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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Native American Protests

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bill-Baker-Pastel_20180702-172609_1.pngNot many Americans may feel much like celebrating the hallmarks of our country--liberty, justice, and freedom--this July 4th as we watch the shocking horrors experienced by asylum-seekers on our Mexican border, among other national tragedies. For many of us, the shame of what is happening is deep. Despite our protests, petition-signing, contacting our elected officials, political canvassing for the 2018 elections, monetary donations, and speaking-out in print and social media, we can still feel powerless to halt what is occurring. Whenever I feel a deeper level of outrage and frustration about government-policy attacks on people and Earth, however, I think of the tenacity of Indigenous Elders, particularly Native American women. Whenever I lapse into being shocked about today's news headlines, I only need to quickly remind myself of our American past and the treatment of Indigenous peoples, and how the events of today are merely another unfolding of what has been going on in this country since its birth. I am disturbed with America's interminable short-term-memory loop as I hear in the media connections between Japanese Internment camps during WWII and the immigrant detainment centers of today. So let me help you remember, America, about our country's history in relation to Native Americans, and how the detainment centers are just America's newest colonial-era Forts. I also want to remind those of us who are bone-weary (and afraid) about what is happening in our country to take the long-view, as the First Nations of Turtle Island do when they, too, are face to face with inhumane treatment. These Elders are our guides for Perseverance, Strategy, and an unshakeable Belief in the power of LOVE.  The image above is a work of art in pastels by New Mexican artist Bill Baker. Find more of his work at

b2ap3_thumbnail_flat550x550075f.jpgFirst of all, many of the people crossing the border from Mexico into the United States to seek asylum and a better life are Indios, Indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America. For Native Americans living on sovereign tribal lands that the U.S./ Mexican border cuts through, the hassle to visit relatives, collect plant medicines, and ritually perform ceremonies as they have done for centuries is high. Border patrol officers rifle through medicine bundles, bags of sacred plants and objects, and can be extremely callous toward Indigenous Medicine People--even when those people have the legal right to move freely through their own sovereign lands. These border crossing impediments have been going on since the border was created, but over the years more citizens of Native nations have gained legal rights to cross unimpeded. This is a fight that is not included in any news coverage about the immigrants.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Thank you so much for this compassionate post speaking truth about the connections between today's "migrant" policies and the past
  • Dr. Mays
    Dr. Mays says #
    Anne, Thank you so much for providing a forum for me, and so many others, to speak back to what is happening in our country--and t

b2ap3_thumbnail_dapl_dc_hearing_eb_cherokees_50k_donation_benjamin_west.jpgOn September 9, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline, a pipeline to carry crude oil from Canada into the U.S. that will run under the Missouri River and across sacred Indigenous sites and a Native cemetery, would not be halted, despite Indigenous protests. Though the judge was clear that the court understands the importance of the sacred sites to the Standing Rock Sioux nation, and he even recognized the centuries-long injustices meted out upon Indigenous nations, the pipeline would continue to be built. But then the federal government stepped in and temporarily over-rided the judge's determination. Above is a photograph of Cherokee women protestors from Indian Country Today Media network. The Cherokee nation gave $50,000.00 to the Standing Rock Sioux nation for their legal defense expenses.

Background information: A company called Energy Transfer Partners plans to run a pipeline, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, through the Standing Rock Sioux nation's territory. Originally, the pipeline was going to be run under the Missouri River in Bismarck, North Dakota, which is the state's capitol and is a largely EuroAmerican neighborhood. It was determined, however, that the pipeline might potentially contaminate the water there, so the pipeline plan changed to be run through Indigenous lands. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council has been fighting the Energy Transfer Partners company in court since 2014! By treaty and federal law, the Army Corps of Engineers MUST confer with all Native American nations if they plan to do anything on Native lands. The Army Corps did not confer with the Standing Rock Sioux and are thus in violation of federal law. Further, the Standing Rock Sioux charge that the pipeline is in violation of the Clean Water Act, among other federal laws; but, most importantly, the pipeline violates the human law that mandates our responsibility to protect Mother Earth.b2ap3_thumbnail_img_9537.jpg

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    If there is a danger in white neighborhoods, there is danger on Indian lands. How long will the genocide on which this nation was

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