LAST REAL INDIANS

Organizing for Change, Embracing Strategies and the Power of Local Elections by: Matt Remle

For nearly twenty years, I’ve been involved in community organizing. I have worked on a myriad of issues ranging from environmental and economic justice to indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with incredible people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world. I’ve been blessed to work with individuals, and communities, that carried with them a deep love for their communities, future generations, and Mother Earth. These individuals worked on different issues and in different capacities ranging from grassroots and direct action organizers to tribal and elected officials.

Along the way, I have developed a healthy respect and appreciation towards the different philosophies and strategies people take towards working for justice and towards the issues they choose to work on and are passionate about.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/organizing-for-change-embracing-strategies-and-the-power-of-local-elections-by-matt-remle/

Organizing for Change, Embracing Strategies and the Power of Local Elections by: Matt Remle

For nearly twenty years, I’ve been involved in community organizing. I have worked on a myriad of issues ranging from environmental and economic justice to indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with incredible people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world. I’ve been blessed to work with individuals, and communities, that carried with them a deep love for their communities, future generations, and Mother Earth. These individuals worked on different issues and in different capacities ranging from grassroots and direct action organizers to tribal and elected officials.

Along the way, I have developed a healthy respect and appreciation towards the different philosophies and strategies people take towards working for justice and towards the issues they choose to work on and are passionate about.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/organizing-for-change-embracing-strategies-and-the-power-of-local-elections-by-matt-remle/

Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards and the Corporate ‘REDWASH’ Agenda – An Open Letter by Clayton Thomas-Muller

Dear Indigenous Peoples Movement,

We need to talk (again) about a serious issue threatening our livelihood and our collective inherit and treaty rights known as corporate sponsorship and the ‘REDWASH’ agenda [of our artistic and education institutions]
Last night the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards (APCA) happened in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba and some of our brightest artists and their work were recognized.

The APCA show was sponsored by some of of the biggest violators of Indigenous/Treaty Rights in this country, here is a short list of these corporate criminals: 

http://aboriginalpeopleschoice.com/sponsors/

Transcanda Pipeline Corporations (Grand Rapids Mother Pipeline-Alberta, KXL-USA, Energy East-Alberta to New Brunswick pipelines)

Enbridge (Northern Gateway, Great Lakes Pipelines, Line9-Ontario-Main, Alberta Clipper-Minnesota)

Manitoba Hydro (Mega Hydro Expansion-Northern Manitoba)

Royal Bank of Canada (biggest financier of destructive fossil fuel and mining development in Canada most notably tar sands and associated pipelines.)

The Northern Company (food monopoly in northern Canada, price gouging, exploiting food deserts in First Nations Metis and Inuit communities)

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/aboriginal-peoples-choice-awards-and-the-corporate-redwash-agenda-an-open-letter-by-clayton-thomas-muller/

Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards and the Corporate ‘REDWASH’ Agenda – An Open Letter by Clayton Thomas-Muller

Dear Indigenous Peoples Movement,

We need to talk (again) about a serious issue threatening our livelihood and our collective inherit and treaty rights known as corporate sponsorship and the ‘REDWASH’ agenda [of our artistic and education institutions]
Last night the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards (APCA) happened in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba and some of our brightest artists and their work were recognized.

The APCA show was sponsored by some of of the biggest violators of Indigenous/Treaty Rights in this country, here is a short list of these corporate criminals:

http://aboriginalpeopleschoice.com/sponsors/

Transcanda Pipeline Corporations (Grand Rapids Mother Pipeline-Alberta, KXL-USA, Energy East-Alberta to New Brunswick pipelines)

Enbridge (Northern Gateway, Great Lakes Pipelines, Line9-Ontario-Main, Alberta Clipper-Minnesota)

Manitoba Hydro (Mega Hydro Expansion-Northern Manitoba)

Royal Bank of Canada (biggest financier of destructive fossil fuel and mining development in Canada most notably tar sands and associated pipelines.)

