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Updated 24 May 2004

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Participants in Native Nations Rise gather outside of the headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on March 10, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Still Waiting on Dakota Access Decision
Indianz.com  -  18 SEP 2018

The Trump administration has yet to release its revised Dakota Access Pipeline decision, more than two weeks after it was announced in federal court.

No one -- except for a few people in Washington, D.C. -- have seen it. That includes the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose leaders and citizens began the fight against the controversial crude oil pipeline more than two years ago, turning the #NoDAPL movement into an international cause....
Ho-Chunk Nation General Council Approves Rights of Nature Constitutional Amendment
First Tribal Nation to Advance Rights-Based Constitutional Framework to Protect Nature

Inspire.com  -  19 SEP 2018

MERCERSBURG, PA: On Saturday, the General Council of the Ho-Chunk Nation voted overwhelmingly – 86.9% in favor – to amend their tribal constitution to enshrine the Rights of Nature. The Ho-Chunk Nation is the first tribal nation in the United States to take this critical step. A vote of the full membership will follow.

The amendment establishes that “Ecosystems, natural communities, and species within the Ho-Chunk Nation territory possess inherent, fundamental, and inalienable rights to naturally exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve.” Further it prohibits frac sand mining, fossil fuel extraction, and genetic engineering as violations of the Rights of Nature.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), with its International Center for the Rights of Nature, assisted members of the Ho-Chunk Nation in drafting the amendment....
Jenna Loring (left), the aunt of Ashley HeavyRunner Loring, cries with her cousin Lissa Loring, during a traditional blanket dance on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana. The 'dance' was held to raise awareness for the disappearance of Ashley, who went missing in 2017.   David Goldman/AP
Feds Pledge More Funds to Target Violence Against Native American Women
For decades, Native American women have been disappearing across both the US and Canada with little law enforcement recognition or media coverage. The US Justice Department plans to do more.

by Mary Hudetz, AP; The Christian Science Monitor - 19 SEP 2018
Albuquerque, N.M. -- The US Justice Department will double the funding it grants tribes for public safety programs and crime victims as it seeks to tackle the high-rates of violence against Native American women, a top official said.

In an interview, the Justice Department's third-highest ranking official told The Associated Press that officials are seeking, in part, to address the issue with more than $113 million in public safety funding for 133 tribes and Alaska Native villages that will be announced Wednesday, and another $133 million that will be awarded in the coming weeks to tribes to help serve Native American crime victims...
Protesters disrupt construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in early September. Trespassing near pipelines is now a felony offense in Louisiana, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Travis Lux/WWNO
Tougher Laws On Pipeline Protests Face Test In Louisiana
by Travis Lux, NPR  -  19 SEP 2018

After a high-profile campaign to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, a number of states moved to make it harder to protest oil and gas projects. Now in Louisiana, the first felony arrests of protesters could be a test case of these tougher laws as opponents vow a legal challenge.

The controversy here is over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, the last leg of the Dakota Access. If completed, it will bring crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, through Louisiana, where it will be exported abroad....
The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service will host three public meetings as part of the planning process for the Bears Ears National Monument. Courtesy photo
BLM Hosts Public Meetings for Draft Bears Ears National Monument Plans
Comments will help shape management of monument

by The Journal, The Durango Herald  -  17 SEP 2018

The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service will host three public meetings in Utah as part of the planning process for the Bears Ears National Monument.

The draft management plans for the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek units and associated environmental impact statement were released for public review on Aug. 17.

More information about the planning effort may be found on the BLM ePlanning project page at https://goo.gl/uLrEae.

The meetings are:

Oct. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., San Juan High School, 311 N. 100 E, Blanding.
Oct. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m., Bluff Community Center, 190 N. Third St. E, Bluff.
Oct. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m., White Horse High School, Utah Highway 262, Montezuma Creek.

Residents may speak with resource specialists, ask questions and submit written comments. Written comments also may be submitted through Nov. 15 via mail or email.

