US NEWS

Indigenous Peoples Day moves a step closer to replacing Columbus Day in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS city council members, acting as the city’s Committee of the Whole, unanimously approved a resolution that would replace the holiday named after the notorious explorer with “Indigenous Peoples Day.” The resolution will head to the council proper at its meeting next week.

Read full story here: https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/indigenous-peoples-day-moves-a-step-closer-to-replacing-columbus/article_b6c56789-3395-5fb2-bffa-0c25275100c7.html

Indigenous Speakers at City Council Meeting in North Dakota

Indigenous Speakers at City Council Meeting in North Dakota

'Protesters as terrorists': growing number of states turn anti-pipeline activism into a crime

From the Standing Rock camps in North Dakota to tree-sits in Texas, activists have attempted to stop pipeline construction with massive shows of civil disobedience. Now they could be forced to change those tactics, or face heavy penalties under a wave of new anti-protest laws that civil liberties advocates say violate the first amendment.

Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests that disrupt the construction and operation of pipelines in at least 18 states since 2017.

  • Seven states have passed laws that ratchet up the penalties for activists protesting or even planning protests of oil and gas pipelines and other “critical infrastructure”

  • At least six more states are considering such laws

  • In each case, misdemeanors are elevated to felonies, and criminal and civil punishments are escalated drastically

  • The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have mounted challenges against such laws in Louisiana and South Dakota.

    Article source: The Guardian

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HOW A RIGHT-WING ATTACK ON PROTECTIONS FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN COULD UPEND INDIAN LAW

A LAW KEY to preventing state welfare agencies from separating Indigenous children from their families is at risk of being overturned thanks to the yearslong effort of a network of libertarian and right-wing organizations.

In the 1970s, between a quarter and a third of Indigenous children across the United States had been removed from their homes. Social services often cited neglect or deprivation — euphemisms for poverty — as grounds for placing children in the custody of non-Native families and institutions, offering birth parents little opportunity for redress. Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 in order to reform a system designed to destroy Indigenous people.

Last October, a U.S. district judge in Texas declared the law unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection clause, arguing that it creates a separate set of practices for a so-called racial group. The federal government and four tribes appealed the decision, which is currently pending before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. If the ruling is upheld and the case makes its way to the Supreme Court, it could not only upend protections for the nation’s most vulnerable children, but also undermine a foundational concept of Indian law: that to be Indian is political, not racial.

Read full article here: https://theintercept.com/2019/06/17/indian-child-welfare-act-goldwater-institute-legal-battle/?fbclid=IwAR3WF32ku8dSbtTxSpcQYu8iXE0SSEEawKDGMKt3zgiI3hLLa3oWRZ4rfI8

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INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MARCH: WE ARE STILL HERE

By Nikki Sanchez

The streets of downtown Washington, DC were filled with medicine this weekend. On Friday morning, the fragrant smells of sage, copal and palo santo filled the air of the Nation’s Capital. The medicines were lit early in the morning on the steps of the Department of Interior Affairs, as a prayer service started off the inaugural Indigenous Peoples March; the largest inter-tribal gathering of Indigenous Nations in over 50 years. The march and rally warranted the attention of 10,000 attendees, including representatives from Australia, Samoa, Hawaii, Canada, Aotearoa, the Caribbean, the Congo, Papua New Guinea, Central, and South American tribes and even included the Buddhist community.

As the prayers and songs set the tone for the day, dozens of caravans, buses, and motorcycle convoys continued to arrive from various tribes as far as Arizona, North and South Dakota, Texas, and everywhere in between. Non-Indigenous allies and multi-faith representatives were also in attendance. Following an hour of prayer, the march toward the Lincoln Memorial began, marshaled by the Red Rum Motorcycle club, who stood formidable and proud in their American Indian Movement (AIM) style black and red leather jackets. I was invited to be there as one of nearly 100 speakers, performers and ceremonial practitioners who guided the day. Indigenous elders, community leaders, and activists shared the platform with well known-Indigenous and social justice leaders; including newly elected congresswoman Deb Haaland and Idaho House of Representatives Paulette Jordan (two of the first Native American women to be elected to their posts), National co-chairs of the Women’s March Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, former Miss Universe Ashley Callingbull and Standing Rock water protector father-daughter duo, Chase and Tokata Iron Eyes among others.

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The event was organized by the Indigenous Peoples Movement (IPM) – a grassroots coalition of organizers from across the globe at state and tribal levels dedicated to raising awareness on Indigenous issues and eliminating the division of Indigenous nations from working collectively in support of one another.

The event was organized by the Indigenous Peoples Movement (IPM) – a grassroots coalition of organizers from across the globe at state and tribal levels dedicated to raising awareness on Indigenous issues and eliminating the division of Indigenous nations from working collectively in support of one another.