Thursday, April 24, 2008

Intellectual Property Rights and Piracy on the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation Council will vote on the "Navajo Nation Unauthorized Recording Act of 2007" (Legislation No. 0836-07) this week at the Council Spring Session April 21-25, 2008.

This is a very important piece of legislation that affects all artists and business owners. Please, those of you that support this legislation show your support by attending the Navajo Nation Council Session in Window Rock, AZ and lobby our elected leaders for their support on this legislation.

Piracy is a multi-million dollar business on the Navajo Nation and if this new law does not pass, artists and business owners will loose millions of dollars annually from the illegal sales of pirated CDs and DVDs on the Navajo Nation.

The legislation is sponsored by Council Delegate Edmond Yazzie. Shonie and Andee De la Rosa of Sheephead Films have been working very closely with Edmond over the past few months and have created an excellent short documentary film titled "Pirates of the Navajo Nation" to help educated the Navajo Nation Council about piracy on the Navajo Nation.

You may view the film here.

You can download the Navajo Nation Councils agenda here.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 8 - 14, 2008: Five Key Indigenous People's Issues

Five Important Indigenous People's Issues for the Week of April 8 - April 14, 2008

Two Radio Reporters Murdered in Oaxaca

On April 7, two radio reporters from a recently installed community radio were ambushed in Putla de Guerrero, Oaxaca, and shot to death. Teresa Bautista Flores, 24, and Felicitas Martínez, 20, two women journalists working for La Voz que Rompe el Silencio (“The Voice that Breaks the Silence”), were murdered allegedly by paramilitary forces. Three other people were wounded in the shooting: Jaciel Vázquez, aged 3, and his parents.

In an interview with Radio Bemba in Sonora, Mexico, Jorge Albino, coordinator of La Voz que Rompe el Silencio said that the radio station had been receiving death threats since its inception. The station was inagurated on January 20 to serve the Trique indigenous community in San Juan Copala, a year after the locality was granted administrative autonomy. Read the rest of the story here....

Canadian Mining Company Threatens Indigenous People's Ancestral Lands

The Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Binongan indigenous peoples in Baay-Licuan, Abra Philippines, was grossly violated by Canadian mining company Olympus Pacific Minerals for not securing such prior to exploration and drilling in the indigenous peoples’ ancestral domain at Capcapo mountain [...] Olympus only stopped its operations in August 2007 when the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-CAR told them to defer all exploration activities. Also, there was no FPIC process conducted with the communities as they had no prior knowledge that there was a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) approved and issued to the local subsidiaries in April 1998.

Even the NCIP-CAR and NCIP-Abra’s investigation findings state that indeed, Olympus Mines has “grossly violated the rights of the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples over their ancestral domain (Capcapo) and failed to comply with the requirements under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and NCIP AO No.1, S. 2006.” The affected communities are stepping up their opposition with the continuing submission of petitions since March 2007 to the NCIP regional and provincial offices and local government units. As a result of the community complaints, Olympus is now making haste to comply with the FPIC requirements through consultations with the concerned barangays from April 1-19, 2008. Read the rest of the story here....

Oil Enriching Indigenous Nenets Peoples; Bankrupting Cultural Traditions

NARYAN-MAR, Nenets Autonomous District -- When an airplane carrying LUKoil workers crashed in the far north of this Arctic region three years ago, killing 29 of 52 people on board, many blamed the weather. When, one year later, in March 2006, a helicopter carrying victims' relatives to a commemoration ceremony at the crash site also fell, killing another person, the indigenous people thought something else was at play. The land, they said, was cursed.

One of Russia's newest oil-producing regions, the Nenets autonomous district is home to lucrative projects for LUKoil and Rosneft. It is also home to a population of 7,000 indigenous Nenets, whose livelihood and seminomadic way of life is being increasingly threatened by the region's growing oil industry. "They defied the energy of the land," said Kolya, a Nenets shaman who, at 39, looks at least 20 years older, speaking of the crashes. Squatting in his tent (called a choom) 5 kilometers from Naryan-Mar in the snow-covered tundra one recent evening, he spoke slowly, slurring his words through wide gaps of missing teeth after one beer too many. Read the rest of the story here....

