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Institute of American Indian Arts student Joanne Morales-Gonzales is a contestant in the 2012 Miss Indian World pageant being held in conjunction with the 29th annual Gathering of Nations PowWow this weekend.
But any resemblance she bears to your average beauty pageant contestant ends with her sartorial savvy.
The 25-year-old was raised on a pig and coffee farm in the Anones settlement of Naranjito, Puerto Rico. She's pursuing a master's degree in cultural sustainability with an emphasis on the indigenous perspective. She likes to use the word epistemology (the study of the origins of nature, methods and knowledge) a lot. And she's tired of being marginalized.
Morales-Gonzales is a descendant of the Taino people of Puerto Rico. But, she said, maintaining a connection to her ancestral culture has been difficult given the fact that some anthropologists claim it no longer exists. Morales-Gonzales said researchers who hold that view cite texts written by a Catholic priest in the early 1500s that said fewer than 100 Tainos existed in Puerto Rico even back then. Geneticists argue, she said, that almost everyone in Puerto Rico has a drop or two of Taino blood running through their veins.
"I don't even know how to explain what it feels when someone says you don't exist," said Morales-Gonzales.
Morales-Gonzales said bringing awareness to the plight of her people is the main reason she decided to compete in the Miss Indian World pageant.
"I feel it is my responsibility to my ancestors to go as far as I can as a person," she said. "I wanted to do this for them."
Morales-Gonzales' pageant platform is to motivate mixed indigenous youth to be active in their communities and to educate their oppressors (some of whom are within their own families) about their cultural heritage.
"We are just going to assimilate ourselves into the ground if we continue to oppress each other," she said.
The Miss Indian World pageant originated in Albuquerque in 1983. Contestants must be never-married women, between the ages of 18 and 25, who are native or indigenous and have a verifiable tribal affiliation and knowledge of their tribal traditions.
The 28 contestants for Miss Indian World 2012 will compete in the categories of cultural tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking and personality assessment Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.
The winner of the pageant will be crowned Saturday at The Pit in Albuquerque.
In addition to the title of Miss Indian World, the winner will receive a cash prize of an undisclosed amount and a four-day cruise to an as yet undetermined location. She also will receive paid travel to national and international destinations to speak and participate in events.
"Miss Indian World serves as an ambassador to the Native American and indigenous worlds," said Erica Krause, a public relations representative working for the pageant.
Morales-Gonzales is one of three Institute of American Indian Arts students competing for the Miss Indian World 2012 crown.
One of her competitors, Crystal Worl, 24, is a member of the Athabascan and Tlingit tribes from Anchorage, Alaska, who has a double major in studio arts and moving images, and is also studying business. Worl's pageant platform also relates to inspiring youth -- she wants to combat the high drop-out rates among her people by promoting higher education with an emphasis on visual arts.
Other pageant contestants with a New Mexico connection include: McKeon Dempsey, a Navajo woman from Gallup; Daphne Coriz of Santo Domingo Pueblo; Verrica Livingston, Navajo of Gallup; Juanita Toledo, Walatowa of Jemez Pueblo; Monique Garcia of Acoma; and Shaynalea Mirabal of Taos Pueblo and Dine ancestry who calls Provo, Utah, home.
Morales-Gonzales spent a week in Miami earlier this year learning traditional dance moves from some of the "grandmothers" of her tribe who traveled to Florida to help her prepare for the pageant. That experience, she said, was more fulfilling than any title or prize could be.
"I don't need a crown," she said. "I've learned so much just participating. I'm OK with whatever happens."
Contact Phaedra Haywood at 986-3068 or email@example.com
As Bison Return to Prairie, Some Rejoice, Others Worry
FYI - In Latin American countries, the Indigenous population is proportionately much higher than here in the North. In the far North where huge mining development is taking place as fast as the ice melts, population is small and scattered. - Kittoh
There are conflicting reports after the Bolivia government who supposedly negotiated with their pro road group to stop their blockade of the march in San Ignacio, reports say the blockade has not ended and that it has delayed the start of the 2nd anti-road TIPNIS march but indigenous leaders now say it will start on April 27th from Trinidad.
