Ongoing Activities

Steve Sachs

Environmental Activities

Jessica Corbett, "'If the Water Is Rising, Then So Must We': Indigenous Peoples March in Washington Against Global Injustice: 'It's a collective cry for help because we're in a time of crisis,' said one organizer. 'Indigenous people from around the world are suffering from the same colonization,'" Common Dreams , January 18, 2019,, reported, "In an event described as ' breathtaking, heartbreaking, strong, and beautiful,' representatives from native communities around the world came together in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the first-ever Indigenous Peoples March.
      Organized as a rebuke to the violence and injustices that Indigenous Peoples often face—from the murder of native girls and women to police brutality to having unceded tribal lands torn away by colonizing governments and fossil fuel corporations—the march kicked off Friday morning outside the U.S. Interior Department.
     'I think it's a collective cry for help because we're in a time of crisis that we have not seen in a very long time,' Nathalie Farfan, an Ecuadorian Indigenous woman and march organizer, told Remezcla earlier this week. 'When I say crisis, I mean collective crisis. A lot of Indigenous people from around the world are suffering from the same colonization.'
     'This is the time to bring awareness to these injustices that have divided us all,' Farfan added. 'That's why we are saying unity is power, and we need all Indigenous people to come.'
      With a nod to human-caused global warming, which also inspired Indigenous groups to plan the march, one participant declared from the streets on Friday , 'If the water is rising, then so must we.' Supporters and marchers posted updates to social media with the hashtags #IndigenousPeoplesMarch, #IPMDC19, #WhyIMarch, and #WaterIsLife:
     The march moved from the Interior Department to the Lincoln Memorial, where organizers planned an all-day rally, followed by an evening fundraising concert at the Songbyrd Music House. Indigenous leaders addressed the crowd at the memorial.
     Acknowledging that she feels a responsibility to educate federal lawmakers on Indigenous issues, as one of the first Native American women in Congress, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who was scheduled to speak at the rally Friday afternoon, said in a statement, 'For too long Native communities have been left out of the national/global conversation, and our men, women, and children suffer because of it.'
      The main message of the march seemed to be captured by one speaker who said: "Today we stand in solidarity and truth. Today we are visible."
     There were also multiple solidarity marches organized across North America. Several groups supporting women's rights, reproductive justice, gun control, and environmental conservation expressed support for and even joined the marches, highlighting how each of those causes are especially important for Indigenous communities.
     This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

Jon Queally, "Ten Thousand Students March in Berlin as Global #ClimateStrike Movement Rises: 'The general problem is not that there's a lack of knowledge, but of action,' said one student demonstrator," Common Dreams , January 25, 2019,, reported, An estimated ten thousand students took to the freezing cold streets of Berlin, Germany on Friday as they added their voices to the growing youth-led global uprisingthat is demanding urgent and far-reaching action to address the world's climate crisis.
      Following others using the #ClimateStrike tactic inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg of Sweden, the #FridaysforFuture march in Berlin was held as students across Switzerland also held protests on Friday and two days after 35,000 young people marched in Brussels.
     The students in Germany marched to the Ministry of Economics where a conference focused on the country's coal industry was being held. Outside the building they called on the nation's leaders to phase out coal immediately."

Act on Climate reported,, reported via Email, March 15, 2019, " One of the largest climate change strikes in the world is happening!
     Climate change is a global, existential threat. This climate strike, organized by and ran by STUDENTS, is taking place in more than 100 U.S. cities and more than 100 countries.
      You don’t need to pick up a poster or lace up your sneakers to join these incredible students protesting: Sign your name to digitally join the #ClimateStrike:"
      The latest estimate had it that more than ONE MILLION students, from Brooklyn to Seoul, took to the streets to demand action on climate change.

Jessica Corbett, "Decrying 'Toxic Alliance' of Macron and Polluters, Climate Campaigners Stage One of France's Largest Ever Acts of Civil Disobedience: 'Instead of regulating the activities of these polluting multinationals, Emmanuel Macron is rolling out the red carpet'!" Common Dreams, April 19, 2019,, reported, " Parts of a major business district just outside of Paris city limits were 'paralyzed' Friday when more than 2,000 climate campaigners staged what organizers described as one of France's largest ever acts of civil disobedience.
     Peaceful demonstrators descended on La Défense to protest government complicity and companies fueling the global climate crisis
     Carrying signs that condemned Emmanuel Macron as 'president of polluters,' the protesters blocked access to the buildings of three major businesses and the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.
     The direct action was organized by Action Non-Violente (ANV) COP21 and the French chapters of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, but members of at least 14 climate groups reportedly joined the mass mobilization.
     'Through this action of extraordinary civil disobedience, the French climate movement denounces the toxic alliance that Emmanuel Macron and his government maintain with the large companies whose activity accelerates climate change, while radical and immediate action is needed to limit global warming to +1.5°C by the end of the century,' organizers said in a statement in French, referencing a key target of the Paris climate accord.
     The demonstration in France came as the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion is spearheading an International Rebellion Week featuring similar civil disobedience in London. The group's French arm supported the action Friday:
     The three companies campaigners targeted were fossil fuel giant Total, a major producer of planet-warming emissions; investment bank Société Générale, which pours billions of dollars into dirty energy projects each year; and Électricité de France (EDF), the state-run electric utility that, according to protest organizers, produces only about 10 percent of renewable energy compared with more than 70 percent of nuclear energy.
     "Instead of regulating the activities of these polluting multinationals, Emmanuel Macron is rolling out the red carpet!" said Cécile Marchand of Friends of the Earth France.
     Marchand pointed out that last year, Macron's government gave Total the green light to import palm oil, despite the European Parliament's decision to ban such imports by 2021. She also slammed government investment in nuclear power and failures to block big banks from funding dirty energy development.
     The French president, Marchand said, 'firmly defends banks like Société Générale against any attempt to regulate and refuses to supervise them to put an end to their investments in fossil fuels.'
     'By displaying Emmanuel Macron at La Défense, and blocking the activity of several strategic locations in this business district," said Greenpeace France climate campaign manager Clément Sénéchal, 'we want to show that in reality, it is here that France's climate policy is decided, in the offices of the big bosses.'
      The blockades in France came as students across the globe skipped classes and took to the streets as part of the weekly #FridaysForFuture school strikes—inspired by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg's solitary protests launched last year to demand bolder efforts from global policymakers to stave off climate catastrophe.
     This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler, published in The Guardian , "It's Time for Nations to Unite Around an International Green New Deal: Several countries have proposed their own versions of a Green New Deal, but climate change knows no borders. We need a global response," Portside, May 8, 2019,", reported that children have now taken the lead in battling climate change and other interrelated environmental degradation, " Our survival now depends on the prospects for a global movement to follow their lead and demand an International Green New Deal.
      Several countries have proposed their own versions of a Green New Deal. Here in Europe, DiEM25 and our European Spring coalition are campaigning under the banner of a detailed Green New Deal agenda. In the UK, a new campaign is pushing similar legislation with MPs such as Caroline Lucas and Clive Lewis. And in the US, dogged activists in the Sunrise Movement are working with representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to push their proposal to the front of the political agenda.
     But these campaigns have largely remained siloed. Their advisers may exchange notes and ideas, but no strategy has emerged to coordinate these campaigns in a broader, global framework."
      "Instead, we need an International Green New Deal: a pragmatic plan to raise $8tn – 5% of global GDP – each year, coordinate its investment in the transition to renewable energy and commit to providing climate protections on the basis of countries’ needs, rather than their means.
      Call it the Organization for Emergency Environmental Cooperation – the namesake of the original OEEC 75 years ago. While many US activists find inspiration in a 'second world war-style mobilization', the International Green New Deal is better modeled by the Marshall plan that followed it. With financial assistance from the US government, 16 countries formed the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), dedicated to rebuilding the infrastructure of a devastated continent and coordinating its supply of energy.
     But if the original OEEC entrenched an extractive capitalism at Europe’s core –protecting the steel and coal cartel – the new organization for an International Green New Deal can empower communities around the world in a single transformational project."

Kelsey Hill, " Indigenous Leaders Support A #Greennewdeal," December 19, 2018, Lakota People's Law Project, , reported and commented,, “'My journey here started at Standing Rock with everyday people,' Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told demonstrators at a rally outside congressional offices in Washington DC on Nov. 13. 'Standing with the Lakota Sioux, standing with allies, standing with Indigenous tribes—because we don’t have a choice…we have to get to 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years. There is no other option, the IPCC let us know that.”
      House Democratic leaders have decided to resurrect the Climate Change Select Committee, which was eliminated in 2011 by the Republican majority. We need to ensure that this committee takes up the Green New Deal as a top priority in 2019.
     In the above passage, Ocasio-Cortez was referencing a landmark report recently released by the Intercontinental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailing the need to stop man-made global climate change before it passes a critical warming threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next decade. We’ve been given official notice that the time for climate action is now. That’s why we’re asking you to email your elected representatives today. Tell them to insist that the new Climate Change Select Committee take up the Green New Deal, and also ask them to recommend that the needs and leadership of Indigenous communities be prioritized. There’s no time to wait.
     Last month, Ocasio-Cortez rallied youth activists during a sit-in at Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s DC office. The activists, many with the Sunrise Movement, were pushing Pelosi to add a Green New Deal to the 2019 agenda for the House of Representatives. The Green New Deal is the only policy recommendation in US history to respond to the climate crisis with the urgency required. The drafted federal stimulus proposal, calling for 100 percent renewable energy in ten years, aims to revamp the United States’ power grid, invest in renewable technology and efficiency standards, and provide training for jobs in a climate-minded economy. The aggressive plan has already mustered support from Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker, and over 300 other elected officials. Now we need House leaders to make it part of the agenda in 2019.
     'It's so encouraging to see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say that the impetus for her historic run for Congress was what happened at Standing Rock: the Grand Awakening, the spiritual awakening of all of our people who find themselves in our hemisphere, who find a home in the Green New Deal movement, we've always had a home for you….Now, we find ourselves in this struggle together. Every aspect of the Green New Deal must be implemented now. We have to take this initiative...hit the streets with it, hit every dusty road with it, and go right into the halls of Congress.'
     – Lakota People’s Law Project lead counsel Chase Iron Eyes
     When confronted with large-scale economic crisis during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal, providing desperately-needed jobs and preserving the American financial system for future generations. It took about eight years. Now, we’re faced with a climate crisis—the largest catastrophe our collective human family will ever have to address—and we have just over a decade to act.
     We applaud Ocasio-Cortez’s vision and the brave policymakers and activists behind this movement, and in support, the Lakota People’s Law Project calls for a strengthened focus on Indigenous communities as part of a Green New Deal. Please email your representatives today to ensure:
     1) That the new Climate Change Select Committee in the House of Representatives makes developing a Green New Deal a top priority;
     2) That the language of any Green New Deal chooses Native American communities for federal investment in green jobs and infrastructure, and shows respect for Indigenous knowledge and relationship to the Earth;
     3) That Democratic leaders in the House appoint Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native women elected to Congress this past November, to the Climate Change Select Committee.
     True environmental and historical justice necessitates that new climate policy not only ensure heavy investment in green jobs and infrastructure for Indigenous communities, but that it directly involve leadership and input from Native people. An Indigenized Green New Deal is our best legislative shot at creating an equitable and just transition to a climate-conscious future that both acknowledges and amends the errors of our country’s past. By ensuring that Indigenous values, voices, and lands are adequately represented, we can ensure a liveable climate for the next seven generations and beyond.
Of course, we are already seeing the impacts of climate change here in the US. California burns year-round. Coastal communities are unprepared for increasingly extreme storm seasons. Agricultural crops in the midwest are suffering from high temperatures and variations in rainfall.
     From forest defenders in the Amazon, to Indigenous wildfire management on the US west coast, the world is waking up to the pivotal role of partnering with Indigenous people to seek natural solutions to global warming. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues stated more than a decade ago that Native communities are the “ human face” of climate change, and therefore they must be at the center of climate talks and action. In organizing for a Green New Deal in the US, we must prioritize the original protectors of this continent—their wisdom, their lands, and their voices.
      Indigenous Knowledge & Relationships to the Earth
The US Fourth National Climate Assessment, issued quietly by the Trump Administration last month, notes that Indigenous people will be disproportionately affected by climate change—that global temperature increase represents a special threat to impoverished communities, traditional knowledge, and cultural identity.
     Successful adaptation to climate change, according to the report, 'relies on use of Indigenous knowledge, resilient and robust social systems and protocols, a commitment to principles of self-determination, and proactive efforts on the part of federal, state, and local governments to alleviate institutional barriers.'
     'I feel like Indian tribes can have such an amazing role in moving the Green New Deal forward. We have to have meaningful discussions with tribes so they know how moving into that era benefits them and their people. I believe that they would like to be a part of it—we just need to make sure that they're part of the conversation from the beginning.'
     – Deb Haaland in an interview with Lakota People’s Law Project
     Energy solutions are essential, but they alone are not enough. We must restore a focus of living in harmony with our natural systems, not dominating them. The undertaking of a task as monumental as combating climate disaster obliges us to listen to Indigenous knowledge systems that have lived sustainably in this land for thousands of years.
      A Focus on Native Land and Economic Concerns
'The next economy has to be something that reaffirms our relationship to the Earth and gives us a shot,' said Winona LaDuke, a prominent Native economist and activist, on a recent installment of Democracy Now!.
      A just Green New Deal must expedite buildout of sustainable infrastructure on tribal land, in keeping with Indigenous self-determination. All over the continent, Native people are fighting pipelines, oil drilling, and fracking on their lands. A Green New Deal can end the assault on Native lands by extractive industries, and use job guarantees to give people in Indian Country green jobs in a revitalized economy.
      People in Indian Country are already focusing on solutions, though. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Solve program highlighted six Lakota tribal members working on issues of energy, food, and economic sovereignty in their homelands. Among them is Lakota People’s Law Project organizer Phyllis Young, who is currently leading the charge to green Standing Rock with wind, solar, and geothermal energy. So far, we’ve completed energy efficiency and solar assessments on half the tribal buildings at Standing Rock. A Green New Deal could amplify this momentum, and expedite the path to 100 percent clean energy and the creation of green jobs in a place that sorely needs them.
      Chase Iron Eyes, the 2016 Democratic congressional candidate from North Dakota, describes this historic moment: 'It's so encouraging to see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say that the impetus for her historic run for Congress was what happened at Standing Rock: the Grand Awakening, the spiritual awakening of all of our people who find themselves in our hemisphere, who find a home in the Green New Deal movement, we've always had a home for you….Now, we find ourselves in this struggle together. Every aspect of the Green New Deal must be implemented now. We have to take this initiative...hit the streets with it, hit every dusty road with it, and go right into the halls of Congress.”
      A Native Voice on the Select Committee
     Native American women are being represented in Congress for the first time in US history, with the election of Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Sharice Davids (D-KS) in November. A crucial step in enacting a just Green New Deal with a strong Indigenous focus is the appointment of a Native American congressperson to the Select Committee tasked with developing a Green New Deal
     'I feel like Indian tribes can have such an amazing role in moving the Green New Deal forward,' said Haaland in an interview with Lakota People’s Law Project. 'We have to have meaningful discussions with tribes so they know how moving into that era benefits them and their people. I believe that they would like to be a part of it—we just need to make sure that they're part of the conversation from the beginning.'
      Haaland has joined Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker, and over 30 members of the House (so far) in supporting the Green New Deal. Like Ocasio-Cortez, Haaland made the journey to Standing Rock in 2016 to protect Indigenous water rights, and she has spoken out on issues of environmental justice throughout her career. As a Pueblo Laguna woman, Haaland is uniquely positioned to lead the charge for a Green New Deal.
     Whatever way you slice it, climate change is no longer something to debate. It is something we must act on if we want to have a livable climate beyond the next decade. According to a recent Yale study, over 80 percent of registered voters back a Green New Deal when it is presented as a nonpartisan issue, and nearly 60 percent of conservative Republicans show support.
     We need a strong Green New Deal, with a powerful Indigenous focus. We can’t just invite Native communities to the table; we must pass them the mic. Studies show we have no time to waste to get equitable change. Join us in mobilizing elected officials to back a robust Green New Deal with a strong Indigenous focus."

