Steve Sachs

Environmental Activities

        Jessica Corbett, "Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice": Mass Action Planned to Promote Clean Energy Economy, Organizers are demanding 'a massive, just transition to a 100 percent renewable economy that ensures safe and healthy communities, the right to organize for all workers, and millions of family-sustaining jobs,'" Common Dreams, May 24, 2018,, reported, "The Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) has announced its next mass mobilization: Advocates across the globe plan to take to the streets on September 8 to challenge the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda and encourage citizens and politicians alike to 'rise for climate, jobs, and justice.'
        The announcement comes as President Donald Trump and his appointees continue to wage war on national environmental regulations through rollback efforts that have been sharply condemned by environmental advocates, courts, and much of the public.
        With the upcoming mobilization, PCM said it 'aims to transform the energy of resistance into action by calling on leaders and elected officials to invest in real solutions to the climate crisis that prioritize the most impacted and vulnerable of our communities, like a massive, just transition to a 100 percent renewable economy that ensures safe and healthy communities, the right to organize for all workers, and millions of family-sustaining jobs.'
        The rallies and marches, said PCM national director Paul Getsos, are part of 'building power to bring about a new, clean energy economy,' as well as 'aclimate movement that is long lasting and sustainable.' Ahead of these events, various advocacy groups are highlighting how the climate crisis most severely impacts struggling communities.
        Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, emphasized the importance of elected officials following the lead of these communities, which 'means going beyond increasing temperatures, droughts, and rising sea levels; and recognizing that climate change is a threat multiplier for working families everywhere.'
        'Extreme weather, rising sea levels, chronic diseases like asthma that are made worse by pollution, and the lack of clean drinking water in our schools and communities all take a toll on working class, people of color, and poor communities,' noted Lenore Friedlaender of SEIU Local 32BJ.
        'We have the opportunity to create good jobs in wind, solar, and the renewable energy sector that move us to a healthier future and a more just society," she declared. "The time to act is now.'
        The mobilization will occur less than two months ahead of this year's midterm elections and just days before theGlobal Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, California, which will bring together "anyone who recognizes that climate change is an existential threat to humanity" to discuss achievements, ways to improve climate policies, and 'acall to action to nations to step up their ambition under the Paris Agreement.'
        This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

        Daily Kos reported, January 28, 2018,, "Climate activists will gather in Washington, D.C. on January 31 at 8pm (ET) to deliver the state of the climate movement. But you don't have to go all the way to D.C. to join us for Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance!
        Dedicated climate organizers all over the country are hosting watching parties."

        Bill McKibben, "3 Strategies to Get to a Fossil-Free America
        None of them rely on Washington to do anything useful.
        ByBill McKibben Twitter , From the Nation, February 12-19, 2018,, commented, in part, When the next phase of the US climate movement launches with anationally streamed rally at the end of the month, the wound-licking will be over. Yes, the Trump administration has upset any hope of a smooth and orderly transition to a new energy world. Yes, it’s pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement and opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Yes, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have made a mockery of hurricane victims and fire victims and flood victims, from San Juan to Montecito to Houston.
        But the fossil-fuel industry doesn’t hold all the high cards. We’ll start playing our own aces for a Fossil-Free United States on January 31, whenBernie Sanders and an all-star lineup brought together by that includes everyone from indigenous activist Dallas Goldtooth to NAACP organizer Jacqui Patterson to star youth climate organizer Varshini Prakash lay out a coordinated plan for the year ahead.
The basic outlines are pretty simple. None of the strategies rely on Washington’s doing anything useful. In fact, because DC has emerged as the fossil-fuel industry’s impregnable fortress, our strategies look everywhere else for progress. In every case, real momentum has emerged, even in the last few weeks."
        Here are the three stratagees discussed in the article:
        "Job 1: Push for a fast and just transition to renewable energy in cities and states."
        "Job 2: Stop new fossil-fuel projects."
        "Job 3: Cut off the flow of money to the fossil-fuel. industry."
        "The political saliency of the climate issue grows stronger too, especially as it becomes clear that it’s not some niche concern of affluent suburbanites with a weekend home in the country. Polling makes clear that African Americans and Latinos are the two groups most concerned about climate change, which makes sense since they’ve borne the brunt of the effects so far. (All it takes is a record rainstorm to find out who lives at the bottom of the hill.) These are also the groups taking the lead in climate organizing, giving it a new and vital energy.Vice, the CNN of the young, reported this month that “the next millennial trend is suing big oil for destructive climate change,” apparently replacing avocado toast.
        None of which means that the fight is won. Big Oil has had a big year, and they hold most of the levers in Washington. But they’re beginning to lose in a lot of other places—including in people’s hearts and minds. Destruction like that wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria; tragedy like that wrought by California’s fires and mudslides—it takes a toll. No lie lives forever, and 2018 may be the year that the most dangerous deceit in the planet’s history finally unravels for good. was engaged in a major campaign, in May 2018, to "stop fossil fuels: Build 100% Renewables," aimed at stopping all new coal oil and gas project, and switching to clean renewable energy. This includes numerous specific efforts incduding: #ThumaMina: Tell the Development Bank of Southern Africa to publicly commit to not funding the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant; End the age of coal in Africa!; #SolarXL: Resisting the Keystone Pipeline by building clean energy in the path of the pipeline; and - among many others - Unesco: protect culture not coal: askin Unesco to “Protect our priceless cultural sites from coal and climate change. Issue a statement calling for a stop to all fossil fuel development that threatens World Heritage Sites, and demanding governments comply with the Paris Agreement.” (at: )’s For details go to: reported, December 20, 2017,, "After more than five years of inspiring and creative campaigning from the climate movement, the New York City and State pensions are moving forward to freeze new investments in fossil fuels and divest.
        This victory is huge. Combined, the city and state pension funds are worth a whopping $390 billion, making this the largest coal, oil and gas divestment in THE WORLD."
        Lakota People's Law Project. stated via E-mail March 1, 2018, "Exciting news! As our Lakota People’s Law Project legal team prepares landmark necessity defenses for HolyElk Lafferty and Chase Iron Eyes in the aftermath of the DAPL protests, we’ve also begun helping to green Standing Rock. As Native people, we realize we can’t just be reactive when events come to our doorstep. We must proactively set an example by creating a healthier world.
        That’s why we’re working to protect both our families and our homeland by pushing for renewable energy on the rez and in the Dakotas. My good friend and colleague, fellow Lakota grandmother and Lakota People’s Law Project organizer Phyllis Young, has taken the lead by bringing experts to Standing Rock and initiating exploration of a large scale renewable energy and efficiency project for her reservation. We’ve created a petition calling on the Dakotas to go green too.
        The tragic fact is that, right now, the people of Standing Rock pay 33% MORE for their electricity than residents of Bismarck, just one hour away. To make things worse, unlike in almost every other cold weather state, no law exists in North or South Dakota to prevent utilities from shutting off power in the dead of winter. Imagine living through months without power in temperatures that reach -40ºF. Change must come, and soon.
        Phyllis was the tribal liaison to the DAPL camps for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Last month, she kept the momentum going by organizing a renewable energy summit on the reservation. Representatives from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology cameto assess ways they may be able to consult on sustainability projects. Phyllis is also helping to assess energy efficiency and solar potential for buildings throughout the rez. It’s already clear that by going renewable, the tribe could save tens of millions of dollars, take control of its own energy future, and greatly reduce its carbon footprint.
        Our sister project, Greenpower , has also stepped up to assist. For more than a year, they’ve been helping communities throughout California implement clean energy programs. Greenpower is sharing knowledge about how renewable energy works. With their advice, we have now identified local experts in Bismarck capable of guiding the tribe through this complicated work.
        Your continued advocacy can help the tribe achieve energy sovereignty, save much needed money, and protect Unci Maka from the harmful effects of fossil fuels. Please watch our video and sign our petition calling upon North and South Dakota to adopt mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards and pass other legislation designed to make the transition to renewables faster. Standing Rock is doing its part, and you are doing yours by continuing to stand with us. With your help, we hope to convince North and South Dakota to do the same.
Wopila — I thank you,
Madonna Thunder Hawk, Tribal Liaison, Lakota People’s Law Project."

Indigenous Environmental Network, June 7, 2018, E-mail, stated, "Final Decision on Line 3: Meetings at the PUC: Let’s Pack The Room,"
Dear Supporters, By now, you’ve heard about Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline that would carry the world’s dirtiest oil across northern MN and the Mississippi headwaters. Line 3 would violate treaty rights and put our climate, water, and communities at risk.
Join us to stand united against Line 3:
Monday June 18th
Tuesday June 19th
Tuesday June 26th
Wednesday June 27th
        On these dates, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will come to its FINAL DECISION on whether or not to approve Enbridge Line 3’s Certificate of Need and Route Permit. The Public Utilities Commission is holding four meetings; we need to pack the room every day in order to show the presence and diversity of resistance to Line 3. Enbridge may be strong, but our communities are stronger, and we need to make sure we are heard.
        RSVP via email or Facebook! When you RSVP using a link below, indicate interest in days you can at least partially attend, even if you can't come for the full day. You are welcome to come and go as you wish during the day.
Let us know you can help and join us at the PUC:
RSVP via email:
RSVP via Facebook: "
        Line 3 Quick Background:The proposed new Line 3 route will cross 337 miles of northern Minnesota, crossing the Mississippi River twice including the headwaters. It will also pass near many of our cleanest lakes and rivers, including wild rice waters. Here are five key things to know about Line 3.
        Line 3 Would Violate Treaty Rights: The pipeline would violate the U.S. government’s 1855 treaty with the Ojibwe nation that gives them the right to hunt, fish and gather in lands the pipeline would cross. This pipeline threatens their sacred wild rice areas. Line 3 Would Contribute to Climate Change: The 30-year estimates of the climate change cost of the project top $287 billion, and full lifecycle estimates are potentially over $1 trillion, costs Enbridge is shifting to society, both individuals and governments. Line 3 Threatens Minnesota’s Clean Waters and Wild Rice: Line 3 would cross the Mississippi River twice, including the headwaters. The 337 mile pipeline would run near our state’s cleanest lakes and rivers. A tar sands crude oil spill would be devastating. Line 3 Would Set a Bad Precedent in Pipeline Abandonment: Enbridge plans to abandon its old and failing Line 3 in the ground and build a new and larger pipeline along a new route. This is the first time a company has proposed abandoning a crude oil pipeline in Minnesota. The state does not have good regulations in place. The decision made on abandoning the old Line 3 will set a major precedent for future crude pipeline abandonment.
        Minnesota Does Not Need Line 3: In testimony before the PUC, the Minnesota Department of Commerce said the state does not need this pipeline, so we are taking on major environmental risks for little to no benefit. Governor Dayton vetoed a bill which would have expedited the process."

        Environmental groups celebrated the election of Don Orange, in December 2018, as Port of Vancouver, WA Commissioner, in the expectation that it would lead to the cancelation of the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal. They were also favorable to the denial of two costal land leases, effectively preventing the export of coal from the Pacific Northwest, and to the decision of Nestle Waters to withdraw from Oregon ("U.S.: Native American Rights Essential to Protecting Natural Resources in Pacific Northwest," Cultural Survival Quarterly, March 2018)

        The Indigenous Environmental Network announced ( "17th Protecting Mother Earth Conference, co-sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action, that will be taking placeJune 28 through July 1st,2018.
        This year’s conference will be hosted by the LSqualli-Absch, the Nisqually People (People of the River, People of the Grass) and held within the territories of the Nisqually Nation, near Olympia, Washington.Together, we are writing to formally invite you as an ally organization to this year’s event.
        This all-outdoor event, located at Frank’s Landing, the site of the 1960’s fishing rights actions and next to the Wa He Lut School, is expected to have over 2500 participants and will feature Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island and internationally, representing frontline grassroots groups as well as elected tribal leadership. Allies will also participate.
        This conference is Indigenous-initiated, designed and led for the purpose of uplifting the critical voices of those on the frontline battles against environmental injustice and climate change. As such, we see the absolute need to have key ally representatives join us as observers and listeners during this event.
        The 4-day event will include plenaries and break-out sessions addressing the following key themes:
        Water, Oceans and Fisheries – Climate Justice – Extreme Energy and Renewable Energy – Mining – Food Sovereignty – Environmental Health – Just Transition – Rights of Mother Earth"

        Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center, "Beyond Destructive Gas/Oil Pipelines, to Birthing a Joyful Community ," April 25, 2018,, wrote, "Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) is a national network of activists who are opposing gas/oil pipelines that are infrastructure for fracked fossil fuels, the Canadian tar sands oil, etc. etc.
        BXE will be connecting with the Poor Peoples Campaign in its own climactic action on May 23-25, as the Poor Peoples Campaign ends its 40 days of local action in state capitals with a massive outpouring in Washington, DC. I think many members and friends of The Shalom Center may find it valuable to connect with BXE’s work across the country."
        "Back to BXE: It publishes a calendar of pipeline protests being planned, in the works or on-going. They update the calendar at least every two weeks.It is available at: .It is a calendar primarily for actions aimed at stopping the building of any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Submissions for this listing should be sent and should include location, date(s), description (short) and contact info."
        Wild Earth Guardians, "Take Action: Greater Chaco Faces New Fracking Threats #FrackOff," June 15, 2018,, stated, "TheU.S. Bureau of Land Management is planning to auction away tens of thousands of acres of the Greater Chaco region for fracking .
        The move threatens Navajo communities, the cultural fabric of this sacred landscape, our climate, clean air, and more.
        Their plans come even as wethwarted new fracking in the region last March and even as New Mexico’sU.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have introduced legislation to protect lands within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon .
        We need to step it up. Speak out today; join us in demanding a moratorium on new fracking and in demanding justice and accountability.         #FrackOffChaco!"

        Conservation Voters, New Mexico, stated via-E-mail, February 12, 2018, media Contact: Liliana Castillo at 575-219-9619 or , "Conservation Voters New Mexico Statement in Response to BLM’s Revised Methane Rule," "Today, the Trump administration proposed a new Methane and Waste Prevention rule, which guts the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2016 rule. The rule aims to limit wasteful venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands. This impacts New Mexicans directly due to the Four Corner’s 'hot spot,' a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, hanging over the San Juan Basin. Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Dennis Foster released the following statement:
        'Last year, hundreds of New Mexicans took thousands of actions, expressing their overwhelming support for pollution standards to reduce methane waste and keep our air clean. In addition, a bipartisan group of members of Congress rejected the type of special interest pandering that the Trump administration put on display today by proposing to severely weaken the BLM’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule,' says Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director. 'The Trump administration continues to put the worst actors in the oil and gas industry ahead of taxpayers, Western communities and hard-working families. In light of these dangerous actions at the federal level, we urge action at the state level to address methane pollution and protect the health of our families.'"

        Wild Earth Guardians, "Learn how we're enforcing transparency under Trump: Information is power," E-mail, April 16, 2018, stated, " In 1913, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis coined the phrase 'sunlight is the best disinfectant.' A century later, as we grapple with the era of Trump, this sentiment is truer than ever.
        In thelatest issue of Wild at Heart (, we look at what it means to enforce transparency under the Trump administration. Read our featured article, in which Climate and Energy Director Jeremy Nichols explains why we filed a whopping 238 Freedom of Information Act requests last year—and why Trump can no longer get away with ignoring them—while Endangered Species Advocate Taylor Jones describes our use of FOIA to dig up dirt on the Interior Department’s war on prairie dogs."

        Center for Biological Diversity, "Suit Targets Oil Leases on 2 Million Acres of Grouse Habitat," Endangered Earth, No. 930, May 3, 2018, reported via E-mail, "Our battle continues to save some of the West's most iconic animals.
        This week the Center for Biological Diversity and allies filed suit over Trump actions that gut protections for imperiled greater sage grouse, rare birds famous for their elaborate mating dances. Our lawsuit includes a challenge of indiscriminate oil and gas leases on nearly 2 million acres of the birds' prime habitat in five states.
        At issue are two Trump directives rolling back hard-won compromises to preserve dwindling grouse populations and cutting the public out of oil and gas planning on our public lands.
        'Trump can't ignore the law to fulfill the fossil fuel industry's wish list,' said the Center's Michael Saul. 'There's no scientific or legal basis for these policies, and no public support. What Trump's doing is both wrong and illegal.'", September 8, 2018 — Join A Global Day Of Action: Real climate leader­ship rises from thegrass­rootsup, E-mail, May 22, 2018,, stated, "Local action is leading the way — Be part of the movement that’s ending the era of fossil fuels and building 100% renewable energy for all.
        We’re at a critical crossroads to protect our climate and communities, and it’s past time to implement the solutions we need. The good news:it’s people power, not Trump, that holds the power to transition to 100% renewable energy.
        When Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, hundreds of Mayors, Governors, and other elected officials around the world made commitments to take action on climate.Unfortunately, many of thesefell short of addressing the core problem: fossil fuels.
        But local and state actors still have the chance to take bold action that protects our communities and our climate – and it’s up to us to make sure they do.
        That’s why people are rising up around the world on September 8th before the Global Climate Action Summit to demand real climate leadership. Join an action near you.
        September 8 will be a day for us to show that communities all over the world are committed to the kind of bold climate action we need:a just transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy for all.
        From day one of this administration, people are resisting in the streets in greater numbers than ever before in recent history. Now we’re showing every elected official the real climate solutions we want and the mass movement supporting them.
        Our next big moment to shine a spotlight on the climate crisis is September 8th and we need you to be in the streets - join an action near you or host your own.
        Why September 8?That’s the Saturday before state and local leaders from across the US and around the world are meeting in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit. Every local leader is invited to make a commitment at the summit – so it’s the perfect opportunity for us topush them to take real climate action that protects our climate, jobs, and justice.
        We won’t be acting alone. is working with the Peoples Climate Movement and hundreds of organizations like the Sierra Club, the Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, Green Faith, the Service Employees International Union, and more, to make sure that this day is a big success. With your help, we can make this a truly groundbreaking moment."

        Oil Change International, "Governor Brown's Last Chance," May 23, 2018,, stated, "Yesterday we released a groundbreaking new report showing California can and must set a global precedent by being the first major oil and gas producing jurisdiction to ramp down production of oil and gas.
        In other words, California could become therealclimate leader we’ve been waiting for. But it’s not going to happen without some serious pressure from people around the world.
        Click here to send a message calling on Governor Jerry Brown to chart California's path off fossil fuel production.
        If you don’t live in the heavy extraction zones of California – centered in Kern and Los Angeles Counties – you may not know that California is a top oil producer in the United States. Under Governor Brown’s administration, the state has issued more than 20,000 new permits for drilling to oil companies, enabling the industry to keep tapping more fossil fuels.
        For years, Governor Brown has talked a big game on climate, yet he’s resisted any sort of serious restrictions on the massive oil and gas production in the state.
        But this year presents a critical opportunity: In his final months in office, Governor Brown is hosting a major climate summit in San Francisco to showcase worldwide climate leadership. And, with no more elections in his future to worry about, the time is rightfor Governor Brown to show bold leadership and put in place a managed decline of fossil fuel production in California, which is necessary to meet the Paris climate agreement. Doing so would send a major shockwave throughout the climate movement, and set his summit up for success.
        That’s why we’ve teamed up with a growing coalition telling the Governor that this is “Brown’s Last Chance” for transformational leadership on climate. The time is right for him to take this important step.
        We’ve written the report that proves bold climate leadership is both possible and necessary – now we need you to send a message to California’s Governor calling on him to step it up.
        Last night I was with over 200 people planning a major mobilization ahead of September’s Global Climate Action Summit. Momentum is building and your comment can help push Brown to become the climate leader we need. Sitting here in Oakland I can tell you the pressure is having an impact."

        Julia Conley, "Fed Up With Big Banks That Fund Climate Crisis and Oppression, Community Coalition Demands Public Bank for New York: 'It's time New York City puts its money where its mouth is, divests from Wall Street, and—through a public bank—invests in us,'" Common Dreams , June 05, 2018,, reported, "Wells, Chase, B of A, public bank's a better way!" social justice groups rallied at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday todemand that New York City divest from Wall Street banks and establish a public bank that is "expressly chartered to serve the public interest."
        "The more than two dozen groups that gathered on Wall Street also included New York Working Families, the Pan-African Community Development Initiative, and Food & Water Watch.
        Investment in Wall Street banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of Americas, and JPMorgan Chase is synonymous with harming the environment, propping up private prisons, and putting working families at risk for financial collapse as well as pushing them out of New York neighborhoods, argued the groups.
        The rally came days after the Trump administrationannounced it would roll back the Volcker Rule, which since 2014 hasprohibited banks from using their accounts to conduct risky, speculative trading, in an effort to avoid another financial meltdown like the one that threw the country into a recession in 2008." Foundation (, among its many projects, continues to in engage in"planting trees around the world , in large, formally-managed and long-term tree-planting projects, restoring areas devastated by storms and natural disasters, improving soil quality, absorbing carbon dioxide emissions from the air, and providing local employment opportunities.
        Among its other work, the foundation:
        Has supported 180 projects across 23 countries and 40 US states?
        Preserves 750,000 acres of Amazon Rainforest in Brazil?
        Supports wind energy projects in the US and around the globe?
        Funds truck stop electrification projects across the US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
        Runs North America's first carbon neutral product certification label
        Operates a boys and girls overnight summer campin New Hampshire aimed at traditional outdoor play and environmental learning calledCamp Quinebarge
        For more information go to:

        Friends of the Earth, May 23, 2018, Kroger: Stop selling food grown with bee-killing pesticides!, stated, "This year’s bee die-off numbers just came out, and the news isn’t good. Bees are still dying at alarming rates. And it’s largely due to bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.
        If we want to stop the massive bee losses, we need to get these pesticides out of our food system. Kroger plays a key role in this fight. Itcould stop selling food grown with toxic pesticides. But we need YOU to help make that happen!
        Friends of the Earth, May 7, 2018, E-mail, "This year’s report on bee die-offs was released last month --and the news is not good.
        Beekeepers lost nearly half oftheir hives in the last year. And bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides were a key factor.
        This is an emergency! Every day that Big Ag is able to continue dousing our food system with these pesticides, bees are more at risk. But instead of acting to address this crisis, Donald Trump’s EPA has delayed action on these pesticides until at least mid-2018. This is unacceptable --we need your help to get these chemicals out of our food system NOW!"

        Audubon Society, "Breaking: We’re suing the Trump administration over the MBTA—and we need your help," May 24, 2018,, stated, "Today we announce a lawsuit against the Trump administration. We’re telling them they can’t give industry a free pass on killing birds. We’re suing them to uphold the Migratory Bird TreatyAct.
        To defend this crucial law for the birds it shields, we’re taking our fiercest fight to the very highest levels.We need you with us to do it—and we need you now. Please show your strongest support with your gift rightaway.
        For a century, the MBTA has served as our most powerful bird conservation measure, prohibiting the capture or killing of nearly all U.S. birds. It’s inspired innovations that have saved birds by the million. It’s rescued avian species that once verged on extinction. And it’s held companies accountable for the bird deaths they cause, like in 2010’s BP Deepwater Horizondisaster.
        But the administration has put the MBTA in jeopardy, and along with it all the birds the lawprotects:
        In December, bucking decades of policy and practice, the administration declared they won’t enforce the law for bird deaths caused by industry unless those deaths are deliberate. This wiped out incentives businesses had to embrace bird-safe practices—and now lets them dodge responsibility when their activities turndeadly.
        In short, they’d let the oil and gas industries kill birds with impunity. We won’t stand for it, Stephen.And we know you won’t, either.Will you help power our strongest resistancenow?
        As part of a coalition of national environmental groups, Audubon is mounting our most forceful legal challenge, demanding that the MBTA’s protections berestored.
        In the long fight ahead, our strength and our stamina come from friends like you. And as we battle to save our country’s most important bird protection law, time is of the essence."

        The Pew Charitable Trust, "Take Action: Congress Is Standing Up for Sea Turtles, Whales, and Dolphins, May 29, 2018,, stated, "The Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S. 2773) was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate to address ongoing harm to marine wildlife caused by large mesh drift gillnets in the West Coast swordfish fishery. A companion bill, H.R. 5638, was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. If enacted, this legislation would end the use of large-mesh drift gillnets and provide funding for fishermen to make the transition to less harmful fishing gear.
        Act now: support the driftnet modernization and bycatch reduction act
        The United States has been a leader in the regulation of large-scale drift gillnets both at home and abroad, but the activity continues on the West Coast. The fishery itself is small—around 20 active boats—but it kills more dolphins and porpoises than all other West Coast fisheries combined. Harming iconic and endangered species such as leatherback sea turtles and sperm whales is unacceptable, particularly when less wasteful and more environmentally friendly alternatives exist, such as deep-set buoy gear.
        This legislation provides fishermen with solutions, as well as certainty about the sustainable future of this fishery—a benefit for consumers, fishing communities, and the marine ecosystem."

        Bering Sea Elders, "Bering Sea Elders approve of International Maritime Organization’s routing measures, including areas to be avoided, June 7, 2018, "The Bering Sea Elders Group (BSEG) joins Kawerak, Inc. in acknowledging the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) recent recommendation to limit the navigable path of vessels in the Bering Sea in order to protect marine mammals and communities that rely on them for subsistence harvest. The IMO Action creates three Areas To Be Avoided (ATBA), including the waters around Nunivak Island, Saint Lawrence Island, and King Island. The routes will go into effect on December 1, 2018. BSEG believes that the IMO actions take important first steps but would like to see additional action to curb pollutants.
        'The IMO’s decision does not address our serious concerns about discharge and the lack of oil spill preparedness in our regions. But the creation of the ATBAs has the potential to mitigate shipping impacts on marine wildlife and our communities,' said BSEG Executive Director Mellisa Heflin.
        For thousands of years the coastal Yup’ik and Inupiaq peoples of the Bering Sea and Bering Strait have relied on marine mammals, seabirds, fish, shellfish, and other marine-based resources for food. Hunting and fishing bind our people to the sea, and tie families and communities together through the sharing of food and passing of knowledge and experience from one generation to the next.
        Thousands of bowhead and beluga whales, hundreds of thousands of walruses, an estimated one million seals, and millions of seabirds migrate through the region. Large areas of the ocean are used by local hunters and fishermen to harvest food for villages along the coast.
        Year-round, the northern Bering Sea is also a unique and sensitive acoustic environment. Marine mammals rely on their acoustic environment to find food, communicate, and navigate. They produce sounds critical for communication and mating purposes, and listen for predator cues within the ambient ocean soundscape.
        Unbounded shipping paths endanger the Northern Bering Sea’s residents and marine mammals through noise disturbance, contaminated discharges, conflict with hunters and fishermen, and danger to small boats. The narrow 53-mile Bering Strait is the only passage between the Arctic and Pacific oceans. Currents, sea ice, and migrations of marine mammals and birds funnel through the Bering Strait, but it is a bottleneck to increasing ship traffic.
        The Bering Sea Elders Group is an association of elders appointed by 39 Tribes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Bering Strait regions of Alaska. Each participating Tribe designates an Elder Representative to serve on the Elders Board. For more on the Bering Sea Elders Group, please visit: Contact: Mellisa Heflin, Executive Director (907) 891-1229, " (Statement by the Bering Sea Elders Group about new Bering Sea dangers
ICTM, June 7 , 2018,

        Food and Water Watch, "It’s Time to Ban Factory Farms," May 14, 2018,, states, "We need to change the fundamental structure of our food system, and that starts with getting rid of factory farms.
        The way we grow our food and raise livestock has changed drastically over the past several decades. Small-scale, family owned farms are increasingly giving way to industrial factory farms.
        What is a factory farm?
        These aren’t the pastoral farms inyour childhood picture books. Nearly all modern farms raising animals for food are massive operations that house thousands of animals in confined, crowded spaces. The photos you may have seen of stacks of caged chickens, or layers of dead pigs? Those horrifying images reflect the modern factory farm as it exists today.
        Why are factory farms so bad?
        The scale of modern factory farms concentrates their impacts in harmful ways.Pollution from agriculture in the U.S. threatens over 13,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 60,000 acres of lakes and ponds. Cows on factory farms in Tulare County, California produce five times more waste than the New York City metropolitan area. Manure from factory farms emits a host of toxic air pollutants, and those living near factory farms often report health impacts such as breathing problems, nausea, and vomiting.
        Like many other sources of pollution,factory farms tend to be located near impoverished areas and communities of color; an environmental justice catastrophe.Their overuse of antibiotics is contributing to the rise of resistant “superbugs”, and the practices used on factory farms create harmful conditions for workers and animals alike. The industrialization of farming has been a disaster for rural communities, destroying the economic diversity of rural communities.
        Finally, addressing the greenhouse gas emissions of the agriculture sector is critical to stopping climate change, and factory farms are taking us in the wrong direction.An emerging body of evidence shows that smaller farms are more suited to adapting a host of low-emissions practices that will be essential to reducing the impact of livestock production, which currently makes up 14.5 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
        Act Now To Ban Factory Farms!
        How did we get here?
        Since 1997, there has been a sharp decline in the number of farms in the U.S., while livestock production has soared.
        It wasn’t always like this. Over the past few decades, industrial-scale farms have pushed smaller, family-owned farms out of the market. This was no accident; federal policies have encouraged and allowed large companies to unfairly dominate the market, and the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators have consistently failed to uphold laws that would hold companies responsible for pollution from the animals they own.
        The few remaining small- and medium-sized farms face numerous obstacles, from federal programs that give preference to factory farms, to slaughterhouses that refuse to do business with smaller operators.         Meanwhile,more and more rural communities are becoming sacrifice zonesfor the factory farm industry, where toxic air and polluted water have become a fact of life.
        Factory farms cannot be regulated and they cannot be fixed. It’s time for a ban. 
        How do we ban factory farms?
        Big agribusiness built the modern factory farm system by twisting public policy and using their economic power to distort the market in their favor. We can’t rely on market forces to correct this problem. We need a fundamental change to the way that we produce food in the U.S., which can only come from equitable and sustainable public policy. Here’s what we need to do:
        Pass legislation.Federal and state regulators should ban all new factory farms, and refuse to allow existing factory farms to expand.
        Enforce environmental laws.The federal, state, and local governments should work together to restore control over siting and practices to local governments, require permits for all factory farms, and hold vertically-integrated companies accountable for the pollution of the animals they own.
        Diversify existing farms.The federal and state government should help transition existing farms to better serve regional markets by diversifying their operations. This includes prioritizing smaller-scale livestock production and regenerative practices in public policy and government spending programs.
        Address agricultural emissions.It is far past time for the federal government to enact an aggressive policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including in the agricultural sector.
Download Our Report at:"

        Andrea Germanos, "At Berlin March, Tens of Thousands Demand End to Industrial Agriculture: 'Farmers and consumers from all over Europe have made it clear that they are fed up with current policies that benefit huge food and agriculture corporations, at the expense of the environment, peasant farming, and public safety,' said Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth Europe," Common Dreams , January 22, 2018,, reported, "Tens of thousands of people—and more than 100 tractors—swarmed the streets of Berlin this weekend to demand a food system transformation nourished by political policies that foster ecological farming.
        'Farmers and consumers from all over Europe have made it clear that they are fed up with current policies that benefit huge food and agriculture corporations, at the expense of the environment, peasant farming, and public safety,' said Adrian Bebb, food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, and among the estimated 33,000 that took part in the Saturday march.
        'Policymakers at the European and national level need to listen, and use the upcoming reform of the EU's common agricultural policy to build a better food system for the future,' he added.
        According to the more than 100 groups that organized the march, policies must shift so that industrial agriculture is dumped in favor climate- and farmer-friendly practices.
        A good place to start they say, is by banning the controversial weedkiller Roundup.
        'Food is political—more and more people realize this. But politicians nurture an agricultural sector that detrimentally affects the environment and animals in the name of productivity,' said Jochen Fritz, a spokesperson for the organizers.
        The demonstration took place as International Green Week, an major agricultural exposition, kicked off in the German capital.
        We are fed up with agri-business! Farms not factories, diversity not monoculture, fair trade not free trade.
        This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License"

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U.S. Activities

        The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), "Statement on Tribal Nations Concern on the President’s FY2019 Budget," February 14, 2018,, commented, "On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, more than 500 tribal representatives from across the United States raised a unified voice in opposition to the FY 2019 President’s Budget during the Third General Assembly at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2018 Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS) in Washington, DC.
NCAI President Jefferson Keel, on behalf of the NCAI Executive Committee, voiced concern for the untenable cuts proposed for programs that directly uphold the treaty and trust obligations of the federal government to tribes.
        'Weseek only those things promised to us and every citizen by the U.S. Constitution, and the solemn treaties and agreements reached between our Tribal Nations and the United States. At the founding, the United States dealt with our tribal governments as sovereign equals. In exchange for federal protection and the promise of certain benefits, our ancestors gave forever to the people of the United States title to the very soil of our beloved country. To settle the process for admission of new states, the thirteen original states agreed to transfer western land claims to the United States under the principles in the Northwest Ordinance, including:
        The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.
        These provisions signify the intent of the Framers to provide for the governance of Indian Country, a compact between the original states and all that followed. We have never asked anything except that these protections be continued. Today the federal government is threatening to limit this protection and these benefits.
        The proposed budget cuts to tribal governmental services, if enacted, would represent a clear retreat from the federal commitments and treaty promises made to tribes.
        This week, we see the President’s budget [See Federal Indian Budgets below for details] would cut the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) by about half a billion dollars, or 15%. BIA Social Services would be reduced by more than 30%, Indian Child Welfare by more than 25%, and critical human services programs, law enforcement and courts programs, environmental protection, housing, and education programs would face unconscionable reductions. Infrastructure programs such as the Indian Community Development Block Grant would be eliminated, and the Indian Housing Block Grant and road maintenance would be reduced.
        We support proposals that treat tribal governments equitably, such as the proposed budgetary set-asides in the Department of Justice for tribes. Tribal parity should be the guiding principle for every other department or initiative as well, including addressing the opioid epidemic and building and repairing infrastructure.
        We call on Congress to uphold the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribal nations. When tribal nations agreed to accept a smaller land base, the federal government promised to safeguard our right to govern ourselves and to enable tribal governments to deliver essential services, and provide them resources to do so effectively. That is the trust relationship embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Congress and the Administration are responsible for carrying out that trust in the federal budget.”
        NCAI released the Indian Country FY2019 Budget Request and provided and in-depth analysis of the impact of the President’s proposed budget on tribes. To learn more, read the initial NCAI FY2019 Budget Analysisat:
        Contact NCAI Communications Associate Erin Weldon with any questions at .

        National Congress of American Indians, "NCAI's Partnership for Tribal Governance launches tribal workforce development toolkit," June 6, 2018, "NCAI'sPartnership for Tribal Governance (PTG) formally launched its newtribal workforce development toolkit during a breakout session Monday at NCAI's 2018 Mid Year Conference in Kansas City, MO.
        Monday's session provided a detailed overview of the new decision-framing toolkit and the different ways that tribal leaders and workforce development practitioners can use it to inform and drive strategic action in the crafting of effective, self-governed approaches to developing their nations' human capacity.
        The toolkit shares the main findings of PTG's multi-year research project examining the innovative workforce development approaches that tribal nations, Native organizations, and tribal colleges and universities are forging; how they are achieving success (as they define it); and why.
        To view the "Tribal Workforce Development" toolkit, please click
        To access PTG's new workforce development online resource center, click
        For questions or more information about PTG's new toolkit and itsworkforce development project , please ."

        The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), "President Jefferson Keel Responds to Senate Vote on Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act," April 17, 2018,", commented,| "Yesterday, the Senate failed to come up with the necessary votes to proceed with a full vote on the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act that would include tribes in the same exempt category as all other government employers in the United States. The Senate voted 55-41 in favor of moving forward with the legislation, but this tally fell short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster.
        'Obviously, this is disappointing,' said NCAI President Keel. “But I want to thank the Senate for taking up this important issue, and thank each Senator for the time he or she spent to understand the issue and the nature of tribal governments. From the comments we heard on the Senate floor today, we still have much work to do to educating Congress about the fact that tribal sovereignty is not a conditional proposition. However, I am encouraged that we won a majority of votes, and that our issue made it to the Senate floor. We will be back.”
        The purpose of the legislation is to fix a problem created by the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to single out Indian tribes as the only form of government in the United States subject to the National Labor Relations Act.Over 90,000 other units of government in America, who employ over 21 million Americans, are not subject to the NLRA.The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act is a crucial step for Congress to ensure that the United States consistently respects the sovereignty of tribal governments.
        Keel continued: 'Everyone knows that the U.S. Constitution set up our federal system of government, but far too few know that the Constitution also recognizes the sovereignty of Indian tribes. The reason is found in our history. Our lands and resources were stolen despite the guarantees of treaties and federal laws, and when there was little left to take from us, our rights have simply been ignored. This is the dark history we have inherited. However, tribes have struggled and succeeded in establishing the federal policy of tribal self-determination, economic development is taking hold in many places, and our government structures are growing ever more effective and secure.
        'Tribal sovereignty is not an abstract principle. Tribal self-government is critical for us to maintain our cultures and our viability as distinct groups of people. We want our children to grow up with the same traditions and values that we grew up with. These are reasons that everyone in America can understand because these are the basic values of cultural survival that we all share just as much as our need to breathe the air.'
        According to NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata, 'The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act builds upon a principle that has been long established by Indian tribes across the country: when tribal sovereignty is respected and acknowledged, successful, accountable and responsible governments and economies follow. This is not merely a legal issue but a moral imperative of protecting and defending the sovereignty of America’s Indian tribes, and guarding against any discrimination against those tribes. There is no good reason to treat tribal governments in any way different from other governments. Federal law should uphold, not undercut, parity of treatment and equality of opportunity for tribal governments.'”

        Margaret Wright , "Embodying Sovereignty: Native women push for tribal-based counteractions to sexual exploitation," NM Political Report, March 28, 2018,, reported, "The Albuquerque-based Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women has hosted its fifth annual Tribal Leaders Summit to brief tribal, state and federal officials who work with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Last week’s event included presentations by Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty, former U.S. Assistant District Attorney for New Mexico David Adams, and Alray Nelson, lead organizer for the Coalition for Diné Equality .
        NM Political Reportsat down with Cheyenne Antonio, project coordinator for the Coalition’s anti-sex trafficking initiatives, and Kimberly Benally, the Coalition’s training and development manager, after the two-day summit to hear some of their takeaways. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity," at:

        Kim Maida, "The Criminalization Of Indigenous Protestors In The United States," Cultural Survival, April 26, 2018,, reported, "On March 16, 2018, the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop at the University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law submitted a report to the United Nations, titledIndigenous Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline: Criminalization of Dissent and Suppression of Protest . The report was produced on behalf of the Water Protectors Legal Collective, the legal team that is providing support for Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) resistors including legal advocacy, jail and court support, criminal defense, and human rights protection.
        Professor Seanna Howard, Director of the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop, hosted a panel discussion at the 17th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) on April 19, 2018, where the report was presented to human rights scholars and UN experts. The event covered the criminalization of Indigenous protesters both in the context of DAPL and more broadly across the world. Panelists at the event included Professor Howard, Indigenous human rights lawyer Michelle Cook (Navajo/Dine), host of the Sacred Stone Camp at Standing Rock LaDonna Brave Bull Allard (Lakota), UNPFII member Elifuraha Laltaika, member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Kanyinke Sena, and American Indian Law Clinic Director at the University of Colorado Carla Fredericks.
        The report was submitted in response to a call for contributions to a thematic report on the criminalization of Indigenous human rights defenders worldwide made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. In a report about her visit to the United States in February 2017, Tauli-Corpuz highlighted human rights violations committed against water protectors during the DAPL protests. Echoing Tauli-Corpuz’s concerns over the criminalization of Indigenous peaceful protestors, the report submitted by the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop calls for further attention by UN human rights bodies.
        It details 'the government’s use of excessive force and mass arrests to threaten, intimidate, and silence water protectors seeking to defend their lands, resources, and culture'. It notes that between September 2016 and February 2017, '76 law enforcement agencies, federal agencies and private security firms hired by the oil company' were present at the Standing Rock camp where thousands of Indigenous water protectors resisted the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. These law enforcement agencies and private security groups used 'heavy-duty riot gear and military grade weapons' against peaceful water protectors. Atrocities were carried out against the protestors by law enforcement using 'a Long Range Acoustic Device sound weapon, explosive tear gas grenades, chemical agents, tasers, rubber bullets and batons'. The report notes that the most violent attacks occurred on November 20, 2016 when law enforcement used 'high pressure fire hoses to spray water protectors, and shot Specialty Impact Munitions (SIM), chemical canisters, explosive teargas and 'stinger' grenades indiscriminately into the crowd over a period of about ten hours, without any warning.” Over 200 people were injured as a result of this violent onslaught. There is currently a class action suit advancing in the U.S. District Court in Bismarck, North Dakota on behalf of those injured on November 20.
        In additionto facing violent attacks, hundreds of water protectors are currently facing charges for exercising their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly. According to the report, the seven federal defendants facing the most severe charges are all Indigenous. Based off of information provided by the Water Protectors Legal Collective, the report notes that “many of the criminal cases should never have been brought or continued due to lack of evidence and witnesses, lack of probable cause and legal defenses or privilege and lawful conduct”. It notes that of the 832 initial cases, 300 remain opened and unsolved.
        Both at the UN event and in the report, it is emphasized that Indigenous peoples are “particularly vulnerable” human rights defenders who are targeted by state and non-state actors. The horrors that occurred at Standing Rock fit into a pattern of violence and discrimination seen worldwide committed against Indigenous peoples fighting to protect their lands and way of life. There is a desperate need for States to not only uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples but to also hold those responsible for carrying out human rights violations accountable. The report ends with the following list of recommendations to the United States:
        Review and reconsider criminal proceedings against water protectors and direct prosecutors to seek proportionate penalties for protesters who violate the law
        Investigate, punish, and provide appropriate reparations for all human rights violations, including the use of excessive force and mass arrests in response to DAPL opposition; OR convene a truth commission with the Indigenous representative institutions of the Oceti Šakowiŋ
        Adopt a regulatory framework to supervise and monitor activities of extractive industries and energy companies, private security firms and other non-state actors to prevent human rights violations in regard to activities that affect Indigenous peoples and their lands
        Provide training to law enforcement and private security on best practices for managing peaceful demonstrations; the right to free expression and assembly; and Indigenous peoples rights under international law
Implement national measures to protect Indigenous human rights defenders in compliance with the UN         Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international standards to ensure the full enjoyment of their rights to free expression and assembly
Issue executive order regulating and restricting transfer of military-grade weapons and equipment to local law enforcement
        Reject or amend state legislation that violates the right to free assembly
Ensure that state and local emergency powers are not abused in the context of social protest
Implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recommendations on Indigenous peoples rights issued to the United States by the UN Treaty Bodies, Universal Periodic Review process, UN Special Procedures and the Inter-American System of Human Rights."

        "The National Congress of American Indians Calls on the Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Publish Tribal Gaming Compact Amendments," NCAI,April 05, 2018,, commented, "The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) sent a letter to the Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to publish notice in the Federal Register of gaming compact amendments for the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes of Connecticut.
        The letter states the following:“These (tribal gaming compact) amendments are very important to economic development for both tribal governments as well as the State of Connecticut, and publication of amended compacts is within your duties under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.We urge you to act with dispatch.”
        'Under federal law, the Secretary’s publication of gaming compacts is not discretionary.The Secretary may disapprove a compact only if it violates federal law or the trust obligations of the United States.If the Secretary does not approve or disapprove a compact within 45 days, the compact shall be considered to have been approved.At that time, the Secretary is required by law to act;' the law says the Secretary “shall publish in the Federal Register notice of any Tribal-State compact that is approved, or considered to have been approved.'25 U.S.C. 2710(d)(8).'
        The state of Connecticut, in conjunction with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes, is currently suing DOI in an effort to get the department to follow the law and publish these tribal gaming contracts.The case is currently working its way through the Federal court system.View the letterat:"

        "South Dakota V. Wayfair: NCAI and South Dakota Tribes File Amicus Brief on Tribal Tax Authority for Online Sales," NCAI,March 5, 2018,, commented "The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and South Dakota Tribal Nations today filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court inSouth Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a case that could greatly affect tax policy in Indian Country in South Dakota and nationwide.
        While the brief supports neither party to the case, it was filed to ensure that the Justices take tribal governments’ concerns into account when writing their opinion in this tax case.
        'The Commerce Clause recognizes tribes as sovereign governments with the authority to collect taxes and to be immune from certain taxes,' said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. 'We are urging the Supreme Court to protect these fundamental principles as it considers whether to expand state authority to collect online sales taxes. Tribal governments operate and fund courts of law, police, road systems and schools, and have a great need for tax revenue to fund governmental services.'
        At issue is the State of South Dakota’s request that the high court change the current law on internet and mail-order taxation so that the state can receive revenue from these “remote” purchases. Under Court decisions from 1967 and 1992, South Dakota is prohibited from charging sales taxes on items that South Dakotans order from internet or mail-order retailers that are located outside South Dakota with no stores or other facilities in the state.
        NCAI’s brief makes three arguments for the Court’s consideration:
        •First, tribes, like states, have the inherent sovereign power to impose taxes on certain transactions.If South Dakota is permitted to tax items that a distant internet or mail-order retailer delivers to, say, Sioux Falls or Rapid City, then a tribe can tax the same items when the same retailer delivers them to tribal members, or others living on Indian land, on the tribe’s reservation.
        •Second, if South Dakota is permitted to tax remote sales, it cannottax items delivered to the tribal government or tribal members on the tribe’s reservation, where Indians are immune from state sales taxes.Otherwise, families living on reservations could suffer from “double taxation,” as they suddenly would become subject to both tribal and state sales taxes.
        •Third, straightforward mechanisms, like tribe-state intergovernmental agreements and blanket exemption certificates, can protect these fundamental principles of Indian law – tribes’ power to tax and Indians’ immunity from state sales taxes – regardless of how the Court decides this case.
        'We’re simply asking the Court to safeguard tribes’ taxing power and Indians’ immunity from state sales taxes,' said Jenner & Block Partner Sam Hirsch, who co-leads the firm’s Indian law work and is representing NCAI in the matter with Partner Ian Heath Gershengorn, chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, and Associate Leonard R. Powell, a member and former elected official of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians. “Tribal governments impose sales taxes just like state and local governments do, and commonly enter tax agreements with neighboring jurisdictions. At the heart of this case is the Commerce Clause, which expressly protects not only states, but also Indian tribes. The Supreme Court should do the same.”
        Oral argument in the case is set for April 17th. View the amicus briefat:"

        NCAI, "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Honors Tribal Sovereignty in Recent Federal Court Case," January 19, 2018,, commented, "The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) appreciates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s action to voluntarily dismiss the Bureau’s civil litigation against consumer lending companies of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribe that had been pending in federal court in Kansas in Case No. 2:17-cv-02521.
        NCAI believed the legal theories that the Bureau had advanced in the case were incorrect.In the amicus brief NCAI filed in support of the tribal defendants’ motion to dismiss in November 2017, NCAI explained that the Bureau appeared to have overlooked important federal Indian law precedents and tribal sovereignty principles, namely that tribal powers of tribal self-government are inherent, and that their exercise is vital to fostering economic prosperity and healthy communities in Indian Country.
        NCAI is pleased that the Bureau is following U.S. Supreme Court precedent and honoring sovereign rights of tribal governments by taking corrective action to dismiss the case. NCAI and its member tribal nations stand ready to continue to work with the Bureau on a government-to-government basis to assist the Bureau in its important mission.
        ViewNCAI’s amicus brief in support of the defendant’s motion to dismiss, as well asNew Mexico's amicus brief for additional details. Please direct any questions to NCAI Legal Counsel John Dossett at ."

        NCAI, "NCAI Supports Bears Ears Coalition and Affected Tribes in House Natural Resources Committee Hearing,"January 9, 2018,, commented, "The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a Legislative Hearing today on H.R. 4532 – theShash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act. The bill would codify the recent executive action that reduced the Bears Ears National Monument.
        The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) opposes this legislation, and stands with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition in efforts to preserve their historical and cultural objects within the Bears Ears region. The Coalition was founded by leaders from five tribes including the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe to conserve the Bears Ears cultural landscape. Native people practice their freedom of religion in sacred places like the Bears Ears National Monument. NCAI also calls on Congress to uphold the right of Native peoples to freedom of religion.
        'For years, NCAI has stood by the five tribes in protecting this sacred area and their cultural and religious practices,' said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. 'NCAI will continue to support the five tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and their right to protect their sacred sites and freedom of religion, as well as standing by the many tribes impacted by the National Monument review.'
        H.R. 4532 seeks to ratify the recent executive action that diminishes the Bears Ears National Monument in size and replace it with two smaller National Monument units: theShash Jáaunit and theIndian Creekunit. This land designation would remove federal protections preserving thousands of tribal historical artifacts.
        Further, the bill does not recognize the inherent sovereignty of individual tribal nations in the establishment of management boards and councils. NCAI calls on Congress to recognize each individual sovereign tribal nation's authority to have representation on any such National Monument advisory committees.
        NCAI encourages the House Natural Resources Committee to schedule a legislative hearing on H.R. 4518 – theBears Ears National Monument Expansion Act. H.R. 4518 wouldexpand the Bear Ears National Monument to the 1.9 million acres originally proposed by the Bears Ears Coalition.
        NCAI’s membership has strongly supported the designation of the full Bears Ears National Monument since adopting a resolution on this matter in 2015. Since then, NCAI has passed two subsequent resolutions supporting Bears Ears and all other National Monuments which were under review. View NCAI resolutions in support of National Monument designationsEC-15-002 ,MOH-17-006 , andMKE-17-057 , as well as NCAI’s comments submitted to the Department of the Interiorhere ."

        "NCAI Calls for Senate Confirmation of Tara Mac Lean Sweeney as Interior's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs," June 7, 2018, stated, "The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) voted Wednesday to move the nomination of Tara Mac Lean Sweeney to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior to the full U.S. Senate for confirmation.
        The National Congress of American Indians is pleased SCIA is taking action on this vacancy. The office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs plays a critical role in the government-to-government relationship.
        This vacancy has caused undue stresses on this relationship, and we urge the Senate to move swiftly to confirm Ms. Sweeney in the coming weeks" ("NCAI calls for Senate confirmation of Tara Mac Lean Sweeney," ICTMN, June 7,  2018,

        NCAI, "NCAI Applauds Major League Baseball and the Cleveland Franchise for Retiring Offensive Chief Wahoo Logo,January 29, 2018,, commented, "NCAI applauds today’s announcement by Major League Baseball that the league’s Cleveland franchise will retire the Chief Wahoo mascot and logo in 2019. NCAI has advocated for the eradication of offensive Native American-themed imagery from sports since 1968, and today’s announcement represents an important milestone for Indian Country in this effort.
        NCAI has worked to educate Major League Baseball about this issue in recent years, sending several letters to the league highlighting the importance of removing this harmful mascot and logo, which resulted in a meeting with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last year. Damaging imagery like the caricature of Chief Wahoo denigrates Native people and is harmful to their self-esteem, particularly for Native youth. Commissioner Manfred recognizes this fact, and thus kept his word, fulfilling his commitment to work with the team to retire the Chief Wahoo logo. NCAI commends Major League Baseball and Commissioner Manfred for choosing to stand on the right side of history.
        'Today’s announcement marks an important turning point for Indian Country and the harmful legacy of Indian mascots,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “These mascots reduce all Native people into a single outdated stereotype that harms the way Native people, especially youth, view themselves. Today’s news is a big step in the right direction, but much work remains, and NCAI will press on with this struggle until every single one of these harmful mascots is gone from the sports landscape.'
        MLB is setting the example for how professional sports leagues can and should respect Native peoples. NCAI encourages all major professional sports leagues to follow the lead of Major League Baseball by retiring all offensive Native American-themed mascots, names, and imagery.
        Over the past four decades, NCAI, hundreds of tribal nations, and their many partners have succeeding in eliminating more than two-thirds (roughly 2,000) of the Native-themed mascots from sports at all levels (nearly 1,000 remain today). NCAI is pleased to add the Chief Wahoo mascot and logo to that long list.
        For more information, please seeNCAI’s Proud to Be Initiative at:,to learn how you can join the movement to eliminate harmful Native-themed mascots from sports."

        The Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake tribe has joined in solidarity with the Hopi, Zuni, Ute and Navajo Nations and others challenging the Trump administration decision to reduce the size of, and protections for, various national monuments, including Bears Ears. They are fighting back on multiple fronts (Mark Trahant, "Tribe presses its fight for sacred lands and monuments after Bears Ears," ICTMN, June 2, 2018,

        Erica Shelby and Patrick Yawakie, Western Native Voice, "Rez out the vote;' How Western Native Voice connects with voters in Montana," ICTMN, June 2, 2018,, commented, "If you consider yourself a woke Native from Montana, chances are you’ve probably heard of Western Native Voice, a dynamic non-profit organization designed to inspire the Native leadership so our communities flourish.
        One strategy Western Native Voice uses to inspire leadership is to engage Native Americans in the democratic process, or as we say on the Flathead,Rez out the Vote. In fact, if you live on any of the seven tribal nations, one of the urban areas that we serve, or have ever attended any kind of tribal function, you’ve probably already connected with one of our organizing teams or even used our ‘SkoVoteDen’ hashtag on social media.
        Historically, Indians are disenfranchised from American politics due to several factors including, genocide, systemic oppression, and inter-generational trauma. More contemporarily, however, the stains of colonization have manifested as low-propensity voting in Indian Country through suppression tactics and apathy. We have now identified disengagement as the missing link in our collective efforts to heal our nations, decolonize our families, and revitalize our cultures.
        Since its’ inception in 2011, Western Native Voice has consistently demonstrated an ability to develop a sustainable and well-oiled non-partisan civic engagement machine. A few of our many successes including the passage of Montana’s tribal regalia bill (SB 319), swaying elections, and working to mobilize the seven percent of Montana’s Native voting-age population. Western Native Voice is a powerful representation of traditional resiliency, resourcefulness, and innovation. Currently, we employ an all-Indian conglomerate of community organizers for the seven reservations as well as Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls. WNV also maintains an all-Native board and an exemplar management team in Leah Berry, associate field director, Marci McLean-Pollock, executive director, and Alissa Snow, field director and lobbyist.
        It’s no secret that Natives are underrepresented in most political arenas and as a modern proverb asserts, "If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu."
        The trend emerging from recent election results illustrates that during times of lower civic engagement, social ills that plague Indian Country such as youth suicide, drug addiction, domestic violence, homelessness, and lack of services and healthcare increase. When we have consecutive election cycles of increased turnout those same issues are more likely to be contained and addressed at higher rates. Since our problems can only be solved from within, civic engagement is our path to sovereignty and voting is the easiest move we can make to effectively confront our issues. This is why the work Western Native Voice is is doing is so critical to our vitality as nations."

        "International Indian Treaty Council Joins Battle to Remove “Early Days Monument,”, May 25, 2018, stated. "The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) has joined the call for community mobilization to remove racist imagery depicting the colonization of California known as the 'Early Days Monument' currently located at 147 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA. 'It’s time to debunk the myths about the valiant pioneers and listen to the voices of the original Peoples of this land calling for this and other symbols uplifting colonization to be removed,' stated Andrea Carmen, IITC Executive Director. 'This monument glorifies the genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of California.'
        Native American activist Barbara Mumby-Huerta, (Maidu, Powhatan, Shawnee) testified to the City of San Francisco Board of Appeals on April 18th saying that “this monument is a prime example of how propaganda, being allowed to exist in such a prominent location, can distort history and alter the way individuals are viewed – so much so that society has been brainwashed to revere the path foraged by these settlers despite how many lives were extinguished as a result.”
        The Mission system and the Gold Rush devastated California Indigenous Peoples. Between 1846 -1870 the California Indian population fell from an estimated 150,000 to 31,000. Over 60 percent died from diseases introduced by San Francisco’s newly arrived “49ers” as the massive influx of settlers seeking gold and other resources were called. Others were victims of massacres, bounty hunters, enslavement and forced relocations.
        Even today, the harsh legacies of the Gold Rush are still present as Northern California lands and waterways continue to be contaminated from the mercury used to extract gold ore. This toxic metal, which is now the subject of the United Nations “Minamata Convention”, was never cleaned up and continues to enter the environment and subsistence food chain, especially fish, resulting in devastating health and developmental outcomes on each new generation of California children.
        Morning Star Gali, a member of the Pit River Tribe in Northern California and IITC’s community liaison coordinator states, “as the mother of 4 young children and a California Indian, truth in education and history is very important to me. The “Early Days Monument” distorts the brutal history of colonization and genocide in California. It’s just as offensive to California Indians as confederate monuments are to African Americans, and perpetuates the racism and intergenerational trauma that continues to affect us, and especially our children”.
        The next full Board of Appeals meeting pertaining to this issue takes place June 13, 2018 at 5pm in Room 416 of San Francisco City Hall 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA. IITC requests testimony at the SF Board of Appeals to request a rehearing to remove the early days statue.
        For more information contact Morning Star Gali 510-827-6719 or the IITC San Francisco Office 415- 641-4482.

        Native Voice Network (NVN) is a national network of American Indian and Alaska Native organizations collaborating on national and local issues in the U.S. Its focus is on building the capacity of member organizations and the communities they serve. NVN is supported by Americans for Indian Opportunity and funded by the Margarite Casey Foundation. As of May 2018, it consisted of 30 Native organizations. For more information contact Christie Castro, NVN Network Weaver, (323)420-8844,

        Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) has been applying its participatory strategic planning system in consulting to assist other Indian organizations. For example, late in 2017, AIO assisted the Kansas Tribal Health Summit Planning Committee design a strategic plan as they transition to a new phase of their work (AIO January 2018 NewsLetter).

        With a new mayor in office, the Albuquerque, NM Indian Commission has been reestablished. Efforts were underway in May 2018 to organize an Albuquerque urban Indian resource center, that among other things would facilitate connecting Native people with social services (Stephen Sachs, reporting on the May 17, 2018 meeting of the May Third Thursday Albuquerque Indian Meeting, organized by AIO).

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International Activities

        EvanKlasky, "Amnesty International Report Covers Indigenous Rights," Cultural Survival, June 6, 2018,, reported, "Amnesty International’s 2017/2018 report on The State of the World’s Human Rights ,released on February 22, 2018, outlines major issues facing Indigenous Peoples, including violence, land conflicts, insufficient health care, legal abuse, repression of freedoms, and criminalization.
        Amnesty reports that violence against Indigenous Peoples in the Americas was 'widespread,' citing armed conflict and anti-personnel mine use in Colombia, police brutality and intimidation in Argentina, attacks over land disputes in Brazil, murders of Indigenous human rights defenders in Mexico, and persisting impunity for violent crimes against Indigenous people in Nicaragua. The report discusses police neglect and brutality against Indigenous people in Bangladesh, abuse of incarcerated Indigenous people in Australia, and an attack on an Indigenous community leader in Kenya.
        Land conflicts continue to pose a threat to Indigenous communities, with the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent being reportedly violated, restricted, or weakened in 11 countries.
        The report also describes 12 countries in which land disputes were directly connected to industrial and development projects, including mining and logging activities, oil extraction, pipeline construction, agri-industrial use, and hydropower dam construction.
        The contamination of water sources in Peru and Canada is addressed in the report. While in Peru, 'the government failed to undertake necessary actions to provide [the Cuninico and Espinar communities] with specialized medical attention or access to clean and safe water,' the Ontario government 'agreed to fund the cleanup of a river system contaminated with mercury.' The Canadian federal government also 'agreed to provide specialized medical care for mercury poisoning as long sought by members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation.' 'Gross inequalities' in the accessibility of 'essential health services' following sexual violence for Indigenous women in the United States is also mentioned.
        Amnesty identifies the legal system as a mechanism for the harassment and intimidation of Indigenous people. This is seen in the ‘situation of suffocation’ of Mithun Chakma, an Indigenous rights campaigner in Bangladesh, who was forced to attend court up to eight times a month to answer criminal charges relating to 11 separate cases, some of which were under the ICT Act and concerned articles he had posted on social media about human rights violations… This is also demonstrated in Argentina, where authorities used legal proceedings to harass Indigenous Peoples with accusations of sedition, resisting authority, theft, attempted assaults and killings.' Slowed or impeded legal proceedings, especially in investigating crimes against Indigenous people and in land demarcation, threatened the safety and security of Indigenous Peoples in Honduras, Argentina, and India.
        Repression of the freedom of expression of Indigenous communities occurred in Nicaragua, where 'police officers prevented rural communities and Indigenous Peoples from participating in peaceful demonstrations,' and in Malaysia, where Indigenous rights activists were arrested and investigated for 'peacefully demonstrating against abuses.' Further repression occurred in Malaysia with 'an increase in open-ended, arbitrary travel bans that violated human rights defenders’ freedom of movement.'
        Arrests of Indigenous leaders and rights activists are noted in Malaysia, Argentina, Chile, and Egypt, with high rates of incarceration of Indigenous people being seen in Australia and New Zealand. The targeting of Indigenous people is also shown in the Brazilian House of Representatives’ approval of a report that 'had a direct intent to criminalize (including by requesting criminal indictment of dozens of people) Indigenous leaders, civil society organizations and governmental technical bodies working for Indigenous Peoples’ rights.'
        The broad perspective that Amnesty’s report offers is helpful in shining a light on violence, land conflicts, health care, legal abuse, repression of freedoms, and criminalization as common and interconnected issues that many Indigenous communities around the world continue to face.
        Read the report at: "

        "Keepers Of The Earth Fund Awards 14 Grants In Support Of Free, Prior And Informed Consent And Self-Governance," cultural Survival, March 07, 2018,, reported, "Cultural Survival’s Keepers of the Earth Fund provides small grants designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ community advocacy and development projects. Since 2007, the Fund has provided nearly $2.5 million in grants and technical assistance to over 350 Indigenous-led projects in 64 countries around the world. Cultural Survival is excited to announce the 14** recipients of ourF ree, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and Self-Governance Initiative , totaling $68,112.
        Associação Xavante Warã (Brazil)
        Political Empowerment of the People A'uwe Xavante for Prior Consultation
        Established in 1996 to defend the rights of Xavante Peoples, the Association is working to develop and implement its FPIC policy to ensure Xavante rights are recognized and respected in government-initiated projects. Currently, there are four major roadways that cross Xavante Warã lands and that are targeted for paving. The Association is fighting against these projects, demanding that government uphold its responsibility to conduct the appropriate environmental and social impact studies. The KOEF grant will help the Association continue to mobilize and demand government consultation, conducting of impact assessments, and access to information.
        Cherangany Multipurpose Development Programme (CHEMUDEP) (Kenya)
        Cherangany Indigenous Peoples Community Engagement & Negotiation Project
        The Cherangany community has an established protocol for how outsiders should communicate with them to obtain their FPIC and is using the protocol to address shortfalls in the 2005 Forest Act, and the 2010 Kenya Constitution, and to work with the Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) on its current conservation project plans. These plans include the resources that extend from the land that belongs to the Cherangany People who have been totally ignored in the KWTA’s planning process. The Cherangany community have endured ongoing violence and forced evictions, and CHEMUDEP is leading the assertion of land and territorial rights for their people.
        Coordinadora Indígena del Poder Popular de Honduras (CInPH)(Honduras)
        Formulation and Management of Ante-Draft Law of Consultation Previa Libre e Informada in Honduras
        CInPH will carry out four participatory consultations with community leaders in the departments of La Paz and Intibucá, regarding the proposed law “FPIC in Honduras.” They will develop a document that gathers the requests of Lenca community leaders regarding the implementation of FPIC, with the goal of sharing, reviewing and consolidating demands with other Indigenous organizations in other parts of the country. They will present the final findings to State institutions and congressional representatives. Throughout the project, CInPH will utilize Indigenous community radio stations in Honduras to broadcast advances in the developments of this legislation.
        Federación Binacional del Pueblo Zápara del Ecuador y Perú (FEBPZEP) (Ecuador)
        Eligibility of the Zápara Nationality of Ecuador Rights Regarding the Exploitation Projects of Blocks 79 and 83
        FEBPZEP is a cross border initiative of the Zápara people to improve the living conditions of their communities while ensuring the survival of their language and culture. In the face of recent oil concessions granted by the government of Ecuador, which cover 49 percent of the Zápara territory, FEBPZEP’s project seeks to strengthen the capacity of local organizations and determine strategies for land protection. FEBPZEP will organize assemblies across other Indigenous nations affected by the concessions and will host informational workshops with community members about how to document human rights violations or environmental impacts when they are witnessed. The project also includes consultancy on communications strategies and strategic litigation before human rights bodies.
        Federación Indígena Tawahka de Honduras (Honduras)
Build a Regulation or Rules of Application of FPICfor Internal Use by the Tawahka People
With funds from the KOEF grant, the Tawahka people of Honduras will develop a protocol for obtaining FPIC from their community. The drafting will take place with the help of an Indigenous legal expert on the topic. The federation will hold an assembly of all Tawakha communities to review and approve the protocol. The document will then be officially delivered to state institutions to inform pending legislation on implementing FPIC.
        Fundacion de Santa Maria para la Promocion Indigena y Agroforestal (México)
        Gulinaba Chi’a (“Ask well as it is”)
        This project will produce a series of weekly dramatized radio programs and short informational spots for broadcast via community radio station Radio Bë Xhidza, to approximately 21,000 Zapotec listeners in the Sierra Juárez region of Oaxaca, México. The programs will be produced in the Xhidsa language and will discuss issues of FPIC, land rights, and Indigenous rights. Gulinaba Chi’a refers to the investigation by the Traditional Authorities about what the issue is, who it comes from, why it is so, etc., and on that basis, decisions are made.
        International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) (USA)
        Indigenous Peoples’ Gathering to Honor, Protect, and Defend the Salmon
        A KOEF grant enabled IITC to convene in Southcentral Alaska to develop its strategy for responding to the State of Alaska’s environmental laws and policies, which exclude the Alaska Native Tribes in the Matanuska Valley region of Alaska. The project serves the Chickaloon Native Village, an Ahtna Athabascan/Dene’ Alaska Native Tribe, whose ancestral territory spans hundreds of miles in the Upper Cook Inlet of southcentral Alaska. With Alaska Statehood, tracts of traditional Chickaloon lands were dispersed to the State of Alaska and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, including surface and subsurface title. The State of Alaska does not recognize the existence of Chickaloon Native Village and refuses to consult, or exercise even a minimal duty of care. IITC convened the Indigenous communities of southcentral Alaska to share information about how the lack of FPIC has impacted the Salmon Peoples. The participants proposed 27 strategies to protect and defend the salmon and the ecosystems that sustain them, and to uphold the inherent and treaty rights. An outcome declaration emphasized the central importance and responsibilities of Indigenous-led initiatives, including transmitting practical traditional knowledge and ideas to new generations to protect and defend the salmon as a source of nutrition, food sovereignty, cultural and spiritual survival, now and in the future.
        Organización de Mujeres Indígenas Unidas por la Biodiversidad de Panamá - OMIUBP (Panamá)
Strengthening the governance of Kuna and Embera Indigenous Peoples through FPICin Panamá
An Indigenous women’s organization in Panama focusing on biodiversity, OMIUBP will carry out two workshops with Kuna and Embera authorities and Indigenous women on the 2016 law passed in Panama titled theLaw of Consultation and FPICwithout consultation or consent of Indigenous communities. Workshops will guide the traditional leaders in learning about the content of the law, enable sharing their opinions, and analyzing implications for implementation. The workshops will also examine the international framework for FPIC and discuss cases where Indigenous Peoples have succeeded in implementing FPIC internationally.
        Red Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas: Tejiendo Derechos por la Madre Tierra y Territorio- RENAMITT (México)
        Indigenous Women’s Inclusion in Decisions Regarding Use of Lands and Territories
        RENAMITT is a network of Indigenous women from across México who work to defend Mother Earth and Indigenous lands. RENAMITT’s project will include two workshops to develop an FPIC consultation policy in México, to document how consultation is currently taking place in the country, specifically regarding the consultation with Indigenous women, and a comparative analysis will be made on how consultations have been successful in other areas. With their findings, RENAMITT will produce a series of radio programs in three Indigenous languages (Wixarika, Odami, Nahuatl) covering FPIC, for broadcast via community radio in areas where consultations are currently being implemented: Jalisco, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Morelos.
        Sunuwar Sewa Samaj(Nepal)
        Empowering Koits-Sunuwar Indigenous Communities on the Right to FPIC
The Koits-Sunuwar Indigenous communities are strengthening their negotiating capacity with private enterprises investing in five different hydropower generation in Likhu and Khimti River. Using its KOEF grants, Sunuwar communities will participate in a study on the impact of the five Hydropower Projects on Sunuwar communities living in and around the sites in three districts, namely Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap and Dolakha.
        Maya Leaders AlliancewithJulian Cho SocietyandToledo Alcaldes Association (Belize)
        Yuaminkil Li Komolbe’jil (“Embodying Leadership”)         The Julian Cho Society works to safeguard, promote, and enhance the rights of the Indigenous Maya of southern Belize; protect natural resources and promote sustainable development; and advocate for the well-being of the Maya communities through culturally appropriate social and economic development. The Maya Leaders Alliance is comprised of Maya organizations and individuals who have previously served in traditional representative capacities for 39 Maya villages. The Toledo Alcaldes Association is the main representative body and central authority of the Maya people in Southern Belize. They are the custodians of Maya customary law. This collaborative employs capacity building on the Inferior Courts Act, Maya customary law, gender-based violence, role of the judiciary in good governance, and Maya women in democratic processes through itsStrengthening the Local Governance of the 39 Maya Villages Project.The KOEF grant will support the Maya Leaders AllianceYuamink Li Kamolbe’jil Projectto engage 78 traditional leaders in building Indigenous leadership, Indigenous systems of governance and what is means to “yuamink li kamolbe’jil,” embody leadership.
        Ka Kuxtal Much Meyaj A.C. (México)
        Atlas of Sacred Sites of Hopelchén        Ka Kuxtal Much Meyaj was founded in 2011 by representatives of nine Mayan communities in Campeche, México, to build the educational, organizational, and agricultural conditions which support Indigenous autonomy. The project will document and map sacred sites, both archaeological and natural, that are of symbolic, religious, or cultural importance to the Maya people and are currently under threat from the soy industry in the community of Hopelchén. The project will use GPS technology to map the sites and record oral testimonies from elders demonstrating the value of these sites as cultural heritage.
        Red Regional de Mujeres Siuamej Tayolchikauanij (México)
        Women Defenders Network: An Approach of Equity in the Defense of the Territory (Mujeres Defensoras En Red: Un Enfoque De Equidad En La Defensa Del Territorio)
Siuamej Tayolchikauanij is a network of Indigenous and campesino women that defends their lands and recuperates traditional food production methods. Through a series of workshops, Siuamej Tayolchikauanij will share the successful story of the Cuetzalan del Progreso community, whose strong self-governance structure and demands for consultation have successfully pushed back against transnational mining, hydroelectric, and other unwanted projects on their lands. The women’s network will also focus on gender equity within self-governance structures, an area that has been lacking, and highlight the positive role that Indigenous women play in defending their lands.
** One project in Asia has asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.

         Jolson Lim , "Advocacy approach to upcoming Indigenous rights bill at stake in AFN national chief elections: The AFN national chief race comes at a critical juncture with a landmark Indigenous rights bill expected to be tabled a few months after the election, something that has sharply divided candidates so far," Hill Times, June 18, 2018, , reported, "Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde, who’s running for re-election next month, is facing challenges from candidates who want to overhaul the influential advocacy organization’s relationship with the Liberal government, something that could dramatically shift the politics around a landmark bill on Indigenous rights expected to be tabled this fall.
        At least two candidates vying for Mr. Bellegarde’s current role want the AFN to take a stronger stand against what it considers a watered-down commitment to Indigenous rights by the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.).
        Chiefs from 634 First Nations will convene at the Assembly of First Nations’ (AFN) general assembly meeting on July 25 in Vancouver to elect a national chief for the next three years."

        "International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) submits Urgent Action request to United Nations Special Rapporteurs for the aggressions being endured by the Heroic Pueblo of Loma de Bácum, Yaqui Tribe, Sonora, México,", stated, "Río Yaqui, Sonora, México: On May 28th, 2018, the International Indian Treaty Council and the Yaqui Tribe Traditional Authorities of Loma de Bácum, in Sonora, México filed an Urgent Action to various UN Special Rapporteurs requesting their intervention to halt ongoing human rights violations being carried out by the government of México against that community.
        Among the examples presented in the Urgent Action, the community claims they have endured armed attacks in their territories that have resulted in death, injuries, kidnapping, harassment, illegal incarceration, and intimidation, including by low-level helicopter flights over their territory, as well as death threats to Traditional Authorities, their Legal Counsels and technicians, and human rights defenders.
        The community members of Pueblo de Bácum or Loma de Bácum have actively opposed the construction of the Megaproject known as “Gasoducto del Noroeste”, in its fraction/section Guaymas-El Oro, which crosses the territory of the Yaqui Nation by 90 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, encompasses 54 hectares, which would then be occupied for a period of 25 to 30 years, with compensation of only $60 million pesos as payment for this term, which equates to $1,111.11 pesos by hectare (11 cents by square meter), a value that represents dispossession of territory. To this we shall add the risk of explosion of the pipeline to the communities that are within the reach of direct and indirect effects of this gas pipeline.
        The Traditional Authorities of the Heroic Pueblo of Loma de Bácum, which belong to the Yaqui Tribe, Sonora, México, appealed to the applicable federal authorities and won a demand of Protection to halt the construction of said mega-project in their territory, as per the resolution emitted by the Judge of the 7th District in the City of Obregón, Sonora, México, and in favor of the Yaqui Peoples of Loma de Bácum. Although they have this judicial resolution, federal, state of Sonora’s and municipal authorities have violated its disposition and have continued to move towards the construction of this mega-project, and have also committed acts of aggression against the Pueblo of Loma de Bácum. Said project has been made violating the right to self-determination and without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the indigenous Peoples of Loma de Bácum and the entire Nation of the Yaqui Tribe."

        Witness for Peace, "Co-Sponsor The Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act!" January 24. 2018,," stated, " Call your Representative NOW and ask them to co-sponsor the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, H.R. 1299 !
        The violent crackdown on anti-fraud protesters in the wake of the November 26th, 2017 elections have made the Berta Cáceres Act more urgent than ever. Honduran security forces have been implicated in the deaths of more than 30 people since the elections, as well as systematic torture, forced disappearances, and massive criminalization of the people who are exercising their fundamental rights to free expression and assembly. That US taxpayer dollars are paying for this brutal repression, and US companies are profiting from it, is unconscionable.
        The Berta Cáceres Act is a landmark bill introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and currently co-sponsored by 70 Members of the House of Representatives. The Berta Cáceres Act has found broad support including endorsements by the AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club, the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and over a hundred other faith, labor, environmental, and human rights organizations. Berta's family and organization COPINH immediately applauded the action, and hundreds of Honduran human rights organizations have since endorsed the Act.
        The bill states: "The Honduran police are widely established to be deeply corrupt and to commit human rights abuses, including torture, rape, illegal detention, and murder, with impunity” and that the military has committed violations of human rights. Therefore, the bill asks that the United States suspend all “ assistance to Honduran military and police until such time as human rights violations by Honduran state security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice.”

        "Cultural Survival Condemns The Killing Of Maya Mam Woman Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez," Cultural Survival, May 29, 2018,, stated, "Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez was shot and killed by border patrol in Rio Bravo, Texas after crossing the border in Laredo, Texas on May 23, 2018. The border patrol agent who fired the shot fatally wounding Gomez Gonzalez remains on administrative leave.
        Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez (Maya Mam), 19 years old, was from the Maya Mam community of San Juan Ostuncalco, Guatemala. She held a degree in accounting, but had not been able to secure a job.
        Cultural Survival condemns this excessive use of force against another human being. We urge US immigration and border patrol agents to respect the rights of Indigenous people and all people who migrate, especially their right to life, regardless of their immigration status. Above all else, immigrants are people, and are protected under international human rights and humanitarian law. No human being is illegal; and no one should be executed while they are searching for a life free from poverty and violence. Indigenous lives matter.
        Guatemalan officials have called for an “exhaustive, impartial investigation” into the killing, and denounced the violence as an excessive use of force, adding a call for respect to the rights of Guatemalan citizens and all those held by immigration control, “especially with respect to life.”
        Article1 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)states:
        'Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.'
        UNDRIP Article 7 states, 'Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person.'
        On May 27, a group of 300 Guatemalans held a vigil in Los Angeles demanding investigation into the death of Gomez Gonzalez, reportedPrensa Libre . At least 25 people spoke at the vigil in a variety of Indigenous languages. 'Guatemalans are dignified people, who all carry dreams. Our compatriot had a dream and it was cut short. Xelajú lost a daughter, a good and honorable woman,' said Luis de la Vega at the vigil.        Walter Batres, of the Network of Guatemalan Migrants, one of the organizers of the vigil, noted 'We want to make a tribute to her life, we want to be heard, to ask for justice and demand that the Guatemalan government take steps as well to clarify the facts.'”

        Avexnim Cojti, "Ch’orti’ Peoples in Guatemala Lead a Battle to Reclaim Their Lands," Cultural Survival, February 15, 2018,, reported, "The ancestral lands of the Mayan Ch’orti’ Peoples cover a vast amount of territory in eastern Guatemala, principally in the municipalities of Camotán, Jocotán, San Juan Ermita, Olopa, Quezaltepeque, inChiquimula y La Unión, in thedepartment of Zacapa, and extend to the neighboring countries of El Salvador and Honduras. According to national statistics, the majority of the Ch’orti’ people, numbering around 56,000, live in Guatemala. The Ch’orti’ are descendants of Copa Kalel, of the Kingdom of Payaquí and Copan, in Guatemala and Honduras.
        Like most Mayan communities, the Ch’orti’ have suffered from theft of their lands, political repression, cultural loss, and recently, have been victims of media disinformation, arrest, and murder of their leaders who have dedicated their lives to defending their lands. The Ch’orti’ cannot grow their own food and products for local markets without access to land. They also cannot prioritize crop types according to climate change.
        Faced with the reality that the lands of their ancestors are and continue to be in the hands of wealthy farmers, the Ch’orti’ people are used as a cheap source of labor, and the government of Guatemala is continuing to taking away their titles to communal lands. The Ch’orti’ community is starting to fight for their land and recognition of their cultural ancestry.
        Coordinadora de Comunidades y Asociaciones por el Desarrollo Integral del Pueblo Ch’orti’ (COMUNDICH) began in 2004 with a mission to revitalize their identity, empower legitimate Indigenous Ch’orti’ authorities through councils and communal juntas, and promote spirituality, and reclaim territory. In 2007, COMUNDICH started a community process for the recovery of Ch’orti’ communal lands. This resulted in a three year-long battle with little resources to obtain communal title documentation from the General Archives of Central America, Register General of the Property, and the Catholic Church. The investigation enabled the community to learn about their history. They learned how past generations of Ch’orti’ fought for their lands while the Spanish colony became the Guatemalan State.
        The Ch’orti’ people also learned that ancestral titles issued in favor of the Ch’orti’ communities were registered in historical archives dating back to 1672. The communities then returned to the struggle for their lands, under the same system that recognized their private lands for their benefit in the colonial era. These communal titles are only some of the many that have now been identified that will be used as a basis for returning lands to Mayan people.
        The fight is now expanding beyond the borders of Guatemala to Honduras and El Salvador, where there is litigation for 100 caballerias (11,120 acres) of land for the Guayabo community. A title for the return of 600 caballerias (66,720 Acres) of land has been secured in Común de Naturales in the municipality of la Unión, which has 10 Ch’orti’ communities. Camotán is not far behind with the reclamation of 125 caballerias (13,900 Acres) of land. The process of reclaiming land is critical to Indigenous communities of Guatemala and needs national attention.
        The communities of Morola, Tachoche, and Tizamarté have already recovered their lands thanks to the efforts of the Ch'orti 'people before the Constitutional Court, where two resolutions were issued that cancelled 19 illegal farms.
        COMUNDICH has developed a strategy to recover lands and they are slowly achieving their goals, despite persecution and even death. On June 6, 2013, three leaders of Corozal Arriva were assassinated on the day they were supposed to finalize a land restitution agreement. The justice system did not prosecute the murders of the leaders, but unjustly charged the community for the death of one of the murders.
        According to COMUNDICH's leaders, six people are currently imprisoned for defending their territories, among them Indigenous Mayor José Méndes and land counselor of the Corozal Arriba community, Melvin Álvarez. They will be imprisoned for 10 months after being accused by the owner of an illegal farm. A representative of COMUNDICH commented, “The men of the community cannot leave because they are imprisoned. The whole community is impacted and involved in this process.” Despite this persecution and the legal battles for the recovery of lands, the Ch'orti 'people continue to manage their forests, waters, and crops communally.
        Elodia Castillo Vasquez, a legal representative of COMUDINCH, won the Alicia Zachman Emerging Leader Award at the end of 2017 in recognition of her contributions to human rights. On February 23, the Ch'orti’ people celebrate the Mayan New Year and with this calendar change they will publicly give the titles of communal land to the inhabitants of the Guayabo community in Camotán. 'We continue fighting for justice, lands, and freedom. This land is ours,' said Castillo."

        The Universalist Unitarian Service Committee (UUSC) stated in an E-mail, May 5, 2018, "Three months have passed sincemy colleague, Kathleen McTigue, answered this call from Padre Melo , joining an emergency delegation in a show of solidarity for Hondurans whose peaceful attempts at assembly following the November 2017 elections have been met with violence.
        As an advocate for the dignity of all people and a supporter of UUSC’s human rights work in Central America, we wanted to share with you the conditions in Honduras. In short, the crisis triggered by the recent elections continues, and the circumstances around this humanitarian issue are important to understanding the United States’ responsibility.
        Honduran security forces, many of which receive U.S. aid, are directly implicated in recent human rights violations stemming from the election. Events prior to the election led many Hondurans to question the integrity of the political process, including the Honduran Supreme Court’s abolition of constitutional term limits in 2015, enabling current president Juan Orlando Hernández to run for reelection.
        When the election results were confirmed in December, protests continued around the country. The Honduran government has responded with a far-reaching crackdown on the rights to assembly and expression, declaring a state of emergency and imposing a public curfew.At least 1,351 people have been arrested as a result.
        Since the election, Honduran security forces have committed severe human rights violations, including beatings, imprisonment, and the unjustified use of deadly force against protestors.Kathleen recounted her first-hand witnessing of such activities . According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at least 16 people have been killed by security forces, including two women and two children. Sixty people have been injured. OHCHR has documented Honduran military and police units shooting people fleeing and discharging live ammunition on bystanders.
        This ongoing crisis is occurring amid existing political instability and human rights abuses in Honduras – problems in which the United States has long played a role. The United States has continued to provide significant military and security funding to the government of Honduras, despite its failure to end persistent human rights abuses, which included the assassination and intimidation of activists, journalists –including UUSC partner, Radio Progreso–indigenous and Afro-Honduran leaders, and human rights defenders.
        These abuses have swelled a refugee crisis that has forced thousands of Hondurans to leave their homes, many of whom joined the migrant caravan that was stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border this week.This Sunday, May 6, the U.S. government is scheduled to reach a decision on extending the Temporary Protected Status program for Hondurans, which currently shields nearly 60,000 Honduran U.S. residents from deportation.If the Trump administration ends this program, even more people may be exposed to violence and danger in Honduras.
        In the coming weeks, representatives from Radio Progreso will be speaking across the United States to draw attention to this grave situation. Also, UUSC will join aDay of Prayer for Honduras in Washington, D.C., on May 18. Afterward, our staff will accompany Radio Progreso’s team as they return to Honduras to help ensure their safety. We’ll be sharing details about these events on Facebook and Twitter and hope you can participate in an event near you."

        In Costa Rica, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled, in March 2018, that, "a healthy environment is a fundamental right for the existence of humanity," in a case involving a canal building project in Nicaragua that threatened the coral reef ecosystem of Columbia's San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina archipelago ("Costa Rica: Inter-American Court Rules that a Healthy Environment Is a Fundamental Human Right," Cultural Survival Quarterly, June 2018).

        The victory of Carlos Alvarado in the Costa Rican Presidential election reaffirmed the rights of minorities and Indigenous peoples, as well as strengthening the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, that has its home there ("Costa Rica: Human Rights Triumph in Costa Rican Election," Cultural Survival Quarterly, June 2018).

        "Maya Leaders Alliance Advocates At United Nations Urging Respect For Rule Of Law In Belize," Cultural Survival, May 8, 2018,, reported, "In April 2018, a legal representative of the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association traveled to the United Nations to ask for solidarity from diplomats around the world in the upholding of the court decisions guaranteeing Maya Peoples title to their lands.
        April 22, 2018 marks three years since the Maya people of southern Belize achieved agroundbreaking victory at the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellate court. The court’s decision reaffirmed that the 39 Q’eqchi and Mopan Maya Indigenous communities of southern Belize have rights to the lands they have customarily used and occupied and that these traditional land rights constitute property equal in legitimacy to any other form of property under Belizean law.
        Ms. Monica Magnusson, Maya Q’eqchi attorney representing the 39 communities in the case at the Caribbean Court of Justice, submitted a statement to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples Issues while in attendance at the event in New York.
        'We have exhausted all possible domestic and international legal mechanisms to obligate Belize to respect our collective rights to our lands, and still, the State has continued to allow third parties to adversely affect the value, use, and enjoyment of our lands. This includes issuing of concessions for oil exploration, logging, andthe demolishing and desecration of our sacred sites, and undermining the authority of our traditionally elected leaders who defend our lands.
        We ask members of the forum: what further recourse do we have as Indigenous Peoples when the executive branch of a government can choose to freely disregard the rule of law issued by their own Supreme Court, to disregard recommendations from the Inter-American Commission, to disregard the ruling of its highest appellate court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, to disregard two cycles of UPR Recommendations from their peers?'
        In November 2018, the state of Belize is up for review under a human rights compliance mechanism called the Universal Periodic Review. In this session, Belize should be held accountable for it’s failure to abide by its own domestic law as well as international law. The Maya Leaders Alliance in partnership with Cultural Survivalsubmitted a stakeholder’s report to the Universal Periodic Review outlining violations to Indigenous Rights experienced by the Maya People of Southern Belize.
        Ms. Magnusson’s statement concluded, “We simply request that the rule of law be respected. The Maya Peoples’ land rights case has wide implications for litigation by Indigenous Peoples in Latin American and the Caribbean as well as internationally, and if the government is allowed to fail in upholding the rule of law, we will all go down a dangerous path.”Read her full statement at:
         Statement to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; April 2018, New York fromCultural Survival onVimeo is at:

Belize was founded on principles of democracy and human rights. Approximately 11% of the population of 360,000 is Maya.
State violates Maya rights in creation of a national park on Maya ancestral land. Since then, government-allowed logging and oil exploration on Maya lands have prevailed.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommends that Belize delimit, demarcate, and title the traditional Maya lands in the Toledo district, and abstain from further acts that affect the existence, value, use, or enjoyment of the property in traditional Maya territory.
Two Maya communities filed for recognition of property rights in the Supreme Court of Belize. The court contended that Belize is obligated to respect and protect Maya land rights in the Toledo District. It again affirmed the Inter American recommendations to delimit, demarcate, and title the traditional Maya lands in the Toledo district, and abstain from further acts that affect the existence, value, use, or enjoyment of the property in traditional Maya territory; becoming the first national high court to cite the UNDRIP.
Remaining 37 Maya communities filed a lawsuit on the same grounds as two previous communities as the government refused to acknowledge that the first Maya land rights claim applied to all Maya communities in southern Belize. Again, the court found in favor of the Maya communities, however, the case was appealed.
At first UPR cycle, Belize was recommended to respect the UNDRIP and protect Maya customary land rights.
At second cycle of UPR, Belize was urged again to address Indigenous rights and protect Maya land from projects that lack their consent.
Belize’s highest appellate court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), affirmed the Maya people’s customary land rights and ordered the state to abstain from further acts that may affect the existence, value, use, or enjoyment of the property in traditional Maya territory. It also ordered the need for consent and consultation prior to any potential interference with these rights.
Following the CCJ order, the government established the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, intended to develop a draft implementation plan by June 2016. No plan has been completed, and in October 2017 the Commission stated that it would not take on the demarcation and documentation process. Further, the TMLR Commission has met with the MLA only twice, and was not receptive to MLA and TAA input. The government also called into question the legitimacy of MLA and TAA as the Maya people’s chosen representatives.
Maya Leaders Alliance and Cultural Survival submit joint stakeholder’s report to the third cycle of Belize’s Universal Periodic Review, scheduled for November 2018.
Three years after the CCJ order, there is still no work plan in place to implement the order.
        For more information or for an interview, contact: Pablo Mis, Program Coordinator, Maya Leaders Alliance, ; Danielle DeLuca, Program Manager, Cultural Survival, ."

        Prior to the election of Indigenous Evo Morales as President of Bolivia, in 2006, women of the Aymara and Quechua Tribes in Bolivia were socially ostracized and marginalized. They were prohibited from entering certain public spaces or using public transportation, and were severely limited in employment opportunities. With Morales election, their rights movement, initiated in the 1960s, was invigorated, and has since made many gains, including in employment, where, among many other undertakings, some of them now drive busses ("'Cholas' take the Wheel," Christian Science Monitor, April 23-30, 2018).

        As of December 2017, Indigenous communities in northern Peru, were continuing a nonviolent blockade of 50 oil wells, begun in mid-September 2017, stopping production of 12,000 barrels of oil a day. The action follows decades of serious polluting by the oil operations of rivers, streams and lakes, causing serious health problems. The Indigenous communities have demanded, and been promised environmental protection, remediation, and health services, but had not yet received them. The current blockaders were calling for full prior and informed consent before new extraction licenses are issued by the government ("Peru: Force Oil Companies to Clean Up Spills," Cultural Survival Quarterly, December 2017).

        Indigenous women in Puyo, Ecuador, on Women's Day, in March 2018, marched against industries that were exploiting their land in the Amazon, before taking their protest to Quito, the nation's capital, to demand government protection of their forest lands (Ecuador: Women Defend Amazon, Their Homelands," Cultural Survival Quarterly, June 2018).

        "Streets stained with “blood” as protest sweeps Brazil’s capital," Survival International, April27,2018,, reported, "Thousands of indigenous people gathered in Brazil’s capital this week, to protest againstplans to destroy their lands and lives .
        The Indians, from tribes across the country, painted the streets with 'blood, marched through the city, demonstrated at government buildings, and called for their rights to be respected.
        Sonia Guajajara, an indigenous leader and candidate for the Vice-Presidency in Brazil’s upcoming general election, said: 'We are denouncing the genocide of our people…This is the most suffering we’ve experienced since the dictatorship. By staining the streets red, we are showing how much blood has been shed in our fight for the protection of indigenous lands… The fight goes on!'
        The protest marks Brazil’s Indigenous April and follows the annual Day of the Indian, 19 April, when the country’s President often announces some progress in the protection of indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands. This year, no such announcements were made. Instead, it was reported that the head of the government’s Indigenous Affairs Department would be replaced, as he was not fulfilling the demands of anti-indigenous politicians and ranchers.
        Politicians linked to the powerful agribusiness lobby are pushing through a series of laws and proposals which would make it easier for outsiders to steal indigenous peoples’ lands and exploit their resources.
        This would be disastrous for tribes across the country, including the Guarani , who suffer one of the highest suicide rates in the world, as most of their land has been stolen for cattle ranching and soya, corn and sugarcane plantations.
        Adalto Guarani told Survival International of the politicians’ plan: 'Please help us destroy this! It’s like a bomb waiting to explode, and if it explodes, it will put an end to our very existence. Please give us a chance to survive.'
        Anduncontacted tribes , the most vulnerable peoples on the planet, could be wiped out if their lands are opened up. Tribes like the uncontactedKawahiva andAwá are on the brink of extinction as they live on the run, fleeing violence from outsiders. But if their land is protected, they can thrive.
        Survival International and its supporters in over 100 countries are working in partnership with tribes across Brazil to prevent their annihilation and the extinction of their uncontacted relatives."

        Sami, in Norway, have been protesting the government  program of reducing reindeer Herds (Richard Martyn-Hemphill, "Curtin of Skulls Targets Norway Reindeer Policy," The New York Times, December 7, 2018).

        "India: Tribes threatened by conservation plan historic protest," Survival International, March15,2018,, reported, Hundreds of Baiga people from the area that inspired Kipling’s The Jungle Book are rallying to oppose the authorities’ attemptsto evict them from the forests that they have lived in and managed since time immemorial.
        Baiga tribespeople are joining forces from over 70 different villages in an area of 1,500 square kilometres. The protests have been sparked by official efforts to evict two Baiga communities from a wildlife “corridor”. Dozens of neighboring Baiga communities are now terrified they will be next, as they face poverty, exploitation and misery if forced from their homes.
        The Baiga are particularly worried by the two upcoming evictions, as both state authorities and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) promised that evictions would not take place in the 'corridor' areas, which run between the protected nature reserves.
        By law, any resettlements of tribal people must be voluntary, even for those living in designated conservation areas. However Baiga people report threats, intimidation and violence until they have no choice but to leave their homes.
        Baiga elder, Bhardan Singh told Survival International: 'The forest guards beat me until I fell from the tree. I split my hip bone and couldn’t stand. I crawled to the edge of the park. The guards just left me and walked away.'
        This weekend’s protest is a local flashpoint in an ongoing national issue. Tribal peoples living in tiger reserves across India are being forced to leave their ancestral homelands in the name of tiger conservation. However, tiger numbers have increased rapidly in the first reserve in India wherea tribe won the rightto stay on their land, showing people and tigers can flourish alongside one another.
        Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights,launched a tourist boycott in November last year, urging visitors to India not to visit any of India’s tiger reserves until the Indian tiger authority respects tribal peoples’ rights to live in and protect their forests.
        Survival Director Stephen Corry said: 'These evictions, both inside and outside the tiger reserves, are totally unjustified, as well as illegal. Not only do they destroy the lives of the people forced from their homes, but they don’t help the tigers either. The authorities andWWFpromised there would be no evictions–as so often in the past, such promises have proven worthless.'
        Background briefing
        - Baiga means 'medicine man.' Baiga people are known for their distinctive tattoos, and for their very close relationship to their environment.
        - Tribal people were evicted from Similipal tiger reserve in 2013, and were soon after found living in dire conditions under plastic sheets.
        - Many Baiga were evicted from the nearby Kanha tiger reserve in 2014. They received no land, houses, or support but were supposed to find land to buy with their compensation money, an alien concept for those who’d lived all their lives in the forest. They told Survival: '“We got some money, but we are lost – wandering in search of land. Here there is only sadness. We need the jungle.'”

        Mark Trahant, "Chile: Three indigenous leaders face life in prison for defending human rights: Mapuche Indigenous activists persecuted by Chilean (in)justice system," ICTMN, Jun 10 , 2018,, reported, "Chileans in Solidarity for Indigenous Justice (CSIJ), a Seattle-based organization recently created to promote and defend indigenous rights across the Americas, calls for the international condemnation of the prosecution of three Chilean indigenous rights defenders of their ancestral territory –Mapuche tribal members José Tralcal, Luis Tralcal and José Peralino. The Chilean central government has colluded with the justice system to illegally convict these activists for allegedly violating repressive counter-terrorism laws instituted by Chile’s infamous dictator, Augusto Pinochet.         They were convicted on May 5, 2018 and face a sentence of life imprisonment. Sentencing is set for Monday, June 11, 2018."
        "Sebastián Saavedra, one of the defense attorneys for Luis and José Tralcal, states that they 'are important activists, defenders of land and water in the Mapuchetribalterritories that were and still are being illegally taken by the Chilean State. That is the reason the Chilean courts are persecuting them by using the counter-terrorist laws that come from Pinochet times, even though these laws have been condemned worldwide, particularly when applied to indigenous peoples'.
        'More concretely”, Saavedra goes on, “the central government has lawlessly manipulated the judicial process in depriving them of their human rights'. The defendants rights have been violated in a number of ways, including:
· Obtaining a confession using torture. The prosecution's case relies heavily on this false confession.
· The national police’s falsification of evidence to frame the Mapuche activists.
The conflict of interest by two of the three judges who are applying for government posts, with the government being the primary plaintiff."

