About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 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

El Paso woman arrested defending Wetlands from border wall construction

By Brenda Norrell

Photo by Bill Addington

EL PASO -- Wetlands defender Judith Ackerman, among the border residents against the border wall, was arrested Wednesday at about 2 p.m., by officers of the Texas Department of Public Safety (The Texas Rangers) at the construction site inside the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park.

"This is life. The river is life. But not the wall; the wall is death," said the 55-year-old Ackerman.

"Ackerman was attempting to stop heavy machinery and equipment from entering into the park which is the only remaining spot of real wildlife in El Paso' border," said Carlos Marentes, writing on behalf of the border wall protesters.

Tohono O'odham Women on the Border: No Justice in Sight

By Brenda Norrell

Photo: Angie Ramon, Tohono O'odham, at the place where her son was run over and killed by the US Border Patrol. Photo Brenda Norrell

SAN MIGUEL, Arizona -- Tohono O'odham women describe the militarization of the US/Mexico border on Censored Blog Radio today. The US/Mexico border wall is now a barrier on the annual O'odham ceremonial route. The contractor Boeing has dug up the graves of O'odham ancestors on Tohono O'odham Nation land. US Border Patrol agents harass and threaten O'odham, holding O'odham women and elderly at gunpoint on a regular basis and routinely searching O'odham without cause.
Ofelia Rivas, founder of the O'odham Voice Against the Wall, and Angie Ramon, whose 18-year-old son Bennett Patricio, Jr., was run over and killed by the US Border Patrol, describe the sorrow caused by this US military invasion of O'odham land.

Indigenous Peoples censored at UN Climate Forum in Poland

By Brenda Norrell

POZNAN, Poland --(Dec. 10, 2008) Indigenous People trying to speak at the UN Climate Conference were slamdunked by proponents of the global carbon market scam, designed to enrich the World Bank and chosen corporations by way of the sale of fictitious carbon credits. The following video shows statements by two non-governmental organizations, before Indigenous Peoples were denied a voice. The Indigenous Peoples' censored statement, which was not read, follows the video.

Indigenous Peoples lands and forests are at risk in the carbon market schemes, which allows the world's polluters to continue polluting. In the censored statement, Indigenous Peoples point out that four countries -- the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- refused to vote in favor of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration, adopted by the UN, states that Indigenous Peoples have the right to "free, prior and informed consent," a right which is currently being denied to Indigenous Peoples in UN climate summits.

Hopi Chairman Ben Nuvamsa takes lead to halt Peabody Coal

Hopis and Navajos united to halt Peabody Coal's genocide and desecration

By Brenda Norrell

DENVER -- Hopis and Navajos spoke out in solidarity to oppose a new life-of-mine permit on Black Mesa for the longstanding genocidal corporation Peabody Coal. Speaking out during a panel on Dec. 7 and then protesting outside the Office of Surface Mining in downtown Denver on Dec. 8, Hopi and Navajo said their water is too precious to be used again for water slurry.

Navajo and Hopi are opposing the permit for Peabody Coal, which would extract enormous amounts of aquifer water and could lead to more forced relocation of Navajos.

A delegation of 35 Navajo and Hopi tribal members, including Hopi Tribal Chairman Ben Nuvamsa, met with the U.S. Office of Surface Mining at their Denver headquarters in hopes of delaying OSM's Record of Decision until the next Presidential Administration takes office.

Apartheid: US takes Israel's lead, spying and killing at borders

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- Border towers and automatic killzones are already a reality in Israel and could be the next step for the US/Mexico border. Meanwhile, an unmanned and malfunctioning Predator drone is headed for the US/Canadian border from the US/Mexico border to endanger lives there.

The drones, unmanned spy planes, were discontinued for a while after one crashed near Nogales, Ariz., in 2006. Congress, however, brought back the drones, equipped with lasers, to endanger lives on the ground again. The Predators are also used by the US to kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan, controlled by US soldiers in Arizona and Nevada.

Now, Noah Shachtman writes in WIRED that the US government has been trying with limited success to install a string of sensor-laden sentry towers at the US/Mexico border. In Israel, these towers have automatic weapons to spray death.

Maddog land seizures by Bush Inc. in the final hours

Article by Brenda Norrell

Photo: In solidarity, Hopis and Navajos protest Peabody Coal in Denver today/Photo by Hopi-Navajo photographer Mano Cockrum.

