Native American Heritage Month, Day; Indigenous; Green; acts
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The Bushmen need your help, diamond boycott, and more
Help the Bushmen get access to water
Survival supporters helped fund the Kalahari Bushmen’s historic court victory in 2006, when they won the right to return to their lands. Now, they need your help again as they appeal against a court judgement which said they can’t use their own water. Please give now – no amount is too small.
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Boycott Botswana diamonds
Survival is calling for a boycott of Botswana diamonds over the government’s treatment of the Kalahari Bushmen. Celebrities including Gillian Anderson, Quentin Blake and Joanna Lumley are supporting the boycott.
Sign petition, etc. 🙂
Survival’s website came under attack in a concerted and well-funded effort to knock our systems offline. Many Survival supporters made generous donations while the main site was unavailable, and we kept publishing throughout. The website is now fully back online and remains secure. Thank you for your support.
More on the attacks »
Christmas cards & gifts from Survival
Beautiful Christmas cards and other great gifts including DVDs, books, jewellery and gift wrap and more are now available from Survival’s online shop. Buy now and support Survival’s work.
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Leonard Peltier on the Day of Mourning
Greetings, my relatives.
It seems another year has gone by since the last time we gathered like
this. I say we, although I am not there with you in body, my spirit
certainly is. We have coined this day, a day of mourning, as opposed
to a day of thanksgiving. It’s a shame that for the most part
thanksgiving is relegated to only one day. And mourning is something
that relates to unhappy circumstances that have taken place. We
certainly can’t change what has happened. This very day is ours and
tomorrow hasn’t happened yet and, is uncertain. I really don’t like
to dwell on the mourning aspects of life but instead, on what we can
do to prevent those unhappy and sometimes terrible times in our
history. I may have mentioned it once before but I once read about a
union organizer named Joe Hill that was framed by the copper mine
owners to be executed. And I believe he said what really needs to be
said upon his death. His words were “don’t mourn, organize”. And
those are also my sentiments.
There are a lot of things that happened in the past that can be
prevented in the future. There are losses that can be regained. But
we must organize to do it. We must find it within ourselves to be in
touch with the Creator for I can tell you from a heartfelt fact that
when they’ve pushed you away, into a dark corner, not just your body,
but your mind, your soul, your spirit, there is no one that can
sustain you but the Creator himself. Dark moments come and go in all
our lifetimes. And there are those in political office, who will try
to turn your head away from the obvious truths. They will lie to you
about what they believe. They will try to get you to follow what they
consider politically correct while ignoring the truth, such as
protests against the Mosque being built within blocks of the fallen
Trade towers, which incidentally was a monument to wealth and wealth
seekers. I am not trying to demean the innocent people whose only
cause of their death was seeking a place of employment to feed their
families. While they protest the Mosque, no one mentions the Native
American sacred places that by treaty are seriously violated daily.
Our Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, sacred to many tribes, have
the faces of many of our oppressors carved on them. The place of
vision seeking, Bear Butte in South Dakota, sacred to us for
millennia, has a bar built at the foot of it and there is talk of
having helicopter flights around it to attract tourism. And, there is
even talk of drilling for oil and gas.
Every time I have to write or I should say dictate, one of these
statements, I try to think of what I would say if this was the last
time I got to speak. The thing that comes to mind in some of our
sacred ceremonies and that is thoughts of our relationships with the
ones we love and the Creator of all life. Not to take away from the
theme of this day, but if you can hold the person you love, be
thankful. If you can walk on green grass, touch a tree, be thankful.
If you can breathe air that didn’t come through a ventilation system,
or a window with bars, be thankful. If you can stand in an open field
or some other place at night and look up at the heavens, be thankful.
No one appreciates the simple things as much as a man or woman locked
away. I know sometimes some of my friends may have thought I had
become institutionalized and there may be some element of my thinking
behavior that has become calloused from this continued imprisonment.
But I have not for a moment forgotten the needs of my people and the
atrocities committed against them or the circumstances that all the
poor and impoverished face in this world at the hands of those who
take more than they need and exploit for gain, the futures of our
children. I paint pictures of them sometimes, people I’ve known,
people I’ve met, places I’ve seen, and places I’ve only seen in my
minds eye. And if my paintbrush was magical, rest assured I would
paint for myself one open door.
I wrestle with what to say to you and words are sometimes so
inadequate. So if you are free today, un-imprisoned, be thankful.
Give the person next to you a hug for me. May the Great Spirit bless
you always in all ways with the things you need. May you find joy in
doing what is right and righting what is wrong and seek to be the best
example of what a human should be in our lifetime.
In the Spirit of those we mourn, those who gave their lives and those
whose lives were taken from them.