        "Thailand/Malaysia: Protect Rohingya Refugees, Urge ASEAN to Take Action: Thai authorities push Rohingya refugees back out to sea, putting lives at risk," Fortify Rights, April 2, 2018,, stated, "The governments of Thailand and Malaysia should cooperate to provide protection to Rohingya refugees in accordance with international law and standards, Fortify Rights said today. Yesterday, Thai authorities reportedly returned to sea a boat carrying 56 Rohingya-refugee men, women, and children.
        Thai police told reporters that this was the first boat of Rohingya refugees they had seen in more than one year. However, Fortify Rights documented other arrivals-by-sea of Rohingya refugees in both Malaysia and Thailand in 2018, including a boat that arrived in Thailand in February 2018.
        'This is not a problem that will go away on its own,' said Matthew Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Fortify Rights. 'Governments in this region need to show leadership and follow their legal obligations to protect refugees rather than send them to potential death sentences at sea.
        The boat of 56 refugees reportedly arrived yesterday on the island of Lanta in Thailand’s Krabi Province following a heavy storm the night before. Thai authorities confirmed that they sent the boat back out to sea.
        Malaysian authorities report no sign of the boat in Malaysian waters and have said that official Malaysian policy is to turn away boats of refugees unless the boat faces inclement weather.
        'Noor,' a 16-year-old Rohingya girl from Maungdaw Township in Myanmar’s Rakhine State told Fortify Rights that she boarded a ship off the coast of Myanmar in February to flee the aftermath of attacks on her village by Myanmar state security forces. She arrived in Thailand after spending ten days at sea.
        Noor safely arrived in Kuala Lumpur. She had been sold into marriage.
        An estimated 170,000 Rohingya men, women, and children arrived in Thailand and Malaysia on countless boats from 2012 to 2015. Transnational human trafficking syndicates working in concert with various authorities operated many of the boats. Traffickers killed untold refugees at sea and in on-shore human trafficking camps over a multi-year period.
        In May 2015, human traffickers abandoned boats at sea carrying thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi survivors of trafficking. Thailand and Malaysia reinforced their borders and refused to allow the disembarkation of survivors, resulting in an untold number of deaths. The Thai and Malaysian authorities went so far as to tow boats of refugees out of their territorial waters, leaving them adrift at sea.
        On July 19, 2017, Thailand convicted 62 defendants, including high-ranking government and security officials, for crimes related to the trafficking of Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Malaysia via Thailand in 2015.
        The Malaysian authorities have not similarly prosecuted traffickers, despite the discovery of 139 graves believed to contain the bodies of Rohingya victims in 28 suspected human-trafficking camps in Wang Kelian in May 2015. The Malaysian Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) have called on the Malaysian authorities to investigate the situation.
        To this day, Thailand and Malaysia maintain a “push-back” policy with regard to refugee arrivals by boat, which puts lives at risk and fails to ensure the protection of possible survivors of trafficking, Fortify Rights said.
        Under customary international law, the principle of non-refoulement prohibits states from returning any person on its territory or under its jurisdiction to a country where they may face persecution. Thailand and Malaysia’s “push-back” policies violate this principle.        Malaysian and Thai authorities have also detained thousands of Rohingya refugees and survivors of human trafficking in Immigration Detention Centers and government-run shelters in recent years, in violation of the right to liberty.
        Customary international law as well as Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a state party, protects the right to liberty. This right extends to migrants, who may be detained only in exceptional circumstances and in accordance with international law.
        The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should take action to address root causes in Myanmar and provide support to countries in the region providing shelter to refugees, Fortify Rights said.
        In November, Fortify Rights and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum published areport finding 'mounting evidence' of the crime of genocide against Rohingya in Myanmar. The report was based on a yearlong investigation, including hundreds of interviews with Rohingya eyewitnesses and survivors of Myanmar Army-led massacres, mass gang-rapes, and arson attacks against Rohingya. More than 775,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since October 2016, and the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar continues.
        For more information, please contact: Puttanee Kangkun, Thailand Human Rights Specialist, Fortify Rights, +66 (0) 84 700 4874 (Thai/English), ;
Twitter: @ KhunputPuttanee ,@FortifyRights ; Matthew Smith, CEO, Fortify Rights, +66 (0) 85 028 0044 (in Thailand), , Twitter:@matthewfsmith ,@FortifyRights ; Amy Smith, Executive Director, +66 (0) 87 795 5454 (Thailand), , Twitter:@AmyAlexSmith ,@FortifyRights .

        Fortify Rights, "Thailand: Uphold Decision to Dismiss Criminal-Defamation Complaint against Thai PBS and Journalists: Appeal Court to issue ruling on rights-violating case against journalists tomorrow," March 19, 2018, ,, commented, "Thailand’s Appeal Court should uphold a lower court’s ruling tomorrow to dismiss a criminal-defamation complaint against the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) and four Thai journalists, Fortify Rights said today.
        Thai mining firm Tungkum Limited filed complaints against Thai PBS and four journalists in November 2015 in response to a news report that included allegations that the company’s open-pit gold mine caused adverse environmental impacts in Loei Province, northeast Thailand.
        In November 2016, theCriminal Court in Bangkok dismissed the complaint. The company appealed the decision and, at a hearing tomorrow, the Appeal Court will issue the findings of its review of the Criminal Court’s decision.
        'This case remains an affront to press freedom in Thailand,' said Amy Smith, Executive Director of Fortify Rights. 'Invalidating this case would send a message to powerful private entities that seek to erode freedoms protected under Thai law.'
        On November 12, 2015, Tungkum Ltd. filed its initial complaint against Thai PBS and journalists Ms. Wirada Saelim, Mr. Somchai Suwanbun, Mr. Korkhet Chanthalerdlaks, and Mr. Yothin Sitthibordeekul, alleging violations under Sections 326 and 328 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, Sections 14 and 16 of the 2007 Computer-related Crimes Act, and other laws.
        The complaint relates to a citizen-journalist news clip about a youth camp involved in raising awareness of environmental issues in Wang Sa Pung District, Loei Province. In the clip, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from a village located near a Tungkum Ltd. mine alleged that villages in the area had been “environmentally affected by the gold mining industry.” Tungkum Ltd. filed complaints against the schoolgirl as well as Thai PBS and its journalists for the report.
        In its complaint against Thai PBS and its journalists, the company sought 50 million Thai Baht (US$1.4 million) in compensation for damage to its reputation and revocation of Thai PBS’s operating license for five years. If ultimately convicted, the defendants would also face five years in prison and fines of up to 200,000 Thai Baht (US$6,700).
        On November 16, 2016, the Criminal Court in Bangkok dismissed the complaint against Thai PBS and its journalists, finding the complaint lacked merit because Thai PBS and its journalists acted professionally and relied on credible sources, including government agencies and local villagers. In dismissing the case, the Court cited Section 329(3) of the Thai Criminal Code, which provides that opinions or statements made in good faith and subject to public criticism shall not be guilty of defamation. The Court noted that natural resources and the environment are matters within the public’s interest, particularly with regard to impacts on peoples’ lives and livelihoods.
        'The ongoing lawsuit threatens our media and journalists,' former Thai PBS journalist and defendant Wirada Saelim told Fortify Rights. 'It reminds us that we have to be extremely careful when reporting on negative impacts suffered by communities, despite our responsibility to amplify voices of affected communities. The role and position of the media is to provide a platform for people in society.'
        Tungkum Ltd. has brought at least 19 other criminal and civil lawsuits against 33 Loei residents, including members of the Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group (KRBKG)—a community-based environmentalorganization actively engaged in protesting local gold mining operations—in the past eight years. Through these lawsuits, the company has sought 320 million Thai Baht (US$9 million) in compensation. Additionally, in 2017, local authorities filed at least three criminal complaints against 13 members of KRBKG, including a complaint for alleged public assembly violations linked to their protests. Currently, four criminal complaints involving at least 14 Loei residents are pending.
        On May 31, 2017, Thai authorities and business entities committed to implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Among other obligations, the Guiding Principles provide that states should 'protect against human rights abuse within their territory and/or jurisdiction by third parties, including business enterprises' and ensure 'the legitimate and peaceful activities of human rights defenders are not obstructed.'
        The United Nations Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises—a group of independent experts mandated by the U.N. to promote effective and comprehensive dissemination and implementation of the Guiding Principles—will undertake its first official visit to Thailand between March and April 2018 to assess Thailand’s implementation of the Guiding Principles. The Working Group will present its findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council following the conclusion of its visit.
        To meet its obligations, Thai authorities should decriminalize defamation, withdraw criminal complaints against those legitimately exercising their right to freedom of expression, and take positive steps to deter business enterprises from abusing the law and communities, said Fortify Rights.
        'These and otherscomplaints are being used to threaten and intimidate journalists and environmental defenders who won’t be silenced,' said Amy Smith. 'Thailand has an opportunity to set a positive and strong example nationally and internationally for the protection of human rights, and it should do so.'
        For more information, please contact: Sutharee Wannasiri, Thailand Human Rights Specialist, Fortify Rights (in Thailand), +66.61.545.0524 (Thai/English); , Twitter: @SuthareeW , @FortifyRights ; Amy Smith, Executive Director, +66 (0) 87.795.5454 (Thailand), , Twitter:@AmyAlexSmith ,@FortifyRights .

        "5 Actions You Can Take To Stand In Solidarity With Indigenous Leaders In The Philippines," Cultural Survival, March 16, 2018,, reported,        "On February 21, 2018, the government of the Philippines filed a legal petition to have a number of organizations, associations, and leaders declared as terrorist and outlaws pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007. To the shock of the world, this includes UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous PeoplesVictoria Tauli-Corpuz, and Joan Carling, co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on Sustainable Development, as well as 600 other Indigenous human rights defenders from across the country.
        We ask you to help us stand in solidarity with Indigenous leaders in the Philippines! Take these 5 actions today:
        1. Sign the Petition:
        In just days, thousands have signed a petition to President Duterte to remove their names from the list of terrorists, to ensure the safety of all Indigenous Peoples leaders and human rights defenders, and to abide by State obligations to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including access to justice, freedom of expression and of association.
        2. Send your Own Message
        Write a respectful email to Philippine officials outlining your concerns and demanding that President Duterte do following:
Remove the names of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders from the list of alleged terrorists
Ensure the physical safety of indigenous peoples’ leaders and human rights defenders, and
Abide by State obligations to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including access to justice, freedom of expression and of association.
        Email:Department of Justice - Office of the Secretary
        3. Learn:
Read our interview with Vicky Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the RIghts of Indigenous Peoples, accused terrorist:VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ TALKS TO CULTURAL SURVIVAL IN WAKE OF TERRORISM CHARGE BY PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT , by Terri Hansen.
Read about five other brave Philippina activists facing criminal charges for their work:WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS DEMAND THE STOP OF THE DUTERTE REIGN OF TERROR
        4. Listen
        Browse our catalog of audio programs outlining the important work of 3 Indigenous human rights defenders from the Philippines, the organization the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance, and learn about issues facing Indigenous Human Rights Defenders Globally.
        Vicky Tauli Corpuz
        Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (Igorot Kankanaey, Philippines), a long-time activist and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, shares her experience with successes of small, local groups reaching out to the international community to collaborate in better defending their rights. She explains how her experience as a nurse led to community engagement, which quickly turned into a passion for advocating for the needs of community members as an activist.
        Joan Carling
        Joan Carling is an activist from the Kankanaey people of the Philippines. She has served as an Expert Member on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during 2014 and 2016, and as the Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Pact. In this interview, she explains the benefits of the participation of Indigenous Peoples in local and global decision-making, which would bring a diversity of perspective and solutions to pressing issues.        
        Windel Bolinget
        Indigenous leader and Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance of the Philippines gives his perspective on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. "The bottom line in advancing the recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights is fighting for these rights right in our own territories and communities."
        Indigenous Human Rights Defenders:
        Indigenous solidarity has coalesced into a powerful movement thanks to the activism and perseverance of Indigenous leaders from communities around the world. Indigenous leaders that are defending land, language, culture, and the environment face acute persecution, both from governments directly and from extrajudicial actors. In this in-depth program, Indigenous Rights Radio producer Avexnim Cojti (Maya K'iche') highlights how communities are speaking out against the human rights violations committed against leaders that have dedicated their lives to the causes of their Indigenous communities.
        Cordillera Peoples Alliance
        Interview with Bestang Dekdeken, Secretary-General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, an organization targeted by Duterte’s administration. Dekdeken discusses the work of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and their struggle in the Philippine's Cordillera region to defend their land against the government and mining corporations.
        5. Share this message on social media!
        Use the hashtags #IPHRDsNotTerrorists (IPHRDs:IndigenousPeoplesHuman Rights Defenders)
        More info:
        Cultural Survival’s statement in solidarity: ."

        International Treaty Council, "CERD Urgent Action filed in support of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines," March 26, 2018,, stated, "Today the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) and the National Council of Leaders of the KATRIBU, a national alliance of Indigenous organizations which includes the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), filed a joint Urgent Action Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
        The submission requests urgent intervention by the CERD’s Urgent Action/Early Warning Procedure in response to the situation of at least 31 Indigenous human rights defenders and members of Indigenous organizations who were labeled as 'terrorists' in a proscriptive Petition issued by the Philippine Government’s Department of Justice on February 23, 2018. As a result, they are in imminent danger of warrantless arbitrary arrest, surveillance, freezing of assets, persecution, denial of right to travel, extraordinary rendition, assault and extrajudicial killing.
        Those listed as 'terrorists' in the Petition are working for human rights and an end to racism and discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in that country. They include community leaders and activists as well as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and former member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Joan Carling.
        Repression against Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines is not new. In 2006 IITC submitted an Urgent Action filing on behalf of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance to the Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders in response to the killings of 2 Indigenous human rights defenders, Mr. Rafael Markus Bangit and Mrs. Alice-Omengan Claver and the attempted assassination Dr. Constancio Claver, M.D.
        The Urgent Action submission filed today calls upon the CERD to urge the Philippine Government to cease the criminalization and drop all charges against Indigenous human rights defenders and to release any political prisoners who have been apprehended as a result of this Petition. IITC and KATRIBU also request the CERD to call on the Philippine Government to officially rescind this Petition and to uphold its international human rights obligations pursuant to theInternational Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racism and Discriminationand theDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,as well as their domestic obligations under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the 1997 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).
        The CERD’s 95thsession will begin on April 23rdin Geneva Switzerland and this submission will be considered at that time.
        IITC Urgent Action for Indigenous Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines 2018
        For further information contact:
        Danika Littlechild, IITC consulting attorney,
        Joan Carling, CPA Advisory Council member,"

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