" Sara Van Note, "It’s not the Green New Deal: It’s the Red Deal… and it’s in NM," New Mexico Political Report, June 23, 2019,, reported, " Activist Cheyenne Antonio lists the toxic legacies left by resource extraction and industry on Navajo lands: Superfund sites, coal mines, uranium contamination. But fracking, she says, 'is a beast times ten that we cannot contain.'
      With over 40,000 oil and gas wells spread throughout the San Juan Basin, many Navajo communities are on the frontlines of New Mexico’s oil and gas boom.
     Antonio, 25, has seen the impacts in her home Torreon, a small Navajo community surrounded by oil and gas development in northwest New Mexico.
     'Our aquifer right now is under threat from oil and gas industries,' she says. And she’s concerned about a rise in cancer diagnoses in her family.
     Environmental groups highlight the critical impacts of the fracking process, which uses large quantities of water as well as toxic chemicals to fracture underlying rock and enable access to oil and natural gas. Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency and other scientists have documented air and water pollution as a result of fracking.
     Antonio is a lead organizer with the coalition the Red Nation, whose mission calls for 'the liberation of Native peoples from capitalism and colonialism' and to 'center Native political agendas and struggles through direct action, advocacy, mobilization, and education.' The group is calling for a Red Deal, a new movement with a broad platform that includes treaty rights, land restoration, restoration of watersheds and waterways, and a moratorium on oil and gas extraction.
     Antonio says her community isn’t being consulted about nearby oil and gas development by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and that the long-term health effects of fracking haven’t been sufficiently evaluated by government agencies.
     Last week she joined other activists from the Red Nation to protest the latest round of oil and gas leases auctioned by the BLM. Barred from accessing the BLM’s offices in Albuquerque, a couple dozen activists protested on a street nearby, chanting, 'You can’t drink oil, keep it in the soil!' and 'We won’t drink your fracking water!'”
     In fact, several tribal entities did file formal protests against the June 20th sales, including the All Pueblo Council of Governors and the Ojo Encino and Torreon/Starlake Chapter Governments of the Navajo Nation. They cited concerns about increasing carbon emissions as well as pollutants from oil and gas development. In its protest, the All Pueblo Council said the BLM'failed to provide adequate and meaningful tribal consultation' and violated the National Historic Preservation Act as well as the National Environmental Policy Act.
     Melanie Yazzie is one of the founders of the Red Nation. She says while the BLM protest addressed fracking , it’s fundamentally about clean water.
     'We understand the movement to protect water and the movement to have a thriving future for everyone on the planet is what’s at stake,' she says."

Isra Hirsi, US Youth Climate Strike, stated via E-mail, March 6, 2019, "We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: climate change is one of the defining issues of our time .
     It’s going to take bold action to bring about bold solutions to this crisis, and we’re not afraid to show our elected officials that we mean business. On March 15th, youth in the US will join thousands of youth across the globe striking from school for climate action. And we need your support.
     Join the US Youth Climate Strike on March 15th to call for radical legislative action to combat climate change. Join the movement today:
     Decades of climate inaction has left the most marginalized communities exposed to the threats of the climate crisis. As this crisis gets exponentially worse, my generation will face extreme impacts like worsening storms, and will be left to clean up the mess we’ve created.
      Youth across America will strike in pursuit of a bold set of demands that include a Green New Deal, a fair and just transition to 100% renewable energy, and no new fossil fuel infrastructure.
     Mobilize with US youth on March 15th to fight for an equitable and just world for our climate and our communities:
     Youth across the world are taking power into their own hands. Are you with us?"

Corporate Accountability, " It's time to kick Big Polluters out of the climate talks!" June 17, 2019, in an E-mail linked to,, said, " Today , as world leaders gather at the latest round of the U.N. climate talks, I’ll be there to ensure that your voice is heard.
      But Big Polluters will be there too. Oil and gas corporations will have an army of shills and lobbyists who are there to push governments to protect their profits instead of addressing the climate crisis. From where we sit, it is the single biggest obstacle to making real progress and enacting just climate policy.
      The solution couldn’t be clearer: The U.N. must kick Big Polluters out of the climate talks. And over the last few years, more than 400 civil society organizations, nearly 650,000 people, and governments collectively representing 70 percent of the world’s population have made it clear they want to address Big Polluters’ obstruction at the climate talks.
     So what’s the hold up? Governments like the U.S., and the European Union (EU) standing on the side of Big Polluters, and refusing to heed the call to kick Big Polluters out.
      Enough is enough. The EU claims to be a leader on climate ambition. Let’s show them what true climate leadership looks like. Urge the EU and other Northern governments -- specifically New Zealand, Australia, and Norway -- to side with people and back a conflict of interest policy at the U.N. climate talks.
We are working alongside allies around the world to compel these obstructionist Northern governments to stand with their own people and hundreds of thousands of other people around the world demanding climate justice, not with Trump and Big Polluters.
     The last thing these governments want is to be seen as siding with the Trump administration and Big Polluters -- even if that’s exactly what they’ve been doing behind closed doors. Let’s show them that the world is watching, and we are demanding better.
      Urge the EU, New Zealand, Norway, and Australia to stop working hand in hand with fossil fuel corporations and the climate change denying Trump administration!"
is more engaged than ever in a variety of activities concerning, "Stop Fossil Fuels. Build 100% Renewables." This includes working for "green new deals" world wide that stop new, and reduce current, fossil fuel production, while scaling up use of renewable energy to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C., while obtaining environmental justice.
     Some foci in early May 2019 included: supporting the Tores Strait Islanders in bringing a case against the Australian government to cease activities contributing to global warming, the largest of which is permitting and encouraging coal mining, an extraction activity in which Australia leads the world; Supporting and assisting organizing actions in Africa for May 25, 2019, calling for a rapid move to a fossil free future for Africa; and Supporting peaceful resistance to stop the Keystone XL and other oil and gas pipelines.
     For details go to:

"Day of Action: Protect the Protectors Rally! June 12, 2019: Protect Our Land - Water - Climate," Indigenous Environmental Network and the American Civil Liberties Union, June 12, 2019, stated, "Today, June 12, 2019, the U.S. District Court in Rapid City will hear the case that challenges three South Dakota laws, including the newly-enacted “Riot Boosting” Act, that threaten advocates who encourage or organize protests – like protests against the Keystone XL pipeline or mining in the Black Hills – with fines, civil liabilities, and/or criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison.
      This case impacts so many people – activists, water protectors, organizations, and others. Before the lawyers make their arguments in front of the judge on Wednesday, Dakota Rural Action, NDNCollective, Black Hills Clean Water Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Sierra Club South Dakota, the ACLU of South Dakota, and other organizers are gathering for a day of peaceful action."
" This hearing is our opportunity to stand up in front of the judge and argue the plaintiff’s case. Up until now, both sides have been submitting written briefs to the judge asking him to rule on the case in general and specific sub-issues within the case.
      What the ACLU will be arguing at the hearing:
     On behalf of the plaintiffs, the ACLU is asking Judge Piersol for a preliminary injunction – to make a ruling that there is enough of a likelihood that the challenged laws ( the Riot Boosting Act and two criminal laws with similar language ) are unconstitutional and to block the state from enforcing the anti-protest laws as the case goes forward. If this happens, the plaintiffs (and anyone else) can continue to prep for protests surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline or mining in the Black Hills without fear of penalty as long as the injunction is in place.
     What will the defendants be arguing at the hearing?

     The defendants are asking for judgement on the pleadings, arguing that the laws are constitutional and that the court should throw out our entire case because none of our arguments have any merit."
     " The defendants have also asked that, if the court thinks there is a chance that the challenged laws are unconstitutional, the state Supreme Court should have the first opportunity to interpret the laws and decide whether they are constitutional.
     Sheriff Thom of Pennington County is requesting the judge dismiss the lawsuit against him, arguing that his job is to enforce state laws not create those laws. The ACLU says Thom has discretion over how to enforce the law. The ACLU named Thom in the lawsuit because protests regarding the Keystone XL pipeline could take place near Rapid City.
      Who is involved in this case?
The ACLU is representing four organizations and two individuals (collectively known as the plaintiffs) who are planning to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and/or encourage others to do so:
      Dakota Rural Action,
      Indigenous Environmental Network, NDN Collective, Sierra Club, Nick Tilsen with NDN Collective, Dallas Goldtooth with Indigenous Environmental Network
      The defendants are: Kristi Noem, in her official capacity as South Dakota governor, Jason Ravnsborg, in his official capacity as South Dakota attorney general, Kevin Thom, in his official capacity as sheriff of Pennington County"
     To read all the legal documents go to:

"Cultural Survival Stands In Solidarity With The Wet’suwet’en People In British Columbia," Cultural Survival, January 11, 2019,, stated, " Tse Wedi Elth/Unist’ot’en Camp in British Columbia, Canada is Cultural Survival’s Keepers of the Earth Fund grant partner. The Unist’ot’en Camp was founded in 2010 by Wet’suwet’en hereditary Chiefs. Its mission is to protect Unist’ot’en territory by re-establishing traditional Indigenous governance systems and enacting an FPIC protocol for all activities on Unist’ot’en land. The Unist’ot’en Camp sits in the “energy corridor” for pipelines in Canada and is under threat from oil spills and devastating destruction of the environment. They have been fighting the construction of a 416 mile (670 km) liquified natural gas pipeline, Coastal GasLink, which they have not consented to. The pipeline would cross through Wet’suwet’en territory. As a clan of the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation, the Unist’ot’en are represented by chiefs Knedlebaes, Weli’, Lht'at'en, Maskaboo and Gohawk. Traditional Wet’suwet’en knowledge about the land is used to govern the types of activities that can take place on their territory, as the Indigenous Nation in British Columbia never signed a treaty with the colonial authorities, meaning that federal government operates in a vacuum of authority on their lands.
     Despite this, on December 14, 2018 , a provincial court in British Columbia granted an injunction to oil and gas company TransCanada, giving them access to the pipeline construction site. The land protectors have been camping out for weeks in bitter winter conditions at barricaded checkpoints to prevent gas pipeline construction vehicles from entering the territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. They have been effortlessly protecting the sacred water flows that provide life to all living beings in the area. The land protectors are peacefully defending the survival of all future generations for all nations.
     On January 9, 2019, heavily armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided the camp and arrested 14 Indigenous land defenders. As many watched in horror, people pulled together to voice injustice. A call for international action was organized on January 8, where 67 national and international nations marched in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. All nations across Turtle Island united, standing together for Indigenous Peoples Rights. Cultural Survival condemns this act of violence and reiterates alongside the Wet’suwet’en Nation that their territory in British Columbia was never ceded by treaty and hereditary Chiefs retain authority over their lands. Additionally, in 2010, Canada endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is obliged to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of Indigenous communities. As the Unist’ot’en camp says, 'This fight is far from over.'”

Julia Conley, "I'm Sure Dinosaurs Thought They Had Time, Too': Over 12,000 Students Strike in Brussels Demanding Bold Climate Action: 'It's great to see the number of people present here today,' said one march organizer. 'It's an incredible signal. This cannot be ignored,'" Common Dreams, January 17, 2019, , reported, "An estimated 12,500 students walked out of their classrooms in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday to join the country's second youth-led climate march in the past week, demanding that government leaders from across Europe take bold action to help stem the global climate crisis."

Ceylan Yeginsu, "Skipping School to Save the Earth," The New York Times, February 14, 2019, reported, " Thousands of young people in Britain are expected to abandon their classrooms and take to the streets on Friday to join a growing movement to protest the lack of action on climate change.
     Inspired by a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who cut class on a weekly basis last year to stage sit-ins outside Sweden’s Parliament, young climate campaigners are planning to walk out of British schools, colleges and universities across 40 towns and cities on Friday."

"Millions of school strikers have shown us they’re serious about climate action. Adults, will you join our youth?" Global Climate Strike, accessed July 1, 2019,, stated, " School strikers are calling on everyone: young people, parents, workers, and all concerned citizens to join massive climate strikes and a week of actions starting on September 20.
      People all over the world will use their power to stop “business as usual” in the face of the climate emergency. We will join young people in the streets to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels and emergency action to avoid climate breakdown.

Jessica Corbett, "'Radical Agents of Physical and Social Chaos': Campaigners Target Big Banks Over Destructive Fossil Fuel Projects: 'It is simply nuts for banks to keep financing the ongoing destruction of the planet's climate,'" Common Dreams, April 9, 2019,, reported, " Environmental campaigners this week are pressuring a pair of big banks to stop pouring billions of dollars per year into destructive fossil fuel projects that drive the global climate crisis.
     A coalition of more than 100 groups sent a letter(pdf) to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan on Tuesday urging him 'to refrain from any further financing of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and to urge other financiers to do the same.'
     If completed, the ACP would carry fracked gas 600 miles across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The pipeline is about two years behind schedule and $2 billion over budget, per an investor report released last month by Friends of the Earth and Oil Change International, which both signed the letter.
     'As lead arranger and bookrunner for a loan to Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, and especially as a multinational corporation that calls North Carolina home,' the letter states, 'Bank of America has a special responsibility to drop its support for this reckless project.
     The letter warns that 'the ACP is economically and environmentally irresponsible; raises serious environmental justice, human rights, and climate crisis concerns; and does not build long-term shareholder value for its investors.' It also faces several legal and regulatory hurdles.
     'The pipeline would devastate diverse communities, cultures, ecosystems, and the climate along its route,' said Friends of the Earth senior campaigner Donna Chavis. 'Bank of America will share blame for the environmental disruption caused by this project.'
     Bank of America is one of the top funders of fossil fuel projects, according to the most recent Banking on Climate Change report, published in March. The bank ranked fourth overall and invested more than $33 billion in dirty energy projects in 2018 alone. Its three-year total was more than $106 billion. Citi ranked third, and Wells Fargo second
      The top funder of fossil fuel projects—JPMorgan Chase, which spent nearly $64 billion last year and over $195 billion since 2016—is also under fire from campaigners this week. Similar to protests held last year, advocacy groups are organizing a national day of action for Wednesday, with #ShutDownChase actions planned at branches in over 20 cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.
     'We are calling on Chase to stop investing in the fossil fuel corporations that are causing both the devastation of Mother Earth and such huge harms indigenous communities,' said Mazaska Talks founder Rachel Heaton, noting the documented spikes in violence against indigenous women near 'man camps' that service fossil fuel extraction sites.
     'At this late date, it is simply nuts for banks to keep financing the ongoing destruction of the planet's climate,' added co-founder Bill McKibben. 'Bankers are acting as radical agents of physical and social chaos; it's time for them to pull back and pay attention to science and society.'
     This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License"

     The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), was centering its efforts, in January 2019, around the need for policy making to follow closely to good science: "Science for a healthy planet and safer world." Recent UCS reports available on line include "2018 Climate Retrospective: Major climate events in 2018, climate grief, and moving forward;" "National Report Shows Natural Gas Overreliance Keeps US Power Sector Emissions High Through 2050;" "6 Utility Trends to Look Out For in 2019;" and, in combating attacks on science, " EPA Keeps Data Analysis on Stream and Wetland Protections in the Dark"
     The EPA proposed a rule that would shrink what waterways are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. The agency said that they could not quantify the impact of rolling back this rule; however, a 2017 analysis shows enormous impacts
     UCS has been active on numerous issues concerning the environment, most especially relating to climate change, as well as on other issues involving the need for policy to follow good science.
     For more information visit:

Chase Iron Eyes, Lakota Peolpe's Law Project, April 3, 2019,, stated, " The Pine Ridge Reservation is flooded! The aftermath of Winter Storm Ulmer, which hit the Midwest on March 13th, is still wreaking havoc on the territory where I now reside.
     Our tribal president, Julian Bear Runner, has been working around the clock with a barebones staff for the past two weeks to keep catastrophe from turning into apocalypse. I was honored to serve as President Bear Runner’s campaign manager last year, and I am all the more pleased that we have a leader of his character during this crisis.
      Join OST President Bear Runner in calling for a federal declaration of disaster in South Dakota. Please send an email to President Trump today! "

"Dakota Access Announces Pipeline Expansion," Bold Iowa, E-mail June 13, 2019, stated, "As predicted, Dakota Access (DA) announced yesterday that it wants to increase the amount of oil flowing through its pipeline across Iowa. DA claims it needs no additional authorization from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to proceed.
     Bold Iowa disagrees. Today, we filed the following request with the IUB. We need YOU to take action, too."
     "June 13, 2019, Iowa Utilities Board, 1375 Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319
     Re: Response to Dakota Access Informational Notice of June 12, 2019
     Docket No. HLP-2014-0001
     Dear Board Members and Staff:
     Bold Iowa writes in response to the Dakota Access (DA) June 12, 2019 'informational notice' to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) regarding its proposed expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
     DA’s filing raises so many unanswered questions it is not possible for Bold Iowa, the general public, the IUB, nor concerned state and local elected officials to fully grasp the impact of the proposed expansion without adequate time and study. The involvement of landowners along the route, Story County residents, and all Iowans concerned about the broader impacts of the pipeline is essential. Thus:
      Bold Iowa requests that the IUB hold a public hearing in Story County where DA officials and IUB representatives are available to answer any and all questions from Iowans who have concerns about DA’s proposed expansion.
     Our staff and consultants have had less than 24 hours to review DA’s filing. Many more issues will likely arise. At this point, here are the questions and concerns we would like the IUB and DA to address:
     1. How much oil would flow through the pipeline once DA completes the proposed changes at the Cambridge Pumping Station?
     2. What would be the proposed expansion’s impact on climate change? (Note page 37 of the recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling in Puntenny v. Iowa Utilities Board, where Justice Mansfield in writing for the majority states, “We recognize that a serious and warranted concern about climate change underlies some of the opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.”
     3. Would the additional flow of oil increase the likelihood and severity of a spill?
     4. What types of disruption and impact could landowners near the Cambridge Pumping Station expect during and after DA’s proposed expansion?
     5. Beyond modifications to the Cambridge Pumping Station, is DA considering adding other pumping stations in Iowa and/or other modifications at any other points along the pipeline route now or in the future?
     6. DA references growing demand from shippers. How much of that demand is from overseas markets? We are concerned that, given the recent announcement about opening an office in Beijing, China, by DA’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, this proposed expansion has nothing to do with domestic oil consumption and everything to do with exportation.
     7. Would DA have to add more Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) to accommodate the increased flow through the pipeline, and if so, would that constitute a change to the essential product, thus requiring DA to get approval from the IUB according to Rule 13.18?
     8. DA indicates that one justification for the proposed expansion is that shippers have expressed “significant interest.” How many of these shippers are simply marketing affiliates of the company and/or any of its parent companies?
     9. When would DA intend to begin and complete the proposed work?
     10. How would DA intend to keep the public informed of its progress?
     Thank you for your prompt consideration of our request.
     Ed Fallon, director, Bold Iowa, (515) 238-6404 and"

" Members of the Navajo Nation opposed to the Navajo Nation taking over the coal fired Navajo Generating Station held a 'Stop the Purchase' rally outside the Nation's council chamber, December 29, 2019. The Council voted not to take over the station (Krista Allen, "Protests fill special session, Navajo Times, January 3, 2019). Foundation is engaged in a variety of project to limit climate change. Recent reports on them are available at:

"Patagonia Stops Co-Branding Clothes for Companies That Harm the Planet," Global Citizen," April 4, 2019,, reported, "The environmentally minded brand is done doing business with "ecologically damaging" industries.
      Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is done selling co-branded clothes to companies that fail to prioritize the health of the planet.
     The company told BuzzFeed that it will only sell to certified B Corporations, which put social good over profit; companies that have joined the 1% for the Planet pledge, meaning they donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations; and companies with charity arms that help the planet

Fifteen Alaska tribal nations have petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to influence the Canadian government to take action against six mines in British Colombia whose operations threaten to pollute the headwaters of rivers flowing into Alaska that are vital to the tribes. The aim of the petition is to have a full and proper review of the impact of the mining operations ("Alaska tribes opposing mines seek help from human rights commission," NFIC, December 2018).

" Webinar: New Threats & Next Steps: Resistance to the Escobal Mine in Guatemala: Panelists from the Xinka Parliament and the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network will lead a discussion on the current situation on the ground two years since the mine was suspended, and how to support communities in resistance. Time: Jun 20, 2019 6:00 PM Eastern Time," E-mail received June 13, 2019,, stated, "For two years, since June 2017, the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa and the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala have achieved a rare victory: halting the highly-profitable Escobal mine in southeastern Guatemala through 24-hour community encampments and precedent-setting court decisions.
     While the encampments continue, the Constitutional Court has ordered the Ministry of Energy and Mines to carry out a consultation with Xinka People as set out in their September 2018 ruling.
      Unable to manage the costs of having its flagship mine stopped, Tahoe Resources sold out to Vancouver-based Pan American Silver in early 2019.
      Despite Pan American’s conciliatory rhetoric that it will learn from Tahoe’s mistakes, the fight isn’t over: Pan American Silver has made it clear it intends to re-open the mine. At the company AGM on May 8th, Pan American chairman Ross J. Beaty stated 'there is no sensible reason, social, environmental or political not to, disregarding the broad-based resistance that communities have demonstrated against this project since 2011.
      With threats and intimidation against key leaders in the movement once again on the rise, we need to strengthen solidarity with the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa and the Xinka Parliament.
     Join us on June 20 (English) to find out how you can get more involved and to hear from local leaders about the court-ordered consultation process, threats against leaders, and what the sale to Pan American has meant for communities on the front-lines."

Ocean River Institute, "Stop the Destruction of Our Waterways & Help Takedown Roundup: Beautiful green lawns can coexist with cleaner water, thriving marine life, and healthier communities," March 25, 2019,, stated, " Please join with us to inform your town or city about the harms of fertilizer pollution on Massachusetts’s waterways.
      Throughout Massachusetts, we are witnessing our bodies of water being polluted with nutrients causing the degradation of water quality and the destruction of wildlife.
     The goal of the Clean Water Project is to stop nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, to restore and preserve healthy waterways.

     We are calling for regulation of fertilizer on established lawns, for bylaws that limit fertilizer use to no more than a half pound of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer a year (
     We are also urging implementation of an education program that explains when grass cuttings are left on the lawn, it amounts to the equivalent of one pound of fertilizer per year. Our goal is for all 351 municipalities in Massachusetts to modify their lawn care practices to have both clean water and healthy lawns that don’t pollute.
      Falmouth, MA, has modified their lawn care, reducing greatly fertilizer application in 2012 in response to discovering sixteen striped bass, a horseshoe crab and an unidentified crab dead in Little Pond. ( “Poor Water Quality Suspected in Death of Fish at Little Pond,”
      Six years later, Falmouth’s lawns are just as green as in neighboring towns proving that their fertilizer bylaw has not harmed the grass. Here, green lawns coexist with cleaner water and healthy marine life. There has not been another fish kill.
     Let us follow Falmouth’s lead and enact sustainable lawn care laws that stop nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of our waterways and groundwater.
     Please join with us to inform your town or city about the fatal harms of the herbicide Roundup.
     Roundup is a widely used herbicide that has harmful human health and environmental effects. Glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, is a known carcinogen and has also been linked to hormone disruption and antibiotics resistance
. Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, was recently ordered to receive $289 million from Monsanto (the maker of Roundup) after Johnson developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of using Roundup. While Monsanto is currently appealing this decision, let’s stop using Roundup.
      Roundup, technically the chemical glyphosate, has been found everywhere! It’s in our environment; it’s in rainwater, streams and on down into the ocean. It’s in the food that we eat, found in soy and other produce. Most alarming is that Roundup is found in people and concentration levels are rising. ("A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People's Bodies,"
     There are alternative herbicides that are much safer and will not bio-accumulate in our bodies. We’ve got a recipe that you may make at home with vinegar, salt and dish soap. Pulling weeds, weed-whacking, and mulching kills weeds faster than herbicides. For more information, check out our page on Roundup Alternatives.
     Join us in asking for better lawn care practices."