The Northern Company (food monopoly in northern Canada, price gouging, exploiting food deserts in First Nations Metis and Inuit communities)

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/aboriginal-peoples-choice-awards-and-the-corporate-redwash-agenda-an-open-letter-by-clayton-thomas-muller/

Seventy Years‏ message from Leonard Peltier

Greetings my Friends, Relatives and Supporters,

I want to send you all this personal message on what is now my 70th Birthday. I really want to thank you all for your years and years of support and love, I would have never made it this long without your love and support. As you can imagine, it has been a VERY long path. At times, more difficult than I could have ever imagined. I don’t regret any of it for one minute.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/seventy-years%e2%80%8f-message-from-leonard-peltier/

Seventy Years‏ message from Leonard Peltier

Greetings my Friends, Relatives and Supporters,

I want to send you all this personal message on what is now my 70th Birthday. I really want to thank you all for your years and years of support and love, I would have never made it this long without your love and support. As you can imagine, it has been a VERY long path. At times, more difficult than I could have ever imagined. I don’t regret any of it for one minute.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/seventy-years%e2%80%8f-message-from-leonard-peltier/

DOJ releases report on Indian Country By Brandon Ecoffey

*This article was first published in the Native Sun News

WASHINGTON—Last week the Department of Justice released a second report to congress highlighting its work in Indian Country. The report entitled Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions includes statistics relating to the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, and information on Attorney General Eric Holder’s initiatives to curb violent crime on reservations.

“As detailed in this report, the Department of Justice is making good on our commitment to strengthen cooperation with sovereign tribes, reduce violent crime, and ensure justice for every individual,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. ““From our work to empower Indian women under the landmark Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, to the task force we established to safeguard children in Indian Country from violence and abuse, we have made significant strides – in close partnership with tribal nations – to bolster the safety and security of all American Indian and Alaska Native communities. As we move forward, we will continue to expand on this critical work; to deepen our ongoing efforts; and to reaffirm our dedication to the promise of equal rights, equal protection, and equal justice for all.”

DOJ releases report on Indian Country By Brandon Ecoffey

*This article was first published in the Native Sun News

WASHINGTON—Last week the Department of Justice released a second report to congress highlighting its work in Indian Country. The report entitled Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions includes statistics relating to the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, and information on Attorney General Eric Holder’s initiatives to curb violent crime on reservations.

“As detailed in this report, the Department of Justice is making good on our commitment to strengthen cooperation with sovereign tribes, reduce violent crime, and ensure justice for every individual,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. ““From our work to empower Indian women under the landmark Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, to the task force we established to safeguard children in Indian Country from violence and abuse, we have made significant strides – in close partnership with tribal nations – to bolster the safety and security of all American Indian and Alaska Native communities. As we move forward, we will continue to expand on this critical work; to deepen our ongoing efforts; and to reaffirm our dedication to the promise of equal rights, equal protection, and equal justice for all.”

Dam The Indians Anyway – Winnemem WAR DANCE at Shasta Dam

Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Media Contact: Charlotte Berta
Cell: 916-207-2378
Email: char@ranchriver.com

NOTE: PRESS CONFERENCE: 3 PM 9/10/14 AT SHASTA DAM SITE

Redding, Calif. –The Winnemem (McCloud River) Wintu Tribe will hold a “War Dance” at Shasta Dam, north of Redding, Calif., beginning September 11th through September 15th. The War Dance is in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s proposal to raise the dam, which threatens to submerge many Winnemem sacred sites and village areas. The Winnemem lost much of their homelands and their salmon when the dam was first constructed. “Any raising of the dam, even a few feet, will flood some of our last remaining sacred sites on the McCloud River – sites we still use today,” says Caleen Sisk , Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader. “We can’t be Winnemem any place else but the McCloud River. The dam raise is a form of cultural genocide.”

The Winnemem invoked the War Dance in 1887 against a fish hatchery on the McCloud River that threatened the salmon and the Winnemem way of life. . Again The Winnemem held a War Dance at the dam in 2004 to commit themselves to the protection of their land and their salmon. Now, the Winnemem face even more of their sacred sites and culture being submerged by the dam “We gave up a lot of our homeland for the sake of the California people, and got nothing in return. Now the government wants to take our sacred places, and again we get nothing in return. How is this fair, over and over again?” “This is not right Chief Sisk said. “This is too much to ask of a people.”

