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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Never-Ending Indian Wars

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A version of this article appeared in  Yes! magazine in February 2017. T he world has been shocked  by North Dakota’s violent,  militarized reaction to  the oil pipeline resistance at Standing  Rock. For the better part of a year,  people watched via social  media, then increasingly with conventional media, as heavily  armed law enforcement officers and private security agents  used dogs, rubber bullets, mace,  tear gas, batons,  and  water cannons deployed in sub-freezing temperatures to attack unarmed civilians.  A volunteer medical team  of doctors, nurses,  EMTs, homeopathic physicians, herbalists and others  cared  f or the many hundreds of  injured. More than  100 were  hospitalized, and more than 7 00  were arrested as they  protested the  building of the Dakota  Access Pipeline. Standing Rock may have revealed this violence to a new generation of observers, but for Native people, the brutality is nothing new, says Wendsler Nosie Sr., San Carlos Apache leader of Apache

Voices from the Movement for Native Lives

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This story first appeared on In These Times magazine's website in October 2016.  A s reported in the In These Times article “ The Police Killings No One Is Talking About, ” Native Americans are shot by police, or die in custody, at the highest rate of any group. Yet the general public has almost no awareness of this. Or, as Darleen Tareeq (second from right, below) puts it, “Everyone is cool with it.” Her fiancĂ© Philip Quinn, of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, was shot and killed by police in September 2015.  In a recently released study of this national blind spot, Claremont Graduate University researchers Roger Chin, Jean Schroedel and Lily Rowen agree, writing that the minimal coverage of the issue indicates that Native people are ignored and their issues devalued. As Black Lives Matter, Idle No More and other social justice movements have proliferated, Native Lives Matter has been taken up as a rallying cry by Natives grieving the loss of loved ones to police violenc

The Spirit of Standing Rock Is On the Move

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This article first appeared in Yes! magazine in January 2017. It covers Standing Rock and other places where  Native people and their allies are calling out environmental crises that impact all of us. Western Shoshone Joe Holley and grandson in a sacred site the tribe is fighting to protect from gold mining S ometime last year, the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota became not just a physical location but an iconic challenge to the national conscience. Like the Selma civil rights marches in 1965 or the Frank ’s  Landing tribal fishing rights actions in 1970, Standing Rock ’s  water protectors, as they call themselves, transformed ideas of advocacy and resistance. They built coalitions across movements for tribal sovereignty, defense of natural resources, resistance to expanding energy infrastructure, and cultural survival. They showed the world a culture grounded in stewardship and connection to the earth.  Standing Rock, December 2016 The resistance that per