BC Premier Christy Clark to respect Indigenous rights and the needs of local farmers, construction on the Site C dam continues. At the end of February the British Columbia Supreme Court issued an injunction to allow BC Hydro to remove protesters and to take down their camp at the Site C construction site.

The Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land have lived at the camp, preventing the logging of old growth forests that BC Hydro requires to build the dam. In a letter to the Prime Minister and BC’s Premier they demanded that construction be halted until the courts decide on several challenges by First Nations and local landowners, that permits for construction be suspended by the Federal government until there has been a review of the infringement of Treaty 8 rights caused by the project, and “an independent review by the BC Utilities Commission of the Site C dam project, with full procedural safeguards, as recommended by the federal/provincial Joint Review Panel and many others.”

By removing the Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land from their own land in favour BC Hydro, the courts once again sided with Canada’s continued refusal to deal with Indigenous nations on a nation to nation basis.

Earlier in the year, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and environmentalist David Suzuki travelled to the protest camp to show their support. Grand Chief Phillip said, “It is infuriating and deeply frustrating that we continue to be confronted with this provocative and aggressive approach from BC Hydro and the Province of British Columbia when Treaty 8’s court proceedings have not even been completed and the Site C project has not been properly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission. It is absolutely unacceptable that BC Hydro is relentlessly clear-cutting forests right now to prepare for the flooding of the Peace River Valley, which will destroy archaeological sites and eradicate prime farmland. The proposed Site C project will irreparably harm and adversely impact the environment and the Treaty 8 First Nations and all residents whose lives are entwined with the health of the land and waters.”….

Read on:- http://www.socialist.ca/node/3049

Revolutionary Eye:- See also Treaty 8 Stewards Of The Land :- https://www.facebook.com/events/1501364853502402/

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Report: Hundreds killed while defending environment, land rights
April 16, 2014

Hundreds of people have been killed while defending the environment and land rights around the world, international monitors said in a report released Tuesday, highlighting what they called a culture of impunity surrounding the deaths.

At least 908 people were killed in 35 countries from 2002 to 2013 during disputes over industrial logging, mining, and land rights – with Latin America and Asia-Pacific being particularly hard-hit – according to the study from Global Witness, a London-based nongovernmental organization that says it works to expose economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction.

Only 10 people have ever been convicted over the hundreds of deaths, the report said.

The rate of such deaths has risen sharply – with an average of two activists killed each week – over the past four years as competition for the world’s natural resources has accelerated, Global Witness said in the report titled “Deadly Environment.”

“There can be few starker or more obvious symptoms of the global environmental crisis than a dramatic upturn in the killings of ordinary people defending rights to their land or environment,” said Oliver Courtney, a senior campaigner for Global Witness.

“This rapidly worsening problem is going largely unnoticed, and those responsible almost always get away with it,” Courtney said.

The report’s release followed a dire warning by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said global warming is driving humanity toward unprecedented risk due to factors such as food and water insecurity. Global Witness said this puts environmental activists in more danger than ever before.

Land rights are central to the violence, as “companies and governments routinely strike secretive deals for large chunks of land and forests to grow cash crops,” the report said. When residents refuse to give up their land rights to mining operations and the timber trade, they are often forced from their homes, or worse, it said.

The study ranked Brazil as the most dangerous place to be an environmentalist, with at least 448 killings recorded.

One case that especially shocked the country and the global environmental movement involved the 2011 killings of environmentalists Jose Claudio Ribeira da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva.

“The couple had denounced the encroachment of illegal loggers in the reserve and had previously received threats against their lives,” the report said.

Masked men gunned down the couple near a sustainable reserve where they had worked for decades producing nuts and natural oils. The killers tore off one of Jose Claudio’s ears as proof of his execution.

Full article

Stand with Amazonian Women!

Hundreds of Indigenous women from the Ecuadorian Amazon are marching to protect nearly a million acres of their rainforest territory from an oil deal that Ecuador recently signed with Chinese state-owned oil company Andes Petroleum. The deal includes the territory of the Sápara Indigenous people, a small threatened group of only 300 that has official recognition by UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” It also includes the territory of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku, who won a historic case in 2012 at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights when Ecuador facilitated the entry of another oil company into their territory without prior consultation.

Once again, instead of obtaining the consent of the communities as Ecuadorian and international law requires, the government waged a relentless campaign to divide the Sápara. Despite the government’s false claims of community approval and attempts to create its own Sápara federation, the legitimate federation of the Sápara refuses to recognize any agreement for oil operations in their territory.

“The government has not conducted free, prior, and informed consultation as the Constitution requires,” said Manari Ushigua, president of the Sápara Federation. “We reject and do not recognize what the government is doing. We do not accept oil extraction on our lands. We have the right to decide our own future and survival, and are carrying out projects that protect our territory and protect our planet from the impacts of climate change.”

Both Indigenous groups have condemned the deal and refuse to sacrifice their territory for what amounts to a few hours’ worth of global oil supply.

The deal with Chinese state-owned oil company Andes Petroleum likely came from China’s desire to recover the $25 billion it has loaned to Ecuador and by the government’s desire to pay back those loans.

Please call your country’s Chinese embassy now and ask them to insist that Andes Petroleum pull out of the contract. Please be respectful and remember that calls are in support of Indigenous peoples and the Amazon, not anti-China.

Continue here for instructions

Also, please send an email message to the Ecuadorian Minister of Strategic Sectors Rafael Poveda urging him to cancel the contract with Chinese oil company Andes Petroleum.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon and our global climate.