The Manoomin [wild rice] Education and Outreach project has been educating people about wild rice as part of its efforts to part of its efforts to protect, preserve and restore manoomin across the Lake Superior region. Wild rice is under a number of threats, especially from pollution and human actions that change water levels where the plant grows (
     Oceana, "Oceana Wins Lawsuit to Protect Overfished Dusky Sharks: Judge Rules Trump Administration Must Base Protections on Sound Science, March 14, 2019, stated, "Contact: Amelia Vorpahl: 202-467-1968, 202-476-0632 (cell),This week, a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration for violating federal law by failing to use all available scientific evidence to end the overfishing of dusky sharks in U.S. waters. The ruling, in response to an Oceana lawsuit filed by Earthjustice, requires the federal government to do more to end the rampant overfishing that has plagued dusky sharks. Dusky shark populations off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts have plummeted by at least 65 percent in the past two decades as a result of bycatch – the capture of non-target fish and ocean wildlife."

"The road to extinction is paved with good intentions," Patagonia, April 7, 2019,, stated, " Artifishal [at the above web address], is a film about the high cost of hatcheries, fish farms and human arrogance. We made this film for several reasons. As anglers, we recognize that protecting wild fish is the only way to ensure that fishing will be there for future generations. As taxpayers, we are dismayed at the gross misuse of public money being wasted on a system that not only doesn't work, but actually contributes to the problem it claims to solve. And finally, as concerned residents of our home planet, we view hatcheries and fish farms as part of a disturbing trend to willfully ignore scientific fact for the sake of political expediency.
      Wild salmon and southern resident killer whales are on the brink of extinction. Now a misguided plan to feed the starving whales with hatchery salmon will push both endangered species closer to the edge, while costing taxpayers millions of dollars per year.
      Hatcheries and over harvest, along with net-pen fish farms and dams, are key contributors to the catastrophic decline of wild Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northwest. Now, Washington state’s Orca Task Force recommendations include a plan to “feed the orcas” with 60 million more hatchery salmon per year. The proposed budget requests up to $87 million dollars to fund this plan for 10 years. Science tells us this won’t work: orcas need larger wild salmon, while adding more hatchery fish further weakens the wild-salmon gene pool.
     The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) and Department of Fish and Wildlife have the power to make this change.
     It’s time for directors Barry Thom and Kelly Susewind, to listen to their constituents and invest in science-based solutions: reduce hatchery production, remove dams and change how we harvest salmon."
      Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is done selling co-branded clothes to companies that fail to prioritize the health of the planet.
     The company told BuzzFeed that it will only sell to certified B Corporations, which put social good over profit; companies that have joined the 1% for the Planet pledge, meaning they donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations; and companies with charity arms that help the planet

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U.S. Activities

"House Judiciary Committee Approves Tribal Provisions at Markup of H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019," National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), March 12, 2019,, stated, " Today, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 1585) and reported it favorably out of Committee. This legislation increases safety for Native victims by building on the landmark provision included in the Violence Against Women Act 2013 (VAWA) that created a framework for tribal governments to prosecute non-Indians for the first time since Oliphant v. Suquamish. Currently tribes can prosecute non-Indians only for domestic violence, dating violence, and criminal violations of protection orders. Section 903 of H.R. 1585 would add child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, obstruction of justice, and assaults against law enforcement officers to the crimes that tribes can prosecute against non-Indians. The legislation would also expand tribal access to federal criminal databases and create a pilot project aimed at addressing the unique challenges in Alaska.
     H.R. 1585 was approved on a party line vote, with Democrats voting in favor of the legislation and Republicans voting against it. Juana Majel-Dixon, Co-Chair for the Task Force on Violence Against Women and Recording Secretary at National Congress of American Indians ( NCAI) responded to the favorable outcome of the Bill stating, 'We applaud the Committee for approving this important legislation, which would enhance safety for victims in Indian Country.' She also thanked the Committee for rejecting an amendment that would have repealed the tribal jurisdiction provisions included in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, saying 'I was disheartened, and frankly appalled, to see an amendment offered that would have stripped tribal governments of their inherent authority to hold non-Indians accountable for domestic violence crimes on tribal lands. With more than 4 in 5 Native women experiencing domestic violence in their lifetimes, now is not the time to go back to a system that allows non-Indians to prey on Native women with impunity. I am grateful that a majority of the Committee members agree.'
     As NCAI noted in its written testimony to the Subcommittee on Crime, examination of the tribes’ exercise of jurisdiction over non-Indian domestic violence offenders suggests that it is working as Congress intended—the law has enhanced the ability of tribal governments to combat domestic violence against Native women, while at the same time protecting non-Indians’ rights in impartial, tribal forums. By exercising this jurisdiction, many tribal communities have increased safety and justice for victims who had previously seen little of either.
     The Committee also considered an amendment offered by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee that directs the Attorney General and Secretary of the Interior to submit an annual report to Congress on missing and murdered Indian women and provides recommendations for how to improve data collection in this area. The amendment was approved with bipartisan support.
      NCAI’s written testimony (at: also informed the Subcommittee of the adoption of a resolution ECWS-19-005 (at:, which sets forth five priorities for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2019. The five priorities identified by NCAI are all largely addressed by H.R. 1585."

"National Native Organizations Unite and Urge the President and Congress to Re-Open the Government," National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), January 10, 2019,, stated, "On the 20th day of the government shutdown , eight national Native organizations are jointly urging the President and Congress to immediately end the partial government shutdown, which breaks the treaty and trust obligations the federal government owes to tribal nations. The organizations jointly sent a letter to Congress and the President outlining the wide-ranging impacts of the shutdown on Indian Country.
      America’s longstanding, legally-mandated obligations to tribal nations should be honored no matter the political quarrels of the moment. 'During this shutdown, Congress and the President are putting the well-being of our tribal nations and our citizens in jeopardy. As governmental leaders, we know that it is simply not an option to stop serving our citizens. On behalf of Indian Country, we urge the President and Congress to do their jobs and reopen the government immediately,” said National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Jefferson Keel.
     On tribal lands, the federal government assumed the responsibility to provide basic governmental services like health care, public safety, and education as a part of its treaty negotiations with tribal nations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS), the primary agencies responsible for providing these services, either directly or through compact and contracts with tribal governments, are both currently hamstrung by the shutdown. The shutdown has a range of impacts throughout Indian Country:
'Unrelated political battles are abrogating the treaties and agreements signed by our ancestors , curtailing health care programs, and causing our people to suffer. When possible, tribal governments are cutting other services and scraping together scarce dollars to keep health clinics operational, but this is not sustainable. The shutdown is destabilizing Native health delivery and health care provider access; as well as destabilizing Tribal Governments, families, children and individuals. Services will be cut, and loss of life will be the result if this shutdown is not ended soon,' said National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Chief Executive Officer Stacy A. Bohlen.
     'Urban Indian Health Programs (UIHPs) are an integral part of the health care delivery system for Native peoples. These UIHPs depend on funding from IHS to provide care to urban Native people. However, when IHS is shutdown, we do not receive critical funding and the detrimental impacts on our patients are immediate and significant. Medical staff layoffs, reduction in health services provided, and clinic closure will follow if funding is not restored,' said National Council on Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) President Maureen Rosette.
     'This shutdown jeopardizes the future of thousands of Native students and creates undue immediate hardship for BIE systems to ensure the safety of Native students and support nutrition programs that feed the minds of tomorrow
. Creating safe and positive learning environments for our Native children and youth to thrive is a priority for Native communities. The price of this shutdown must not be paid by our children. NIEA urges the President and Congress to re-open the government immediately,' said National Indian Education Association (NIEA) President Robin Butterfield.
     'Tribal housing programs rely on federal funding to fulfill the United States’ trust and treaty responsibilities, so a prolonged shutdown will only limit a tribal nation’s ability to provide housing opportunities in their communities
. Some programs may shut down entirely until new funding is available, while others may be able to stretch out their dollars by providing minimal services to their members. Many tribal members are unable to attain the dream of homeownership because their Section 184 loan is unable to be closed. With the BIA included in the shutdown, leases cannot be approved for rehabilitation work on homes or title reports for home loans,' said National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) Chairman Gary Cooper.
      Child Welfare
     'Native children and families are feeling the effect of the partial government shutdown. Children who are involved in the child welfare system, particularly children in foster care, are significantly impacted. Without funds for the tribal programs that support Native children and families, it is difficult for tribal child welfare workers to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens receive the supports they need outside of our tribal services
,' said National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) President Gil Vigil.
      Economic Development
     'The federal government shutdown puts many of our economic development plans and activities in jeopardy as federal agencies must review and approve permits and other documents before tribal governments can proceed with their planned activities. The effects of delayed or lost economic development opportunities will be felt by tribal governments and their citizens long after the government reopens
,' said Self-Governance Communication & Education (SGCE) Chairman W. Ron Allen.
      'The government shutdown hurts more than just federal employees- it impacts local economies, small businesses, and the contractors who work tirelessly side by side with federal employees to help federal agencies accomplish the work. We call for an end to the shutdown and would like to see all federal contractors who have been impacted restored in the same manner as federal employees. Small businesses cannot afford to absorb the economic cost and impacts of a government shutdown,” said Kimberly Teehee, President, Native American Contractors Association
      Tribal nations are resilient and provide services to around 2 million people; however, we cannot continue to provide for our communities without our federal partners. The long-term effects of this shutdown will ripple throughout our communities for months or even years following the reopening of the government. We urge the President and Congress to end this government stalemate, fulfill their trust and treaty promises to tribal nations, and invest in the future of all Americans.
     For more information, contact the following:
      National Congress of American Indians,,, or 202-466-7767
      Native American Contractors Association, 202-758-2676,
      National Indian Health Board, 202-507-4071,
      National Council on Urban Indian Health, 202-544-0344,
      National Indian Education Association, 202-544-7290,
      National American Indian Housing Council, 202-789-1754,
      National Indian Child Welfare Association, 503-222-4044,
      Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium, 918-302-0252,"

"The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion issued today in Herrera v. Wyoming, a tribal treaty rights case," National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), May 20, 2019,, stated, " In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the Crow Tribe of Indians’ treaty right to hunt on unoccupied lands within the United States survives Wyoming’s establishment as a state, noting that this right remains unless it is expressly repealed by an act of Congress or “a termination point in the treaty itself has been satisfied.” Justice Sotomayor, writing the opinion (at: behalf of the majority, stated “ there simply is no evidence that Congress intended to abrogate the 1868 Treaty right through the Wyoming Statehood Act.” The case was vacated and remanded for further proceedings consistent with the Court’s opinion.
     NCAI President Jefferson Keel stated, 'Once again, the Supreme Court has affirmed that treaty rights are the supreme law of the land, and they continue in perpetuity unless expressly repealed by an act of Congress.” The long anticipated decision in Herrera v. Wyoming comes after a similar decision upholding tribal treaty rights in Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den Inc."

"Supreme Court Upholds Yakama Treaty Rights and Pre-Empts State of Washington’s Fuel Tax," The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), March 19, 2019,, stated, "On March 19, 2019 the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc. upholding long-standing treaty rights held by the Yakama Nation. In Cougar Den, the Supreme Court considered whether a Washington State tax on motor vehicle fuel importers who bring fuel into the state via ground transportation violated the right to travel provision of the 1855 treaty between the United States and the Yakama Nation.
     In 2013, the state of Washington Licensing Department assessed Cougar Den Inc. $3.6million in taxes, penalties, and licensing fees for importing fuel into the state of Washington. Cougar Den is a company owned by a member of the Yakama Nation and incorporated under the laws of the Yakama Nation that imports fuel into the state for sale to Yakama-owned gas stations on the Tribe’s reservation.
      Five Justices agreed with the Washington Supreme Court that the 1855 treaty pre-empts the state of Washington’s fuel tax.
     In response to the decision, NCAI President Jefferson Keel said ' today the U.S. Supreme Court got it right, affirming that treaties are indeed the supreme law of the land. This decision is wholly consistent with the federal government’s role in ensuring that treaties and other agreements are honored by states and other parties that seek to limit Indian Country’s sovereign authority. We congratulate the Yakama Nation and hope its tribal businesses can quickly overcome any undue hardship this litigation has caused and move forward with unfettered certainty.'
     Justice Breyer announced the judgement of the Court and was joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. Justice Gorsuch filed a concurring opinion and was joined by Justice Ginsberg. Chief Justice Roberts provided a dissenting opinion and was joined by Justices Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Alito. Justice Kavanaugh also provided a dissenting opinion and was joined by Justice Thomas.
     For the Supreme Court’s opinion, please click
     For the NCAI Amicus Brief, please click"

"President’s FY 2020 Budget Released," The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), March 13, 2019, stated, "On March 11, 2019, the President released his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress. This broadcast will outline the major proposals included, list the impacts to tribal programs funded in the federal budget, and comment on the outlook for passage of the proposals.
      Overall Context

      The President’s budget proposes reducing FY 2020 non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding by $54 billion (9 percent) below the FY 2019 level, and by $69 billion (11 percent) after adjusting for inflation. The proposed amount follows the cap set by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 and which was lowered through sequestration. The proposed decreases to NDD accounts would undermine the ability of the federal government to meet its treaty and trust obligations, with the proposed budget cutting Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE) by about 10.5 percent compared to the 2019 continuing resolution level. Other agencies would see cuts of 12 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services, 18 percent for Housing and Urban Development, and 31 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency. See the attached full analysis for details of proposed funding for tribal programs by department at:
      Competing Budget Plans

     House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth will be writing a FY 2020 budget resolution which will set discretionary spending limits higher than the current caps. Without a caps deal, the House is likely to pass a deeming resolution, which is used when the House and Senate have not agreed on a budget resolution. Under this deemed budget resolution, the House could begin writing appropriations bills.
     In the Senate, Budget Chairman Enzi is expected to write the budget resolution abiding by the statutory caps used in the President’s budget. For the Senate to consider spending bills on the floor, the body would have to set enforceable spending limits in a deeming resolution. House Majority Leader Hoyer, (D-MD), has raised the possibility of the two chambers agreeing to spending limits to allow the appropriations process to move forward. Whether Senate Republicans break from the President’s proposal will determine the outcome of such a spending limit agreement. The President’s budget is just the beginning of the appropriations process. Congress has the final say.
     NCAI encourages tribal leaders and advocates to submit testimony to the respective appropriations committee in the House (testimony instructions here for Interior and here for other subcommittees) and the Senate (when the instructions become available).
      Summary of Key Changes

      Proposed Eliminations

      BIA Eliminations

     Indian Guaranteed Loan Program
: No funds are requested for new loan guarantees under the program, -$8.4 million from the FY19 CR amount

      Housing Improvement Program, -$9.7 million FY19 CR amount
      Small and Needy Tribes, -$4.5 million from the FY19 CR amount Tribal Climate Resilience, -$9.9 million from the FY19 CR amount
      BIE Eliminations

      Scholarships and Adult Education
      Special Higher Education Scholarship\
     Replacement School Construction
     Replacement Facility Construction
      HUD Eliminations

     Indian Community Development Block Grant
     Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant
      HHS Eliminations

     Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
     Community Service Block Grants
      Education Department Eliminations
Alaska Native Education Equity
     Strengthening AN/NH-Serving Institutions
     Native Hawaiian Student Education
      Proposed Increases

     The President’s budget request for tribal programs at DOJ would increase funding overall. The increase would come as a result of a proposed 7 percent set-aside for tribal governments from across Office of Justice Programs discretionary programs.
     The Indian Health Service budget (IHS) request for FY 2020 is $5.9 billion, which is $392 million or 7 percent above FY 2019.
     For the full analysis, see this attachment:"

"NCAI Statement on House Passage of H.R. 375," The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), May 15, 2019,, stated, " Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass legislation (H.R. 375) that would cleanly fix the 2009 decision of Carcieri v. Salazar, by protecting existing Indian trust lands and restoring certainty and fairness to the land into trust process. This marks a significant step forward for Indian Country. NCAI applauds today’s House vote and believes it serves as a good indication that Indian Country issues are being taken seriously.
     Through passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA), Congress rejected the devastating federal policy of allotment which caused the loss of 90 million acres of tribal homelands. For a decade, NCAI has requested that Congress address the Carcieri problem and noted in its written testimony that this could be achieved by (1) restoring the Secretary of the Interior’s authority under the IRA to take land into trust for all federally recognized tribal nations; and (2) reaffirming existing Indian trust lands. This common sense approach is wholly consistent with the IRA’s intent to rebuild tribal homelands, governments, and economies, and a clean fix would end the confusion and intergovernmental disputes that resulted from the Supreme Court’s ill-advised decision a decade ago in Carcieri.
     NCAI’s hope is that our champions in the United States Senate will get behind this bill for a swift passage. Its passage would be a monumental win for Indian Country as tribal government land bases are part of the foundation of tribal sovereignty. All tribal nations deserve to receive equal treatment under the IRA.
     NCAI exists to support and strengthen tribal sovereignty, and we look forward to tribal nations being able to cultivate economic and community development opportunities on lands that are rightfully their own. You can find more information on NCAI’s position in in NCAI’s written testimony and an inter-tribal letter of support to Congress that are available at"

NCAI Welcomes Efforts to Protect American Indian and Alaska Native Children," The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), March 27, 2019,, stated, " NCAI welcomes yesterday’s announcement of a new Presidential Taskforce on Protecting Native American Children in the Indian Health Services (“Task Force”). Like the rest of Indian Country, we are devastated that child predators have been allowed to serve in positions of trust in our communities and have violated our children. We must understand how this was allowed to occur and ensure it never happens again. NCAI encourages the Task Force to work in Indian Country and consult with tribal nations to find long lasting solutions. NCAI President Jefferson Keel said, “We pray for all of the victims impacted by sexual abuse and victimization in Indian Country, and will continue to fight to ensure that our children have the safe, nurturing environments that they deserve.”

"Statement of NCAI President Jefferson Keel on Broken Promises Report Released Today by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights," National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), December 20, 2018,, stated , "NCAI stands in strong support of the key findings and recommendations contained in today’s report, which would serve to improve the state of public safety, healthcare, education, housing, and economic opportunity across Indian Country. This report confirms what Indian Country knows too well – federal programs designed to support the social and economic wellbeing of American Indians and Alaska Natives remain chronically underfunded, leaving many basic needs unmet.
     The United States is a nation that bases its greatness to a significant degree on its rule of law. Within that framework, treaties and intergovernmental agreements carry supreme legal weight. Our tribal nations seek only those things promised to us and our citizens by the U.S. Constitution and the solemn treaties and agreements reached between our tribal nations and the United States. When tribal nations agreed to accept smaller land bases, the federal government promised to safeguard our right to govern ourselves, and to enable tribal governments to deliver essential services and provide them adequate resources to do so effectively. We appreciate the Broken Promises report’s recommendation that “the United States expects all nations to live up to their treaty obligations; it should live up to its own.”
     While prosperity in the minds of many Americans may evoke a version of the American Dream based solely on building personal financial wealth, prosperity for most Native people centers on the preservation and practice of Native cultures and languages, active participation in sacred clan and kinship systems, and close stewardship of tribal homelands. Despite the forced taking of tribal lands and resources, attempts to terminate tribal nations’ unique political status as governments, and severe underfunding, tribal nations are slowly but surely proving successful in their efforts to build sustainable tribal economies and rebuild tribal communities in accordance with their cultural values. If the United States lived up to its commitments to support Indian Country in the ways that it has promised, tribal nations and governments could do so much more.
     NCAI thanks the Commission, their staff, and the 20 members of Congress who sent the bipartisan letter requesting that the USCCR produce this updated report. We look forward to working closely with the Administration and Congress to tackle the crisis in Indian Country documented in today’s Broken Promises report.
     View the report here:"

"NCAI President Jefferson Keel's Statement on Delayed Vote on H.R. 312, " National Congress of American Indians, May 9, 2019,, stated, “ Yesterday's pulling of two bills intended to address concerns of tribal nations is unfortunate, particularly if they were pulled in response to a social media posting from our President. Misinformation about tribal homeland restoration legislation yesterday morning serves only to confuse issues of great importance to Indian Country. H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, is not a gaming bill. That bill is a reservation lands reaffirmation bill, meaning it ensures that a federally recognized tribal nation has a homeland for present and future generations. If the President truly cares about equal treatment of Native Americans, NCAI expects the President to issue a tweet supporting a clean Carcieri fix, which would ensure that all tribal nations received equal treatment under the Indian Reorganization Act. Once again, we call on the President to refrain from using Pocahontas’ name in a disparaging manner. It’s insulting, disrespectful, and perpetuates the dehumanization of Native peoples.”

"NCAI Denounces President Trump’s Invoking of Wounded Knee Massacre and Battle of Little Bighorn in Political Attack," National Congress of American Indians, January 14, 2019, stated, "Today, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country, denounced President Donald Trump’s invoking of the Wounded Knee Massacre and the Battle of Little Bighorn in his latest Twitter attack against Senator Elizabeth Warren.
      'We condemn in the strongest possible terms the casual and callous use of these events as part of a political attack. Hundreds of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho people lost their lives at the hands of the invading U.S. Army during these events, and their memories should not be desecrated as a rhetorical punch line,' said NCAI President Jefferson Keel.
     'The President referenced the Wounded Knee Massacre, one of the darkest and most tragic chapters in the history of the Sioux Nation, to mock Senator Warren. On behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, I condemn President Trump’s racist and disrespectful tweet about this brutal incident, in which an estimated 300 unarmed men, women, and children were rounded up and slaughtered,' said Rodney Bordeaux, Chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and NCAI Great Plains Alternate Area Vice President. 'President Trump should remember that the United States has broken and continues to dishonor the treaties of peace made with our nation and other tribal nations of this country, and he should apologize immediately to the people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and other Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota nations for his shameful and ignorant misstatement.'
     For the past 75 years, NCAI has worked as a non-partisan organization to educate both sides of the political aisle about the unique political status of tribal nations as governments, the federal government’s permanent trust and treaty obligations to uphold and support tribal sovereignty, and contemporary tribal nations and their priorities for brighter futures. In furtherance of that educational effort, NCAI encourages the Administration and Congress to learn about the issues that are important to contemporary Native peoples. It also calls on the President and all other elected officials to refrain from disparaging Native peoples, their cultural identities, and their histories for partisan gain.
      'Flippant references to deadly historical conflicts and name-calling that mocks Native identity have no place in our political discourse,' said Keel.' I urge the President to focus instead on doing the people’s business, including ending the needless government shutdown that is harming so many Native people.'”

"NCAI Statement on Maine Governor's Ban on Use of Native-Themed Mascots," National Congress of American Indians, May 22, 2019,, stated, " NCAI applauds the recent signing of a bill making Maine the first state to ban the use of all Native 'themed' mascots and imagery in public schools, colleges, and universities. The signing of this bill becomes the most comprehensive mascot legislation to pass to date. Maine joins other government bodies in setting an example of a government honoring the state’s tribal nations and signifies the state’s respect for all of its citizens.
     Since 1968, NCAI has diligently opposed derogatory and harmful stereotypes of Native peoples in media and popular culture, which includes sports mascots and related imagery. During the past 51 years, hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Native-themed mascots. This stance is further supported by social science research conducted by the American Psychological Association that found derogatory “Indian” sports mascots have negative psychological, social and cultural impacts on Native people, especially Native youth.
     NCAI is committed to its ongoing public education and advocacy efforts to whittle away at the remaining public educational institutions who continue to use offensive, derogatory, and harmful Native “themed” mascots, names, and/or imagery. As the oldest, largest, most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization, we look forward to more states standing with Maine on the right side of history."

"NCAI Applauds Decision by Little League International to Ban Racially Offensive Team Names and Mascots," National Congress of American Indians, January 11, 2019,, stated, " The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is applauding a decision by Little League® International (the governing body of all global Little League-affiliated leagues and teams) to institute a new official policy in its 2019 Rulebook prohibiting the use of 'racially insensitive, derogatory or discriminatory' team names and mascots, which NCAI has confirmed includes offensive Native 'themed' names and mascots that cause significant harm to Native people.
     The new rule, which applies to all Little League® International divisions under its 'Operational Policies' Code, reads as follows: 'Little League prohibits the use of team names, mascots, nicknames or logos that are racially insensitive, derogatory or discriminatory in nature. Little League requires all chartered local league programs, volunteers as well as regular employees to comply with the policies outlined above. Disciplinary action to address violations of the policies outlined above will be determined in the sole discretion of either the Charter Committee or Little League management, as applicable.'
     'We commend Little League International for taking this important step to stand on the right side of history, and we welcome the news that it is already hard at work ensuring that all of its affiliated leagues and teams promptly comply with this new edict of respect for Native people and other communities of color,' said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “Little League International molds not just the athletic talents but also the minds of so many young people across America, so its new rule will go a long way towards fostering greater understanding of our common humanity and the diversity that makes this country great.'
     Little League® International’s new rule follows on the heels of Major League Baseball’s historic decision to retire the offensive 'Chief Wahoo' mascot of its Cleveland franchise in January 2018."

"NCAI Youth Commission Statement on Wearing Traditional Regalia at Graduation Ceremonies," National Congress of American Indians, May 14, 2019,, stated, “ 'We, as American Indian and Alaska Native youth, value the importance of education as a tool to signify the strength and resilience of our ancestors. Gaining knowledge helps us further our indigenous communities for the advancement of our people and toward creating a pathway for the next generations. To show respect to cultures and spiritual beliefs of tribal nations, public schools should protect and preserve the traditional religious rights and cultural practices of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the way the American Indian Religious Freedom Act intended. These rights include sacred eagle feathers and traditional items worn at graduation ceremonies as an expression of cultural and spiritual belief. These items are given to manifest the importance of this achievement, also as a form of honor within one’s tribal nation.
     The most important thing we can do is teach our youth the pride and power of their culture. To take away the capacity to express both of these at a milestone like this impedes our ability to continue practicing a traditional rite of passage while living in contemporary society.'
     For more information on the NCAI Youth Commission, click:"

The Indigenous Peoples March was held in Washington, DC, in February, calling for the protection of Indigenous lands and rights in the face of actions by the Trump administration harmful to Native peoples and people (Tekendra Parmar, " Indigenous Peoples March held in DC," NFIC, February, 2019).

Chase Iron Eyes, Lead Counsel, Lakota People's Law Project,, stated in an E-mail, March 12, 2019, "One month ago, my friend from the Oglala Lakota Nation, Robert Horse Stands Waiting, gained his freedom after 20 years in prison. At just 16 years old, he was incarcerated for gang-related activity. Instead of allowing his vitality to be destroyed on the inside, he studied statistics and became an organizer for the past two decades.
     Now, I’ve joined Robert and my friend, Yonasda Lonewolf, co-founder of the Indigenous Peoples March, in creating safe spaces for our people to seek solutions to a broken criminal justice system. Responding to a call from attorney and CNN commentator Van Jones and his nonprofit Cut50, we produced three talking circles, one in Rapid City, SD, one at Pine Ridge, and one at Standing Rock. These were the only Native American contributions to Jones’ 'Day of Empathy,' in which many groups around the nation, mostly African American, took part. Celebrities, too, have picked up the cause.
      We must keep this issue in the minds and hearts of our leaders in order to make sure justice is served for our people. Please watch our new video ( — made from footage of our Talking Circles — and then help us amplify our call for equity and respect by emailing your representatives. Ask them to support criminal justice reform for Native Americans today!
      Over many decades, we’ve witnessed disturbing trends in our national criminal justice system. Native lives are simply valued less than white lives by law enforcement — and my brothers and sisters are killed or incarcerated at alarming rates.
     According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice , Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group;
     According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, we are incarcerated at a rate 38 percent higher than the national average;
     According to National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Native American youth are 30 percent more likely than whites to be referred to juvenile court than have charges dropped;
      Native American men are incarcerated at four times the rate of white men and Native American women are incarcerated at six times the rate of white women;
      Native Americans fall victim to violent crime at more than double the rate of all other US citizens, according to BJS reports. And 88 percent of violent crime committed against Native women is carried out by non-Native perpetrators.
      Your voice is critical. Please email your reps in support of Robert and the thousands of other Native Americans who disproportionately live behind bars or die at the hands of police in America.
     Wopila! — You can help change the system!"

Press Release National Indian Child Welfare Association, "United States and tribes stand together to protect Native children and uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act," ICT, March 20, 2019,, stated, Indian Child Welfare Act vital to the well-being of Native children and the stability and integrity of Native families today, says the Protect ICWA Campaign.
     The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments last week in Brackeen v. Bernhardt, in which the United States and tribal nations stand together in defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the American Indian and Alaska Native children that it serves.
     A nationwide coalition of 325 tribal nations, 57 Native organizations, 21 states, 31 child welfare organizations, 7 members of Congress, and dozens of scholars of federal Indian law and constitutional law also stood with the parties in court during their amicus briefs supporting Native children and families through the Indian Child Welfare Act

Adrian Jawort, "Montana marchers demand justice and safety for Indigenous women, ICT, April 8, 2019,, reported on the April 2019 Montana March for justice and safety for Indigenous women, " A sea of red-clad Native march participants and allies carried signs during the march from the Native American Achievement Center at Montana State University Billings to downtown at the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn, with pictures and names of sisters, best friends, moms, daughters, cousins, and loved ones.
      During the march, they chanted slogans such as, 'Silent no more!' and 'No more stolen sisters!' while giving continuous war cries to honor and remember Indigenous women and girls that have been lost."

"Sign the petition: Support Indigenous candidates," Friends of the Earth (and others), May12, 2019, stated, In the next election, we must assure a full representation of our nation. We are seeking to empower the political voice of Indigenous Peoples ahead of the 2020 elections.
     The social and economic inequalities within our country are entrenched. We must elect people at the federal, state, and local levels who reject policies clearly aimed at disenfranchising specific demographic groups. We must create long term change by decolonizing the American colonial-capitalist political system.
      The motivation behind this push is clear: a ceaseless assault on Indigenous communities. Native Americans and their cultures are in crisis with the highest rates of poverty, illness, youth suicide, missing and murdered people in this country.
     Additionally, Native Americans have fought at the frontlines of environmental threats that are now leading us to climate catastrophe. At this time our world needs the tangible example of Indigenous stewardship of our planet to change the world’s ecological and socio-economic trajectory and turn the tide on the climate crisis, poverty, and ongoing systemic inequities
     It is time we have full representation in our government. It is time we all support Indigenous candidates down the ballot.
     Sign this petition and show your support for Indigenous candidates and a true representation of our country.
      Participating Organizations: Daily Kos, Friends of the Earth, Seeding Sovereignty."

Frank Hopper, "Kill the bill! Save the land!’ Native protectors disrupt Texas legislature, ICT, May 16, 2019,, reported, "The Society of Native Nations and the border wall warriors of South Texas teamed up to speak out against right-wing anti-protest bills being considered by their state legislature.
     Indigenous land and water protectors in Austin, Texas, briefly disrupted the state legislature on Tuesday when they unfurled two banners in the Texas State House of Representatives and shouted, “Kill the bill! Save the land!” The action was intended to stop the passage of House Bill 3557, which would increase the seriousness of violations that interfere with “critical infrastructure,” such as pipelines, by elevating them from misdemeanors to felonies

SHIFT: Seeeding the Hill with Indigenous Free Thingkers," Seeding Sovereignty,, stated " SHIFT is Seeding Sovereignty’s political engagement program launched to empower the political voice of Indigenous Peoples in order to impact the 2020 Presidential election. This enterprise was developed by Indigenous FreeThinkers determined to create long term change by decolonizing the American colonial-capitalist political system. SHIFT’s mission is motivated by the ceaseless assault on Indigenous communities, disproportionately coveted by the extraction industry and poisoned by insatiable greed for oil, gas, coal, uranium, timber, dams, Big-Ag, CAFOs and more. Along with violence to the earth comes danger to our people--we and our cultures are in crisis with the highest rates of poverty, illness, youth suicide, missing and murdered people in this country.
     Our Mother Earth is also in crisis and Indigenous people have long recognized this. For hundreds of years we have fought at the frontlines of environmental threats that are now leading us to climate catastrophe
. We have long spoken of the repercussions of colonial-capitalism, the need for a regenerative economy, land stewardship for the generations to come, and the important role of women. Enter the Green New Deal. This paradigm shifting movement is where we can plant our experience, grow our diverse networks and build a collective vision for a thriving future for everyone. At this time our world needs the tangible example of Indigenous stewardship of our planet to change the world’s ecological and socio-economic trajectory and turn the tide on the climate crisis, poverty, and ongoing systemic inequities. David Suzuki says it, Noam Chomsky says it, the Drawdown team says it— but most importantly, our ancestors lived it and our own tribal experts say it.
      An important trend we recognize is the dispersal of our people from rural reservations to tightly knit urban centers, particularly the youth. SHIFT will not only cover issues that resonate with Indigenous youth on the rez but in urban centers as well which will provide an opportunity to encourage political engagement. The States of Change project projects that by 2024, millennials will comprise 45% of eligible voters and we plan on empowering youth on the rez and in cities to organize, throw down and vote. An important component of this project is to look to our elders for advice and direction. This is a multi-generational effort to SHIFT “business as usual” with Indigenous sovereignty and knowledge and decolonize both people and the planet.
     We are 20 months out from the next US Presidential election. SHIFT is on the ground in Iowa, where all eyes will be focused as the state hosts the country’s first caucus. 2020 political candidates are already making the rounds and Iowa-based SHIFT Director Christine Nobiss, Plains Cree-Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation, is interviewing presidential candidates, speaking at events , writing articles, and organizing to achieve local and national SHIFT goals including:
      Empowering the Indigenous role in the Green New Deal to raise the voice and leadership of Indigenous, Black, Immigrant, LGBTQ, Women, Youth, Latinos and Refugees.
      Discussing tribal sovereignty and respect for treaties to SHIFT the political landscape beyond the tokenization of our tribal nations and to end the notion of domestic dependent nations.
     Catalyzing Indigenous political engagement by discussing and publicizing issues affecting Indian Country on all our media platforms.
     Galvanizing Indigenous voter registration and turnout for a population that is historically disenfranchised by supporting the work of voter advocacy groups and grassroots actions.
     Shining light on the historic election of two Indigenous congresswomen and the many other people of color that are making great legislative change.
     Education and grassroots organizing, direct actions, art builds, youth leadership development, candidate convenings, and cultural events with the goal to diversify the political movement
     To contact Christine Nobiss, SHIFT Director, email"

Leslie Logan, "Abortion: Native women respond to onslaught of laws and restrictions across the country," ICT, June 6, 2019,, reported, " The federal government prohibits funds for abortion services at Indian Health Service, for Native women, the lack of access to abortions has been real for years.
     Eight states have enacted laws that place severe restrictions on access to abortion in recent weeks. Alabama signed the most punitive law on the books; its sponsor overtly stated the bill’s intent: to overturn Roe v. Wade. Lawmakers in 11 states have introduced “heartbeat bills”—laws that prohibit abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat—typically at six weeks of pregnancy, in many cases, before women are even aware they are pregnant."
     "Sarah Deer, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas. Deer told Indian Country Today that Native women have been battling the pro-life movement for a long time. 'Well before the Alabama law, Native American women have been denied access to abortions,' said Deer. 'Abortion rights are talked about in a vacuum as if we have a choice, but there are few choices.' Deer insists that too often people miss the deeper story. The pro-choice story and language are predominantly religious. 'But for us, for Native people, it’s different,' she said.
      One issue regarding abortion for Native American people is that it is an aspect of health care. Many in Indian Country strongly assert that health care is not a privilege, It is a right defined by treaties entered into with the United States government."

Singing Our Rivers Red, founded in 2015 to bring awareness to the thousands of missing, murdered and assaulted Indigenous women has gained numerous donations for a traveling earing exhibit - each earing representing a murdered or missing woman. Over 3400 earrings had been donated by April 2019. Singing Our Rivers Red joins other organizations in calling for action to effectively investigate the murders and disappearances and to prevent such tragedies in the future (McKayla Lee, "Singing rivers red, for missing and murdered women," Southern Ute Drum, April 12, 2019).

The Lakota People's Law Project,, accessed May `6, 2019, stated, " Justice for Clarence Leading Fighter," On Sunday, Apr. 14, a 32-year old Lakota man named Clarence Leading Fighter was shot twice and killed by a Rushville, Nebraska sheriff’s deputy in the doorway of a Catholic Church. Now, an eye witness has disputed police accounts of the shooting, saying that Leading Fighter was already incapacitated when he was shot. We want a federal investigation. Please sign onto our action to bring justice for Clarence."

"Coalition seeks answers about children who went missing at U.S. Indian boarding school via United Nations," ICT, May 14, 2019,, reported, "Today a coalition of tribes, organizations, and independent researchers will go before the United Nations to testify about American Indian and Alaskan Native Children who went Missing under the United States’ Indian Boarding School Policy.
     The coalition filed a submission with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) on April 12, 2019 detailing a number of children who were taken into federal custody and whose fate and whereabouts remain unknown to this day.
     The filing outlines how the U.S. has never acknowledged, accepted responsibility for, nor shown accountability for the many children that did not return home from federal Indian boarding schools. Nor has the U.S. provided any evidence that they systematically notified families or tribes when the children passed away or went missing from schools despite attempts by the coalition to obtain this information through the Freedom of Information Act process."