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/dam-the-indians-anyway-winnemem-war-dance-at-shasta-dam/

Dam The Indians Anyway – Winnemem WAR DANCE at Shasta Dam

Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Media Contact: Charlotte Berta
Cell: 916-207-2378
Email: char@ranchriver.com

NOTE: PRESS CONFERENCE: 3 PM 9/10/14 AT SHASTA DAM SITE

Redding, Calif. –The Winnemem (McCloud River) Wintu Tribe will hold a “War Dance” at Shasta Dam, north of Redding, Calif., beginning September 11th through September 15th. The War Dance is in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s proposal to raise the dam, which threatens to submerge many Winnemem sacred sites and village areas. The Winnemem lost much of their homelands and their salmon when the dam was first constructed. “Any raising of the dam, even a few feet, will flood some of our last remaining sacred sites on the McCloud River – sites we still use today,” says Caleen Sisk , Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader. “We can’t be Winnemem any place else but the McCloud River. The dam raise is a form of cultural genocide.”

The Winnemem invoked the War Dance in 1887 against a fish hatchery on the McCloud River that threatened the salmon and the Winnemem way of life. . Again The Winnemem held a War Dance at the dam in 2004 to commit themselves to the protection of their land and their salmon. Now, the Winnemem face even more of their sacred sites and culture being submerged by the dam “We gave up a lot of our homeland for the sake of the California people, and got nothing in return. Now the government wants to take our sacred places, and again we get nothing in return. How is this fair, over and over again?” “This is not right Chief Sisk said. “This is too much to ask of a people.”

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/dam-the-indians-anyway-winnemem-war-dance-at-shasta-dam/

Climate Action Week: #FRACK OFF: Indigenous Women Leading Media Campaigns to Defend our Climate

Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Climate Action Week: #FRACK OFF: Indigenous Women Leading Media Campaigns to Defend our Climate
This event features activists Shelley A. Young, Kandi Mosset, Elle Maija Tailfeathers, and Ellen Gabriel who will discuss high-profile media campaigns by indigenous groups in Canada and the United States that protest the oil and fracking industries and the ongoing governmental violations of Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights.
Sponsored by the School of Media Studies and co-organized in collaboration with Idle No More and Frack Action, a leading New York-based organization working for a statewide ban on fracking as a part of Climate Action Week at The New School.

Participants will include:
Ellen Gabriel (Mohawk) Human rights activist from Kanehsatà:ke, Ellen has spent years fighting for Indigenous rights well-known to the public when she was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 “Oka” Crisis; to protect the Pines from the expansion of a 9 hole golf course in “Oka” and the removal of Kanien’kehá:ka ancestors from their burial ground. She is now a leading voice in fighting the Energy East and Line 9 tar sands pipelines. 

Kanehsatà:ke territory is right in the path of the proposed Enbridge #Line9 and Trans-Canada Energy East tar sands pipelines and Ellen has emerged as a key voice in the fight to stop tar sands expansion through organizing in solidarity with First Nations in Alberta and the 185 First Nations in the right of way of the controversial project.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/climate-action-week-frack-off-indigenous-women-leading-media-campaigns-to-defend-our-climate/

Climate Action Week: #FRACK OFF: Indigenous Women Leading Media Campaigns to Defend our Climate

Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Climate Action Week: #FRACK OFF: Indigenous Women Leading Media Campaigns to Defend our Climate
This event features activists Shelley A. Young, Kandi Mosset, Elle Maija Tailfeathers, and Ellen Gabriel who will discuss high-profile media campaigns by indigenous groups in Canada and the United States that protest the oil and fracking industries and the ongoing governmental violations of Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights.
Sponsored by the School of Media Studies and co-organized in collaboration with Idle No More and Frack Action, a leading New York-based organization working for a statewide ban on fracking as a part of Climate Action Week at The New School.

Participants will include:
Ellen Gabriel (Mohawk) Human rights activist from Kanehsatà:ke, Ellen has spent years fighting for Indigenous rights well-known to the public when she was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 “Oka” Crisis; to protect the Pines from the expansion of a 9 hole golf course in “Oka” and the removal of Kanien’kehá:ka ancestors from their burial ground. She is now a leading voice in fighting the Energy East and Line 9 tar sands pipelines.

Kanehsatà:ke territory is right in the path of the proposed Enbridge #Line9 and Trans-Canada Energy East tar sands pipelines and Ellen has emerged as a key voice in the fight to stop tar sands expansion through organizing in solidarity with First Nations in Alberta and the 185 First Nations in the right of way of the controversial project.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/climate-action-week-frack-off-indigenous-women-leading-media-campaigns-to-defend-our-climate/

Sex, Drugs and Blood Money on the Rez, By Ruth Hopkins

…Some of the outsiders coming onto our reservations are pimps and sex offenders. Sexual violence against Native women is already an epidemic. One Native women in three is sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and although it’s seldom discussed, sex trafficking has been a problem in the Dakotas for years. The oil boom has amplified it. Native women and girls who fall between the cracks are lured by men into sex work, or even sold by male relatives.

Thankfully, Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Jon Tester (D-MT) have called attention to sex trafficking and taken action to combat it, but prevention can’t happen soon enough. As camps brought by Big Oil spring up on treaty lands, we’ll see more sexual violence perpetrated against Native women. The reauthorized Violence against Women Act, which includes provisions for Natives, will assist tribes in fighting domestic abuse and sex crimes, but it doesn’t take full effect until March 7, 2015. Tribes cannot prosecute non-Indian abusers until that date and even then participation is not mandatory.

The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence against Women recently announced the release of three million dollars in grants to aid VAWA with Native provisions. That is seed money, but it won’t be enough, especially if the Keystone XL pipeline is implemented. South Dakota legislators must step up to the plate for Native women and take a strong stance in support of fighting sex trafficking in their state. Sen. Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Thune (R-SD) should all be questioned as to how they justify backing the Transcanada Keystone XL pipeline when it’s implementation will only make sex trafficking throughout the Northern Plains worse.

Politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths all the time, but that doesn’t mean Natives can’t call them on it and use our voting power to influence their decisions. As the Bakken oil boom peaks and fades, we will continue to see a rise in crime, in substance abuse, in sex trafficking, and in violence against Native women. We must act now to protect Native communities, and work toward educating tribal members on finance management. Above all, we must remember that no amount of money is worth the lives of our sisters.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/sex-drugs-and-blood-money-on-the-rez-by-ruth-hopkins/

For Immediate Release: Alaska Natives Win Landmark Voting Rights Lawsuit

ANCHORAGE— In an historic victory for Alaska Native voters, a Federal Court in Anchorage found the State of Alaska violated the Voting Rights Act by failing to provide translations of voting materials to voters whose primary language is Gwich’in or Yup’ik in the Dillingham, Wade Hampton, and Yukon-Koyukuk Census Areas. United States District Court Judge Sharon Gleason issued the decision today after presiding over a two week trial in June and July.

Judge Gleason found that the State fails to provide limited-English proficient Alaska Native voters with voting information substantially equivalent to what voters receive in English, in violation of Section 203. The State places much of the burden for translations on “outreach workers” from Native villages in the three regions. Judge Gleason determined that those workers are asked by the State to provide only limited translations, with no instructions to translate the Official Election Pamphlet the State sends out before each election. Judge Gleason noted that the State compounds these violations through its limited efforts to inform voters that language assistance is available.

Furthermore, Judge Gleason found that the State fails to translate voting information into dialects of Yup’ik spoken in the Dillingham and Wade Hampton regions. Instead, the State only offers a single translation into the Central Yup’ik dialect that is not widely spoken and has “limited value” in villages outside the Bethel region. The State has been informed about the dialectical differences many times over the years, but has taken no action. Judge Gleason concluded that the State’s failure to account for other dialects of Yup’ik denies voters outside the Bethel area information they need to cast an informed ballot.

Allan Hayton, representative of the Arctic Village Council said “Juk drin Diiginjik K’yaa geereekhyaa geenjit gaayii gwiriltsaii. Shoo tr’aadlit ts’a’ hai’ tr’oonyaa. Today we have won a victory for speaking our language. We are happy and thankful.”

Togiak Traditional Council said “Quyana cakneq, caliilerpekun kaiyurluta, wankuta yuggtun naaqituulini. Cucuukicetaat nutaan assinruciiqut! Thank you very much for your work helping us, those of us who speak Yupik. Voting now, will be a lot better!”

