About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 33 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

Brenda Norrell's Comments

The Art of Authentic Journalism According to Bill Conroy
May 23 2011 - 9:10pm
Chiapas Government Apologizes, Will Set Journalist Gianni Proiettis Free
Dec 25 2010 - 10:58am
Showdown: Will Obama recognize Indian Nation sovereignty and Haudenosaunee passports
Jul 22 2010 - 10:45am
Popcorn and beans, depleted uranium and Raytheon
Jul 6 2010 - 5:52am
Obama Appeases Tea-baggers But Upsets Leftists
Dec 5 2009 - 12:18pm

Native Human Rights Defenders Honored in San Francisco

By Brenda Norrell

SAN FRANCISCO -- The International Indian Treaty Council honored Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone, and Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo, with Human Rights Defenders Awards Saturday, March 7, in San Francisco.

"We have the original rights, not aboriginal rights, because we were the first here," Dann said at San Francisco State University.

Censorship and the US brand of terrorism at the border

By Brenda Norrell

Jose Matus, director of the Indigenous Alliance without Borders and Yaqui ceremonial leader, said Indigenous Peoples on the border are concerned that conditions under President Obama remain "status quo" with the Bush regime. This means the US Border Patrol and Homeland Security continue to abuse Indian people.
As requested by Yaqui elders to maintain ceremonies, for 30 years Matus has brought Yaqui ceremonial leaders across the border from Sonora, Mexico, to Arizona, for temporary visits to conduct annual ceremonies. Since 9/11, the harassment and detainments of traditional Indian people and ceremonial leaders have increased.

Auschwitz in the US and Canada: Indian Boarding Schools

Russell Means and Kevin Annett: Indian boarding schools were systematic genocide

By Brenda Norrell

Russell Means and Kevin Annett spoke on the systematic genocide of Indian people in the United States and Canada, pointing out the murder of Indian children in boarding schools, mass graves and generations of trauma and early death resulting from the long standing abuse which has been hidden in history.

Syping on activists: Who is the criminal now?

By Brenda Norrell

After the Denver police spy files were revealed in 2002, my friends, the spied upon, said, "It isn't just happening in Denver. It is happening all over the United States."

In Denver, the secret police spy files became public through attorney discovery in a local court case. The spy files did not become public because of the integrity of the Denver Police Intelligence Division. Those secret police spy files included cases that went back 30 years. Of course all of the American Indian activists names were there, the usual suspects working for peace and justice. But there were surprises in the list of 3,200 individuals and 208 organizations.

Denver police spied on an 80-year-old grandmother because she had a "Leonard Peltier" bumper sticker on her car.

Watching for whales, celebrating creation and migration


By Brenda Norrell

On the border, Tohono O'odham ask: 'Where are the casino millions going?'

Tohono O'odham living in the most desperate poverty ask: 'Where are the casino millions going?'

Tohono O'odham youths, pushed to the breaking point by the US military and Tohono O'odham police, too often have to choose between jail, hunger and leaving their homeland

By Brenda Norrell

SELLS, Ariz. -- Every week, Tohono O'odham friends call and say they have no money, no money for food, no money to heat their homes at night and no money for their elderly parents.
Every week, Tohono O'odham friends ask where are the millions going from the Tohono O'odham casinos. The crowds overflow at the Tohono O'odham's Desert Diamond Casino on the edge of Tucson, while the Tohono O'odham people continue to live in the most desperate poverty. It only takes a drive across Tohono O'odham land to see what is happening and what is not happening, in regards to poverty.

No Abu Ghraib in Arizona

By Brenda Norrell

PHOENIX -- The American Friends Service Committee has exposed a stream of corruption and prisoner abuse from Arizona to Abu Ghraib, related to Terry Stewart and his possible selection to head the Arizona Department of Corrections. Earlier, Stewart was commisssioned by the US State Department to oversee Iraqi prisons, including Abu Ghraib, even though he was in charge of Arizona prisons during a period when women were raped, sodomoized and assaulted by prison guards.

Stewart also fought to build a prison for "Mexican nationals" in the US operated by a private prison company. Then, Stewart went to work as a private prison consultant, following a policy and pattern of torture, prisoner abuse and private prison profiteering during the Bush administration.

Leonard Peltier beaten in prison

By Brenda Norrell


CANAAN, Penn. -- Leonard Peltier was jumped and severely beaten by a gang after being transferred from a prison in Lewisburg to Canaan on January 13. The family, however, was not notified by the prison and received the information by way of a letter from Peltier. Peltier, 64, was placed in solitary confinement.

"Once Mr. Peltier arrived at the Canaan prison facility, he was jumped by younger inmates, severely beaten, put in solitary confinement and placed upon meal restrictions despite his having diabetes and other medical conditions," the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee said in a statement.

"The family has requested copies of the video tapes of that incident to no avail. It is as if the whole scenario was contrived to detract from the fact that Mr. Peltier has been a model prisoner having more than enough points to qualify for parole," LPDOC said.

Micheal Kuzma, an attorney for Leonard Peltier's defense, described the attack on Peltier in prison, during an interview with American Indian Airwaves with host Marcus Lopez, on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Kuzma said Peltier's sister Betty Peltier-Solano, executive coordinator of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, received a letter from Peltier, but was never notified by prison officials of the attack. Peltier was transferred from Lewisburg to Canaan prison during the week of Jan. 12th and attacked on the 13th, by other inmates.

Sixty-nine graves of O'odham ancestors desecrated for border wall

By Brenda Norrell


NOGALES, Ariz. -- Homeland Security destroyed 69 graves of Tohono O'odham ancestors in one location alone while constructing the US/Mexico border wall south of Tucson, in violation of all federal laws created to protect American Indian remains.
Homeland Security and US courts waived all federal laws to protect Native American graves and the environment and then allowed for border wall construction at San Pedro near Nogales. The graves were violated and the details were not made public.
Although the archaeologist exposing the desecration only revealed it as a rare find, for O'odham, these are the graves of their ancestors which were destroyed.
Archaeologist Maren Hopkins said the village is believed to have existed from around A.D. 700 to 1200.

Western Shoshone and Paiute Protests

                                                                                                                                            Photo by Lisa Wolf


By Brenda Norrell

Photos by Lisa Wolf

Western Shoshone gathered demonstrated outside federal court in Reno today, demanding that Barrick Gold halt destruction of the area of Mount Tenabo, their sacred mountain. Nearby at Pyramid Lake on Saturday, about 150 Paiutes and supporters gathered to protest. Paiutes said the Pyramid Lake Marina operator has held Paiutes and their cultural items "hostage."

Carrie Dann discusses the sacred mountain, Mount Tenabo, on Censored Blog Talk Radio today. The interview with Larry Smith is rebroadcast with permission from American Indian Airwaves. On the telephone with Censored News Radio, Wayne Burke, Paiute, describes the protest at Pyramid Lake to protect the cultural treasures.

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