Category Archives: Indigenous Achievers

Native American and indigenous rights: “There is no word for wall in our language” | In English | EL PAÍS

The Tohono O’odham – the name means desert people – have lived on both sides of the border since their lands were arbitrarily divided between the United States and Mexico some 160 years ago. Around 30,000 members of the nation live in Arizona. Meanwhile, several thousand more – and the majority of the nation’s sacred sites – can be found in Mexico.Trump’s wall would be a coup de grace for a nation whose territory doesn’t respect international borders and the Tohono O’odham have taken the fight to protect their lands to the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“If they build the wall, it will be over my dead body,” says Verlon José, Vice President of the Tohono O’odham nation.

Source: Native American and indigenous rights: “There is no word for wall in our language” | In English | EL PAÍS

Native Seeds Sustain Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast | Inter Press Service

In bottles and small plastic barrels, he stores the seeds of corn, bean, sorghum, watermelon and other locally planted species, in a shack next to his house, in the middle of land that is now sandy and covered with dried-up vegetation.More than a thousand homes that serve as “seed banks”, and 20,000 participating families, make up the network organised by ASA to preserve the genetic heritage and diversity of crops adapted to the climate and semi-arid soil in Brazil’s Northeast.Saving seeds is an age-old peasant tradition, which was neglected during the “green revolution”, a period of agricultural modernization which started in the mid-20th century and involved “an offensive by companies that produced the so-called ‘improved’ seeds,” which farmers became dependent on, said Antonio Gomes Barbosa, a sociologist who is coordinator of ASA’s Seed Programme.

Source: Native Seeds Sustain Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast | Inter Press Service

PETITION: We Stand with Standing Rock: Stop DAPL! End the Violence! Honor Treaties! | United For Peace and Justice

PETITION: We Stand with Standing Rock: Stop DAPL! End the Violence! Honor Treaties!Militarized police (from Indiana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming) have taken a side and are organizing with DAPL and the National Guard to suppress Indigenous Peoples and their supporters, initiating unwarranted violent force against nonviolent water and land protectors in a chilling reenactment of a deeply buried history. Please sign the following petition to make it stop!We the undersigned support the many Native Nations gathered at Standing Rock to protect the Missouri River from illegal and unsafe pipeline construction in North Dakota.Act now, to intervene on their behalf to respect the Fort Laramie treaties of 1851 and 1868 affirming the rights of Indians to this land should be honored at long last, shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline, and end the organized brutality against the prayerful Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their peaceful supporters.

Source: PETITION: We Stand with Standing Rock: Stop DAPL! End the Violence! Honor Treaties! | United For Peace and Justice

Standing Rock protesters will not follow official directive to leave camps | US news | The Guardian

At a press conference, Standing Rock Sioux tribal leader Dave Archambault and other protest organizers confidently explained that they would stay at the Oceti Sakowin camp and continue with nonviolent protests, a day after Archambault received a letter from the US army corps of engineers that said all federal lands north of the Cannonball river would be closed to public access 5 December over “safety concerns”.The corps cited the coming winter and increasingly contentious clashes between protesters – who believe the pipeline could harm drinking water and Native A

Source: Standing Rock protesters will not follow official directive to leave camps | US news | The Guardian

Massive Anti-Trump Demonstration Planned For Saturday In MacArthur Park: LAist

The event is organized by Union del Barrio Los Angeles, the L.A. chapter of the Latin-American political group that also has hubs out in San Diego, Oxnard, and the Bay Area. According to the event’s Facebook page, the demonstration will start at 10 a.m. in MacArthur Park, where participants will meet and go on a march that will end by the Edward Roybal Federal Building downtown.According to Ron Gochez, an organizer with Union del Barrio, planners expect about 10,000 people to show up. “You look at the previous protests, and you see that several thousands of people showed up, even though that wasn’t entirely organized,” said Gochez. “It was a spontaneous thing and thousands still showed up.”

Source: Massive Anti-Trump Demonstration Planned For Saturday In MacArthur Park: LAist

How NYers Endured Unbearable Summers Before A.C.: Gothamist

During a heat wave in 1934, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported:15,000 persons spent last night on the beach at Coney Island and several thousand more sought relief from the heat in Brooklyn parks and playgrounds. Additional thousands slept on roof tops and fire escapes in the Brownsville, Williamsburg and other crowded sections of Brooklyn. In Manhattan, many slept on the grass in Central Park and on the open piers in the East River.

Source: How NYers Endured Unbearable Summers Before A.C.: Gothamist

Palestinians create seed bank to save their farming heritage in the Holy Land’s hills | World news | The Guardian

In the rocky hills of the Palestinian West Bank, farmers learned long ago how to adapt to extremes of climate that make spring the shortest season. In a part of the world where agriculture was first practised, they found crops that could survive even if watered only by the occasional rain storm. But a form of farming that informed both Palestinian culture and identity – seeping into the language, songs and sayings – has increasingly come under threat from a combination of factors, including manmade climate change, the incursion onto Palestinian land by Israeli settlement, and agricultural companies’ marketing of hybrid varieties to farmers. Now, however, an initiative is being launched to save Palestine’s agricultural plant heritage, with the first seed bank dedicated to preserving traditional varieties used by farmers for generations – before they vanish for ever. The Palestine Heirloom Seed Library – to be formally launched in June – is part of an effort both to educate Palestinians about traditional forms of agriculture in the Holy Land, which are in danger of being forgotten, and about the culture associated with them. The seed library will preserve “heirloom” varieties particularly adapted to the West Bank. Supported by the Qattan Foundation, the project is the brainchild of Vivien Sansour, who studied and worked abroad before returning to the West Bank city of Beit Jala.

Source: Palestinians create seed bank to save their farming heritage in the Holy Land’s hills | World news | The Guardian

Preserving Language Key to Overcoming Native Suicide Epidemic – Intercontinental Cry

“The data reported above indicate that, at least in the case of BC, those bands in which a majority of members reported a conversational knowledge of an Aboriginal language also experienced low to absent youth suicide rates. By contrast, those bands in which less than half of the members reported conversational knowledge suicide rates were six times greater.” It is important to drive this point home. In the First Nation communities where native language retention was above 50 per cent (with at least half of the community retaining or acquiring conversational fluency) suicide rates were virtually null, zero. Yet in the bands where less than half of community members demonstrated conversational fluency in their native tongue, suicide rates spiked upwards of 6 times the rates of surrounding settler communities. It is also worth noting how overall spikes in suicide prevalence found in Indigenous communities around the world indicate a strong correlation with the socio-political marginalization brought on by colonization. In other words, the suicide epidemic – which is at heart a crisis of mental health – is directly related to, if not directly caused by, the loss of culture and identity set in motion by colonialism.

Source: Preserving Language Key to Overcoming Native Suicide Epidemic – Intercontinental Cry

Pope: ′We can speak of an Arab invasion′ of Europe | News | DW.COM | 04.03.2016 And the good that will result…

“How many invasions has Europe experienced in the course of its history? It has always been able to overcome them; moving forward and finding itself better through the exchange between cultures,” the pope said, in an apparent reference to Europe’s Renaissance, which was partially fostered through the preservation of Greek philosophical works by Muslim scholars in Spain and elsewhere in the Arab world. EU member states have struggled to form a comprehensive strategy to handle an influx of asylum seekers and migrants – many from war-torn countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa – that saw more than 1 million people arriving in the 28-nation bloc in 2015. Ex-Soviet satellite states, including Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, have told Brussels that they refuse to take in more asylum seekers under an EU plan to relocate refugees according to a quota system. “Sometimes I wonder where you’ll find a [French Foreign Minister Robert] Schumann or [German Chancellor Konrad] Adenauer, these great founders of the European Union,” the pope said. Countering populism, extremism The pope responded to the rise of far-right populism in Europe, which has given way to such movements as Germany’s “anti-Islamization” PEGIDA as well as anti-immigrant political parties, by stating that ideologies are the “poison of politics.” “When a country closes itself to a healthy notion of politics, it ends up being a prisoner hostage to ideological colonization. Ideologies are the poison of politics. You have the right be right or left. But ideology takes away freedom. “If you want to avoid everyone turning towards extremes, you must nurture friendship and the pursuit of the common good, beyond political affiliations.” Francis also announced that the Vatican is preparing a meeting with officials from al-Azhar University in Cairo, known as the Muslim world’s most prominent institution of Sunni thought.

Source: Pope: ′We can speak of an Arab invasion′ of Europe | News | DW.COM | 04.03.2016