A principios de junio de 2010, el Presidente Evo Morales dijo que “la consulta (pública) ahuyenta las inversiones y perjudica la ejecución de obras por lo que no se podrá aplicar”, mientras que el senador del MAS y ex ejecutivo de la CSUTCB Isaac Ávalos afirmaba “que la consulta directa a los pueblos está establecida en la CPE, pero que debe (...) :: Mï¿½s detalles
The significance of indigenous mobilisations
Groups protesting across Latin America have been changing the politics of 'business as usual'.
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2012 08:51
Indigenous mobilisation has brought environmental politics to the streets [AFP]
Miami, FL - Indigenous politics tend to be understood as local anecdotes, rather than political events of international significance. So it is of little surprise that the funeral of Bernardo Vásquez in San José del Progreso, Oaxaca, Mexico, generated little international attention. Vásquez was the second anti-mining activist shot dead in the past two months in the small Zapotec community, while many other opponents have been seriously injured in the Ocotlán Valley.
Mine-related violence is certainly distressing but far from rare, extending from Chile to the Arctic. What is less ordinary is the extent and intensification of anti-mining mobilisation across Latin America. The past month in particular has seen a swell in protests defending land and water resources. Between World Water Day, annually celebrated on March 22, and theInternational Day of Peasant Struggles on April 17, this spring has seen resistance against mega-projects gain solid ground.
The incidents in Ocotlán, simultaneous with larger mobilisations in other locations, are indicative of a broader turn in which indigenous movements are leading coordinated efforts to defend natural resources. Indigenous movements may be locally rooted, yet as its contest reframes governmental agendas, it ineluctably impacts transnational politics as well.
'Conga won't go' in Peru
On World Water Day, thousands of people gathered around the Blue Lagoon in the Peruvian highlands of Cajamarca to protect their water resources from mining exploitation and contamination. The Conga Mine, a $4.8bn project involving US-based Newmont Mining Corporation and Peruvian company Minas Buenaventura, would be the second largest gold mine in the world and affect five sources of drinking water.
Residents of Cajamarca have been insistently protesting the Conga Mine project, approved in 2010. Neither President Humala's 60-day state of emergency and increased military presence nor the external review of the environmental impact study were able to undermine the intensifying civil unrest. In fact, mobilisations gained momentum since Cajamarca's regional vice president,César Aliaga Díaz, issued regional ordinance 036, declaring the Conga project unviable, thereby lending official support to the mobilisations. The uncontroversial alliance between local protesters and Cajamarca's government against the Peruvian state and international mining interests suggests a multi-layered, and certainly transnational, political scenario.
Resilience in Ecuador
Ecuador's March for Life, Water, and the Dignity of Peoples was as extensive as it was enduring, gathering marchers for more than 400 miles from International Women's Day (March 8) to World Water Day. When CONAIE's [Esp] president Humberto Cholando led thousands of indigenous peoples into the capital on March 22, thousands of non-indigenous protesters had also joined in. The government, in turn, organised pro-government countermarches, accusing the march of being fomented by prior coup participants, and to be supported by the country's right for electoral motives.
Despite obstacles and shortcomings, this national mobilisation symbolises the re-unification of all indigenous groups in Ecuador around one common political agenda, echoing the massive mobilisations of the 1990s. Using the same slogan as the anti-Conga movement: "Life is worth more than gold," the march emphasised protecting water and opposing mega-mining projects. The 19-point demand, however, was broader and included other issues, including opposing the expansion of oil frontiers and demanding labour rights as well as the respect of sexual rights.
This march did not achieve formal negotiations with the state. Yet it did achieve another important goal: to demand - and to practice - the de-criminalisation of social protest. In that sense, this mobilisation represents the resilience as well as the agility of an indigenous movement that has remained the leading force of opposition over the years, surviving political censorship and intimidation, as well its own internal fractures.
