Saturday, January 10, 2009

Canadian First Nations To Deliver Message on Oil Projects to President-Elect Obama


Suite 201 – 1311 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 0V3

Contacts, for press only:

Noemi Perez, (703) 270-9254

Chief Glenn Hudson, (204) 223-4209


Canadian Indigenous Community to Deliver Message of Oil and Human Rights to President-Elect Obama

Delegation follows in centuries-long tradition of delegations of American Indians traveling to Washington, DC to meet the "Great White Father."

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – In the tradition of delegations of American Indians traveling in the late 1800s to Washington, DC to meet the "Great White Father," Chiefs from Canada's First Nations will be traveling to the U.S. capitol to seek the support of President Elect Obama in their fight for Human Rights. On January 8, a First Nations delegation of Chiefs from across Canada will conduct a procession on horseback at the National Mall in Washington D.C. to deliver their message, followed by a Press Conference.
Oil Pipeline in Canada Crossing Indigenous First Nations Land
"We are hopeful that President-Elect Obama will embrace the attitude of respect, compassion and support by engaging in the accountability of equitable and fair trade between the United States, the Indian Nations and the Canadian Government," stated
Chief Glenn Hudson of Peguis First Nation, a spokesman for Treaty One. "Canada is the largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States," added Chief Hudson. "America needs to purchase 14 million barrels of foreign oil every day, and maintaining a steady supply of oil is a national security issue for the U.S. So far, Canada pays little or no royalties to indigenous people for resources."

Chiefs from the seven First Nations of Treaty One announced a decision to assemble the delegation of Chiefs to deliver a message of oil and human rights to President-Elect Obama. During the election campaign President-Elect Barack Obama talked of his concerns with "dirty oil" from Canada and made many of positive statements on a new relationship with Native America.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over eighty percent of all Canadian exports flow to the U.S. Canada remained the largest exporter to the U.S. of total petroleum in September, exporting 2.364 million barrels per day. The second largest petroleum exporter to the U.S. was Saudi Arabia with 1.431 million barrels per day.

Two major pipelines, the Enbridge Alberta Clipper and the TransCanada Keystone Project, being constructed through three provinces will carry an additional 1.9 million barrels of oil per day to the U.S. by 2012. The two pipelines are of grave importance to American energy needs given the increasing instability of other foreign sources of oil. Canada supplies the United States with 65% more oil per day than Saudi Arabia, yet the stability of oil supply from Canada has never been of concern to Americans. The oil that the U.S. is purchasing from Canada is stolen from indigenous lands, constituting a security breach for the United States, Canada, and the First Nations.
Oil Pipeline Crossing Indigenous First Nations Land in Canada
In September, two blockades by First Nations in the Province of Saskatchewan sent shockwaves through the industry as construction was halted for four and six days at two sites. Chief Barry Kennedy of Carry the Kettle First Nation (Treaty Four) and Chief Sheldon Wuttunee of Red Pheasant First Nation (Treaty Six) in Saskatchewan organized the blockades. The First Nations are currently in negotiations with the pipelines.

Treaty One will send invitations to Chiefs from all three prairie provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Invitations will also go to British Columbia where First Nations are fighting the proposed Gateway Pipeline. Gateway will pipe oil to the Pacific to be sent on Ocean Tankers to China and western United States. On the American side, invitations to speak in Washington will go to four tribes from North and South Dakota. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, the Rosebud Sioux, Santee Sioux and Yankton Sioux Tribes recently launched a U.S. lawsuit to stop the TransCanada pipeline.

The First Nations delegation of Chiefs seeks President-Elect Obama to apply international pressure on Canada – the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S. – to share resource wealth with the indigenous people of Canada, the original and rightful owners of the resources. An emergency resolution at the national Assembly of First Nations in the December 2008 Summit in Ottawa will debate the proposed Declaration on Oil. The AFN is the national political representative of 633 First Nations in Canada.

While the United States recognizes property in its Bill of Rights and recognizes Treaties as the "law of the land" in its constitution, Canada omits the Right to Property in its Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The United States and Canada both voted against the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights, an issue that will surely confront the newly elected President of the United States.

About Treaty One First Nations in Manitoba

Treaty One territory is 16,700 square miles, (10 million acres) directly in the path of both Enbridge and TransCanada pipelines. The pipelines are currently being constructed through Treaty One territory without any prior approval by the indigenous people.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee Seeking Nominations


National Park Service

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee: Nomination Solicitation

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee; Notice of Nomination Solicitation.


