Friday, March 6, 2009

Independent Aboriginal News Group Formed to Provide Critical Analysis and Truthful Information Concerning Indigenous Issues

Announcing the Formation of the Aboriginal News Group (ANG)

Fourth World -The Intelligent Aboriginal News Service has partnered with progressive bloggers to form the Aboriginal News Group, an International association representing Indigenist blog-journalists covering Indigenous/First Nations news.


Press Release) – Mar 06, 2009 – In recognition of the socio-political disparities and biases inherent within corporate owned and operated mainstream news agencies and the under-reportage of issues that document and objectively investigate matters of human rights and genocide within the Native American press, the ANG will work to promote grassroots-produced Indigenous news material to the global news reading public via promotion of Indigenous blog-journalists who provide accurate and authoritative news, analysis and opinion pertinent to the continued Indigenous struggle for survival under existing colonialist nation-states and neoliberalism.

The ANG plans to address this by providing Indigenous blog-journalists with support and fellowship so they may observe, document and report news and other issues of importance that matter to their respective communities and the global Indigenous family as a whole. Through promotion of Open-Source software and other free web services, the ANG will help encourage independent Indigenous news blogging, Internet news-reading and social networking among Indigenous communities to connect, educate, inform and provide these sectors with the means to democratically disseminate their own news stories to the world community.

The ANG will also strive to insure that the cases of American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier and American African journalist Mumia abu-Jamal; the murder of American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Aquash and the strange disappearance of Perry Ray Robinson Jr. during the 1973 siege at Wounded Knee receive the media attention they justly deserve by encouraging international discourse on the socio-political as well as historical circumstances surrounding their respective cases.

For additional information about this announcement and the work of the Aboriginal News Group, please contact the following:

Sequoyah Kofi bin-Tomas/Editor-general -
Sina Brown-Davis/Senior Deputy Editor -
Brenda Norrell/Chief Associate Editor -

# #

The Aboriginal News Group (ANG) is an international association founded to represent Indigenist blog-journalists working to promote accurate and informative Indigenous news, issues and opinion across the World Wide Web.

For more information please visit:

[Native Rights News is both humbled and proud to note that its Editor, Perry Chesnut, has been appointed as an Associate Editor of Aboriginal News Group (AGN). Native Rights News shares the goals and concerns of AGN and will do its best to contribute to the success of the new group]
Copyright: The Aboriginal News Group 2009

Native Rights News is publishing this press release with the express permission of the author and the copyright holder. It is also published under a CC: Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 license This article is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information. Distribution of this material is for research and educational purposes that will promote social and economic justice and benefit society.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

San Francisco Seminar Slated on Indigenous Struggle to Defend Sacred Places

TRAINING: Indigenous Peoples’ Struggles to Defend Sacred Places, Saturday March 7, 2009, San Francisco State University

January 2009

"Our Grandfathers and Grandmothers are still holding a bundle to pray for the water to return, and to bring back a good rain and a good snow for the Land, for the people who remain on the Land, for their grandchildren and the animals."-- Kee Watchman, Dineh Nation

Indigenous Peoples’ Struggles to Defend Sacred Places: Symposium and Human Rights Training
Saturday, March 7, 2009
San Francisco State University, Richard Oakes Memorial Room

PRESENTERS: Carrie Dann & Julie Cavanaugh-Bill, Western Shoshone Defense Project; Manny Pino, Save the Peaks Coalition; Andrea Carmen & Alberto Saldamando, IITC; Radley Davis & Mark Lebeau, Advocates for the Protection of Sacred Sites;

MODERATOR: Morning Star Gali, IITC

9:00 AM: Traditional opening and welcome
9:30 – 12:30 PM: Using United Nations human rights bodies and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to defend our Rights
12:30 – 2:00 PM: LUNCH BREAK
2:00 – 6:00 PM: Current struggles to protect our Sacred Places: Mt. Tenabo (Western Shoshone), Medicine Lake (Northern California) , San Francisco Peaks & Black Mesa (Arizona), Shell Mounds (Bay Area) & others
6:00 – 7:30 PM: DINNER BREAK (dinner provided for participants)
7:30 – 9:30 PM: Evening Program: Honoring our Cultural Warriors and Panel Presentation featuring special guests: Carrie Dann and Manny Pino


IITC E-News 2009

Native Rights News is making this material from the International Indian Treaty Council available in accordance with the implied consent of the publisher and the Fair Use Doctrine codified at Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107: This article is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information. Distribution of this material is for research and educational purposes that will promote social and economic justice and benefit society.

