Thursday, August 28, 2014

Orchestrated censorship of Native news powerless to halt defenders

Orchestrated censorship of Native news powerless to halt defenders

By Brenda Norrell
Indigenous Resistance
Photo 1 by Owiskawin, photo 2 by Akimel O'odham Youth Collective
The censorship of American Indian news in the United States is no accident. It is carefully orchestrated by acts of deception, distortion and omission. The bottom line is dollars, as revealed by following the money to the corporate core of the censors and contract spies in the media.
Regardless of the censorship, Native Americans continue to block fracking trucks and megaloads, continue to organize the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline and continue to defend the sacred.
Lakota Joye Braun was arrested on Wednesday as she attempted to block fracking trucks on Cheyenne River land in South Dakota. Regardless of a tribal law that prohibits the trucks, Braun spent the night in jail.
The struggle to protect the sacred continues in Arizona, where Akimel O’odham of Gila River Indian Community protested the planned South Mountain Loop 202 south of Phoenix.


"Gila River has said no three times. As recently as 2012 the Gila River Indian Community voted for the No Build option because Moadak (South Mountain) is a sacred site,” said Andrew Pedro of Sacaton. “No means No.”
In Mexico during August, the Zapatistas in the stronghold of La Realidad, Chiapas, hosted the National Indigenous Congress.
SubGaleano, formerly known as Marcos, spoke at the concluding press conference, honoring those who have died since the struggle for dignity and autonomy began. During the gathering, SubGaleano and the Comandantes also sent a message of support to Palestine.
Meanwhile, Bolivia President Evo Morales continues to plan for the upcoming United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in New York. During the planning, the North American Caucus called for cancellation of the conference. However, grassroots Natives, who are not part of non-profits or any caucus, say they will have no voice at the gathering, Sept. 22 -- 23 in New York. Many grassroots Natives say their issues have been co-opted by well-funded non-profits of the UN.
As the conference approaches, President Morales spoke on capitalism and imperialism. "The best way to fight capitalism and imperialism is implementing the policies and experiences of the original indigenous peoples, such as living in community, in fellowship, in solidarity, in peace. That's the experience, plus harmony with Mother Earth," he told Telesur.
It comes as no surprise that so little of the news of Native Americans or Indigenous People is known in the United States, especially if one looks at the owners of the American Indian media.

The owners of Indian Country Today Media Network, the Oneida Nation of New York, donated more than one quarter of a million dollars to the ultra-conservative Patriot Prosperity political action campaign this year. In fact, the Oneida Nation was the top donor this year.

Previously the top donor to Patriot Prosperity was Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam. Sheldon is owner of a daily Israeli newspaper and the 10th richest person in the world. The couple owns Adelson Drug Clinic.


Meanwhile, the owners of another national Indian news outlet, Ho Chunk, Inc., which owns the Indian news website indianz.com received an $80 million contract from the US State Department for domestic and international spying this year. The contract was awarded to Ho Chunk Inc.'s All Native subsidiary. A second contract gives them an office at the Pentagon in 2014. Ho Chunk Inc. is owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and its subsidiaries work in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq.


Further, national Native American news in the United States has become widespread deception and plagiarism. Instead of reporters actually going out and covering news stories, reporters routinely stay home and plagiarize the news that is online. They rewrite it, and often disguise it with a brief telephone interview, and finish it off with a stolen photo from the Internet.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press and mainstream news outlets usually take a different approach, focusing on corrupt tribal politicians, while failing to be present and interview Natives living on the land on the issues that really matter for future generations.
Read more: National Indian news owned by patriots and spies
Lakota woman arrested blocking fracking trucks
Akimel O’odham protest desecration by proposed South Mountain Loop

Words of SubGaleano on Palestine, Israel and the media


Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 32 years, beginning as a reporter for  Navajo Times. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated in 2006 and created Censored News, with no advertising, grants or funding. Today, Indigenous Resistance carries forward the work of Censored News.