The National Park Service is soliciting nominations for one member of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee. The Secretary of the Interior will appoint the member from nominations submitted by Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and traditional Native American religious leaders. The nominee does not need to be a traditional religious leader.

Nominations must include the following information.

1. Nominations by traditional religious leaders: Nominations must be submitted with the nominator's original signature and daytime telephone number. The nominator must explain how he or she meets the definition of traditional religious leader.

2.Nominations by Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations:
Nominations must be submitted on official tribal or organization letterhead with the nominator's original signature and daytime telephone number. The nominator must be the official authorized by the tribe or organization to submit nominations in response to this solicitation. The nomination must include a statement that the nominator is so authorized.

3. A nomination must include the following information:

  • a. the nominee's name, postal address, daytime telephone number, and e-mail address; and
  • b. nominee's resume or brief biography emphasizing the nominee's NAGPRA experience and ability to work effectively as a member of an advisory board.

DATES: Nominations must be received by February 27, 2009.


Address nominations to David Tarler, Designated Federal Officer, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee, National NAGPRA Program, National Park Service, 1201 Eye Street, NW, 8th Floor (2253), Washington, DC 20005.


1. The Review Committee was established by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA), at 25 U.S.C. 3006.

2. The Review Committee is responsible for -
  • a. monitoring the NAGPRA inventory and identification process;
  • b. reviewing and making findings related to the identity or cultural affiliation of cultural items, or the return of such items;
  • c. facilitating the resolution of disputes;
  • d. compiling an inventory of culturally unidentifiable human remains and developing a process for disposition of such remains;
  • e. consulting with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and museums on matters within the scope of the work of the Review Committee affecting such tribes or organizations;
  • f. consulting with the Secretary of the Interior in the development of regulations to carry out NAGPRA; and
  • g. making recommendations regarding future care of repatriated cultural items.
3. Seven members compose the Review Committee. All members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary may not appoint Federal officers or employees to the Review Committee.
  • a. Three members are appointed from nominations submitted by Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and traditional Native American religious leaders. At least two of these members must be traditional Native American religious leaders.
  • b. Three members are appointed from nominations submitted by national museum organizations and scientific organizations.
  • c. One member is appointed from a list of persons developed and consented to by all of the other members.
4. Members serve as Special Governmental Employees, which requires submission of annual financial disclosure reports and completion of annual ethics training.

5. Appointment terms: Members are appointed for 4-year terms and incumbent members may be reappointed for 2-year terms.

6. The Review Committee's work is completed during public meetings.
The Review Committee normally meets face-to-face two times per year, and each meeting is normally two or three days. The Review Committee may also hold one or more public teleconferences of several hours duration.

7. Compensation: Review Committee members are compensated for their participation in Review Committee meetings.

8. Reimbursement: Review Committee members are reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in association with Review Committee meetings.

9. Additional information regarding the Review Committee -- including the Review Committee's charter, meeting protocol, and dispute resolution procedures -- is available on the National NAGPRA Program website, at (click ``Review Committee'' in the menu on the right).

10. The terms ``Indian tribe,'' ``Native Hawaiian organization,''
and ``traditional religious leader'' have the same meanings as in 43 C.F.R. 10.2.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Tarler, Designated Federal Officer, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee, National NAGPRA Program, National Park Service, 1201 Eye Street, NW, 8th Floor (2253), Washington, DC 20005; telephone (202) 354-2108; email

Dated: November 21, 2008
David Tarler,
Designated Federal Officer, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee.

Other articles on NAGPRA:

How Has the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation (NAGPRA) Act Helped Anthropology?

Senate Changes Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Language

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to Change

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Indigenous People's Global Summit on Climate Change

Leading the Way: Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change

Dena'ina Center
Anchorage, Alaska
20-24 April 2009

Indigenous peoples from all regions of the world depend upon the natural environment. Their rich and detailed traditional knowledge reflects and embodies a cultural and spiritual relationship with the land, ocean and wildlife. However, human activity is changing the world's climate and altering the natural environment to which Indigenous Peoples are so closely attached and on which they so heavily rely.

In a very real sense, therefore, Indigenous Peoples are on the front lines of climate change. They observe climate and environmental changes first‐hand and use traditional knowledge and survival skills to adapt to these changes as they occur. Moreover, they must do so at a time when their cultures and livelihoods are already undergoing significant changes due, in part, to the accelerated development of natural resources from their traditional territories stimulated by trade liberalization and globalization.

Reflecting their position as "stewards" of the environment and drawing upon their age‐old traditional knowledge―the heart of their cultural resilience―Indigenous Peoples were among the first groups to call upon national governments, transnational corporations and civil society to do more to protect the Earth and human society from climate change.

The Global Summit will involve an estimated 200‐300 invited participants to pursue four key objectives:

1. Consolidate, share and draw lessons from the views and experiences of Indigenous Peoples around the world on the impacts and effects of climate change on their ways of life and their natural environment, including responses;

2. Raise the visibility, participation and role of Indigenous Peoples in local, national, regional and international processes in formulating strategies and partnerships that engage local communities and other stakeholders to respond to the impacts of climate change;

3. Analyze, discuss and promote public awareness of the impacts and consequences of programs and proposals for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and assess proposed "solutions" to climate change from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples; and

4. Advocate effective strategies and solutions in response to climate change from the perspective of the cultures, world views, and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, including local, national, regional and international rights‐based approaches.

For further information, please contact:

Patricia Cochran
Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Video Documentary of the Akha of Thailand and Laos

The video documentary about the Akha of Thailand and Laos, and their treatment at the hand of fundamentalist mission organizations has now been posted.

Prisoners of a White God

A documentary film about a mountain ethnic group in South East Asia, the Prisoners of a White God, tells the story about a researcher, who investigates the activities of christian missionaries and international development among the Akha peoples.

Prisoners of a White God received the Grand Prixes at RAFF Film Festival, at Ecofilm Festival, at Festival of the Mountain Films, at "It's Up To You" Film Festival and the Main Prize at Ekotopfilm in 2008!

Time constraints and documentary size prevented all the excellent footage that was collected from being put in this video, and we see this film as an understatement of the scale of the child removals of what we saw over many years in Thailand, an ethnocide at best, a genocide of systematic abuse of human rights.

To learn more, visit the The Akha Heritage Foundation.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

December 31, 2008 - January 6, 2009: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues

Five Important Indigenous People's Issues for the Week of December 31, 2008 - January 6, 2009

Australia: Indigenous Publishers Give Voice To Previously Unheard Stories

Two decades ago, the seeds of Kimberley publishing sprouted from the bush banana, or magabala, known in scientific circles as Marsdenia viridiflora. The Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre gave the name to Magabala Books, the region's first tentative publishing venture.

Magabala was born out of frustration: Aboriginal elders had gathered at a culture centre bush ceremony in 1983 and lamented that their stories were not being published or, if they were, only through the filter of non-indigenous publishers.

So Magabala became a permanent fixture and its first substantial book appeared in 1987. Mayi: Some Bush Fruits of Dampierland by Merrilee Lands was the first account of the Kimberley's extraordinary botanical riches as seen from an indigenous point of view. Whitefella science no longer had a monopoly on interpreting the fauna and flora of the Kimberley region.

Twenty-one years later, Broome-based Magabala is celebrating its coming of age. It has survived the vicissitudes of the economy and steadily publishes seven or eight books a year. Mayi is still in print. "Lots of people still ask for books about bush plants and food," says Magabala's publisher Suzie Haslehurst.

Above all, Magabala has stayed true to its original mandate "to publish works which have major Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or South Sea Islander involvement".

Other indigenous publishers have since appeared on the scene. In Alice Springs, IAD Press was set up as the publishing arm of the Institute for Aboriginal Development, while in Canberra the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies established Aboriginal Studies Press. Read more about Australian Aboriginal publishers here....

Philippines: A Different Way To Greet The New Year

Indigenous people in Sierra Madre mountain abhor the traditional practice of lowlanders of greeting New Year with a big bang from all sorts of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

"The practice of lowlanders of exploding firecrackers to welcome the New Year is a big no, no to the natives. We abhor the use of all sorts of firecrackers. Its not only dangerous, its only a waste of precious money," Ramcey Astoveza, Agta tribal leader, said Monday in a mobile phone interview from the Tribal Center for Development building in Infanta town in northern Quezon.

He said for generations, tribal leaders have been encouraging the practice of creating "unpolluted noise" to welcome every New Year.

"We heartily shout as loud as we can, play our transistor radios with full volume, bang cans and pots, blow horns made from indigenous leaves. But no pla-pla or Diablo or sinturon ni Hudas," Astoveza said, referring to the banned fireworks that usually greet the New Year for most Filipinos.

