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

Profiteering from misery: Private prison scams target American Indians

Profiteering from misery: Alaskan Natives' private migrant prison for profit is disturbing trend in violation of the traditional teachings of Native Americans

Photo by Ofelia Rivas

By Brenda Norrell

Photo: Outdoor migrant detention center on Tohono O'odham land, where temperatures can reach 116 degrees in summer, known as 'The Cage." Photo by Ofelia Rivas.

TUCSON -- Native Americans say the disturbing trend of profiteering from foul and abusive private migrant prisons by American Indian Nations violates traditional teachings to honor the sacredness of life and all humanity.
The San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation has planned a migrant prison in secret for years. Recently, outcry from neighbors at Sahuarita, Ariz., halted the plan. However, a second site selected in secret is east of Three Points, Ariz. and has not been made public.

Navajo Generating Station: 'Lets put it in our backyard'

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- In a sudden change of heart, the editor of the Arizona Daily Starr said he would like to offer his neighborhood for the Navajo Generating Station.
After encouraging the EPA to forget about new clean air standards, he said he realized that this was an act of environmental racism. He said he realized that his desire to continue this polluting power plant on the Navajo Nation was wrong.

Faking the News

By Brenda Norrell

SKY CITY, Acoma Pueblo, N.M. -- Where were the news reporters during the 7th Southwest Uranium Forum? Only two people identified themselves as news reporters at the gathering, a correspondent for Washington Post and another from the Four Corners Free Press.

Where was the American Indian media? Where were the Native American newspapers and radio stations?

Recently, Associated Press and the Arizona Republic were quick to attack environmentalists by rewriting the press releases of politicians and corporations. But where were their reporters when Indigenous Peoples gathered to tell their stories of how uranium mining, and the radioactive waste strewn and left behind, caused the deaths of their children, parents, brothers and sisters?

Indigenous Uranium Forum, Acoma Pueblo Live

Streaming live video: Indigenous Uranium Forum
Acoma Pueblo

By Brenda Norrell

ACOMA PUEBLO, N.M. -- The Indigenous Uranium Forum will be broadcast live Thursday, Oct. 22, at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time, through Saturday noon. Earthcycles www.earthcycles.net will provide live coverage, carrying the voices of Indigenous uranium victims to the world. Acoma Pueblo and Havasupai leaders join Anishinabe Winona LaDuke at the forum. Uranium victims and activists will speak from Pueblo, Navajo, Goshute and Lakota lands, along with Indigenous Peoples from Bolivia, Canada and Alaska.

Indigenous Peoples Southern Border Rights Campaign

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- In the new Southern Border Rights Campaign, the Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras/Indigenous Alliance Without Borders, is working toward national guidelines to ensure border rights for Indigenous Peoples in their homelands, from California to Texas.

Ward Churchill Benefit for Traditional O'odham Resistance

by Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- Activist Ward Churchill will speak at a benefit for the traditional O'odham resisting oppression and abuse by US Border Patrol agents and protesting the construction of the US/Mexico border wall in their traditional homeland.
Ofelia Rivas, founder of the O'odham VOICE against the Wall, said funds raised at the benefit will support the struggles of the O'odham living on both sides of the border, on O'odham lands in southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.
Rivas points out that the US border wall construction has resulted in the unearthing of O'odham ancestors, in violation of spiritual laws and federal laws. The wall is now a barrier to annual sacred pilgrimages of the O'odham.
"The wall has destroyed the sacred resting places of our ancestors and has closed our ceremonial routes," Rivas said.

Absurd one-sided news coverage of the so-called 'ban'

By Brenda Norrell

The amazing part of the one-sided news coverage of the so-called Hopi Tribal Council ban on environmentalists, which the Navajo president supported, is how few news reporters were even aware of the large number of Hopi and Navajo environmental organizations and individual activists.
The majority of reporters failed to even contact Hopi and Navajo environmentalists, people actually defending the land (with every dime that they have.)

John Redhouse: Hate crimes and uranium mining

When longtime Navajo activist John Redhouse speaks of the hate crimes against American Indians in northwest New Mexico, he knows what he is talking about. He has lived it.

Redhouse, who has lived with the racism in the Navajo bordertown of Farmington, N.M., writes about the recent hate crimes by non-Indians against homeless Indians in Grants. Redhouse said the recent racially motivated beatings began after Mount Taylor was designated as a Traditional Cultural Property.

In demand at Internet radio: Zapatistas and border rights

By Brenda Norrell

Internet radio offers a new vehicle for the struggles and victories of Indigenous Peoples. The rise in popularity is an indicator of a new demand in news. The Zapatistas and border rights are among the most downloaded audios at Censored News Blog Radio. The rise in listeners shows that people are not only depending on Internet radio more, but it is providing a way to hear the voices of people censored by the mainstream media.

Zapatistas' Subcomandante Marcos' talk has been the number one download at Censored News since he spoke at Digna Rabia. Ben Carnes, fasting for Leonard Peltier, is now the second most frequently downloaded audio.

Western Shoshone, Tohono O'odham, Akimel O'otham and Yaqui, speaking on the Yucca Mountain dump, land rights, prisoner abuse, border rights, racism and Border Patrol abuses, are collectively the most in demand topics.

Here's the top downloads at Censored News, recorded with Earthcycles, www.earthcycles.net, always free:

Hopi and Navajo environmentalists galvanized by politicians' ban

Updated Oct. 4, 2009

Vernon Masayesva, Hopi, reveals that the Hopi Tribal Council has been taken over by a pro-Peabody Coal faction. Further, Masayesva reveals that the Hopi Tribal Council hired Tina May, former senior editor at the Arizona Republic, as its press officer. Now, the Arizona Republic is publishing one-sided, biased press release coverage by May.

Already this week, the Associated Press' dark and biased coverage was revealed in "Lazy journalists are the darlings of the corporations."
AP published press releases of politicians and corporations in its coverage of the Hopi Tribal Council's ban on environmentalists, with support from Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr. AP insulted environmentalists without interviewing the Hopi and Navajo environmental organizations and Hopis and Navajos living on the land.
Peabody Coal's use of a tribal attorney to carry out its dirty work is the same tactic Peabody Coal used originally to seize Black Mesa for coal mining, by way of attorney John Boyden, who worked for Peabody and the Hopi Tribe.
Please read this week's full statements by Hopis and Navajos at http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

By Brenda Norrell

When the Hopi Tribal Council banned "environmentalists," and Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr., agreed, Navajos and Hopis defending the land were first shocked and appalled. Galvanized by the attack, Navajo and Hopi defenders of the land and cultural ways responded.

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