To repost this article, contact brendanorrell@gmail.com

Lakota woman arrested blocking fracking trucks on Cheyenne River land


Joye Braun arrested
Lakota pipeline fighter arrested, spends night in jail

By Indigenous Resistance
http://indigenousresistancejuly2014.blogspot.com/2014/08/lakota-woman-arrested-blocking-fracking.html

Joye Braun photo by Owiskawin
EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. -- Two fracking waste water trucks were spotted at the Cheyenne River Motel in Eagle Butte, S.D. on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on Aug. 28, 2014.
Joye Braun saw them pulling in and decided to go over and see what was going on.
She informed the truck drivers that Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal police have been called and that they were in violation of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal resolutions which state that all oil loads will be turned around immediately and sent back the way they came.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal police officer Cottier responded and told Braun that the memo sent out by Cheyenne River SIoux Tribal Chairman Keckler "was law" and that the trucks were not what we thought they were and that "you people need to stop harassing these truck drivers."
Braun informed the officer that these were fracking waste tanks and water tanks used in fracking. Other vehicles with similar loads have been encountered before and Braun had learned that they were used for fracking operations.
The officer stated that the memo was law and asked if Braun wanted to go to jail.
The truck drivers said that they were threatened when Braun asked for supporters to come and stand with her.
That was when Braun was arrested.
Braun spe
nt the night in the Cheyenne River Sioux Walter Miner detention center and was charged with false alarm, criminal conspiracy, obstructing justice, public nuisance, disorderly conduct harassment, failure to dim lights and theft by deception.




Previous article:

One woman blockade: Cheyenne River hero halts megaload

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
March 19, 2014
EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. -- A Cheyenne River Lakota woman turned a megaload around today, saying "No!" to fat takers and megaloads" headed to the oil fields, adding that "you have to be the change you want."
Read more:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2014/03/one-woman-blockade-cheyenne-river-hero.html


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'Lakota woman arrested blocking fracking trucks on Cheyenne River land'
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Akimel O'odham protest desecration proposed by South Mountain Loop 202

No desecration for transportation: Supporters join AOYC in protest of ADOT, MAG

By Akimel O'odham Youth Collective
Indigenous Resistance
On Wednesday August 27, a group of 20 people from the Gila River Indian Community and Phoenix area gathered to protest the South Mountain Loop 202 freeway proposed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), and their decision to open the South Mountain Freeway to Public-Private-Partnership (P3) proposals. A P3 is a business deal between the public sector and a company or companies who take on some combination of design, build, maintain, and finance that makes the project more attainable by allowing the $1.8 billion freeway to be built without ADOT coming up with the funds. The companies benefit from tax-breaks, low-interest loans, and state tax dollars years down the line.
Freeway resistors marched and rallied outside and inside the Maricopa Associations of Governments (MAG) Regional Council and ADOT Priority Planning Committee meetings since both have direct influence in the planning and approval of the freeway project. Resistors held banners that read “Defend the Sacred: Save South Mountain” and “Caution Biohazard: Loop 202″. Members from the Akimel O’odham Youth Collective were in attendance and shared the negative health, environmental and cultural implications that the freeway would bring if built.
Marching down 1st ave. to MAG building
Marching down 1st ave. to the MAG building
Demonstrators who spoke at the meeting specifically addressed the inherent racism of ADOT’s decision to double down on the construction of the proposed freeway even after Gila River Indian Community members voted for a “no build” option in an official vote. ADOT’s disregard for the objections of Akimel O’odham people from the Gila River Indian Community, and their democratic process, shows that ADOT is committed to lining developers and construction companies’ pockets, not respecting the decision making of the original inhabitants of this region.
At the MAG Building
Rallying outside the MAG Building
Police were following the group as we left the MAG building. Also three other cops in marked in marked cars.
Two undercover cops were following the group as we left the MAG building. Also three other cops in marked cars were also following us.
“Gila River has said no three times. As recently as 2012 the Gila River Indian Community voted for the No Build option because Moadak (South Mountain) is a sacred site. But MAG and ADOT are still pushing for this freeway with P3’s, which totally undermines tribal sovereignty,” said Andrew Pedro of Sacaton. “No means No.”
With the water shortage cited as one reason, a speaker stated, “We do not need more expansion, especially in the form of new roads, and especially not for the purpose of facilitating international trade freight traffic.”
At the ADOT building
At the ADOT building
ADOT’s announcement to open up the South Mountain freeway projects to P3 proposals comes before the expected release of the final environmental draft statement (FEIS) this fall. Today’s demonstration is just one of many that both Gila River Indian Community members and Phoenix area residents have held in opposition to the proposed Loop 202 freeway in that past six years.
Multiple speakers stated that if ADOT insists on building the road, freeway resisters will not make it easy for them.
“We are here to show you (ADOT) that we’re not going to make it easy. If it takes being a body in the way of a tractor, so be it”.

Former officer charged for repeatedly tasering helpless Lakota man

By kelo.com
http://kelo.com/news/articles/2014/aug/27/former-oglala-sioux-officer-charged-in-taser-incident/

Pierre, SD (KELO AM) - United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a former Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating the constitutional rights of a man in her custody by repeatedly using her Taser on him without justification.
Rebecca M. Sotherland, a/k/a Becky Sotherland and Becki Sotherland, age 32, was indicted on August 26, 2014, for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on August 15, 2014, Sotherland, while acting under color of law, repeatedly deployed a Taser on the victim causing bodily injury to the victim. The alleged offense took place in Manderson, South Dakota.
The charges are merely accusations and Sotherland is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Collins and Kevin Koliner are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Jared Fishman, with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Previous article at Indigenous Resistance: Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Oglala Sioux Police tasers helpless Lakota man 10 to 20 times

Caught on video

Oglala police officer, non-Indian, repeatedly tasers helpless Lakota man

Update: Officer fired who repeatedly tasered a Lakota man who was passed out "to wake him up"
http://www.chadrad.com/newsstory.cfm?story=34620

By Brenda Norrell
Indigenous Resistance

MANDERSON, Pine Ridge, South Dakota -- Oglala Sioux police officer Becky Sotherland, non-Indian, tasered a helpless Lakota man on the ground 10 to 20 times. The abuse was caught on video.
Officer Sotherland claimed she was trying to wake the man up by repeatedly tasering him.
The Lakota man, 32, from Manderson, survived this police attack. However, m ore than 540 people have died as a result of being tasered.
The repeated tasering by this officer also magnifies the problem with poorly-trained, non-Indian police officers on Indian lands. 
While some non-Indian officers on Indian lands are poorly-trained, or simply lacking in common sense, others are racist and mean, repeatedly carrying out excessive force.
According to MSNBC in a previous article, Sotherland is white and not a tribal member.
    Sotherland, 32, is somewhat of an oddity on the force and the reservation. Unlike most of       her colleagues, she’s not a member of the tribe. She’s a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, former       hair salon-owner, former city coroner who describes herself as a “white mutt.”
The video of the tasering attack is available on Facebook. It has been shared 4,511 times since the police attack occurred on Friday.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=756477774413582
The Rapid City Journal, known for its bordertown journalism, failed in its coverage of this crucial incident. 
The Rapid City Journal says the man was tasered "several times" by the officer.
Last Real Indians, however, shared Sis Cliff's video of the incident on Facebook, and said the man was actually tasered 10 to 20 times. 
Watch the video and listen. It is not several.
Further, the Rapid City Journal goes from bad to worse with its coverage of this police abuse. The Journal continues the typical media response of covering up for police abuse with a second story on the officer's "good record."
Rapid City Journal: Poor journalism and worse:
Tasered 'several times'
http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/investigations-launched-into-multiple-taser-use-on-helpless-man/article_60dfe320-81d0-5ea7-a002-54cb9f12b119.html
Officer's 'good record'
http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/chief-tribal-officer-in-taser-incident-had-good-record/article_bb192d4b-fc93-50de-a380-c2bd18ec9991.html

Monday, August 25, 2014

National Indian News Owned by US Patriots and Spies

Who owns the news you are reading?

The owners of Indian Country Today, and an Israeli newspaper, are the top donors to the ultra conservative Patriot Prosperity

By Brenda Norrell
Indigenous Resistance

The owners of Indian Country Today Media Network, the Oneida Nation of New York, donated more than one quarter of a million dollars to the ultra-conservative Patriot Prosperity political action campaign this year.

Patriot Prosperity has a website, a secretive conservative social networking site for conservatives. It is by invitation only for conservatives.

The other top donor to Patriot Prosperity is Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, owner of a daily Israeli newspaper, and the 10th richest person in the world. Adelson's wife Miriam also donated. The couple owns Adelson Drug Clinic which provides methadone to heroin addicts in Las Vegas and Israel. Sheldon's occupation is listed as owner of Las Vegas Sands Casino.

As for the Oneida's other donations, the second largest donation was to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Besides owning Indian Country Today Media Network, the Oneidas own the lucrative Turning Stone Casino in New York.

Meanwhile, the owners of another national Indian news outlet, Ho Chunk, Inc., which owns the news website indianz.com received an $80 million contract from the US State Department for domestic and international spying this year. The contract was awarded to Ho Chunk Inc.'s All Native subsidiary. A second contract gives them an office at the Pentagon in 2014.

Ho-Chunk, Inc, is owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and has divisions in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq, according to its website.

Open Secrets reveals that the Oneida Nation donated $234,100 to Patriot Prosperity, which is at the top of the Oneidas' donation list. Next, the Oneidas donated $97,200 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.


Meanwhile, Open Secrets also reveals that the Tohono O'odham Nation spent more than $3 million on casino lobbyists over the past three years. The majority of Tohono O'odham live in desperation, in need of jobs, housing and clean water.
The national Indian news spent the past year cheerleading for another casino for the Tohono O'odham Nation in Glendale, Arizona, but failed to question what has happened to the millions, possibly billions, flowing into the tribe's lucrative Desert Diamond Casino on the border of Tucson.
The Desert Diamond Casino has been packed with crowds of gamblers for more than a decade, yet the majority of O'odham struggle to survive.


Tohono O'odham casino lobbyists 2013: $1.4 million.
https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000030452&year=2013
Read more:

Ho Chunk Inc. receives $80 million spy contract:
http://www.omaha.com/money/winnebago-firm-wins-million-pact/article_e0823077-94f2-5ab2-9d64-561f68e086c3.html

Sheldon Adelson's donation to Patriot Prosperity featured in The Jewish Week in 2012:
Wikipedia on Sheldon Adelson:

Sheldon Gary Adelson (pronounced  /ˈædəlsən/; born August 4, 1933) is an American  business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the chairman and  chief executive officer of the  Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates  The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the  Sands Expo and Convention Center. He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper  Israel HaYom. Adelson, a lifelong donor and philanthropist to a variety of causes, founded with his wife's initiative the  Adelson Foundation.
As of July 2014, Adelson was listed by Forbes as having a fortune of $36.4 billion, and as the 10th richest person in the world. [3]

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She was a writer for Navajo Times, AP and USA Today while living on the Navajo Nation for 18 years. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and fired by ICT in 2006. She created Censored News, exposing what is being censored in Indian country. Without advertising, grants or funding, Censored News attracted millions of readers worldwide for 8 years. The archives continue to be read around the world. www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Please share our link:
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Copryight Brenda Norrell brendanorrell@gmail.com


Leaked doc exposed Missouri's bizarre targeting of activists in 2011

Censored News: Leaked document in 2011 exposed Missouri's bizarre targeting of activists

Monday, June 27, 2011


Copwatch and Infoshop on Missouri's bizarre domestic threat list

Copwatch, Infoshop and Christian vegetarians are on Missouri’s domestic ‘treat’ list -- rather than domestic ‘threat’ list -- thanks to a misspelled word

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2011/06/copwatch-and-infoshop-on-missouris.html

Copwatch, Infoshop and Christian vegetarians are all under surveillance because they pose a “significant domestic terrorist” threat.

Why? Because they are anarchists, according to the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) of the Division of Drug and Crime Control.

Well, actually, due to a misspelled word, it says they all pose a “significant domestic terrorist ‘treat’ at this time.”

Missouri, are they domestic threats or domestic treats?

The report, “MIAC Strategic Report 11-28-2008 on Anarchists,” is a police watch list published in 2008. The watch list was exposed by Lulzsec, in the Arizona Department of Public Safety files.

The Missouri watch list tosses feminists, peace activists, labor activists and environmentalists into the mix.

“Although they have not all been listed, we believe the groups discussed pose a significant domestic terrorist treat at this time,” the report states.

In its bizarre categories of anarchists, the Missouri watch list states, “direct action radical sub-groups not all believe in violence.” Feminists, peace activists and race equality activists are listed as anarchists in the Anarchist Punk category.

“Many Anarcho-Punks are supporters of issues such as animal rights, racial equality, anti-heterosexism, feminism, environmentalism, worker's autonomy, the anti-war movement, and the anti-globalization movement.”

Christian vegetarians are apparently something to be feared, at least by Missouri officials, who fail to explain how being a vegetarian deserves a mention on a police watch list.

Words of Zapatistas SubGaleano on Palestine, Israel and the media

SubGaleano (formerly Marcos) on Israel, Palestine, the media and more

English translation of the EZLN Press Conference with the free, autonomous, alternative, or whatever-you-call-it media, August 10, 2014, in La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, Mexico

Transcription of the EZLN Press Conference with the free, autonomous, alternative, or whatever-you-call-it media, August 10, 2014, in La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, Mexico.
First part: the words of SubGaleano
Good morning Gotham City… whenever you finish taking pictures of the stage over there, we’re going to start the press conference over here.
Please take your seats so that we can start in a few minutes, and so that afterward you can take your departure. Please find your places compañeros, compañeras. Please sit down.
Good morning Gotham City (that is a greeting to a compañero who uses that as a twitter handle).
What you just saw a few moments ago is what in military terms is called a diversionary tactic, and in laymen’s terms is called magic. And what took just a few minutes to actually happen, took someone 20 years of work to make happen that way.[i]

Jump on the Climate Train to New York Climate March

Ministers, Buddhist Nuns, Activists Join Cross-country Train Ride Bound for Historic NY Climate March
By Valerie Love
Center for Biological Diversity
http://peoplesclimatetrain.weebly.com/

EMERYVILLE, Calif.— More than 170 people — including nuns, ministers, tribal leaders, students and activists — will take a cross-country trip next month to the largest demonstration in the history of the climate movement. The first-ever People’s Climate Train, organized by the Center for Biological Diversity, will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will include workshops, discussions, activist trainings and a look at some of America’s lands most threatened by the climate crisis.
“Americans from all walks of life are deeply concerned about how global warming will affect people and the places they live,” said the Center’s Valerie Love. “The People’s Climate Train will be an unforgettable experience for riders on their way to join thousands of others at a historic rally to finally turn the corner on the climate crisis.”

Reclamation releases additional flows to avert Klamath River fish kill!


Reclamation releases additional flows to avert Klamath River fish kill! 

"We have determined that unprecedented conditions over the past few weeks in the lower Klamath River require us to take emergency measures to help reduce the potential for a large-scale fish die-off,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “This decision was made based on science and after consultation with Tribes, water and power users, federal and state fish regulatory agencies, and others.”

by Dan Bacher, August 25, 2014
Indigenous Resistance

After a big protest by the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes and their supporters at the Bureau of Reclamation offices in Sacramento on August 19, Reclamation announced on Friday, August 22, that it would release additional water from Trinity Reservoir to supplement flows in the lower Klamath River to help protect the returning run of adult Chinook salmon from a devastating fish kill.