Thousands enter Guatemala City
Days after Ecuador's march, more than 10,000 people entered Guatemala City - an impressive crowd for a capital of about one million inhabitants. The march lasted nine days, covered much of the country, and involved a diverse array of social sectors. Called the "Indigenous, Campesino, and Popular March for the defence, dignity and of the Earth and Territories", this mobilisation was explicitly national and geared to address social concerns beyond indigenous concerns. The agenda encompassed land rights and territoriality as well as fundamental civil rights such as a Law for Community Media to legalise community radios. Just like in Ecuador, Guatemala's anti-mining march is relevant because it is embedded in politics at large.
Leaders issued a declaration of the march for resistance and dignity in defence of the earth and territory, in which they demand, among others things, the cancellation of concessions for mining, petroleum and hydroelectric plants, and mono-culture agriculture - as well as the end to persecution and criminalisation of indigenous people fighting for their rights (eight indigenous women in San Miguel Ixtahuacán have arrest orders against them for speaking out against the Marlin Mine). Such forceful mobilisation convinced President Otto Perez Molina to negotiate the demands posited in the protesters officialdeclaration.
In Bolivia, indigenous mobilisation is also at a peak. The protests that brought international attention to the construction of a highway through the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS) are far from over. The 61-day march in the autumn of 2011 generated widespread support for originary peoples, pushing the government to abide by a law protecting the TIPNIS and interrupting the construction more than once. As conflict over the TIPNIS holds, political strategies grow increasingly complex, intricate, and transnational. The UN offered to mediate the stand-off, whereas the Brazilian National Bank for Social and Economic Development (which is financing most of the project) is demanding that the construction firm and the Bolivian government reframe the contract.
Despite political retaliation against protesters and harassment against leaders - such as against the president of the Bolivian Confederation of Indigenous Peoples (CIDOB), Adolfo Chávez, and the president of the TIPNIS, Fernando Vargas - coordination strengthened and even expanded to urban areas. In fact, Bolivia's IV Indigenous National Commission just ratified the start of the IX March in Defence of the TIPNIS for April 25 (now the 27th, cort), from Chaparina to La Paz. It will reiterate resistance against the road construction through protected territories, as well as to defend natural resources at large, respect for constitutional rights, and insist on the democratic practice of consultation.
The various marches in defence of the TIPNIS evolved beyond a mobilisation for and by indigenous interests. It made tangible a national political discontent beyond protected territories, bringing international visibility to the internal fissures of the Morales government.
The smaller and larger indigenous mobilisations taking place simultaneously across Latin America are inevitably local, in that they contest projects in their communities, but they cannot be trivialised as isolated or anecdotal incidents. These mobilisations are of international relevance because they have successfully mobilised thousands of peoples, indigenous and non-indigenous, over long periods of time and across territories, crafting political demands, and often forcing governments to reframe policies. Most importantly, indigenous mobilisation has been able to bring environmental politics to the streets, turning natural resources, water, and consultation into public political issues. The growing constellation of mobilisations across the region points towards deeper societal changes in the making.
President Dilma Rousseff recently declared that people protesting the construction of dams in the Amazon lived in a state of " fantasy", and fantasy had no space to be discussed at the Rio+20 UN summit in June. The millions of peoples across the Americas who seem to think otherwise may have a couple of opportunities beforehand to convince her of the contrary.
Manuela Picq has just completed a position as a visiting professor and research fellow at Amherst College. She is currently writing a book on indigenous peoples' rights in the Amazon.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
* Update from the Field ~ Relentless Hazing in Hebgen Basin
* Thank You Tuscon, Arizona!
* Only One Week Left! Help Nominate BFC for a 2012 Green Award!
* Outreach Volunteers Wanted for Summer Tabling
* BFC Wish List: Assorted Optics
* Endangered Buffalo Fact of the Week
* By the Numbers
* Last Words ~ PHILbarb
* Update from the Field ~ Relentless Hazing in Hebgen Basin
Two young bull buffalo relaxing together on Horse Butte, one of the only places where buffalo have found any peace in the Hebgen Basin. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
This past week wild buffalo have been constantly harassed in the Hebgen Basin, just west of Yellowstone National Park. Agents from Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) chase buffalo from the backs of horses and ATVs. Hazing (forced removal) operations have been taking place nearly every day. The bulk of these traumatic operations have occurred along the South Fork of the Madison River, south of the Horse Butte Peninsula, while a few have occurred along highway 287, north of Horse Butte.