Natalie Landreth, counsel for the Plaintiffs, said that “this case boils down to one issue. English speakers receive a 100-page Official Election Pamphlet before every election and Yup’ik speaking voters have been receiving three things: the date of the election, the time of the election, and a notice that langauge assistance will be available at the poll. That’s it. That is a very clear violation of the law, and it has to change, now.”

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/for-immediate-release-alaska-natives-win-landmark-voting-rights-lawsuit/

Crimes against women addressed in Bakken By Brandon Ecoffey

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— Speaking to tribes from across the Four Corners area, Associate Attorney General, Tony West, announced last week a release of $3 million in grants from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, designed to increase the capability of tribes to implement the tribal specific provisions of the Violence Against Women Act.

As sexual assaults and crimes against women have increased in the Bakken region of the northern plains local authorities have been overwhelmed and stretched thin financially by the influx of people and crime to the area. To address the unique situation that the oil boom has brought to tribal communities in the area the Department of Justices’ office on Violence Against Women created a special Bakken Region Initiative. As part of the initiative seven new grants, totaling nearly $3 million, were awarded to seven tribes in the region.

The Fort Peck Sioux and Assiniboine tribe; the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; the North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services; the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation of North Dakota; and the First Nations Women’s Alliance in North Dakota were all awarded funds to help fund, “Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys – attorneys who are cross-designated tribal-federal prosecutors – as well as victim service providers who are working to prevent violence and support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.”

West was speaking to a crowd in Flagstaff, Arizona where he was unveiling a report from the DOJ on prosecutions in Indian Country at The Four Corners Indian Country Conference.

When the Violence against Women Act was re-authorized by Congress last year several tribal specific provisions were included and granted tribal law enforcement officials more leeway to prosecute non-members in the local tribal court system. The increased control of law enforcement on the reservation by tribes was also bolstered by the Tribal Law and Order Act that increased the capabilities of tribal courts to sentence offenders to longer sentences.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/crimes-against-women-addressed-in-bakken-by-brandon-ecoffey/

Letter to Tasunka Witko (Crazy Horse) by: Matt Remle

Often, I reflect upon the current state of our Oyate, of Native and Indigenous peoples in general, and the state of our mother Maka Ina and wonder how you and others of your era like Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull) would think, or feel, and how you would respond. 

Sometimes, I feel embarrassed about our current generation’s response, or lack thereof, to these issues especially given the grave levity and the depth and seriousness to which the current state of affairs has reached, especially the plight of our sacred first mother, Maka Ina.
Since your journey the wasicu, or western society, has done everything in its power to pick apart and destroy our Oyate, our identities, our tiospaye’s, and the makoche (land) and not just to us Lakota, but to nearly all peoples and lands around Maka Ina.

For nearly 100 years, the colonizer criminalized our traditional ways, our spirituality, and our languages. We are blessed though that we had strong wicasa (men) and winyan (women) who, like you, risked their lives and went underground with the language and ceremonies so that we may still have our ways today. We endured through the lost generations, wakanyeja (children), who were stolen from their homes and placed in remote boarding, or residential schools, where the colonizer sought to “kill the Indian, to save the man.”

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/letter-to-tasunka-witko-crazy-horse-by-matt-remle/

Letter to Tasunka Witko (Crazy Horse) by: Matt Remle

Often, I reflect upon the current state of our Oyate, of Native and Indigenous peoples in general, and the state of our mother Maka Ina and wonder how you and others of your era like Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull) would think, or feel, and how you would respond.

Sometimes, I feel embarrassed about our current generation’s response, or lack thereof, to these issues especially given the grave levity and the depth and seriousness to which the current state of affairs has reached, especially the plight of our sacred first mother, Maka Ina.
Since your journey the wasicu, or western society, has done everything in its power to pick apart and destroy our Oyate, our identities, our tiospaye’s, and the makoche (land) and not just to us Lakota, but to nearly all peoples and lands around Maka Ina.

For nearly 100 years, the colonizer criminalized our traditional ways, our spirituality, and our languages. We are blessed though that we had strong wicasa (men) and winyan (women) who, like you, risked their lives and went underground with the language and ceremonies so that we may still have our ways today. We endured through the lost generations, wakanyeja (children), who were stolen from their homes and placed in remote boarding, or residential schools, where the colonizer sought to “kill the Indian, to save the man.”

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/letter-to-tasunka-witko-crazy-horse-by-matt-remle/