The BLM initiated planning to prepare management plans for the Bears Ears National Monument Indian Creek unit and for the Shash Jáa unit, which is co-managed with the Manti La-Sal National Forest.

Since then, the BLM and the Forest Service have worked with agencies to develop management plans and a draft EIS reflecting input from stakeholders and the public. The plans include options addressing management issues brought forward during scoping.

People who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at
1-(800) 877-8339. Replies are provided during normal business hours....

People drum during a rally celebrating a recent federal court ruling against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Vancouver, Sept. 8, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Ottawa Looks at Having Retired Judge Help Guide Renewed Pipeline Review Process
Ottawa looking for some high-level legal advice to get Trans Mountain project back on track

by Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press  -  17 SEP 2018

The federal government is shopping around for a retired federal judge to help guide a renewed consultation with Indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The Federal Court of Appeal last month quashed the approval given to the project, saying the consultation with Indigenous communities wasn't good enough and criticizing the lack of attention paid to the environmental impact of increased tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia.

The Liberals are still considering whether to appeal the decision, but at the same time are looking at how they can do what the court said was lacking in order to get the pipeline work back underway.

An official close to the plan told the Canadian Press one option being closely considered is hiring of a former senior judge, possibly a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, to advise the government on what would constitute meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities to satisfy the conditions of the court.

The Liberals intend to announce the next steps in their pipeline plan before the end of September....
Gary Red Owl, right, a descendant of Santee Chief Cut Nose, receives an apology letter from Jeff Bolton, the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Mayo Clinic, at the Ohiya casino and Resort on Friday, Aug. 31.    Ryan Soderlin / The World-Herald
Hansen: After More Than 150 years, the Mayo Clinic Finally Apologizes to a Nebraska Tribe   
by Matthew Hansen, Omaha World-Herald  -  17 SEP 2018

SANTEE, Neb. — The important looking man walks to the front of the room. In the crowd, the important woman and the 50 others fall silent.

The crowd is mostly in jeans and T-shirts, including several that say, “Exiled Indian.”

The Important Man is wearing pressed slacks and an ironed dress shirt. He glances at his notes and clears his throat.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be here with you today,” he says.

The Important Man’s name is Jeffrey Bolton. He’s a bigwig at the most famous hospital in the United States. He flew on an airplane from Rochester, Minnesota, to this Santee Sioux Reservation in rural northeast Nebraska to say what has gone unsaid for the past 156 years.

The Important Woman sitting in the crowd is named LeAnn Red Owl. She and many Red Owls in the audience today are the descendants of the great warrior Marpiya Okinajin, commonly known as Cut Nose. These Santee Dakota people hitched rides and drove in used cars from as far away as Omaha to be inside this casino conference room.

They are here to hear what they have needed to hear for the last seven generations since the Mayo Clinic treated their ancestor’s body like a hunter might treat a deer head he mounts on his wall.

“The Dakota people and the Mayo Clinic are connected,” Bolton says. “History can also bind us in broken ways. We acknowledge our role in that broken relationship.”...
Desert Mountain Energy Corp. recently leased more than 3,000 acres near Petrified Forest National Park. The company, which already leases 37,000 acres of state land, plans to expand its existing helium operation.    File photo by Jesse Stawnyczy/Cronkite News
Helium Producer Leases Land near Petrified Forest; Environmentalists Worry about Harm to Animals, Water
by Chris McCrory, Cronkite News  -  15 SEP 2018

PHOENIX – A Canadian energy company will add to its helium operation with more than 3,000 acres of newly leased federal land near Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona. But an environmental group and Arizona U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran worry that operations could threaten key water sources and at least two endangered species.

Desert Mountain Energy Corp. of Vancouver purchased two oil and gas leases auctioned by the Bureau of Land Management late last week, paying $2 an acre. The company already leases nearly 37,000 acres of state land in the nearby Holbrook Basin, where the company has found seven helium deposits so far. Helium is critical to manufacturing, technology and aerospace industries.