SAN FRANCISCO -- From Black Mesa to the Western Shoshone's Mount Tenabo, the Bush extended corporation of thieves is seizing Indigenous lands in the final hours.
Barrick Gold is right now bulldozing the Western Shoshone's sacred Mount Tenabo, tearing the trees out by the roots as Barrick prepares to dig out the heart of the sacred mountain for an open pit gold mine with cyanide leaching. Barrick is targeting Indigenous lands around the world.
In Denver today, Navajos and Hopis in solidarity are protesting the latest threat to Black Mesa. A soon-to-be released environmental impact statement could reopen the Black Mesa Mine and more lands for coal strip mining. It could result in the relocation of more families from Black Mesa and give Peabody Coal Company a life-of-mine permit to mine Black Mesa. Peabody Coal could also be given the green light to suck dry the precious water of the Navajo Aquifer.
In the Arctic, the fight continues to protect the pristine region from oil drilling and the pollution of power plants. Black carbons from power plants, including those on Indian lands, and tailgate emissions are destroying the habitat for polar bear, walrus and seals in the melting Arctic.
The proposed Desert Rock power plant on the Navajo Nation is being pushed by elected Navajo officials who receive their salaries and travel funds primarily from energy profits.

On Alcatraz, AIM calls for halt to US/Mexico border wall

By Brenda Norrell


ALCATRAZ ISLAND, Calif. -- Speaking at the Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering, Tohono O'odham Mike Flores described the assault by Homeland Security and the US Border Patrol on the Tohono O'odham people and their lands. Flores called for worldwide support to halt construction of the US/Mexico border wall and stop the militarization of Indigenous borderlands. Flores said the US is destroying endangered species, their habitat and migration routes. He said the truth is suppressed on Tohono O'odham land at the border, allowing the US to continue its lawlessness and abuse.
During interviews for the KPFA/Alcatraz Free Radio broadcast, cohost Tony Gonzales points out that the people of Palestine are also suffering from the isolation, militarization and horrors of a border wall. Gonzales said while walls are coming down in Europe, the US is building a wall.
On Alcatraz, the American Indian Movement called on the Obama administration to make real changes for Indian country. The challenge is voiced on today's Censored Blog Radio show, "AIM on Alcatraz," by Bill Means, with Pat Bellanger and Mike Flores.
Bill Means, cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council, said the new administration in the U.S. offers hope. Means said the American Indian Movement is calling on the Obama administration to establish a new Presidential Treaty Commission; abolish the BIA and passage of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Barrick Gold blocks Western Shoshone access to ceremonial grounds

Barrick Gold has turned sacred Mount Tenabo into a construction site, blocking Western Shoshone from their sacred mountain and ceremonial grounds

By Brenda Norrell

CRESCENT VALLEY, Nev. - Barrick Gold is bulldozing the Western Shoshone sacred mountain of Mount Tenabo. Barrick construction crews blocked access to Western Shoshone ceremonial grounds this week with heavy machinery and pipes. Western Shoshone had planned a ceremony on Mount Tenabo, where the sweatlodge is located.

"Right now I am sitting here crying. The mining company is ripping out our hearts and guts," Shoshone elder Joyce McDade said today.

"We went to our scared site to build our Arbor, for the ceremonial gathering on Sunday. We couldn't drive in to deliver the materials for the boys to build the Arbor. The Canadian mining company shut us out, by putting big heavy waterpipes in alongside of our sweatlodge."

Western Shoshone said they will still hold a ceremony on Sunday, at a location to be announced. All are welcome. Western Shoshone ask for help and support.

Western Shoshone protest Barrick Gold on sacred Mount Tenabo


By Brenda Norrell

Photos by Lisa Wolf (Update at end of article)

CRESCENT VALLEY, Newe Sogobi (Nevada) -- While most Americans enjoyed Thanksgiving this week, Western Shoshone protested the devastation on their sacred Mount Tenabo, as Barrick Gold ripped out pine trees by the roots on this ceremonial mountain for gold mining.

As Barrick Gold continues its practice of genocide, targeting Indigenous Peoples territories around the world, Barrick is destroying Mount Tenabo for one of the United States largest open pit gold mines. The Cortez Hills Expansion Project is at the flank of the mountain where Shoshone carry out sweatlodges and other ceremonies. (See protest photos at http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com )

Shoshone called for help and an immediate encampment to protect sacred Mount Tenabo.

Barrick Gold ready to carve up Western Shoshone sacred mountain

Barrick Gold, coring out mountains around the world for small amounts of gold, is ready to carve the sacred mountain of the Western Shoshone into a crater, with cyanide leaching

By Brenda Norrell

CRESCENT VALLEY, Nev. -- The U.S. Department of Interior, through its Bureau of Land Management, has approved one of the largest open pit cyanide heap leach gold mines in the United States on the flank of Mount Tenabo, an area well-known for its spiritual and cultural importance to the Western Shoshone. Western Shoshone, Timbisha Shoshone and the Great Basin Resource Watch filed a complaint today in federal court to halt the desecration.

Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann said, "The destruction of the water is like the destruction of the blood of the earth; you are destroying life of the earth and the people and wildlife that depend on it. Dewatering is taking the life of future generations. Water is sacred, all life depends on it.

User login