BFC's stellar kitchen coordinator, Brandy, documents a hazing operation along highway 287. Horse Butte is visible in the background. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
BFC patrols have been in the field nearly 18 hours a day, documenting government actions against the buffalo, monitoring the highways to help with safe passage, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly here at our headquarters. While this time of year is exhausting for volunteers, it is the buffalo who truly suffer. We have yet to see any newborn calves, though we know they'll arrive any day. Expectant buffalo cows, eight and a half months pregnant, are constantly disrupted and forced to run mile after grueling mile. When the newborns arrive, they too will be forced from their native ground.
A hazing operation pushes wild buffalo down Highway 287, past Grayling Creek. The majority of adult females are pregnant, yet no mercy is shown. While National Park Service and Gallatin County law enforcement flanked the haze to do traffic control and monitor BFC field patrols, BFC volunteers documented from every angle. BFC file photos by Stephany. Click photos for larger images.
Last Thursday a mixed group of fifteen buffalo, including two giant bulls, were pushed off of their chosen ground along the northern shore of Hebgen Lake, down Highway 287. With no cattle in the area the buffalo were punished simply for crossing an imaginary line drawn by Montana's livestock industry. Not long after the agents abandoned the haze, the buffalo - who know better than anyone where they should be - were already making their way back to the habitat they'd been chased from. A few days later these buffalo paid a visit to BFC headquarters. Shortly after leaving, two DOL agents on ATVs came and hazed them again. BFC patrols witnessed DOL livestock inspectors throwing rocks at an injured cow buffalo, hurt in the hazing operation and slow to move.
Maria, an amazing and dedicated new BFC volunteer, documents a hazing operation - one of many - that took place in the Denny Creek/South Fork region. Buffalo have been repeatedly harassed in this area for nearly two weeks. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
The bulk of the hazing operations began near the South Fork of the Madison River, on and around the private lands of hobby rancher Pat Povah, who occupies splendid and important wildlife habitat but has no tolerance for wild buffalo. Agents routinely chase buffalo out of this area and continue to push them for several miles on the Gallatin National Forest.
Buffalo in Houdini's Meadow at the end of a haze. This particular haze started more than eight miles west in the Denny Creek/South Fork area, and the buffalo were clearly exhausted. Once given the chance, most buffalo immediately began to graze, others bedded down, while a few just stood there too tired to move. Only Livestock Inspector Bridger is shown here, because his DOL partner, Mark Anderson, ended up riding his horse so hard he went lame and had to drop out. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
Not all of the hazing operations went according to the DOL's plans. On Earth Day the buffalo got the better of the agents. DOL livestock inspector Bridger attempted to haze a group of more than thirty buffalo by himself, while many more buffalo were also in the area, and Bridger was running his horse back and forth, firing off cracker rounds, and not making much headway.
On this particular haze, Livestock Inspector Bridger attempts to haze wild buffalo by himself. He soon learned that he was no match for them. In the second photo, you can see his shotgun, which he uses to shoot "cracker rounds" to scare the buffalo. Bridger's poor horse was ridden incredibly hard this week, and like the buffalo, is not likely to get much rest in the near future. BFC file photos by Stephany. Click photos for larger images.
Even after calling in "reinforcements" which included another DOL agent on horseback and an FWP agent on an ATV, more buffalo migrated into this area. Groups of buffalo were scattered about, and the agents would try to group them together then leave to round up another group. While they were gone the buffalo would disperse and go back to their roaming and grazing. Mr. Povah's lands are choked by strands of barbed wire, which buffalo are pretty good at navigating when not being harassed. But during the stress and fear of hazing operations, as the buffalo try to escape the agents, they are many times run through barbed wire fences as we have documented numerous times. On this particular day, after a number of hours trying to control what should not be controlled, the livestock agents were forced to give it up and the buffalo were left to enjoy the rest of the day in peace.
These buffalo arrived at the Denny Creek/South Fork area while two DOL agents were having their work cut out for them, trying to chase around various groups of wild buffalo. These buffalo are running simply because they felt good! They were bucking and kicking and sparring and feeling the good warm Earth Day. They did not end up getting hazed this day, and in fact, the DOL had to call off hazing other wild buffalo because the buffalo were too much of a challenge for them. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
Over the course of the week, nearly two hundred buffalo were chased by DOL and FWP agents on horseback, with one DOL livestock inspector, Bridger, firing numerous cracker rounds to frighten the buffalo into moving. This happened nearly every day this week. After each haze ended, the buffalo would return to the area because it is quite simply perfect wildlife habitat, but it is "owned" and controlled by the Povah family who have no interest in sharing the land with her rightful roamers.
This photo shows nearly 170 wild buffalo that were rudely forced off of their chosen habitat by four horsemen, three with the DOL and one with FWP. This is outstanding habitat for wild buffalo, yet one ranching family's intolerance causes all this trouble and waste of federal tax dollars. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
The following day, more DOL and FWP agents - complete with National Park Service and US Forest Service law enforcement - arrived to again harass the buffalo who had also increased in numbers. The agents' tempers were up and they treated the buffalo badly. During the course of the haze, cowboys were yipping and yelling while they exploded numerous cracker rounds. A BFC field patrol positioned in the forest documented a cow buffalo with her eye bulging from the socket and blood streaming down the side of her face. Later during this same haze, another cow buffalo started to show her resistance, and bluff charged one of the DOL agents numerous times. BFC patrols reported that another DOL agent said he'd "like to make a crotch rocket out of her."
This photo shows the smoke from cracker rounds fired, which the DOL agents use to scare the buffalo into moving. BFC file photo by Cindy. Click photo for larger image.
On Tuesday the agents found that the buffalo had returned to their chosen ground and the haze resumed. On Wednesday morning, DOL and FWP agents returned to the same area, this time with a Gallatin County Sheriff. But the DOL's day was over: there were no buffalo present for them to harass.
DOL livestock inspector Bridger runs his horse back and forth behind the buffalo, trying to get them to move. The agent left this group to go harass more wild buffalo, and as soon as he left, the buffalo dispersed. This haze, which took place on Earth Day, was called off before it got very far. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
On Wednesday's morning patrol we saw two Yellowstone Park Rangers pulling a horse trailer, so we followed them and spoke with them. They offered that they were doing a recon into the Park, along the northeast bluffs of the Madison to see what buffalo they could see, but also to take a "warm up" ride in preparation for the more intense hazing that is yet to come. We have heard that the agents intend to chase all the buffalo off of Horse Butte beginning May 9th, but after the conversation with the rangers today, it may come sooner and we are ready. Hazing wild buffalo makes about as much sense as damming the ocean or trying to control which clouds can float across "your" sky. We pray that one day the light of this wisdom will dawn in their minds, and until it does, we will be here with the buffalo, every step of the way.
Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!!
* Thank You Tuscon, Arizona!
Mike Mease has returned to BFC headquarters after a week in Tuscon, Arizona, talking with buffalo advocates, sharing video footage from the field and stories from first-hand experiences with America's last wild buffalo. Mike - and all of us at BFC - extend our deepest thanks for the warm (he'd say HOT!) welcome he received and has absolutely raved about his experience there. He will be giving a shout out to everyone who made this trip possible in next week's update. Thank you, Tuscon, Arizona, for welcoming BFC into your community and your hearts!
* Only One Week Left! Nominate Buffalo Field Campaign for the 2012 Green Awards
Buffalo Field Campaign is in the running for Great Nonprofits' 2012 Green Awards to identify top-rated nonprofits focusing on environmental issues around the globe. We need you to speak up for us right now. Your story can help BFC gain valuable feedback and guide others who might provide support by donating or volunteering.
Please take three minutes to help nominate Buffalo Field Campaign by writing a review by April 30th!
* Outreach Volunteers Wanted for Summer Tabling!
Buffalo Field Campaign will begin starting our summer outreach inside Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park in June, and we are looking for passionate, articulate folks who can help run our information tables, talk to hundreds of park visitors and build a strong constituency for wild buffalo. BFC provides food, lodging, camping, gear, and transportation to and from our table in the Park. We ask for at least a three-week commitment in order to accommodate training and orientation. This is a great opportunity to get involved and advocate for America's last wild buffalo! Please contact Tony for more information.