Arizona does not have a rich history of natural gas deposits, but the oil and natural gas rights to land in the basin are a hot commodity to energy developers who believe “Arizona is the Saudi Arabia of helium.”...
"Too Precious to Mine" Uranium Mining in Havasupai Homelands
International Uranium Film Festival Returns to Dine' Nation and Region
posted by Brenda Norrell, Censored News  -  15 SEP 2018

Media Contact: International Uranium Film Festival Media Contact:
Anna Marie Rondon, Executive Director Norbert G. Suchanek, General Director New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute International Uranium Film Festival 505-906-2671 (c) info@uraniumfilmfestival.org
nmsjei@gmail.com  www.uraniumfilmfestival.org

Santa Fe Media Contact:
Susan Gordon
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment 505-577-8438

The issue of nuclear power is not only an issue of the Navajo Nation, who suffered for decades because of uranium mining. All people should be informed about the risks of uranium, nuclear weapons and the whole nuclear fuel chain, states International Uranium Film Festival’s Director Norbert G. Suchanek. In an effort to keep people informed and aware, particularly during this critical time of escalating nuclear threats, the International Uranium Film Festival returns to the U.S. Southwest.

Following screenings in Berlin Germany, the U.S. Southwest tour of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival will begin at the Navajo Nation Museum with screenings in Window Rock, Navajo Nation, USA scheduled for November 29th and 30th and December 1st. The Festival travels to Flagstaff, AZ for December 2nd screenings, then on to Albuquerque, NM for December 6th screenings. Grants, NM will host December 7th screenings with the Festival’s touring closing in Santa Fe on December 9th.

We are currently selecting the films which will comprise the International Uranium Film Festival. We especially encourage Native American and women filmmakers to send their films about uranium mining or any nuclear issue to the Festival. The selected films will be shown not only in the Navajo Nation Museum but also in venues in Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Grants and Santa Fe. The best productions will receive the Uranium Film Festival´s award in Window Rock. For additional information on the submission process, contact Norbert G. Suchanek, General Director at: info@uraniumfilmfestival.org...
Activist Cedar George-Parker addresses a crowd protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain Pipeline in British Columbia in April. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
The Private Intelligence Firm Keeping Tabs on Environmentalists
When big oil companies want to monitor activists, they turn to Welund.
by Adam Federman, Mother Jones  -  14 SEP 2018

The flyer shows a mob of balaclava-clad activists dressed in black, lobbing bottles at an undefined target. They could be protesting anything, but for attendees at a petroleum industry conference in Houston earlier this year, it was pretty clear what the violent demonstrators were targeting: the fossil fuel industry.

The scary image of protesters was distributed by Welund North America, a private intelligence firm that promises to help oil and gas operators mitigate the threat posed by an increasingly sophisticated activist movement. On the back of the flyer an anonymous testimonial reads, “Since subscribing to Welund we’ve dramatically increased our ability to pre-empt and better manage activist engagements and minimize reputational damage.” Logos—presumably of Welund’s clients—listed on the flyer include a who’s who of Big Oil and Gas: Royal Dutch Shell, Kinder Morgan, Duke Energy, Dominion, and Chevron. Welund has even secured contracts with the Canadian government.

In the past year, Welund has presented at several energy industry conferences and has also partnered with the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association—or TIPRO—to promote its intelligence-gathering services. The company bills itself as a leader in “understanding the activist threat” and in the past has provided intelligence on social movements and activist groups, including Greenpeace, Occupy Wall Street, and animal rights advocates.

Welund and its top North American officials ignored repeated requests for interviews and did not to respond to detailed written questions. But publicity materials and other documents reviewed by Mother Jones shed light on the company’s strategies....