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AIM Warrior Robert Robideau Passes On to the Spirit World

AIM Warrior Robert Robideau

Workers World
Published Mar 4, 2009 3:47 PM

Robert Robideau, a member of the American Indian Movement since 1973, died Feb. 17 at his home in Barcelona, Spain, where he was the founder and director of the American Indian Movement Museum. He was a member of the Turtle Mountain and White Earth Ojibwa tribes. Robideau and Darrell (Dino) Butler were acquitted in the deaths of two FBI agents in 1976 on grounds of self-defense. The charges arose from a shootout with the FBI on Pine Ridge reservation in June 1975 that left two FBI agents and an Native man dead. In the aftermath of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover by AIM, 60 AIM members were killed and hundreds more assaulted in a government-sponsored action to destroy the organization. A third defendant, Leonard Peltier, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in a separate trial. Peltier, an internationally known political prisoner, has been incarcerated for 33 years for the same alleged offense of which Bob Robideau and Dino Butler were charged and acquitted. Below is Peltier’s statement on the death of Robideau.

It is with a real deep sense of loss that I write this. Robert Robideau, who we called Bob most of the time, was my brother in the struggle for Indigenous rights. He was also my blood cousin and a defendant in the Oglala shootout trials. Bob was a tireless campaigner for my freedom and Indigenous rights all over the world. I can’t express enough how greatly his leaving this level of existence will be missed.

Bob and I grew up together. We were involved in the 1970s American Indian Movement together. We were shot at together. We were on the run together. Over the 33 years of my imprisonment, Bob was a person I could count on for a lot of reasons. We laughed together, quarreled with one another, praised one another and had strong disagreements at times. Bob was the one person I could truly count on to tell me the straight of it, whether I liked it or not. ... He was sometimes my worst critic and sometimes my best support, but he was always my brother and I loved him dearly. I wouldn’t doubt that wherever he is at, he’s organizing a support group of some sort. If I thought there was anything I could say that would bring him back to us, this statement would go on for as long as it took.

I know Bob will appreciate our concerns for the loved ones he left behind and want us to go on and do the very best we can to make this a better and more free, more just world we live in and he would surely remind us that we are the guardians of the future and the keepers of today.

It is always difficult to address the loss of people you knew and cared about, but every once in a while, there is a loss that is deeper than all the rest. In this loss, there is often a loss of words. It is a time when the shock of the situation is so close that you just don’t know what to say. One thing I can say for sure is that the loss of Bob Robideau is a loss to all. And to Bob, I don’t know how long I’ll be here myself, but that doesn’t matter. I look forward to seeing you again my brother, some other time, some other place. May the Creator be with you wherever you are and wherever you go.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Bob Robideau, Steve Robideau, Joe Stuntz, Bobby Garcia, Roque Duenas, Nilak Butler, Anna Mae Aquash and all the others who gave of themselves for our People.

Mitakuye oyasin,
Leonard Peltier
Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Indigenous Peoples Educate, Inform & Warn at Largest Climate Change Demonstration in U.S. History

First Nation Delegates Deliver Letter to Senator Kerry in Advance of Visit from Canadian Environment Minister

More than 12,000 young people from all corners of the continent gathered in Washington, D.C. over the weekend to take part in today’s second Power Shift Conference.

The blizzard pounding the nation’s capitol apparently has not cooled the ardor of the young climate activists, who seek to change Washington’s "business as usual" attitude toward climate change and clean energy.

Various groups have scheduled more than 350 lobbying meetings with U.S. Congressmen and Senators and their staffs. An estimated 2,500 demonstrators organized by Capitol Climate Action, successfully blocked the five gates leading to the Capitol Power Plant.

Activists targeted the plant as a symbol of what is wrong with government because it burns coal and natural gas and is used to heat the Capitol’s buildings. No arrests were reported, and after four hours, the activists declared victory and raised the blockade.

Among the activists were Indigenous Peoples delegations sent by several Canadian First Nations and Native American tribes from Alaska and the "lower 48" states. One of the major purposes of the Indigenous delegations was to educate, inform and warn both the young climate activists and members of Congress about the catastrophic effects the extraction and burning of fossil fuels is having on their people and their environments.

