Censored in Indian country in 2012
Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights: What the other media didn't want you to know in 2012
By Brenda Norrell
Photo: AIM leader Clyde Bellecourt falsely accused and arrested on Christmas eve.
The top ten list of the most censored issues in Indian country in 2012 begins with the assassinations and abuse of Indigenous Peoples by mining companies, and the targeting of American Indians as "expendables" by the US military in wars.
The theft of Indian water rights, and disregard for the protection of Indian water sources, dominated censored stories, from Navajoland to Yaqui lands in Mexico. Racism continued in bordertowns and from the news media. The racism was revealed as police targeted Indigenous Peoples for arrests, and with the theft of Indigenous lands. The pollution of Indian land, air, and water by corporations around the world was globally censored.
“They like the pageantry, the colorfulness and the beat of that drum – they really like our beautiful culture -- but they don’t like us," said Debra White Plume, Lakota from Pine Ridge, S.D., at the Native Nations Water Symposium in Tucson.
1. ‘The expendables’ Indigenous Peoples sacrificed by mining and war profiteers
The most censored issue of 2012 is the disregard for the lives of Indigenous Peoples by gold, silver, copper, coal and other mining companies, energy corporations and the US war machine, as evidenced in the assassinations and deaths of Native people globally. Puppet tribal governments and the media continued to encourage this slow form of genocide resulting from mining, coal fired power plants, and the bogus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Canadian mining companies and Peabody Coal in the US led abusers worldwide. Missile, drone and other war manufacturers pressed to continue the war for dollars. People of color were targeted by the US military in television commercials and by high school recruiters.
2. The UN Rapporteur
Mohawk John Kane said the most censored issue is the UN Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples. "I think the story around James Anaya was the most mischaracterized and one of the most censored stories.
"Who he is, who he met with in his 'whirlwind tour' and his findings were pathetic. The primary observation about the overall condition of Native people was that we needed access to sacred sites?
"Poverty, suicides, domestic violence, violence against women, drop out rates, drug and alcohol issues, continued assimilation, puppet tribal governments, real land claims (not just the right to pray on a site) and he comes up with a recommendation for access and control of certain sacred sites.
"I have news for Mr. Anaya, it's all sacred," Kane said.
At the United Nations, frauds and academic scholars with distracting rhetoric, largely took control of the agenda and silenced many authentic Indigenous Peoples in 2012.
3. Cobell ‘Bait and Switch’ Case
Steve Melendez, Pyramid Lake Paiute and President of the American Indian Genocide Museum, said the most censored issue is the “bait and switch” case of the Cobell settlement. “The best kept secret in 2012 was that the late Elouise Cobell never had the right to accept a monetary settlement for what was originally supposed to be an accounting. It is almost as though the federal government is once again using the old ‘bait and switch’ that they have always used against the Indians.”
Further, the news media has failed to investigate the large percentage of Cobell payout funds which have gone to non-Indian attorneys in the case. Other unanswered questions revolve around the United States’ hidden agenda with the oil and gas lands in Indian country. The point is: The US never does anything that is not in its best interest.
4. Collapse of media in Indian country
Indian country media failed in its ethical duties in 2012 due to hidden agendas by owners and control from advertisers and politicians. Plagiarism and armchair journalism became the norm in national Indian country journalism. Advertisers were able to shift news agendas, and exert control, from these industries: Casinos, oil and gas, coal fired power plants, and CIA spies, the National Clandestine Services. The failure of journalists to be present to cover the news resulted in widespread inaccuracy, censorship and failure to report Indian country news.
5. Harper's termination plan and Canada's abuse of First Nations
The fight for Indigenous rights in Canada unfolded with the 'Idle No More' movement, following the release of Prime Minister Harper's termination plan, new legislation, and Canada's long standing abuse of First Nations. As Chief Theresa Spence maintains her fast, throughout Canada and the US, Native people are conducting flash mob round dances. A railway blockade is underway in Canada, as the fight against the tarsands and pipelines continues throughout Canada.
Clyde Bellecourt, cofounder of the American Indian Movement, was targeted and arrested in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve. Minneapolis police falsely accused him of organizing an Idle No More peaceful protest.