* BFC Wish List: Assorted Optics
We could use some help to (literally) keep our sights on the buffalo. We find ourselves in need of new optics: Cameras, binoculars, spotting scopes, and equipment to steady these optics. Below is a section of our wish list that focuses on optics including quantities that will help keep all BFC field volunteers well-equipped. Any contribution for these items is extremely helpful and important to the campaign, whether it is a ten dollar donation towards optics or the purchase of one or more of the items below. Thanks to each and every one of you for loving the buffalo and for keeping BFC going and our volunteers prepared in the field every day. If you can help with these assorted optics wishes please contact our gear coordinator.
Zoom lenses for SLR digital photo cameras (Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens; Rokinon 650-1300mm Super Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR still cameras; Opteka 650-1300mm High Definition Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR still cameras)
(6-10 pairs) compact high-resolution binoculars, water- and fog-proof, 7-10x 35-70mm magnification
(6-10 pairs) full-size high-resolution binoculars, water- and fog-proof, 7-10x 35-70mm magnification
(3-5) high-resolution spotting scopes, standard tripod- or window-mounted, with zoom, 16-60x 60(+)mm magnification
(3) compact tripods
(3) full-size fluid head video tripods
(3-5) Walking/Ski pole Monopods with standard camera mount (eg. Leki, Tracks brands)
Click HERE to view BFC's complete Wish List
* Endangered Buffalo Fact of the Week
This one is well worth repeating:
"Yellowstone bison are designated as wildlife in Montana.... Within Montana, bison are designated with an S2 ranking, defined as: 'At risk because of very limited and/or potentially declining population numbers, range and/or habitat, making it vulnerable to global extinction or extirpation in the state ... The Montana Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Conservation Strategy (MCFWCS) identifies bison as a Tier One Species. In the MCFWCS, a Tier One Species is a species considered in greatest conservation need.' "
This language - which strongly begs the question as to how Montana can justify the continuation of such harmful management of wild bison - is from Montana's response to a comment asking the State to consider the status of wild bison in Montana in their Gardiner Basin Environmental Assessment. Montana's response is listed as #5 on page 6 of the IBMP Joint Decision Notice to expand tolerance zones for wild bison in the Gardiner Basin, North of Yellowstone National Park, which you can read here.
Have a fact you'd like to share with us?
* By the Numbers
AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 3,700 individual buffalo. Wild bison are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
2011-2012 Total Buffalo Killed: 29
2011-2012 Government Capture:
2011-2012 Government Slaughter:
2011-2012 Held for Government Experiment:
2011-2012 Died In Government Trap:
2011-2012 Miscarriage in Government Trap:
2011-2012 State & Treaty Hunts: 28
2011-2012 Shot by Agents:
2011-2012 Killed by Angry Residents:
2011-2012 Highway Mortality: 1
2010-2011 Total: 227
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
* Total Since 2000: 4,001*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words ~ Earth Day in Honor of PHILbarb
Every earth day, our dear friend and buffalo warrior barb abramo would send out an email to her personal contacts, in celebration of the life of the love of her life, Phil Morton, who passed away on Earth Day 2003. She would honor Phil and the buffalo, as Phil's passion for them was incredibly strong. And if you knew barb, you know she carried that flaming passion also. Now that barb has rejoined Phil, we wanted to share this Earth Day message in both their honor.
Earth Day in Honor of PHILbarb
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!
Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.
KEEP BFC ON THE FRONTLINES
Join Buffalo Field Campaign -- It's Free!
by Greg Palast – Special for Buzzflash at Truthout
Tuesday, 24. April, 2012
The Justice Department went big game hunting and bagged a teeny-weeny scapegoat. More like a scape-kid, really.