I really don’t know what else to say because in writing this, my heart
has become heavy with the emotions of this time.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, who gave his life for what was right and
tried to right what was wrong.
Time to set him free… Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Friends of Peltier
Proof that we’ll do just about anything for you… (act)
The Wall Street Journal calls us “some of the savviest environmental agitators in the business.” For the debut of this video, we call ourselves “shamelessly grateful to all the people who make our work possible.” Please enjoy this RAN-tastic dancefest as a priceless little thank you gift from us to you.
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November E-news Update: Friday is Native American Heritage Day
November 2010 Cultural Survival E-newsletter Update
Join us at our upcoming fair trade Indigenous artisan events!
Winter Bazaars 2010
December 4-5: Cambridge, MA Harvard University
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December 11-12 : Cambridge, MA
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December 17-19 : Boston, MA
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Cultural Survival Quarterly
Fall Issue Feature Stories:
Tears from a Grandma’s Story
By Spiritriver Striped Wolf
A grandson learns about the effects of the Canadian residential school system.
Gold on Hold
By Tracy Barnett
In Guatemala, the Indigenous anti-mining movement is 600,000 strong and growing, but it’s still David facing the Goliath of the transnational mining industry.
Voices from the Edge
By Nathan Einbinder and Catherine Nolin
A Mayan community shares stories of its struggle to avoid forced eviction by a nickel mine.
Join before our Winter issue ships next month to receive your copy of the Fall issue, including a photo essay on the Cherokee language immersion schools in North Carolina and Oklahoma.
Cherokee Nation immersion classroom
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Native Languages Declared in a “State of Emergency”
Cultural Survival and the National Alliance to Save Native Languages partnered last week with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) to pass an NCAI Resolution declaring Native languages in the U.S. in a state of emergency, and to express support for a proposed presidential executive order on Native language revitalization. Read more.
Fall Native Language Summits
Cultural Survival and the Sauk Language Department, based at the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, sent our master-apprentice team on a week-long language immersion field trip to their sister language community, the Meskwaki Nation, based in Tama, Iowa. Team members return today, and have spent over 8 hours each day for the past week communicating exclusively in the Sauk/Meskwaki language. They also participated in a language conference designed for local Meskwaki community members to set priorities for long-term language revitalization efforts. Read more.
Celebrate Native American Heritage Day
President Barack Obama again named November as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, asking Americans to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 26, as National Native American Heritage Day. Read more.
In honor of Native American Heritage Day this Friday please urge President Obama to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
United States Human Rights Record Examined by UN Human Rights Council
On November 5 the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, examined the United States’ compliance with its international human rights obligations. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007, was at the center of questioning and recommendations by a number of states. Read more.
Panama Campaign: Law #30 is Revoked!
Feliciano Santos Santos (left)
“The Ngobe community thanks Global Response/Cultural Survival very much for your support and solidarity in the successful campaign to revoke Law # 30 which caused so much pain and suffering to our families in Bocas del Toro. This is a cause for celebration! But at the same time the government is imposing executive decree # 537 which modifies the charter of our Ngobe-Bugle territory.” Read more.
Actions still needed for Indigenous Rights in Panama:
Model Letter for this Campaign
Write Your Own Letter for this Campaign
Send an Email for this Campaign
Now Archived Online: Rights of Indigenous Peoples Symposium
Cultural Survival partnered this month with Urban Zen and Amnesty International to host a panel discussion on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Moderated by Elsa Stamatopoulou, former Chief of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the panelists included Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, Les Malezer, Cultural Survival board member, and General Manager of Foundation of Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (Australia), and Kent Lebsock, Coordinator of the Owe Aku International Justice Program. If you missed the discussion you can watch it here.
Canada Endorses the UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples
On November 12th the government of Canada finally formally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government’s official statement falls far short of actual endorsement, however, emphasizing that the declaration “does not reflect customary international law nor change Canadian laws” and further emphasizing Canada’s objection to most of the major rights spelled out in the declaration. Read more.
Indigenous Communities Call on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Stop the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil
On November 11th, international and Brazilian human rights organizations filed a formal petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to stop the construction of Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. The petition urgently calls on the commission to adopt “precautionary measures” that would put pressure on the Brazilian government to halt plans to build the dam, planned to be the world’s third largest. Read more.
Guatemala Radio Project Update: Outreach to Key Politicians Continues
Members of Cultural Survival staff and the Community Radio Movement held discussions Monday at the Congress of the Republic in Guatemala City. Although a vote on the legalization of community radio will not be scheduled in this calendar year, the president of congress Roberto Alejos’ recent re-election should provide a fairly smooth transition despite changes in other party leaders. Read more.
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