The company depicts the environmental movement as one of the energy industry’s most dangerous adversaries—comparable to the challenges posed by international industrial espionage. “What we’re talking about here is an existential threat,” Moran told the audience of oil and gas executives in Houston....
Rick Bowmer/AP
Trump’s Message to Tribes: Let Them Eat Yellowcake
The president’s Bears Ears decision has toxic implications.
by Jacqueline Keeler, Mother Jones  -  17 DEC 2017

This story was originally published by High Country News, and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Uranium, it’s now part of Navajo DNA. With over 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation, people living near these mines are exposed daily to radiation exposure at a rate several times higher than normal background radiation. Last week, President Donald Trump announced he was summarily reducing the Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent, thereby opening archaeologically rich sites to uranium mining.

Over the past two months, at administrative chapter houses adjacent to Bears Ears, 98 percent of Navajos voted in support of the national monument designation. These voters are likely voting for more than the protection of sacred sites. Many are likely also there for a say in the future of the uranium mining that has plagued Navajo communities since World War II, when the development of the atom bomb created a demand for yellowcake.

From the 1940s to the 1980s, 30 million tons of uranium were extracted from mines on the Navajo Nation. Today, more than 500 abandoned uranium mines remain on the reservation, which stretches 27,000 square miles from the south rim of the Grand Canyon past Gallup, New Mexico, and north to the San Juan River in Utah, poisoning the water and carrying in the dust. Only one mine has been cleaned up. It is estimated that total cleanup will cost between $4 billion to $6 billion and could take a century to complete. A recent study by researchers from the University of New Mexico found 85 percent of Navajo homes had uranium contamination, and Navajos living near these mines have higher levels of uranium in their bones than 95 percent of the American population. Even infants have been found to have uranium in their urine.

In a penetrating series of articles on uranium mining’s legacy in the Navajo Nation, published by the Arizona Republic in 2014, Lillie Lane, the Navajo Nation’s Environmental Protection Agency outreach coordinator, told the newspaper the radiation has tainted their chromosomes. “I think we are still in the infant stages of seeing what the impacts are in the gene pool of the Navajo people,” she said.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Trump have tried not to portray the shrinking of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante as energy issues. In his announcement at the Utah Capitol steps in Salt Lake City, Trump did not mention “energy dominance,” a favorite phrase. Zinke told reporters prior to the announcement his review was “not about energy.”

Maybe that’s true. In fact, a gaffe the previous week, in which Trump used a ceremony honoring the Navajo Code Talkers for their service as a chance to take a political swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., by again calling her “Pocahontas,” reminded Indian Country that this wasn’t all about energy.

Hiding behind the fig leaf of “local” concerns, Trump expressed outrage at how the monument is allegedly preventing rural families in San Juan County “from enjoying their outdoor activities.”

This turn of phrase inevitably brings to mind Ryan Bundy, son of the Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who led an armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management, for which he and several of his sons are presently being tried on federal charges in Nevada. Ryan and his brother Ammon famously led a second armed takeover in 2016 of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and have also been active in Utah. Ryan led armed ATV riders in 2014 over ancient Puebloan villages in San Juan County during a protest organized by County Commissioner Phil Lyman in protest of the closure of an illegally created road through the ruins. In April, Zinke announced the opening of some of these sites (although not the trail Bundy protested) to motorized traffic, citing the right of people with disabilities to have access to them.

Lyman (who was convicted of a misdemeanor for his role in the ATV ride) was on stage with Trump last week for the announcement. Trump flattered Utah Republican leaders who flanked him onstage, including Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Rob Bishop. All have been staunch opponents of Bears Ears, a groundbreaking monument proposed by five Indigenous nations: Navajo Nation, Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute and Uintah and Ouray Ute.

So in that way, the monument isn’t about energy. But in another way it is, especially when it comes to uranium. During Zinke’s review of 27 national monuments, the Utah legislature submitted a 49-page comment claiming Bears Ears National Monument would destroy the state’s uranium industry.