“We have determined that unprecedented conditions over the past few weeks in the lower Klamath River require us to take emergency measures to help reduce the potential for a large-scale fish die-off,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo in a news release and at a conference call with reporters. "This decision was made based on science and after consultation with Tribes, water and power users, federal and state fish regulatory agencies, and others.” 

Hoopa Valley Tribal Chair Danielle Vigil-Masten hailed the decision, stating, “The Hoopa Tribe basically dropped everything they were working on to address this issue. The right thing for Secretary Jewell to do was to fulfill her trust responsibility to the Hoopa Valley and Yurok Tribes. This is an essential first step.” 

Grand Chief Terrance Nelson on financial accountability

By Grand Chief Terrance Nelson
Indigenous Resistance
August 25, 2014

Jill Mcyshon,
Over a week ago, you sent me a request to comment on the new Transparency Act. It is now Canadian law for all Chiefs and Councils in Canada to make their salaries public. I didn't get back to you for an on air Television comment but it is clear to me that the Chiefs and their political organizations are under attack. The Press in Canada has jumped on a very small minority of Chiefs in Canada who are paid beyond the norm. The vast majority of Chiefs in Canada have very low salaries and no pensions.

Owe Aku: PowerTech Hearings, Uranium Mining and Sacred Water Protection

PowerTech Hearings, Uranium Mining and SacredWater Protection Work:  An Update

by Owe Aku International Justice Project
August 25, 2014
Debra White Plume of Owe Aku with the legal team from
the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Consolidated Intervenors
“Mni is our first home, when we arrive here on Mother Earth, the water of our mothers’ womb is our first dwelling. Water is our first medicine. Without water, there is no life.”  
Debra White Plume

(Kiza Park, Oglala Homeland, August 24, 2014) Sacred Water Protection “is a long term priority of the work of Owe Aku to engage in the protection of sacred water inside treaty boundaries.  This part of our work is conducted through treaty rights and human rights education and action in regards to drinking water and environmental protection. We began this work in 2005, conducting research into drinking water quality and the health conditions of our people on the Pine Ridge” (Environmental Justice & The Survival Of A People: Uranium Mining & the Oglala Lakota People, by Debra White Plume, Owe Aku,www.oweakuinternational.org).  Since then, Owe Aku has made many allies and instituted several projects that pertain to the protection of Sacred Water.  

Although our work has been concentrated over the past several years on the Keystone XL Pipeline, our efforts have included challenges to uranium mining in the Black Hills, including the PowerTech application for an area near Edgemont, South Dakota.  The process proposed by PowerTech is highly toxic and called in situ leach mining which uses 9,000 gallons of water per minute.  PowerTech, which was a Canadian corporation sold to a Chinese company (Azarga Rsources Ltd.) since the challenge to their uranium mining permit began back in 2010, is now on its second application for a permit before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  This last week the process continued in Hot Springs and Rapid City.  

Monday (August 18) was dedicated to public comment in Hot Springs.  Several bright yellow and red signs were seen in the front yards throughout town, stating “No Uranium Mining.” It was clear that Clean Water Alliance and Dakota Rural Alliance had done their jobs well and we say wopila (thank you).  At the public comment forum, 68 people from the communities whose water would be most effected spoke before the administrative judges.  59 of them were opposed to the assault on SacredWater.  These challenges were brought by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Consolidated Intervenors (Susan Henderson, Dayton Hyde, Aligning for Responsible Mining, and many individuals).  Under the very complicated rules and bureaucracy, the panel of Atomic Licensing Board Judges had the opportunity to choose from the extensive list of challenges brought by opponents (the list of challenges to the permit that were addressed are at the end of this report).  The 59 people that spoke in favor of SacredWater addressed different issues but all with the same goal:  to keep the water safe and clean for future generations.  