For the mountain people, the intrusion of unwelcome noise to disturb the peace and silence of Sierra Madre is an "abominable act."

"The deepening blast of firecrackers is like the roars of power saws by illegal loggers and outburst of gun fires from the military and the NPA [New People’s Army]. They are all unwanted in Sierra Madre. They are all disrespecting the holy silence of the mountain," Astoveza said philosophically. Read more about the indigenous Philippines New Year here....

Nicaragua: Titling Of Native Lands Marks Crucial Step For Indigenous Rights Declares UN Expert

An independent United Nations human rights expert has praised the Nicaraguan Government for giving the indigenous Awas Tingni community the title to its traditional lands, marking the culmination of a decades-long struggle by the group to gain recognition and protection of its ancestral territory.

“This affirmative step by the Government of Nicaragua represents an important advancement in the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya.

The Government, in a ceremony on 14 December, gave the Awas Tingni – one of the many indigenous communities that populate theThis affirmative step by the Government of Nicaragua represents an important advancement in the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide country’s Atlantic Coast region – the title to its ancestral territory, which consists of some 74,000 hectares of densely forested lands.

The long-awaited move was several years in the making and follows a historic August 2001 decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua. Read more about the indigenous Nicaraguan land titles here....

International: In 2008 Trickledown Economics Goes Global

Atlas Greenspan shrugged, recognizing a possible flaw in his market ideology. To say finally that hard rains must fall on everyone just won’t do.

Comparisons drawn from the natural world cannot describe the last gasp of Western free market capitalism. This was a philosophy and an enforcing apparatus that separated human endeavor from any natural order, including the natural order of animal presence and household and community provisioning. Just as we’ve stopped taking account of the four-leggeds and winged beings and fish who can offer companionship and guidance to our otherwise isolated human species, what has happened in today’s market is that it’s stopped taking account of human nature. But unlike poor marginalized animals, it is more human nature to fight back.

The fight that compels me here is populist backlash. If tens upon tens of millions of decent, middle-income citizens figure out that they’ve been duped by bail-out taxes that still have left them penniless, jobless, homeless, healthless and half-educated – anything could happen. That is why the first item on President Obama’s Native agenda should be a serious, sonorous, respectful and seemly apology. This is a great country built on the richness of diverse cultures. When they choose to hold governments accountable, they will find that the honor of this nation remains in a mutual relationship with the indigenous Nations. Middle-class America is just waking up to the special interests that run government, the same interests we’ve all seen grab our resources in the past. Well governments set precedents, good and bad.

In the past year, Canada apologized for drafting Native children into boarding schools; the Australian prime minister apologized to the “Stolen Generation” of Aborigines; Malaysia granted its first-ever recognition of indigenous land rights; Guatemala formally recognized indigenous peoples, including the Mayans; and in a development some of us thought we’d never see, given Japan’s long denial of ethnicity on its islands, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution recognizing the indigenous Ainu and calling for their support. The U.S. can get in step with these developments through an apology to its first peoples. Read more about trickledown economics here....

United States: Bush Administration Put The Wreck In Federal Recognition

While no whistleblower has come forward – yet - to confirm definitely that the Bush administration’s unwritten federal recognition policy was not to acknowledge any more American Indian tribes, one thing is obvious: The last eight years have put the wreck in federal recognition, and 2008 was no different.

Interior began its year of denial in March with a final determination rejecting federal acknowledgement to the Steilacoom Tribe of Indians, a 600-plus member tribe in Steilacoom, Wash., whose name might hint at the tribe’s historical existence and its ancestral territory southwest of what is now Tacoma, Wash. “Steilacoom,” according to the tribe, is the Anglicization of an indigenous word for the name of a local creek and a local pink flower.

The Steilacoom is one of five bands living in the Tacoma Basin area. They spoke a separate dialect of the Puget Sound Salish languages, according to its Web site at

The tribe was harshly affected by Manifest Destiny – the American spinoff of the 15th century Doctrine of Discovery that justified genocide and ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples by the delusional belief that God ordained Europeans to “discover” and occupy any land that was not inhabited by Christians, enslave its inhabitants and claim its wealth.

The American version pushed settler colonists from sea to sea, leaving a trail of broken treaties and indigenous peoples herded into Apartheid-style reservations. Read more about federal recognition and the Bush administration here....

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

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

World Indigenous Film Festival: Upcoming Program

Indigenous World Film Festival

Presenting films from around the world including: Australia, New Zealand, Canada and more!