Jessica Lee, in a post to the Indy Blog this morning reports:

"You have come here to have a voice about the environment. Our ancestors have been telling the government for 200 years to protect the environment," said Travis Brown, a student at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, to a room of more than 175 students who attended a workshop titled, "Decolonizing Our Minds: How Colonization Affects Us Today." Brown noted that native communities across the continent are being adversely impacted not only by mineral and fuel extraction companies, but now are also suffering the effects of climate change on the landscape and eco-systems. "Our people are at the risk of being exterminated."

"Representatives from several Arctic region indigenous communities explained about how the effects of climate change — which are more extreme at the earth’s poles — including melting sea ice, eroding shorelines, thawing tundra and changes to fish, seal, whale and caribou migrations are threatening their entire way of life."

And Mike, in a post to the Environmental Age Dot Com blog, also this morning, reports:

"A delegation of Indigenous youth from Alberta went to Senator Kerry’s office outlining the devastation that is tar sands and rallied with supporters today ahead of Canad’s Environmental Minister, Jim Prentice’s visit to Capitol Hill today and tomorrow.

"They hand delivered a . . . letter express[ing] concern that Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice will misrepresent the disastrous environmental and human rights record of the tar sands to US Congressional leaders."

Following is the letter.

March 2, 2009

Senator John Kerry
Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee
218 Russell Bldg.
Second Floor
Washington D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Kerry,

Please allow us to present you with a different perspective on Canada’s tar sands than you are likely to hear from Canadian Minister of the Environment, Jim Prentice.

We came together this year at the Powershift gathering in Washington, DC, as members of Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Lubicon Cree Nation to share our stories with 11,000 youth from across North America. We came with messages of destruction and devastation wrought by the tar sands in our communities, but also feelings of hope that together we can contribute to building a more sustainable world for our communities and future generations. These ideas of a greener sustainable world are familiar to us as an ancient First Nations way of life.

Dangerous toxic chemicals used in the extraction of tar sands are contaminating water systems stretching all the way to the arctic basin and adversely affecting communities along the way including Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Expansion of the tar sands is a direct attack on who we are as a people. Many First Nation peoples believe in the medicine wheel with four elements: earth, water, air and fire—three are polluted by these projects. Destroying these elements destroys who we are. The tar sands are killing us.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation is also being encroached upon by rapidly expanding tar sands infrastructure and development. Natural gas wells used to power oil production in the tar sands are almost literally in the community’s backyards. Pollution from these projects adversely affecting peoples’ health, way of life and violate established treaty rights. Animals are dying, disappearing, and being mutated by the poisons dumped into our river systems. If there is no fish, we cannot fish, if there is no more game, we cannot hunt. Our traditional lands and water houses our culture. They are one and the same. Once we have destroyed these fragile eco-systems we will have also destroyed our peoples and trampled our treaty rights.

Construction of the Transcanada North Central Corridor pipeline, set to cross through the traditional territory of Lubicon Lake First Nation without the consent of the community is an outright violation of human rights and inherent rights of the community as Indigenous peoples. With oil and logging already impacting this territory, expansion of oil infrastructure will continue to wreck havoc on the land and displace even more wildlife.

Our communities are looking for energy solutions that provide a healthy sustainable community for our future generations. The sustainable future for First Nations in Alberta, Canada and the United States of America alike, cannot be achieved by further exploiting one of the dirtiest, most energy intensive and destructive sources of oil on the planet. It's time we focus our efforts on building a clean sustainable future that puts our people to work in a safe, green energy economy.

Senator Kerry, we urge your leadership in the Congress to:

  • Respect and recognize established treaty rights during the Clean Energy Dialogue: These discussions will surely frame the future of energy in our countries. They will also determine the whether culturally significant and bio-diverse regions of our respective countries, as well as the livelihoods of the Indigenous peoples that inhabit this turtle island, are preserved.

  • Focus the Clean Energy Dialogue on renewable energy and energy efficiency: The main focus of the dialogue should be on clean energy efforts and include wind, solar, and other renewable fuels and on transportation solutions such as electrified transportation and high speed rail.


Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Cree Nation
Gitz Crazyboy, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Myron Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree Nation

Minister Jim Prentice
Secretary Steven Chu
Secretary Kenneth Salazar
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley
News Sources:
Environment News Service, The Indypendent, The Environmental Age Dot Com

Image Source: Capitol Climate Action

Native Rights News is making this material from the news oganizations and blogs listed above available in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine codified at Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107: This article is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information. Distribution of this material is for research and educational purposes that will promote social and economic justice and benefit society.

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