The City Attorney spoke on behalf of the mayor of Rapid City and told the panel that PowerTech’s proposal threatened to contaminate the main source of drinking water in that town and that raised grave concerns for the City Council and the city’s people.  Others spoke of the 100% risk being taken by all the peoples of this region in order to give away free water for the profits of a foreign corporation.   “One of our greatest concerns is the quantity of water [that PowerTech will take].  14,000 acre feet of water will be gone forever.”  Under a Powertech self-monitoring system South Dakota is giving to PowerTech, “once water rights are granted, the state of South Dakota no longer has ANY control over what happens to the water, how it’s used, or what happens with negative impacts,” stated a member from Dakota Rural Action.  A member of Clean Water Alliance told the panel of judges how treaties with the Lakota Oyate were being violated and that they, the NRC, were not following their own federal laws and regulations, interestingly the same argument Owe Aku International Justice Project has used at venues like the United Nations.   

The following three days (September 19th - 21st) of formal proceedings were moved to the Hotel Alex Johnson and the first day Water Protectors had a victory.  Since the beginning of these proceedings several years ago, PowerTech had acquired new information relating to the proposed mine site through the use of sample bores in the Earth, and had failed to reveal that information to anybody, including the NRC or the panel of judges in this proceeding.  PowerTech was, however, ordered to turn that information over.  (See http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/014807.asp.)

Although highly technical, most of the hearing focused on the same objections to the application’s contentions as those at the public hearing on the previous day.  Each side had several different expert witnesses answering questions from the judges about the connection of the aquifers, their relationship to each other and to surface water, the effects of flooding, earthquakes and wind on waste ponds, as well as the consequences of drought and the overwhelming impact of the use of water on the regeneration rates of the aquifers.  Although not a court proceeding, lawyers were permitted to question the “witnesses” and testimony was submitted about the critical results of in situ leach mining on the cultural, historical and contemporary heritage of the Lakota Oyate.      

Wilmer Mesteth and Dennis Yellow Thunder of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Natural Resources Department entered public comments into the official record. Mesteth, a well respected instructor at Oglala Lakota College and Traditional Spiritual leader of the Lakota Nation, spoke completely in Lakota without translation. It was interesting that the organizers of the proceedings did not consider how many Lakota people may have commented if there were an interpreter available. 

David Frankel, attorney for Alignment for Responsible Mining, used a basketball analogy (appropriate in Lakota Country) in explaining the proceeding:  “PowerTech has a full bench of players with trainers and physical therapists, while we got five guys running around on the floor who are always there.  The think they can beat us but what they don’t realize is that we ain’t procedurally, PowerTech still has to clear several hurdles.  Meanwhile their legal funds are being depleted, the price of uranium is crashing, and who knows what their new corporate owners in China might do.  We do know what we will do:  protect SacredWater.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

SPIRIT CAMPS AND TOTEM POLE UNVEILING WITH THE IHANKTONWAN OYATE




SPIRIT CAMPS AND TOTEM POLE UNVEILING WITH THE

IHANKTONWAN OYATE


Photos are by James Leder (organizer with the Students for Renewable Energy and activist for decolonization).  Shared from Totem Pole Journey. 
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the House of Tears Carvers visited the reservations of the Ihanktonwan Oyate (Yankton Sioux) in South Dakota. While there, the journey met with elders leading the fight to protect sacred waters from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and other fossil fuel megaprojects. Carvers put finishing touches on the totem pole and shared gifts with the elders of the Ihanktonwan Oyate people.n Along the way to the Dakotas, carvers came across coal trains from the Powder River Basin.
"Since leaving Bellingham on August 17 we have covered 1500 miles        in four days to get to Ihanktonwan Territory in South Dakota, where I am writing from now ..."  Read more:  http://totempolejourney.com/2014/08/23/spirit-camps-and-totem-pole-unveiling-with-the-ihanktonwan-oyate/