Opening Reception

Friday, January 9, 2009 6:00 p.m.

Meet film producers, directors, see Alaska Native dancers and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

Films will be show through 11 p.m. approx.

Free Admission for Friday evening's films and reception

Saturday, January 10, 2009 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.

See short films, full length feature films and documentaries throughout the day.
Admission- $9.95 adults, $6.95 children, ages 6 & under FREE, Members FREE

Film Schedule

Friday, January 9, 2009

  • 6:00 PM Doors Open
  • 6:30 Welcome reception and entertainment and Alaska Native Dance Performance
  • 7:00 Welcome by Festival Director Steven Alvarez and introduction of guest filmmakers
  • 7:10 Growing Up Native in Alaska Jonathan Stanton, AK, USA 20 min Doc. short
  • Introduction and Q/A with film makers Jon Stanton & Steven Alvarez
  • 7:40 Finding Their Own Dance Robert Prince, AK, USA 57 min Documentary
  • Introduction, Q/A & dance performance with featured talent, Loren Anderson and Imamsuat.
  • 8:50 Ancestor Eyes Kalani Queypo, USA 21 min Documentary Short
  • 9:15 By the Rapids Joseph Lazare, Canada - 24 min animation
  • 9:45 One Drum Helen Haig-Brown, Canada 4 minute music video
  • 9:50 Taua-War Party TearepaKahi, New Zealand - 15 minute short
  • 10:05 Coloring the Media Carlisle Antonio, UK 75 min feature.

Saturday, January 10, 2008 - Daytime
  • 10:00 AM Welcome: Festival Director, Steven Alvarez
  • 10:10 Yuut Yaqungviat Jacqueline Cleveland, AK, USA 26 min Documentary
  • 10:30 Villagers in the City Isaiah Woods, USA 20 min short
  • 10:55 Palo's Wedding - Knud Rasmussen, Greenland 79 min Feature Documentary
  • 12:20 PM The Crossroad* Monique Lowell, USA - 7 minute short
  • Sunwoman* Alexandra Patrick & Eric Francisco 6 minute short
  • Introduction and Q/A with American Indian Film Institute Tribal Touring Program Director Mytia Smith
  • 12:40 Unraveling The Wind - Deborah Schildt, AK, USA 27 min. Documentary
  • Introduction and Q/A with film Director Deborah Schildt website for film
  • 1:40 A Perilous Journey* Shensi Long, USA 30 minute short
  • 1:50 Gulpilil: One Red Blood Darlene Johnson, Australia 56 minute documentary
  • 2:50 Makes You Stronger* Iris Vasquez, USA 5 minute short
  • Introduction and Q/A with American Indian Film Institute Tribal Touring Program Director Mytia Smith
  • 3:00 Little Caughnaqaga Reaghan Tarbell, USA 56 minute documentary
  • Introduction and Q/A with film Director Reaghan Tarbell. Reaghan works at NMAI in DC. He is Mohawk from Canada.
  • 4:10 How Raven Stole the Sun* - Briana Albini, USA 8 minute short
  • 4:20 Sparkling Igloo - Brigitte Lebrasseur, Canada 7 min Documentary Short
  • 4:30 Exile - Zacharias Kunuk, Canada 48 min Documentary
  • 5:20 The Voice of Our Spirit Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson, AK, USA 50 min Documentary
  • Introduction and Q/A with film Director Rachel Edwardson

Saturday, January 10, 2008 - Evening

  • 6:40 Welcome back and introductions
  • 6:45 Sikumi Andrew Okpeaha Maclean, AK. USA 15 minute dramatic short
  • 7:00 Too Late* Gabrielle McKinnon, USA, 15 minute short
  • Coyote and Frog* - Duwayne Sherman, USA 14 minute short
  • Introduction and Q/A with American Indian Film Institute Tribal Touring Program Director Mytia Smith
  • 7:35 Native Wind - Chip Comins, USA 13 minute short
  • 7:50 Floating Blackhorse Lowe, USA 10 minute short
  • 8:00 Older Than American Georgina Lightning, USA 102 minute feature
  • Introduction and Q/A with film Director Georgina Lightning
  • 9:45 Turquoise Rose Travis Hamilton, USA 94 minute Feature Film
  • Introduction and Q/A with film talent Natasha Johnson

* American Indian Film Institute Tribal Touring Program

For more information, visit the main site of the World Indigenous Film Festival.

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