On Friday, the Washington Post broke the story that Energy Fuels Resources, owners of the Daneros Uranium Mine and the White Mesa Uranium Mill, had lobbied the Interior Department to reduce the monument because it impeded their business interests in the area, effectively refuting Zinke and Trump’s claims energy interests did not play a role. In a May 2017 letter to the Interior, the company’s chief operating officer, Mark Chalmers, urged the monument be reduced because there are “many known uranium and vanadium deposits located within the newly created (Bears Ears National Monument) that could provide valuable energy and mineral resources in the future.”

The monument has many inactive uranium mines and unused mining leases that are not being used due to a poor market for uranium. But one mill, the White Mesa Uranium Mill, is still of concern....
Good riddance to San Francisco’s “Early Days” statue
The International Indian Treaty Council Celebrates Early Days Monument Removal
by Native News Online Staff - 14 SEP 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) celebrates a victory with the removal today of a racist statute known as the “Early Days Monument” depicting the colonization of California. The statute has been located at 147 Fulton Street in San Francisco, the site of the historic Ohlone village of Yelamu.

In a unanimous vote on the evening of September 12, the San Francisco Board of Appeals decided to deny the appeal made by one individual from the Sausalito area and to allow the statue’s removal as long demanded by Indigenous Peoples and organizations including the IITC. On hearing the decision, Bernadette Smith (Manchester Band of Pomo) stated, “My people are up here crying their hearts out and speaking their minds of things that matter. I am glad we are here today in solidarity, so that we can remove it as one people.”...
A couple embraces as authorities prepare to shut down the main Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in Cannon Ball, N.D.   (James MacPherson/AP)
Hey, Army Corps of Engineers—Show Us Your Work in Your DAPL Report
by Jeff Turrentine, NRDC - 14 SEP 2018

Here’s a good-governance aphorism for the ages: If you want to foster an atmosphere of trust and transparency—and if you truly have nothing to hide—then don’t hide stuff.

It’s such an obvious point. And yet it’s one that has somehow managed to elude the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

So what’s the Corps hiding? Its reassessment of the potential environmental impacts of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, or DAPL, ordered by a federal judge in 2017. (You probably recall the massive demonstrations and international outcry that took place beforehand.) Under the terms of the court order, the Corps was instructed to reexamine whether a leak in the pipeline would pose a disproportionately high risk to the Standing Rock Sioux’s “distinct cultural practices”—which, in this case, include the ability of its 8,000 members to obtain food and water from the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.

Two weeks ago, the Corps finally took a step toward compliance—albeit insufficiently and insultingly. It released a two-page memo summarizing its reassessment but refused to release the actual report on which the memo is based, citing an ongoing “confidentiality review.” And the gist of this memo? We looked at the whole thing again more closely, Your Honor, just like you told us to. And we stand by our earlier assessment: It’s all good.

That’s it. No publicly available backup, no explanatory details, no further justification provided....
(NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Landowners Sue Bayou Bridge Pipeline over Land Seizure   
by Tristan Baurick, The Times-Picayune - 13 SEP 2018

The owners of an Atchafalaya River Basin property are suing the company building the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (https://topics.nola.com/tag/bayou%20bridge%20pipeline), claiming that Energy Transfer Partners illegally seized and damaged private land on the oil pipeline's route.

Filed in 16th District Court in St. Mary Parish on Wednesday (Sept. 12), the lawsuit challenges Energy Transfer's (https://www.energytransfer.com/) assertion that it has the right to take portions of private property to build the 163-mile pipeline. Energy Transfer has justified its use of expropriation, a process similar to eminent domain, by claiming the pipeline is in the public's interest.

Attorneys representing the owners of the 38-acre wetland property say the pipeline is "actually contrary to the public interest," noting Energy Transfer's history of spills and leaks with other pipelines, the oil industry's contribution to erosion on the Louisiana coast and global climate change.

"Bayou Bridge's attempt to expropriate this land is not only a violation of the rights of the hundreds of property owners who share a stake in these precious wetlands, but it's a grave environmental threat to this vital ecosystem," Theda Larson Wright, one of the landowners, said in a statement.

Energy Transfer did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

The lawsuit comes two days after Energy Transfer agreed to halt construction on the property, which the owners say was damaged by tree removal and other pipeline construction activities. The agreement was reached Monday, just before a judge was scheduled to hear an injunction property owners had filed against Energy Transfer. The injunction asserted that the company illegally trespassed and began construction without formally starting the expropriation process.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which is part of the legal team representing the landowners, claims Energy Transfer is not the proper entity to exercise land seizures for the public good, and did not undertake a "thorough, good faith effort to locate and negotiate with landowners as required by law before starting expropriation proceedings," CCR said in a statement....
© Getty images
San Francisco to Remove Divisive Native American Statue after Decades-Long Push from Activists
by Avery Anapol, The Hill - 13 SEP 2018

The San Francisco Board of Appeals voted unanimously on Wednesday to remove a controversial statue that activists say is “racist” and demeaning to Native Americans.

The “Early Days” statue, which was erected in 1894, depicts a fallen Native American man at the feet of a Spanish cowboy and a missionary. The statue is one of five that comprise the Pioneer Monument in San Francisco, which commemorates the settling of the state.

“This has been a tough 30-plus years. But this is wonderful,” Dee Dee Ybarra, an Ohlone tribal leader, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Native American activists have pushed for decades to have the statue removed, an effort that saw renewed energy amid the nationwide debate over Confederate monuments. Critics have long said the sculpture inappropriately celebrates the oppression of Native American people.

The board’s vote on Wednesday overturned a decision not to remove the monument earlier this year. The city’s Arts Commission originally proposed removing it after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., which unfolded around the proposed removal of a Confederate statue....
Tara Sweeney, the newly-installed Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, poses with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at Department of the Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo: U.S. DOI
Trump Administration Takes Indian Country Back to Termination Era
Indianz.com  -  10 SEP 2018

Less than two months into the job, the new leader of the Bureau of Indian Affairs has set an ominous tone for the Trump administration's dealings with tribal nations.

Tara Sweeney, the recently-installed Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, issued a decision on Friday that paves the way for a reservation to be taken out of trust for the first time since the termination era. The victim in this age of self-determination and sovereignty is the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, whose homelands in Massachusetts are now on the chopping block.

But the People of the First Light aren't accepting Washington's dictate without a fight. An emergency council meeting is taking place at tribal headquarters on Monday to address what Chairman Cedric Cromwell described as an "unbelievably grave injustice.'

"We have been on this land for 12,000 years and we are not going anywhere," Cromwell declared after receiving the negative decision.

Key to the effort is legislation in Congress which would prevent the reservation from being taken out of trust. With the executive branch willing to walk away from any responsibilities, passage of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act appears to be the only hope for success.

“The decision by the Trump administration to move forward with denying the Mashpee Wampanoag a right to their ancestral homeland and to keep their reservation is an injustice," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), the sponsors of S.2628, said in a joint statement on Friday.

"America has a painful history of systematically ripping apart tribal lands and breaking its word," the lawmakers added. "We cannot repeat that history."...
Navajo and Hopi groups target Avenue Capital Group in New York City on September 10, 2018 over its interest in Navajo Generating Station. CREDIT: Tó Nizhóní Ání
Navajo Activists Converge on New York City to Send Anti-Coal Message to Billionaire Investor
Groups want investment in renewables, not dirty coal on Navajo Nation.   

by Mark Hand, Think Progress  -  11 SEP 2018

In a steady rain, more than a dozen Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe members protested Monday outside the New York City offices of Avenue Capital Group, a private equity firm that wants to purchase the coal-burning Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona.

They had traveled from their homes in northern Arizona to oppose the private equity firm’s proposed acquisition of NGS, the largest coal-fired power plant in the western United States, and to advocate for clean forms of energy in the Four Corners region.