Harper's termination plan:
Clyde Bellecourt targeted and arrested at Idle No More in Minn. on Christmas eve:
6. The story that wasn’t reported: The fraud of “Indian” casinos
The story that was not reported in the national Indian country media is how the concept of “Indian casinos” was manufactured by non-Indians using the concept of “sovereignty” on Indian lands. While some Indian Nations, with small enrollments, profited from casinos, others did not. For instance, the majority of Tohono O’odham live in desperation, even though the profitable Desert Diamond Casino has received millions, possibly billions, over the past decade. Locally and nationwide, a large percentage of casino revenues on Indian lands continues to flow to non-Indians in casino management firms, lobbyists, attorneys, public relations firms, outside charities, and the states. News reporters controlled by the media's owners and advertisers are used as public relations outlets for casinos.
7. Leaked memo of Salazar to steal Navajo water rights
A leaked memo of Interior Sec. Ken Salazar to the Navajo Nation revealed Salazar’s plan to push legislation through a “Lame Duck” Congress, in collusion with Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl. Navajos had already said ‘No’ to the plan for the US to seize Navajo water rights to the Little Colorado River for the benefit of non-Indians in Arizona, and water for the Navajo Generating Station, one of the dirtiest coal fired power plants in the US. The abuse and oppression of Navajos on Black Mesa by their own tribal government continues as one of the most censored issues. Leaked Salazar memo:
8. US spy towers and seizure of land by US Border Patrol on Tohono O’odham land
After the previous US spy towers failed, Homeland Security is now seizing land on the Tohono O’odham Nation for more spy towers. The US/Mexico border continues to be an excuse for US "pork" dollars to flow to US government favored corporations, including Boeing. The US Border Patrol also carried out a secret scheme to seize land on the Tohono O’odham Nation for a massive camp in Pisinemo District, which local O’odham were never informed about. The US Border Patrol scheme includes a dormitory, helicopter launch pad and dogs. More land is being seized for the Border Patrol’s transmission line. Further, Tohono O’odham land of San Xavier District has been used for the creation of drones at Advanced Ceramics; drones that were designed by the University of Arizona. The US Border Patrol continues to stalk and abuse O’odham on their own land. O’odham say the tribal government is controlled by the US and its agenda. The University of Arizona, which took the lead with the Pope, in placing telescopes on sacred Mount Graham, continues to gain confidential information about Indian Nations under the guise of research and assistance. Further, the university promotes racial profiling at the border and has taken a lead role in global cyber spying.
Tohono O'odham Nation kept secret plan for US spy towers
9. Obama’s support for the Keystone XL pipeline southern route
President Obama supported and pushed for the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline southern route in Cushing, Oklahoma. Native Americans and other protesters were prohibited from entering the area when Obama came to Cushing to rally support for the southern route of the Keystone pipeline. The pipeline construction is now resulting in the seizure of east Texas family farms and the jailing of elderly farmers in east Texas. Cree and other First Nations in Alberta, Canada, continue to fight the tarsands mining destroying their homeland. Lakotas and other Native Americans in the US continue to fight the threat of the Keystone Pipeline and its filthy crude oil targeting their water and land.
10. Native Americans support for Palestine
As the year drew to a close, Native Americans increased their support for Palestine. Two visits by Native Americans to Israel, following the bombing of Palestine and killing of 30 Palestinian children in November, resulted in outrage. Navajos sharply criticized Navajo President Ben Shelly for visiting Israeli officials for the stated purpose of agriculture. Navajos said they do not need Israeli chemicals to grow food, or to support the genocidal practices of Israel and the hidden agenda of war. Native American musician Joy Harjo received widespread criticism for breaking the cultural boycott and performing in Israel.
Read Lakota Russell Means statement on American Indians and Palestine
Navajo women oppose Navajo president's visit to Israel
As the year drew to a close, the United States continued its use of drones for targeted assassinations.
In the defense of sacred water, Vicam Pueblo on Yaqui land in Mexico hosted the International Forum for the Defense of Water, as Mexico attempted to steal Yaqui water in Sonora. Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, was among the Indigenous representatives from the Americas.
The Zapatistas emerged silently from the mountains. Subcomandante Marcos said one cycle of the Mayan calendar had ended and another now begins. Wikileaks continues to expose the truth as Ecuador maintains its refuge and political asylum for Julian Assange.
Read more on these issues at Censored News www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com