Australian Treaty Tops Indigenous 2020 Agenda

An indigenous treaty has topped the priorities of Australia 2020 summit delegates examining Aboriginal issues. About 100 of Australia's top indigenous leaders, thinkers and experts came together as part of the summit to discuss their ideas to improve indigenous people's lives.

The creation of a treaty proved the most popular suggestion, followed by the re-establishment of a national representative body, and the setting up of an indigenous future fund and a watchdog to oversee government action on indigenous issues. Read the rest of the story here....

Maine Endorses United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Maine's General Assembly has passed a resolution supporting the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, setting a precedent for other states to follow.

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted unanimously April 15 on a joint resolution in support of the declaration, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 13, 2007, in a historic vote of 143 states in favor to 4 against, with 11 abstentions. The U.S. joined Canada, Australia and New Zealand as the only nations opposing the declaration. Significantly, all four countries have substantial indigenous populations that can claim large areas of land. Read the rest of the story here....

Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Indigenous People's Earth Day Summit: April 22-23, 2008

Northern Michigan University's Center for Native American Studies is sponsoring an Indigenous People's Earth Day Summit. The Summit is free and open to the public, so anyone that is in the area and interested should go.

The Summit is part of the global, dynamic movement working to protect the earth. The overall goal of the Summit is to provide participants with the opportunity for intercultural sharing with Indigenous peoples from the Americas and Australia and will function as a call to action in addressing environmental issues from an international, multi-cultural approach. This Summit will be unique, however, in that it will bring representatives of the international Indigenous community to the American Northwoods to meet with the area tribes, regional activist community and university students to discuss environmental issues from an Indigenous viewpoint.

Aboriginal Australian Delegation

Barry Hunter, a descendant of the Djabaguy people from the Kuranda area, is an Indigenous Land Management Facilitator from TKRP hosted by Balkanu and funded by the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust. He has a B.A.S in Parks, Recreation and Heritage as well as a range of experience in land and sea management. His specialties include Aboriginal hunting and fishing rights particularly as they relate to turtle and dugong conservation and illegal commercial fishing issues.

John HunterJohn Hunter, a descendant of the Gamilaraay people from northwestern New South Wales, is a TKRP Indigenous Land Management Facilitator for southern Queensland, a Ph.D. research scholar through Macquarie University and a professional artist. He has taught at the University of Western Sydney, Macquarie University and, currently, at the University of Queensland as both a permanent and part-time faculty member. He has various degrees including an Associate’s in Park Management; a B.A.S. in Parks, Recreation and Heritage; and a Master’s of Indigenous Studies in Research. His current Ph.D. work is focused on developing a Gamilaraay TKRP and Indigenous capacity building project. In addition, he plays the didgeridoo and will be bringing along an art exhibit and a display on the Stolen Generations.

Victor SteffensonVictor Steffenson, a member of the Kuku Thaypan Cape York, is the manager and founder of the Traditional Knowledge Recording Project. He also has a varied background on numerous issues such as methods of traditional knowledge recovery, application of traditional ecological knowledge in natural resource management, aboriginal history, the synergies between science and traditional Indigenous knowledge, Aboriginal culture and spirituality, and a range of contemporary Aboriginal issues.

Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways

The Aboriginal Delegation speaking at the Indigenous Earth Day Summit is also touring through many of Michigan’s Native communities to establish a Three Fires branch of Aboriginal Australia’s Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TKRP) project. TKRP recently established a branch in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and, following on invitations extended to them from Indigenous communities, plans to expand TRKP to Turtle Island and Saamiland in an effort to unite Indigenous efforts at cultural and ecological restoration under an international Indigenous umbrella.

AKI! Mother Earth with special guest Garry Morning Star Raven

Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m.
Great Lakes Rooms, University Center
An Ojibwe elder from Manitoba, Garry is a traditional teacher and operates Ravens Creek Ventures. His work is dedicated to helping people experience and understand the earth through traditional Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) teachings.

Summit Contacts

Ms. April Lindala
Center for Native American Studies, Director
Indigenous Earth Day Summit Project Director

Dr. Ron Sundell
Environmental Science Program, Director

Ms. Aimée Cree Dunn
Center for Native American Studies, Adjunct Instructor
Indigenous Earth Day Summit Project Coordinator

Attendee Information

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