The facility — which spews tons of the most hazardous air pollutants — was on its way to shutting down in 2019. But Avenue Capital Group’s interest in purchasing a majority stake in the plant has brought new life to the highly polluting facility.

The current operator of NGS — the Salt River Project — has suggested keeping the coal plant open past 2019 will result in losses exceeding $130 million annually. Avenue Capital Group likely could profit from its purchase of NGS only through some combination of federal subsidies and cuts to jobs, health, and safety protections, experts say....
Protesters demonstrate along Market Street at Fifth Street and Cyril Magnin Way before the Global Climate Action Summit led by Gov. Jerry Brown at Moscone Center. Activists say the fight against climate change should be given maximum urgency.    Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle
Climate Summit Protesters Demand a Place for Indigenous Voices in the Room
by Megan Cassidy and Ashley McBride, San Francisco Chronicle  -  11 SEP 2018

Hundreds of activists snarled commute-heavy traffic, picketed or simply sat in yoga poses outside the Parc 55 hotel in San Francisco’s clogged downtown Market Street area Monday morning, the first weekday leg of what promises to be a rocky series of protests against this week’s Global Climate Action Summit.

Monday’s main goal was to deliver an open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Climate and Forest Task Force, demanding that local and indigenous protest representatives be given a seat at the table. They were partially successful: About 10 of them were allowed inside the hotel, where the task force was meeting, to read the missive out loud.

“I think the tone was still somber” after the letter was delivered, said Cindy Wiesner, national coordinator for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, one of the organizations participating in the demonstrations. “The goal was to actually talk to Jerry Brown directly and, of course, that did not happen.”

The rally came two days after thousands of people marched through San Francisco to demand action on “climate, jobs and justice,” and three days before a scheduled march and “mass action” near Jessie Square between Market and Mission streets, near the Global Climate Action Summit at Moscone Center, as well as other actions throughout the week....
Ariel Begay disappeared in 2017. Her case highlights the many hurdles families of missing indigenous people face.
by Sonner Kehrt, The Outline - 10 SEP 2018

he first day that Jacqueline Whitman’s daughter didn’t come home, she wasn’t that worried. It was last summer, the Fourth of July. Twenty-six-year-old Ariel had headed out the day before with her boyfriend, who had picked her up at the three-bedroom house she shared with her mother, her grandfather, and five of her six siblings at the eastern edge of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. She called the next afternoon, telling Jacqueline she’d try to make it home for dinner. She didn’t, but she’d texted the family. (“You jerks,” it said. It was what she always affectionately called them.)

The second day that Ariel didn’t come home, she called her cousins, telling them she was in a town just off the reservation with some friends. But she didn’t call her sister Valya’s three-year-old son, which she usually did every day. On the third and fourth days that Ariel didn’t come home, she didn’t call anyone. And she wasn’t active on Facebook, which was highly unusual. She was always on Facebook. She didn’t respond to texts, and calls to her phone went straight to voicemail.

By the fifth day, Jacqueline was starting to panic. If Ariel didn’t come home that night, she decided, she was going to call the police. Valya made some posters with Ariel’s picture on them, but she didn’t put them up at first; she felt a little ridiculous. “She’s going to come home,” Valya kept thinking. “When Ariel comes home, she’s going to say, ‘Why did you do this? You’re silly.’”

But Ariel didn't come home....
As of 2016, the Navajo Generating Station was the 11th biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (Eflon/Flickr)
Navajo Travel to NY to Protest Coal Plant
Public News Service - 10 SEP 2018

PAGE, Ariz. – Members of the Navajo Nation are in New York City Monday to call attention to the fate of the biggest coal power plant in the West.

The Navajo Generating Station in Northern Arizona is set to close next year. But New York investment firm Avenue Capital Group is considering buying it.

The coal plant provides hundreds of jobs to Navajo people and is a major source of revenue for the tribe. This is critical on the Navajo reservation where unemployment is around 45 percent. So, many Navajo support the sale and continued operation of the plant.