Haley Albano, "Shinnecock Indian Nation Is Exercising Its Right to Self-Determination," Cultural Survival, June 12, 2019,, stated, " The Shinnecock Indian Nation, whose sovereign lands border a stretch of Sunrise Highway in the Hamptons, have had their economic future become the subject of recent legal contestation under the state of New York. While the surrounding non-Tribal land has been intentionally developed to build extreme wealth, Shinnecock Nation’s most basic economic decisions are being unfairly monitored and targeted for earning the revenue to provide necessary social services. In order to generate the revenue to provide essential services for their people, Shinnecock Nation has operated within their legal rights to construct electronic billboards advertising high-end products as a means of essential commercial activity. These structures are more than basic billboards because they function also as monuments marking the traditional space of Shinnecock Nation, showing respect to Tribal self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, and decision-making processes, and welcoming visitors to the full landscape of Shinnecock Nation, a landscape that is socially distinct and fully autonomous from the surrounding construct of the Hamptons.
     The state makes a series of hypocritical and entitled arguments against these structures including that the monuments are aesthetically incongruent with the vision of the Hamptons, and that the entrance to the Hamptons is visually altered therefore altering the carefully constructed feel of the elite vacation setting. This particular argument is in direct contradiction to the visually disruptive development projects undertaken by the state of New York not far from where the Shinnecock monuments stand. Members of the Tribe have positioned themselves close to the monuments to defend their sovereignty and autonomy, with all the necessary permits and information regarding the use of their own Tribal land. Land has always been used for activities essential for survival, and that discretion continues to be the right of the Shinnecock Nation. The state argues that the Shinnecock monuments generally do not fit with the Hampton’s development ideals, undermining the basic independence and economic rights of the Native People who have thrived on the land for millennia. This has resulted in transparently discriminatory legal action and an attempted lawsuit against Shinnecock Nation. Shinnecock Nation is a federally-recognized sovereign nation and has the right to develop land, pursue commerce free from civil regulatory restrictions, and is immune from suit and state overreach.
     The legal right to self-determination is critical for Shinnecock Nation, who have been forced to defend their surroundings and who have frequently been the victims of dislocation and forced migration in various periods of both historical and contemporary time. After the experiences of brutal Indian termination policies, essential Native American rights were acknowledged and granted by the government, including the right to determine the future of what it means to be Native and transfer Native knowledge and heritage to future generations. This includes the decision-making required to sustain essential activities on the land without fear of retaliation by outside, dominant spaces. The State’s negative reactions and ongoing legal attacks are a continuation of long-held historical attempts to impede Tribal interests, well-being, and economic progress. Halting economic activity restricts community life and contributes the erasure of Native People from rightful lands. By limiting essential survival activity, the Tribe is forced to live high percentages beneath the poverty line for insufficient reasons. Arguments over the visual content of the signs disregard the fundamental right of Native People to subsist and thrive on protected lands, including the pursuit of basic economic services essential to sustaining community life. When that fabric is undermined, it becomes a direct attack on the continuity of civil rights. While Shinnecock economic production activities are targeted and attacked, the production activities of the wealthy are seemingly encouraged and doubled. These activities are often more disruptive to the physical landscape, and also interfere with the ability for Shinnecock Nation members to fully have stewardship over their most direct environs.
     Close to the site contested by the state is a 100-foot cellular tower, which is nearly twice the size of the Tribal monument signs and takes up more visual space than do the monuments. The state consistently appears concerned with the visual content of Native-owned monuments, but not the aesthetics of its own development projects which cause more visual distraction
. There is also no concern about the development projects which have impeded Shinnecock Nation life and connection to local environs for over 400 years or an acknowledgment of the rights of Shinnecock people to visually experience important tracts of land. The Shinnecock community lives on a reservation across Heady Creek from Dune Road. Within recent generations, Shinnecock people have had their view of dune road obstructed by expansive development, altering the visual landscape of the reservation space. In contrast, new houses on Dune Road continue to have an unblemished view of undeveloped reservations lands while Native People are pushed away and their access to these views have been diminished.
     The Shinnecock Canal, considered a sacred place to the knowledge, was also put under external development projects causing great distress to the people who were not acknowledged. Shinnecock people have long lost the aesthetic environment, and the Shinnecock view of their own land has been significantly diminished by these surrounding projects. The state, while disrespectfully failing to acknowledge Tribal sovereignty, also continues to diminish the experiences of a people who have continuously undergone severe environmental dislocations with continued development projects but who are given little patience in creating their own essential means of survival. Economic adaptation to surrounding development is critical for the Tribe, as resources on reservations are limited.
     The Shinnecock Nation, for over 400 years, have lost lands to development and have been forced to migrate away from culturally significant lands and activities. While the Shinnecock People are legally criticized for using their own land, government projects continuously fail to acknowledge Native Americans in their development plans. The visual composition of the signs remains at the discretion of the Tribe. The continued trauma of land loss and dislocation causes socio-economic harm to the Tribe and disrupts community fabric. In the mid-nineteenth century, the community was forced to move its historic settlement at Westwoods when the railroad moved through the space. Reservation life currently has limited development potential for the vast majority of its members, and traditional economic stepping stones are not available to Tribal members. Tribal residents cannot “alienate” land, so members cannot even get a home equity loan or rely on means of support offered outside the context of reservation life. People are frequently forced to max out credit cards to build or improve their homes, and are left several times below the federal poverty line. The extreme wealth and property costs in the Hamptons make it increasingly difficult to remain close to the land for members, as the cost of the locations proximate to traditional lands are prohibitive. While their basic decisions are questioned, they are forced deeper into poverty and are being improperly managed by the overreaching state development regulations from which they should be legally immune.
      Reader Advocacy Resources:
     For immediate support, and to join in solidarity with the community of Shinnecock Nation, please send letters and calls to New York State Attorney General Letitia James stating:
      'Shinnecock Nation is a sovereign nation and has the right to build on its land and pursue commerce free from civil regulatory restrictions improperly imposed by New York State. You need to respect Indigenous sovereignty. Contact information is listed below:
     Mailing Address: Office of the Attorney General The Capitol Albany, NY 12224-0341 Phone: 1-800-771-7755
     Attorney General Press Office Email:
     To show further solidarity with Shinnecock Nation, you are encouraged to contact Congressman Lee Zeldin stating: 'You are not acting in the interest of the original people of this Island that you are supposed to represent. Respect Shinnecock sovereignty and support their right to build on their land without retribution from New York State.' Contact information is listed below:
      Facebook / Twitter:
      Mailing Address, Washington DC: 2441 Rayburn House Office Building Washington DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-3826
      Mailing Address, Main District Office: 31 Oak Street Suite 20 Patchogue, NY 11772 Phone: (631) 289-1097
      Mailing Address, East End Office: 30 West Main Street Suite 201 Riverhead, NY 11901 Phone: (631) 209-4235"

The Ute Land Trust works to reconnect the Ute Indian tribes in Utah and Colorado with their traditional lands beyond their reservations, by developing access to those lands and gaining compensation for the tribes for uncompensated sales of their lands. In one instance this led to a donation of $250,000 to the Ute Indian Tribe in central Utah in compensation of the donor's grandfather profiting from the sale of the tribe's land. The donation money came from an inheritance from the donor's grandfather (

Frank Hopper, "Native youth and elders team work to save a sacred Duwamish spring from development," ICT, March 6, 2019,, reported
     " Native youth and elders urge historic protection status for Seattle’s Licton Springs, where healing waters once flowed.
For thousands of years, a vast network of mineral springs in what is now North Seattle, was known by its Lushootseed name, le?qtid, pronounced “LEE’kteed.” Its waters were sacred to all the tribes in the area. The local Duwamish built sweat lodges there and performed ceremonies using its red clay to adorn their bodies. Le?qtid means “Red Paint” or “Red Pigment.”
      But most of the springs are now paved over, covered by asphalt and concrete. Residential houses and a shopping mall now dominate the area that was once filled with many healing springs. Only one remains." One spring remains that Native youth and elder are attempting to save from development.

Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO, ) and NAPPR ( in Albuquerque, NM have joined other Native groups in opposing Trump Administration actions against immigrants coming from south of the United States, most of whom are Indigenous, and supporting those who have come to the U.S., saying, "fight genocide and crimes against humanity here at home."

The American Indian Women's Center in Albuquerque, NM is working to open an American Indian Domestic Violence in Albuquerque as part of its work to end domestic violence. For information, contact Marion Goodluck,

Four Directions, Inc, in South Dakota is asking that in its next National Defense Authorization, that Congress rescind the medals of honor awarded to U.S. soldiers who participated in the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. The action was sparked by President Trump making light of the Massacre ("S.D. Group wants to rescind Wounded Knee medals," NFIC, April 2019).
     In its continuing philanthropic work, Hawai?i People's Fund awarded nearly $60,000 in grants in FY 18-19? to local grassroots organizations, many of which support stewardship of the land, environmental protection and restoration, traditional agriculture, and culture, as well as services to disadvantaged people. For details go to:

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International Activities

"WWF hit by THIRD major exposé of ranger abuses," Survival International, May 31, 2019,, reported, " A new investigation has uncovered further revelations of WWF-linked abuses of local people in the name of conservation. It’s the THIRD major exposé this year since Survival International drew attention to the organization’s funding of an illegal conservation project.
     In Forest of Fear, part of Channel 4’s Unreported World series broadcast in the UK on May 31, reporter Ade Adepitan investigated WWF’s plan to create a protected area in the Congo against the wishes of the local people.
     'Something has gone very badly wrong here,' said Adepitan after interviewing the Baka people living in the area of the proposed Messok Dja park.
      Survival International is campaigning in partnership with the Baka tribe to stop the scheme, which the Baka don’t agree to, and which is therefore illegal
     Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today: 'The Unreported World documentary adds new evidence to what Survival has been saying for years. WWF’s activities fund abuse and intimidation. It’s the same story from the Congo to India – the theft of tribal peoples’ land and relentless persecution in the name of 'conservation.'
      'This pursuit of an outdated, colonial-style ideology, often carried out in partnership with the very corporations who are destroying the world’s rainforests, is wrecking millions of lives. It’s not saving the rainforests, and it’s not even saving the iconic species big conservation organizations have been using for decades to fundraise.
      'But this ideology is so entrenched, and the vested interests are so powerful, that it’s going to take a global outcry to change it. We’re fighting to decolonize conservation, for tribes, for nature, for all humanity.'”

"Revealed: rangers at centre of abuses storm get BONUSES for arresting people," Survival International, May 2, 2019,, reported, " Evidence uncovered by Survival International has revealed that rangers supported by WWF will get BONUSES for arresting people.
     The bonus system gives the paramilitary units a clear incentive to arrest as many people as possible. Local people have given countless accounts of arbitrary arrests, and many other abuses, committed by rangers in the region.

     The payments are detailed in the funding agreement signed between the EU and WWF for the creation of the hugely controversial Messok Dja protected area in the Congo.
      It also details that bonuses will be paid to informants for information leading to an arrest.
      WWF has pushed the Messok Dja project despite the strong opposition of the local Baka people, whose lands are being taken for it. Under international law, such projects must not proceed if the local people have not already given their proper consent to the proposal.
     A Baka man told Survival: 'To us this is like a war, and our forest is now closed off to us. The rangers kill people for money, that’s how they raise their salary.'
     A major investigation into WWF by Buzzfeed last month revealed that it 'funds, equips, and works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and murdering scores of people.'
     Buzzfeed also published internal documents showing WWF knew for years that the rangers had been accused of gross human rights abuses, but continued to fund them.
      WWF is now under investigation in the US, UK and Germany.
     Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today: 'WWF’s system means that its rangers are paid more – by EU taxpayers – for every person they arrest. Imagine the outcry if this applied to law enforcement officers in the EU! Policing is not selling cars, and shouldn’t operate on a 'commission' basis
     'Everyone who’s looked into it knows what the Baka and other local people have been telling us for years, that they’re constantly being arrested – and frequently beaten up, tortured and worse. Now we know there’s actually an incentive for the rangers to mistreat them.
      'It goes without saying that the real poachers, in league with corrupt guards and officials, get away scot-free – as usual.'”

"WWF support for sterilization programs and 'shoot on sight' uncovered by Dutch TV," Survival International, May 17, 2019,, reported, " A shock investigation for Dutch TV has revealed WWF’s involvement in sterilization programs around national parks.
     The hugely controversial policy to reduce human populations around protected areas has been condemned as 'utterly unethical' by Survival International Director Stephen Corry, who said: 'Can you imagine WWF promoting the sterilization of women living around national parks in Europe or the US? The fact they consider it acceptable in India and Africa is racism, pure and simple.'
     The investigation has also uncovered evidence that WWF personnel were not only aware of the existence of a shoot on sight policy in India, which used the phrase 'kill the unwanted,' but made no attempt to change it.
     The report, titled 'Victims of WWF' has aired on Zembla, the Netherlands’ main investigative TV series.
     Also on the program, rangers at India’s notorious Kaziranga National Park admit they are still authorised to shoot people on sight, despite government denials that such a policy exists.
     WWF Netherlands were due to be interviewed for the program, but cancelled without giving a reason. The organization is one of the main backers of the proposed Messok Dja protected area in the Congo, which is going ahead without the consent of the local people. Messok Dja was recently the subject of a Buzzfeed investigation.
     Survival International, which has been fighting against human rights abuses occurring in the name of conservation for decades, has approached WWF ambassadors and celebrity backers for comment.
      India’s 100 million tribal people, known as Adivasis, are already reeling from a double blow:
     - A recent Supreme Court decision, currently paused, orders the eviction of up to 8 million of them from India’s forests.
     - Government plans to amend the colonial-era Indian Forest Act, leaked to the press in March, include a huge program of militarization of India’s forests; forestry department officials authorised to shoot people, and given virtual immunity from prosecution; and the ability to extinguish existing Adivasi land rights.
     Tribal people in India, Brazil and Colombia are in the front line of what campaigners have called 'the biggest global assault on indigenous rights for fifty years
     Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today: 'Each month seems to bring fresh revelations of just how far WWF is prepared to go to promote 'fortress conservation.'
     'Shoot on sight policies, sterilization programs for villagers living near national parks – these are signs of a movement that’s completely lost its sense of ethics in pursuit of a hardline anti-people agenda.
     'It’s tragic for the innocent people caught up in these abuses – and utterly self-defeating for conservation in the long term.'”

Ishan Kuketi, "WWF-funded guards helped poachers, then tortured informant who tried to stop them: 'When forest officials help poachers hunt down protected animals: A government report has exposed Rajai Tiger Reserve'e most gory secret,'" Cultural Survival, March 14, 2019,, reported, " Park officials in India’s Rajaji Tiger Reserve colluded with poachers in the killing of endangered leopards, tigers and pangolin, according to an investigation by a senior wildlife officer.
      The accused officials range from the park director to junior guards. WWF-India boasts that it trained “all Rajaji frontline staff in skills that were vital for protection,” including law-enforcement. It also provided vehicles, uniforms and essential anti-poaching equipment to the guards.
     The investigation, reported in India’s Down to Earth magazine, found that not only were officials helping to hunt down and kill wildlife, they also beat and tortured a man named Amit – an innocent villager who was trying to stop the poaching.
     Officials are reported to have arrested Amit under false charges, resulting in him being detained for up to a month. He was also beaten and given electric shocks by a wildlife warden and two range officers
     These revelations of serious human rights abuses by guards trained and supported by WWF follow the recent Buzzfeed exposés that WWF funds guards who kill and torture people.
     The involvement of those supposed to protect wildlife in hunting is common . A UN report in 2016 confirmed that corrupt officials are at the heart of wildlife crime in many parts of the world, rather than tribal peoples who hunt to feed their families.
     Stephen Corry, Survival International’s Director, said today: 'Rangers who poach as well as violate human rights won’t surprise those environmentalists who’ve been speaking against fortress conservation for years. Corrupt rangers often collude with poachers, while tribal people, the best conservationists, bear the brunt of conservation abuses.'”

"UK’s Charity Commission launches investigation into WWF," Survival International," April 4, 2019,, reported, " Britain’s charity regulator has launched an official investigation into WWF, in a major blow to the embattled organization.
     The inquiry follows an explosive report by Buzzfeed News that revealed that WWF funds, equips, and works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and murdering scores of people
     WWF’s main response to the Buzzfeed exposé has been to commission a law firm specializing in 'reputation management' to conduct an 'independent review.'
      The investigation will examine whether WWF UK conducts proper due diligence to ensure that the grant money it sends overseas does not contribute to violence.
     In a statement, the commission said the 'atrocities and human rights abuses that were alleged are at odds with everything we associate with charity.'
     The news comes just a day before the launch of the new Netflix-WWF series Our Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
     Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today: 'It’s a step forward that the Charity Commission is finally launching an investigation, but we’re not holding our breath. The Commission is only concerned with WWF UK, and has no ability to judge its complicity in human rights violations.
     'The most that will happen is that it will require WWF to investigate, which WWF has already said it’ll do. We’ll then have a long wait, ending in a bucket of whitewash
     'WWF has known about these atrocities for years. Let’s not forget that, at this moment, WWF is calling for a new protected area, Messok Dja, which is stealing Baka 'Pygmy' land in Congo. What we need is a public outcry against fortress conservation which is so damaging to the planet and its peoples.'”

"Imcon International, Inc. Teams Up with The Democracy Lab Foundation To Provide Internet Connectivity to Indigenous and Underserved Populations of Costa Rica: Costa Rica to Serve as Regional Hub for Imcon as it Expands Across Latin America," Via January 18, 2019 E-mail,, stated, " Imcon International Inc., the developer of the Internet Backpack, a remote connectivity solution that allows users to communicate from almost every location on the planet, has partnered with The Democracy Lab Foundation, the non-profit foundation dedicated to helping citizens achieve civic engagement with their governments in Central America. Together, Imcon and Democracy Lab will work with the Government of Costa Rica and non-governmental organizations to bring internet connectivity to indigenous and other underserved, remote populations of the country. The announcement was made today by Rob Loud, CEO, Imcon International, Inc. and Dr. Alvaro Salas-Castro, Democracy Lab Foundation Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board.
     Mr. Loud recently led a delegation that met with high ranking Costa Rican government officials and NGO’s, including members of the Costa Rican Congress. Imcon and The Democracy Lab are working with the Republic of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, and several NGOs based in Costa Rica, including Fundacion Omar Dengo, Fundacion Quiros Tanzi, Fundacion Mision Tiburon and La Esquina.
      Imcon will endeavor to work with these groups to deliver Internet Backpacks for up to 800 indigenous and rural schools in Costa Rica. This public-private partnership would also have the added benefit of providing connectivity to others working in remote areas of the country, such as park rangers.
     In Costa Rica, 2.2 million people out of a population of 4.9 million (45%) are not connected to the internet. Out of a total Latin American population of 686 million, more than 300 million people are not digitally connected. (Source: Internet Live Stats)
     'Imcon is committed to helping bridge the digital and information gaps by providing this essential last mile connection,' said Mr. Loud. 'This partnership in Costa Rica, which follows our recently announced collaboration in West Africa, brings us a step closer to achieving our ultimate goal of bringing all global citizens online and creating a level playing field with regards to information and technology. We chose San Jose as the Regional hub because it is the technology epicenter of Central America.'
     'The services Imcon has agreed to provide will have immeasurable value for the development of the most remote and impoverished communities of our country,' said Luis Dobles Junqueira, Chief of Staff for Costa Rica’s Minister of Education. 'It is with great anticipation and optimism that we look forward to seeing the results of this ambitious and highly innovative program.'
      'This program aligns perfectly with our underlying vision that a healthy democracy requires citizens to have the knowledge and education needed to meaningfully participate in their own governance,' said Dr. Salas-Castro. 'Providing digital connectivity for these communities will be hugely impactful in achieving our broader mission. Working in partnership with Imcon, we are establishing a base that will enable us to expand out across Latin America and address the enormous need for connectivity in this region of the world.'
      About The Democracy Lab
The Democracy Lab (DL) is a citizen oriented think tank based in Costa Rica. The DL mission is to turn information into knowledge for citizens so they can meaningfully participate in their own governance. The board of directors and research fellows are committed to the scientific method and evidence based policies and above all go disseminate knowledge through various channels of communication and to a broad spectrum of citizens.
      About Imcon
Imcon International, Inc., is an immediate connectivity solutions provider. Imcon is developing edgeware services and device solutions, such as the Internet Backpack, which conform to the Open Specifications Model for the Internet of Things v0.5. The Internet Backpack is a remote connectivity solution utilizing narrow-bandwidth utilities which allows users to be able to communicate from almost every location on the planet. The Internet Backpack also allows users to create internal wireless networks with large coverage areas utilizing various radio frequencies. Please visit for more information.
     CONTACTS: For Imcon International: Rob Loud, Imcon International, Inc.m, 470-210-0760; Alan Winnikoff, Sayles & Winnikoff Communications,, 212-725-5200 x111; Alvaro A. Salas-Castro Ph.D., The Democracy Lab,, (506) 71897326."

John McPhaul, "Brother of Slain Bribri Leader Demands Removal of Non-Indigenous from Indigenous Lands in Costa Rica," Cultural Surval, March 20, 2019,, reported, " The brother of slain Bribri leader Sergio Rojas Ortiz, Jose Dualok Rojas Ortiz, said that the government should immediately remove non-Indigenous settlers from Bribri land and provide a system of security to protect Indigenous people living on the land.
      Unknown assailants shot and killed Rojas, 59, on Monday night, March 18, 2019, while he was in his home in the Salitre Indigenous Reserve in southwest Costa Rica. Sergio Rojas led a Bribri movement to reclaim land occupied by non-Indigenous settlers within the Telire Indigenous Territory.
      'The government must order the immediate removal of the usurpers of Indigenous lands in compliance with Indigenous law and international conventions... return these lands to their legitimate owners-- the council of elders as established by international conventions and other laws, and immediately establish a system of security with precautionary measures to protect Indigenous Peoples... ' posted Jose Dualok Rojas Ortiz on Facebook.
     Jose Dualok Rojas Ortiz urged a respect for the rule of law. 'The authorities enforce the laws, if they are not enforced it is for the interest of corrupt people and this is a cancer that only generates damage to the community and the country,' he commented.
     In a telephone interview, Jose Dualok Rojas Ortiz said that the government failed to adequately protect his brother despite an order of precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, 'They had [police] there for 10 days and then they left, I don't know why,' he said, adding that the crime should be investigated by international authorities. 'Those responsible for the murder of Sergio Rojas must be judged. The government should assume its responsibilities. The laws must be enforced. No one can justify the purchase of land in Indigenous territory when the law says very clearly that this action is illegal.'
      In the 1970s, the Costa Rican government passed a law that established 24 Indigenous territories. Yet controversy arose when the non-Indigenous settlers on those lands were requested to leave without compensation. Many remained on the lands, and since then, other squatters have also settled onto the land.
      The latest flare up began in 2012 when Sergio Rojas led a group of Bribri to occupy land in the Salitre Indigenous Territory and was met with violence by the settlers who burnt down their shelters and attacked the Indigenous protesters with clubs and machetes. Rojas argued that the Bribri should not have to live in slums in the regional hub of Buenos Aires when they have a right to live in their ancestral homelands. At the time, University of Costa Rica anthropologist Marcos Guevara circulated the idea that Rojas posed a threat to the status quo.
     'Non-Indigenous people do not want a strong leader who has a purpose of recovering land,' said Guevara. 'Rojas poses a special danger because he can inspire Indigenous members in other parts of the country to demand their rights for their lands'
     The Central American Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement profoundly lamenting the violent death of the Indigenous leader. 'Sergio distinguished himself for his struggle for Indigenous autonomy and the defense of the Indigenous territory of Salitre. He denounced the usurpation of land and the constant threats and aggressions against those who still continue struggling for their rights...We urge the authorities to take immediate actions to investigate, judge and sanctions the people responsible for his death as well as the guarantee the protection fo the people of Salitre -- just as established in the precautionary measures of the Integer-American Human Rights Commission -- and the protection of all the Indigenous defenders of Costa Rica,' said the statement.
     Gustavo Oreamuno, a representative of Ditsó Coordinator Lucha Sur Sur, said in the magazine Costa Rica News that Rojas' murder is not an isolated incident and that many outbreaks of violence by land grabbers have occurred over the years, since the process of land recovery by Indigenous people has increased since 2009. Oreamuno stated that '75 percent of the lands declared Indigenous are in the hands of persons of usurpers and the previous governments have not complied with the statutes of the Indigenous law and International Labor Organization Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to deliver the lands that correspond to Indigenous communities.'
     Violence against environmental and Indigenous rights defenders continues throughout the world at an alarming rate
. In an Op-Ed published last year by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Vicky Tauli Corpuz noted, 'Human rights defenders, especially those protecting their communities’ lands and resources, suffer threats and attacks on a consistent basis. Last year, Global Witness documented at least 197 murders of land and environmental defenders all over the world. Historically around 40 percent of these murders have been indigenous people. And these numbers do not capture the full scope of the problem: the criminalization of indigenous peoples and killings in remote parts of the world that do not make news or reach reporters.At the root of this violence is institutionalized racism and discrimination.'”

"Brazil’s indigenous peoples lead global 'Red January' protests," Survival International, January 31, 2019,, reported, " Protests against the anti-indigenous policies of Brazil’s President Bolsonaro are occurring in Brazil and around the world to mark his first month in power.
      Demonstrators held placards declaring 'Stop Brazil’s genocide now!' and 'Bolsonaro: protect indigenous land.'
     The protests have been led by APIB, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, as the culmination of their “Indigenous blood – not a single drop more' campaign, known as 'Red January
     Before he was elected president, Mr Bolsonaro was notorious for his racist views. Among his first acts on assuming power was to remove responsibility for indigenous land demarcation from Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Department FUNAI, and hand it to the notoriously anti-Indian Agriculture Ministry, which Survival labelled 'virtually a declaration of war against Brazil’s tribal peoples.'
      President Bolsonaro also moved FUNAI to a new ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights headed by an evangelical preacher, a move designed to drastically weaken FUNAI.
      Emboldened by the new President and his long history of anti-indigenous rhetoric, attacks by ranchers and gunmen against Indian communities have risen dramatically.
     The territory of the Uru Eu Wau Wau Indians, for example, has been invaded, endangering uncontacted tribespeople there; and hundreds of loggers and colonists are planning to occupy the land of the Awá, one of Earth’s most threatened tribes.
     But Brazil’s indigenous people have reacted with defiance. 'We’ve been resisting for 519 years. We won’t stop now. We’ll put all our strength together and we’ll win,' said Rosilene Guajajara. And Ninawa Huni Kuin said: 'We fight to protect life and land. We will defend our nation.'
     APIB said: 'We have the right to exist. We won’t retreat. We’ll denounce this government around the world.'
     Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today: 'Having suffered 500 years of genocide and massacres, Brazil’s tribal peoples are not going to be cowed by President Bolsonaro, however abhorrent and outdated his views are. And it’s been inspiring to see how many people around the world are standing with them.'
     Note to Editors
      Actions are taking place across Brazil and in Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco, Washington, Zurich and other cities.

     "India: Protect Rohingya Refugees, Prevent Forced Returns: Authorities threaten refugees with forced return to Myanmar," Fortify Rights, January 24, 2019,, stated, " The Government of India should ensure protections for Rohingya refugees and prevent forced returns, Fortify Rights said today. Indian authorities beat and threatened Rohingya refugees, forcing some to flee to Bangladesh in recent days and weeks."

"T hailand: Prevent the Detention of Rohingya Refugees and Survivors of Human Trafficking: Boat of 65 Rohingya refugees landed in Thailand yesterday," Fortify Rights, June 12, 2019,, stated, "The Government of Thailand should protect Rohingya refugees and abolish its policy of pushing out to sea boats carrying passengers, said Fortify Rights today. Yesterday, June 11, Thai authorities discovered a boat carrying 65 Rohingya—29 men, 31 women, and five children—at Ravi Island in Tarutao National Park in Satun Province. The new arrivals are in Thai custody today."

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