BP and other oil companies punish troublemakers by writing "NRB" on their record. That means "Not Required Back"––and the worker is banned from the offshore rigs. No doubt, Mr. Mix thought long and hard about what would happen to his career if his texts came to light. Not an excuse for crime, but it's a fact. It's the guys on top putting on this kind of pressure that should be doing the perp walk: the Big Bad BP Wolves, not their mixxed-up scapegoat.
ometimes my six-year-old son asks me: “Why did they kill daddy, why did they kill him?”
That’s the same question that I have been asking myself for nearly two years.
In 2010 near San Diego, my husband Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas was brutally beaten and tasered by Border Patrol agents while more than a dozen other agents provided cover. They hogtied and handcuffed him; made him lie face down on the pavement and tortured him to death, despite his repeated pleas for help.
Over the last two years, Border Patrol has refused to release the names of the agents responsible for the brutal beating, and refused to reveal whether those involved have been disciplined. Anastasio was not their only victim. Since 2010, the year Anastasio was killed, Border Patrol agents have killed or seriously injured at least 9 people from San Diego to Texas.
My family is demanding that the Department of Justice conduct an open and thorough investigation of all the killings committed by the Border Patrol since 2010. Will you join us by signing this petition to the DOJ to bring justice to my family and the other families that have been victimized?
Anastasio was a loving father of five and was the pillar of strength that held our family together.
My children and I want to know the truth, and we want justice for Anastasio and all the other families that have lost a loved one at the hands of the Border Patrol. When he came to this country, he sought greater opportunity in order to support his family. He did not deserve to be tortured and dehumanized. We are human beings and our immigrant lives as just as important as any other life.
Please join my family, alongside the Southern Border
I can only hope that the day will come when I can give an answer to my six year old son and all my children. Only justice can bring peace to our home. Anastasio deserves to have his dignity restored even after death.
Thank you for helping me and my children get one step closer to justice and peace,
Widow of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas
The next round of committee meetings for the month of April starts at 11 A.M. next Thursday on the 26th. To get the times, download the agendas and watch them live visit:
Friday, May 4th from 10:30 A.M. to Noon CST at the Tribal Council Chambers is where Rowena McClinton, a professor from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will conduct a lecture over the Cahokia Mounds, an ancient native mound city on the Mississippi River. If you are unable to make it in person watch it live at:
Summer will be here before you know it and it’s best to start planning for it now. What better way for the children to enjoy the summer camp? Did you know Camp Cherokee Day Camps are an enriching cultural and academic experience for Cherokee students? Each camp will be available to students entering grades 1-7 in the fall 2012-13 school years. Space is limited so reserve your child’s place today.
For more information visit: http://camp.cherokee.org/Home.
P.O. Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465
********Cherokee Nation News*****************
Cherokee Nation names Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence winners
The Cherokee Nation has named this year’s Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence winners from a pool of high school seniors who are tribal citizens.
Cherokee Nation Honors Veterans at Tribal Council meeting
Four Cherokee Nation veterans were honored with the Cherokee Medal of Patriotism at this month’s Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah. The four represent an array of military branches, including the Marines, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army Reserves.
Cherokee Nation offers Citizenship Assistance across Northeastern Oklahoma
The Cherokee Nation is offering assistance with applications for Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood cards and Cherokee Nation citizenship at several field sites throughout the tribe’s jurisdictional area. The sites and schedule follow.
Cherokee Nation makes Employment Opportunities accessible with Job Fairs
The Cherokee Nation is helping its citizens find work by sponsoring job fairs in communities across northeastern Oklahoma.
Cherokee Nation Offering Instruction on the Tribal Bidding Process
The Cherokee Nation is offering a special business class in Tahlequah on Tuesday, May 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone interested in learning how to do business with the tribe.
Cherokee Nation to host history talk over Ancient Native Society
he Cherokee Nation will be hosting a history talk on Friday, May 4, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, about the Cahokia Mounds, an ancient native mound city on the Mississippi River. The talk will take place in the Tribal Council Chambers at the tribe’s main complex in Tahlequah, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave.
Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Passes Shield Law, Names Commissioners
The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council unanimously passed the Free Press Protection and Journalist Shield Act of 2012 Monday at its regular April meeting.
******Other Links of Interest*******
Games - http://www.cherokee.org/
Community Calendar - http://calendars.cherokee.org/
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