But Nicole Horseherder, executive director of the Navajo environmental group To Nizhoni Ani, says the coal plant has led to air and water pollution, and health consequences for her neighbors.

"I think it's important for people out there to know that the type of jobs and the type of revenue we need is one that doesn't kill people and doesn't kill the environment,” she states. “So to those people that are concerned about the jobs and revenues, we are also concerned."...
Agreement Halts Pipeline on One Louisiana Tract
by Kevin McGill, AP, Midland Reporter-Telegram (MRT)  -  10 SEP 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The company building an oil pipeline through environmentally sensitive south Louisiana agreed Monday to temporarily halt the project on one piece of private land while a legal dispute plays out.

Environmentalists hailed agreement, saying it will delay completion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline at least until after a November hearing on company efforts to obtain the property through a process called expropriation. However, Energy Transfer Partners in Dallas, the majority owner of the project, said in an email that the agreement will not affect the timing of the project's completion. It has said in court records it expects to complete construction by October.

The agreement announced in St. Martin Parish followed the filing of a state court lawsuit by landowner Peter Aalestad. It said evidence showed Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC had already begun tree-clearing and other construction preparation without obtaining consent....
Chief Stanley Charles Grier of the Piikani Nation hands over a declaration to Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Pat Kenney.  Nate Hegyi/Mountain West News Bureau
Native Americans Propose Change To Yellowstone Landmark Names
by Nate Hegyi, NPR  -  09 SEP 2018
Heard on All Things Considered

On a cold January day more than a century ago, U.S. troops massacred nearly 200 Piikani people on a Montana river bank. Most were women, children and old folks.

"It's hard to imagine," Chief Stanley Charles Grier of the Piikani Nation in Alberta, Canada said.

The people killed were his ancestors and accounts of the massacre are brutal. Soldiers killed a mother breastfeeding her baby. They shot sick people hiding under blankets.

"Survivors were basically executed by axes," Grier says. "That's pretty barbaric."

The man who helped perpetrate this massacre was Army Lt. Gustavus Doane. He later went on to explore parts of Yellowstone and his compatriots named Mount Doane after him. The name stuck, and Grier wants to change it.

"Lieutenant Doane led that attack and fully implemented the massacre," he says. "We feel that's an atrocity to humanity and it's essentially a war crime."...
Ft. Belknap. Photo: Todd Klassy
Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community File Suit Against Keystone XL
Native American Rights Fund  -  10 SEP 2018

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) and the Fort Belknap Indian Community (Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes) in coordination with their counsel, the Native American Rights Fund, on September 10, 2018, sued the Trump Administration in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Great Falls Division, for numerous violations of the law in the Keystone XL pipeline permitting process. The Tribes are asking the court to declare the review process in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and to rescind the illegal issuance of the Keystone XL pipeline presidential permit.

On March 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of State granted TransCanada’s permit application and issued it a presidential permit to construct and operate the Keystone XL Pipeline. This decision reversed two previous administrative decisions and was done without any public comment or environmental analysis....
A Louisiana Court has granted an injunction against Energy Transfer Partners (ETP)
shutting down illegal construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in part of the Atachafalaya Basin.

We have been tased, pepper sprayed, put into choke holds and beaten with batons to stop this illegal construction that ETP was carrying out despite not having an easement for the land.

Now a court has validated our claims and has banned all ETP employees and workers from the site and banned any form of construction activities.

While this is a major victory, construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline continues in other parts of the Atchafalaya Basin. We won't stop until completely shut down the Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

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JOIN US on the frontlines by emailing resist@nobbp.org with your name, phone number, why you want to come to camp, when you will be arriving and how long you plan on staying. We will respond with the directions to camp and what to bring.

#NoBayouBridge #StopETP #Resist

APRIL 2016

Social and Human Rights Questions Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: Information concerning indigenous issues requested by Economic and Social Council, Report of the Secretary-General, UN Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights.