join Tohono O’odham in solidarity at border summit
By Brenda Norrell
XAVIER DISTRICT, TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION, Ariz. -- Indigenous
at the Border Summit of the Americas opposed a border
fence that will separate Indian communities in their
ancestral territories and contribute to the Bush administration’s
plan for corporate profiteering.
Indigenous called for a halt to the militarization,
oppression and psychological terrorism created by the
military industrial complex along the US/Mexico border.
the northern border united with Tohono O’odham from
the southern border and demanded a halt to the militarization
of their lands by the US Border Patrol, National Guard
and federal agents.
Maracle, representing the Women Title Holders, said
Mohawks from the north are ready to support the Tohono
O’odham in the south “by any means necessary.”
“We are directed
under our law to go to the aid of others and not just
sit back and watch the devastation,” Maracle said, adding
that the proposed border fence would upset the natural
fence goes up, this nation will see natural disasters
like it has not seen before. It will disrupt nature
and the natural order.”
Summit of the Americas opposed the border fence and
the US Senate’s passage of the multi-billion dollar
Secure Fence Act of 2006, during the Border Summit Aug.
29 – Oct. 1.
another “Berlin Wall,” International Indian Treaty Council
member Bill Means said Indian people would not allow
the United States to violate federal laws protecting
American Indians, sacred sites and the environment.
Those include the Native American Grave Protection and
Repatriation Act and American Indian Religious Freedom
If the US
attempts to continue with its policy of ignoring federal
law to build the fence, Means said the government of
Mexico will be called on to demand that the US follow
its own laws and issue an environmental impact statement
before building the fence.
Indian people would not sit by and allow the US to carry
out the mandate of the US to disregard laws to violate
Security waived environmental and other laws in 2005
to complete the border fence in Southern California.
Kumeyaay said it would allow the US to “plow though”
the burial places of their ancestors.)
summit, Angelita Ramon, mother of Bennett Patricio,
Jr., 18-year-old Tohono O’odham, described how her son
was ran over and killed by the Border Patrol. Ramon
described the harassment followed when they began to
investigate the details of his death and whether it
was an accident. The family has filed suit against the
Border Patrol and United States. Ramon said the case
was transferred to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
in San Francisco, since justice was impossible in the
high court in Tucson, Arizona.
Tohono O’odham who puts out water for migrants on tribal
lands, challenged the Tohono O’odham Nation to become
morally responsible and not continue to allow migrants
to die in the desert from dehydration. On tribal land,
Baboquivari District has one of the highest rates of
deaths for migrants.
“No one should
be allowed to die for want of a drink of water,” Wilson
said, pointing out that his individual effort comes
after humanitarian groups were halted by the tribe from
coming on tribal land to render aid.
at the summit called for a halt to corporate welfare,
including contracts to Boeing to build the border fence
and contracts to Halliburton’s Kellogg, Brown and Root
to build migrant prisons.
testimony, indigenous said the militarization and occupation
of Indigenous lands are in direct violation of Indigenous
Peoples’ rights to economic, political, social and cultural
control of their lands.
halt to trade policies, which are leading to mass starvation
and unemployment in the Americas, the summit called
for reforms of the North American Free Trade Agreement
and other trade agreements.
summit, Tohono O’odham described how Border Patrol intrude
into the homes of elderly O’odham without permission,
hold people at gunpoint and ask for papers and occupy
and throw garbage in sacred sites, including Baboquivari
Peaks, the sacred place of the Creator I’itoi.
Red Crow sang the all-time favorite, “Custer Died for
Your Sins,” and Keith Secola performed another crowd
favorite, “Indian Kars,” during their outdoor concert
on tribal land.
showed a film work in progress of the genocide of American
Indians. The first in the series is focused on the genocide
by missions and gold miners in the state of California.
It also describes the militia who collected bounties
paid the state and federal governments for Indian scalps
and Indian heads. It further documents how small pox
blankets were given to Indians in California during
the ongoing era of genocide.
called for a halt to subsidized and genetically modified
seeds, including corn and grain that have decimated
local, state and federal governments were told to recognize
the international rights of Indigenous Peoples as upheld
by the United Nations, treaty rights, and the sovereignty
of American Indians. Further governments were told to
obtain prior permission before entering onto or engaging
in construction or development on indigenous lands.
out that the fragile desert ecosystem and all of its
creatures will be impacted, Maracle said, “The environmentalists
should be up in arms.”
he was directed by the Women Title Holders to attend
the summit as a representative, because Native people
face the same intrusions and violations of human rights
at the northern border.
Title Holders said in a statement, “The colonial government
has imposed tribal and band council systems which are
not supported by our people. Under international law
we have a right to our nationality and cannot be arbitrarily
denied that right.”
the right of passage of Indigenous Peoples at the Southern
Border, the statement of the Women Title Holders said
Native people, by traditional and federal law, have
the right of passage at the Northern Border.
the Red Card indicates that a person is a Haudenosaunee/Six
Nations Iroquois of Turtle Island. According to the
Two Row Wampum Agreement, at all times we are free to
pass and repass by land or inland navigation [or by
air] onto our territories, that we are free to carry
on trade and commerce with each other, that we shall
not pay any duty or import whatever, that we are free
to hunt and fish anywhere on our vast territory and
that we shall have free passage over all toll roads
Summit opposed anti-Indian legislation in Arizona, including
Prop 103 English-only, Prop 200 voter identification
and Prop 300 proof of citizenship for services.
was organized by Tohono O’odham Mike Flores and facilitated
by the International Indian Treaty Council members,
including Bill Means, Tony Gonzales and Jimbo Simmons.
was live on the radio in the Tucson area, and live on
the Internet, with listeners responding around the world.
After processing, the audio files will be available
in the archives of Earth Cycles: