- http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kalash-peoples-project/x/3402017 On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.482220054877.290935.537154877&type=1Message 1 of 6 , May 23, 2013View Sourcehttp://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kalash-peoples-project/x/3402017On Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.482220054877.290935.537154877&type=1https://www.facebook.com/bugiandassociateshttps://www.facebook.com/KalashaPeople
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8PLREOkCAMMessage 2 of 6 , May 23, 2013View Sourcehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8PLREOkCAM
- GROUND ZERO IN THE FIGHT AGAINST MONSANTO FOR THE FUTURE OF MAIZE Native varieties of maize, like those drying in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the southernMessage 3 of 6 , May 24, 2013View SourceGROUND ZERO IN THE FIGHT AGAINST MONSANTO FOR THE FUTURE OF MAIZENative varieties of maize, like those drying in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the southern state of Chiapas, are key to preserving crop diversity. (Photo: Mauricio Ramos/IPS)Mexico City, MEX - In the 2011 action-thriller "Unknown", scientists are persecuted by the biotech industry because they plan the open release of a drought- and pest-resistant strain of maize that could help eradicate world hunger. There are certain parallels with the situation today in Mexico, the birthplace of maize, which is at the centre of the global fight to protect the crop's diversity from the onslaught of genetically modified varieties."It's the first time in history that one of the most important harvests in the world is threatened in its centre of diversity," Pat Mooney, the head of the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group), an international NGO, told IPS. "If we let the companies win, there will be no chance to defend them in other parts. What is happening here is of key importance for the rest of the world."Civil society organisations are raising their guard against the possibility that the government of conservative President Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) may approve commercial cultivation of transgenic maize, a move widely condemned by environmentalists and other activists, academics, and small and medium producers due to the risks it poses. In September, the U.S. corporations Monsanto, Pioneer and Dow Agrosciences presented six applications for commercial plantations of transgenic maize on more than two million hectares in the northwestern state of Sinaloa and the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.Moreover, in January these companies and Syngenta presented 11 applications for pilot and experimental plots to grow transgenic corn on 622 hectares in the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa and Baja California. And Monsanto has applied for an additional plantation in an unspecified area in the north of the country. Since 2009, the Mexican government has issued 177 permits for experimental plots of transgenic maize covering an area of 2,664 hectares, according to the latest figures provided by the authorities. But large-scale commercial release of GM maize has not yet been authorized."They are going to serve up transgenic maize on every table in spite of the fact that food sovereignty depends on growing native corn," said Evangelina Robles, a member of Red en Defensa del Maíz (Maize Defence Network) which campaigns against GM corn. "As a result, we have to demand its prohibition by the state," she told IPS. Mexico produces 22 million tonnes of maize a year, and imports 10 million tonnes, according to the agriculture ministry. The country purchased about two million tonnes of GM maize from South Africa over the last two years, and is set to import another 150,000 tonnes.Three million maize farmers cultivate about eight million hectares in Mexico, two million of which are devoted to family farming. White maize is the main crop for human consumption, while yellow maize, for animal feed, is largely imported. The National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy (CONEVAL) estimates the country's annual consumption of maize at 123 kg per person, compared to a world average of 16.8 kg. The historical link with pre-Columbian indigenous cultures gives maize a strong symbolic and cultural significance throughout Mesoamerica, the area comprising southern Mexico and Central America, where it was domesticated, producing 59 landraces or native strains and 209 varieties.In the state of Mexico, adjacent to the capital city's Federal District, small farmers have found their native maize to be contaminated with GM maize, according to tests carried out by students at the state Autonomous Metropolitan University. "We swapped seeds and decided to do some tests. Now we are more careful when exchanging, and over who participates in the fair, although we still have to carry out confirmation tests," activist Sara López, of the Red Origen Volcanes (Volcanoes Origins Network), an association of small farmers that has been organising producers' fairs since 2010, told IPS.Environmental, scientific and small farmers' organisations have discovered GM contamination of native maize in Chihuahua, Hidalgo, Puebla and Oaxaca. Contamination is "a carefully and perversely planned strategy," according to Camila Montecinos, from the Chile office of GRAIN, an international NGO that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.Transnational food companies "chose maize, soy and canola because of their enormous potential for contamination (by wind-pollination)," said Montecinos, one of the experts participating in the preliminary hearing on transgenic contamination of native maize at the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, an international opinion tribunal which opened its Mexican chapter in 2012 and will conclude with a non-binding ruling in 2014. "When contamination spreads, the companies claim that the presence of transgenic crops must be recognised and legalised," in order to pave the way for marketing the GM seeds, to which they own the patents, she said.Mexico's environment minister, Juan Guerra, has said that all available scientific information will be examined before a decision is made. But that will not be easy. The National Confederation of Campesinos (Small Farmers), one of the main internal movements in the ruling PRI, has had an agreement with Monsanto since 2007 under which the company is to "conserve" native varieties.Meanwhile, the Peña Nieto government still has not approved regulations for the format and contents of reports on the results of releasing GM organisms, and the possible threats to the environment, biodiversity, and the health of animals, plants and fish. "For 18 years, corporations have been unsuccessful in convincing the people that their products are good. Maize is being used as a means of political and economic control. People need maize to be alive," the ETC Group's Mooney said.The transgenic seeds on the market are herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready and Bt (for the Bacillus thuringiensis gene they carry for pest resistance) versions of cotton, maize, soy and canola. While they are legally grown in Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Spain, they are banned for example in China, Russia and the majority of the EU countries. Recent studies published in the United States show that transgenic crops do not significantly increase yield per hectare, do not reduce herbicide use, and do not increase resistance to pests, in contrast to biotech industry claims. "We are analysing what legal action to take against the new applications (to plant GM maize)," said Robles, of the Maize Defence Network.Source: Inter Press Service News Agency: 05/13====JUAREZ MOTHERS RENEW INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNIn the sister cities of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Mother's Day 2013 had a prolonged calendar life because of cross-border family ties, work schedules and commercial promotions. An international fusion made for a long weekend of parties, sales events and musical tributes extending from the days immediately leading up to the Mexican holiday of May 10 to the U.S. celebration on May 12. Perla Reyes and Carmen Castillo were two mothers who weren't celebrating, though.The Ciudad Juarez women joined other moms from the new organization Madres y Familias Unidas por Nuestras Hijas (Mothers and Families United for our Daugthers) and their supporters in plastering downtown Ciudad Juarez with more than 1,500 posters of disappeared or murdered young women, including Monica Liliana Delgado Castillo, found dead in the Juarez Valley in early 2011, and Jocelyn Calderon Reyes, missing since late last year. Relatives of the missing suspect their loved ones have fallen prey to human traffickers."Many people have things to celebrate in their homes, but there are mothers in this city who have nothing to celebrate," Imelda Marrufo, coordinator of the Women's Roundtable of Ciudad Juarez, said as she took a break from the postering. Marrufo and fellow activists fanned out into the bustling blocks surrounding the downtown Cathedral and the dusty redevelopment project enveloping the zone.Soon, passerby saw the photos of Janeth Paola Soto Betancourth, Cinthia Jocabeth Castaneda Alvarado, Diana Rocio Ramirez Hernandez, Maria Guadalupe Perez Montes, Jocelyn Calderon Reyes, Maria de la Luz Hernandez Cardona, Idali Juache Laguna, Griselda Murua Lopez, Silvia Arce, and Monica Janeth Alanis Esparza. The poster of a smiling Monica Liliana Delgado, the only one in the particular group whose fate has been officially determined, read: "A Warrior Never Dies."Except for 29-year-old Silvia Arce who disappeared back in 1998, all the individuals on the posters vanished from 2008 to 2012, when they were between 13 to 19 years of age. All went missing during the Great Violence, a time when the city was crawling with soldiers, federal police and assorted gunmen. Ironically, many of the missing were born during the years when the disappearance and killing of women in Ciudad Juarez first became an international issue.Ricardo Alanis, father of university student Monica Janeth Alanis, who was 18 when she disappeared in March 2009, said there were "no leads, no indications" of what might have transpired with his daughter. Last month, Alanis and his wife Olga Esparza were honored by El Paso's Annunciation House for their persistent activism. Alanis insisted that a lack of "political interest" prevails in clarifying the fates of his daughter and other disappeared persons.Quoted on Mother's Day by the state prosecutor's office, Chihuahua State Human Rights Commission President Jose Luis Armendariz said the top state law enforcement agency was making advances in investigating women's disappearances by means of a new investigatory protocol. "We recognize there are problems," Armendariz said, "but let's all participate more so (disappearances) don't occur."Marrufo credited the current administration of the prosecutor's office for showing improvements over its predecessors on the gender justice front, but faulted the state agency for coming up short in the "high-risk" disappearances like the ones publicized by Mothers and Families United. She said the state should have specialized units to probe the unresolved cases. "We think the prosecutor's office should have better trained teams," Marrufo added.The posters displayed by Mothers and Families United represent only a small fraction of disappeared girls and women in Ciudad Juarez. While the group covered walls, street lamp posts and telephone boots with pictures of relatives, another group of mothers of the missing and their supporters initiated a 24-hour vigil outside the border offices of the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office.Marrufo said her organization knew of 190 women and girls missing in the city since the late 1990s, but acknowledged the number could be short since disappearances began mounting after 1993 if not sooner.Age, appearance, family and social background, and the location of disappearance form striking parallels between the post-2008 disappeared and their counterparts from earlier years. Many were last reportedly in the city's downtown core.Teenager Jocelyn Calderon went missing in the middle of the afternoon on December 30, 2012, while she was presumably headed to the Cathedral to meet a friend. Mother Perla Reyes said the young girl had since been reported seen in different parts of the city, but the information could not be confirmed by relatives."We don't know if it's true or not," Reyes told FNS. "My kids are afraid. They cry a lot. My mother is sick. These are hard blows which have affected the entire family." The Ciudad Juarez resident appealed for help from U.S. neighbors in solving women's disappearances.The story of Monica Guillen Delgado Castillo is hauntingly similar to other young female murder victims from ten years ago or more. Both Monica and her mom Carmen Castillo were newcomers to Ciudad Juarez, drawn to the border city from their native state of Durango by a lack of money and the need for work.Fresh out of high school but unable to pay for college, Monica Delgado had spent only four months in the city when she vanished on October 18, 2010, while presumably catching a downtown bus. According to mom, Monica had a boyfriend but otherwise maintained a very limited social life and spent a lot of time at home.For a spell, Monica worked on the downtown streets recruiting students for a private English and computer school. According to Castillo, the authorities claimed they later recovered Monica's body from the rural Juarez Valley about 35 miles from the city on January 20, 2011. Yet the 17-year-old was not immediately identified and instead interred in a common grave.After months of pressing state authorities about her daughter's whereabouts, Castillo said officials finally informed her in September 2011 that Monica had been found dead months earlier. "I don't believe in the state prosecutor's office now. They don't do things right," Castillo said. "I only believe in divine justice."The background to Monica Delgado's disappearance and reported murder is déjà vu from years ago. The Durango transplant worked for a private school with a business model akin to the old ECCO computer school, where numerous femicide victims from both Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez studied or worked between 2000 and 2003. The slayings of the ECCO-linked victims were followed by glaring investigatory irregularities, the official concealment of bodies, the mistaken identification of corpses, and the fabrication of scapegoats.Female murder victims with some sort of connection to ECCO were typically disappeared for weeks or months before being found in clusters of multiple homicide victims in and around Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City. More recently, the multiple remains of girls and young women who vanished from Ciudad Juarez, especially the downtown area, were found in the Juarez Valley. Like the contemporary Juarez Valley cases, the murders from more than a decade ago linger in impunity. Carmen Castillo said she did not know of the common school background of previous victims until after Monica's disappearance.Together with other local and national groups, Mothers and Families United and the Ciudad Juarez Women's Roundtable demand decisive governmental actions to prevent disappearances from happening in the first place; adequate investigations of pending cases; and greater federal involvement in the issue, among other measures. The Ciudad Juarez Mother's Day action was part of a national effort held in coordination with women's and human rights organizations active in Chihuahua City, Guadalajara, Culiacan and Tecate.The civil society groups laid out common goals of educating the public about gender violence, re-publicizing the issue of disappeared women and femicide in Ciudad Juarez, and pressuring the authorities to address similar situations across the Mexican republic. A statement issued by the participating organizations declared the campaign will reach 18 nations in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and North America.Although Ciudad Juarez became notorious decades ago for murdered and missing young women, information distributed by Mothers and Families United and allied groups documented how the issue is a national one. For example, a bulletin issued by the new justice campaign reported 1,184 cases of missing women in the state of Jalisco, home to Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city.Contrary to the national pattern in which men are the clear majority at 60 percent of the nearly 26,000 cases of disappeared people listed on the National Registry System of Missing or Disappeared Persons, the authors noted that women represent 53 percent of all disappeared cases in Jalisco. "Undoubtedly, this is one more indication of gender violence in the state of Jalisco," the bulletin contended.In their bulletin, the campaign's members recalled that Mexico is under an obligatory sentence from the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights to prevent, investigate and sanction violence against women. "This is the first simultaneous action of different actions at the same time," Marrufo said of the renewed justice campaign in Ciudad Juarez and other Mexican cities. "Every mother and father wants to know what happened to their daughters and have them back at home. This is urgent."Source: Frontera NorteSur: 05/13====MALCOLM X GRANDSON MURDERED IN MEXICO CITY BARAccording to Mexican authorities, Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of assassinated US rights activist Malcolm X and educator Betty Shabazz, was found badly beaten on a sidewalk in Mexico City the night of May 8. Federal District (DF, Mexico City) emergency services took him to a hospital, where he died early in the morning of May 9. A Mexican friend, Miguel Suárez, said he and Shabazz had been invited into The Palace, a bar in the Plaza Garibaldi neighborhood. Later they were presented with a $1,200 bill for music, alcohol and the company of the women they had been drinking with. When they refused to pay, Suárez was separated from Shabazz and eventually escaped; apparently Shabazz was beaten to death.In 1997, at the age of 12 Shabazz set a fire in which Betty Shabazz died. He was placed in juvenile detention, and had brushes with the law after his release, but more recently he had been studying and was active as a speaker and a blogger. He was visiting Mexico to help Suárez, a California activist who was deported to Mexico in April.DF police and homicide detectives conducted a search in The Palace, which area shopkeepers say is known for its abuses of tourists who patronize it. Cases like the killing of Shabazz are the result of the authorities' failure to enforce the law at such establishments, according to Gabriela Salido Magos, a member of the DF Legislative Assembly for the center-right National Action Party (PAN) and part of the Assembly's tourism committee. She cited the reported rape of a young woman in the Cadillac High Class strip club in February and the robbery the month before of customers at the SO.DO.ME Bathhouse, a gay sauna. These abuses aren't exceptional, Salido Magos said, but they are viewed differently when the victim is the grandson of an historic US activist.Source: Weekly News Update on the Americas - Issue #1176: 05/17
- Hoh Indian Tribe of the Hoh Indian Reservation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For other uses of Hoh or HOH , see HOH (disambiguation) . Hoh is aMessage 4 of 6 , May 24, 2013View Source
Hoh Indian Tribe of the Hoh Indian ReservationFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaHoh is a Native American tribe in western Washington state in the United States. The tribe lives on the Pacific Coast of Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. The Hoh moved onto the Hoh Indian Reservation, at the mouth of the Hoh River, on the Pacific Coast of Jefferson County, after the signing of the Quinault Treaty on July 1, 1855. The reservation has a land area of 1.929 square kilometres (477 acres) and a 2000 census resident population of 102 persons, 81 of whom were Native Americans. It lies about half-way between its nearest outside communities of Forks, to its north, and Queets (on the Quinault Indian Reservation), to its south.The original Hoh language was actually the Quinault language. Though Hoh are considered to be a band of the Quileute tribe, they are originally related to the Quinault tribe, but after marrying together with the Quileute tribe, the Hoh tribe became a bilingual tribe, speaking both Quileute and Quinault, until, ultimately, just speaking Quileute. The lifestyle of the Hoh, like many Northwest Coast tribes, involved the fishing of salmon.The Hatchery Manager will be overseeing the operation and maintenance of the Chalaat Creek Hatchery and the successful production of winter steelhead, as well as other salmon stocks, for the economic and cultural enrichment of the Hoh Tribe.For complete job description and application you can contact Kristina Currie at the Hoh Tribe; kristinac@... or 360-374-6502. You can also visit our website hohtribe-nsn.orgThe primary responsibility of the GIS Specialist is to incorporate this biological and physical information into databases that demonstrate spatial and temporal relationships within the Hoh U&A.For complete job description and application you can contact Kristina Currie at the Hoh Tribe; kristinac@... or 360-374-6502.
You can also visit our website
- HUPACASATH First Nation invites CANADA to support: UBCIC, Chiefs of Ontario, Serpent River First Nation & Tsawwassen First Nation Date: June 5, 6 and 7, 2013Message 5 of 6 , May 24, 2013View Source
HUPACASATH First Nation invites CANADA
UBCIC, Chiefs of Ontario, Serpent River First Nation & Tsawwassen First Nation
Date: June 5, 6 and 7, 2013
Time: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Place: Vancouver Federal Courthouse
Address: 701 West Georgia Street at Pacific Centre
“WE STAND TOGETHER” UNITY GATHERING
Date: June 5, 2013
Start Time: 12:30 pm
Place: Square outside Vancouver Federal Courthouse
We invite you to witness and participate in this historic court challenge to keep Canada democratic and free.
We will be updating this website frequently to post June 5, 6 and 7 schedule of events.
To the People of Canada, Hupacasath First Nation thanks you for taking a stand to protect our Canada and our constitutional rights.
Hupacasath First Nation is extremely grateful for the trust you have bestowed upon our nation to undertake this important work on everyone’s behalf. We thank you for contributing to the legal fund and we will continue to work hard for you.
Not only have we reached our fundraising goal of $150,000.00, we have sent a strong message to Prime Minister Harper that more and more people are taking a stand on the Canada-China FIPA. We have banded together, all of us in this common cause, and put our differences aside for the greater good of Canada. As a country, we are uniting and becoming stronger.
Take a moment to reflect upon what we have accomplished together. We have embarked on a journey with this historic court challenge and forged a path to contend with tribulations from the federal government.
Hupacasath First Nation would like to hold up Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), Chiefs of Ontario (COO), Leadnow, Council of Canadians, Elizabeth May, West Coast Environmental Law, Ellen Chambers, Tarah Stafford, Lori Waters and Robert Ages for the relentless work that they contributed to the monumental task of fundraising over a 4 month period. Without their commitment, we would not be able to see our day in court. As well, a special thank you to Avaaz for joining our team and helping us reach a milestone. Hupacasath First Nation has known from the beginning we cannot do this alone.
It is an honor to serve so many people.
We are in this together. We stand together.
Hupacasath First Nation
FUNDS to pay for Hupacasath’s court case to SAVE CANADA will run out on Wednesday, March 27th.
Hupacasath, a small community of 280 members, can not continue to champion this massive, legal challenge without the financial support of Canadians.
The Canada China FIPPA gives China access to Canada’s WATER, agricultural products, minerals, oil, forests and jobs. In essence, this trade deal, not debated in parliament, may expose Canada to social and economic harm.
CANADA is on the BRINK. What’s $10 or $20 to save Canada’s future?
PLEASE DONATE viaAgain, CANADA is on the BRINK. Donations have run out so close to the court dates nearing the end of April or early May, 2013.Come on, Canada! Hear this plea! This court case is the MOST IMPORTANT legal battle in Canadian history.
Here is a link to a newsclip featured on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network about the legal challenge.
A Brief Overview
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed this Canada China FIPA in Russia on September 9, 2012 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
- He then quietly tabled the Canada China FIPA on September 27, 2012 with NO DEBATE in the House of Commons, no parliamentary scrutiny and no provincial approval.
- If ratified by cabinet and diplomatic notes are exchanged, the agreement will be irreversible for 31 years.
- This is the biggest trade deal since NAFTA. Under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, 6 months notice can be given to exit. However, the Canada China FIPA locks Canada in for 31 years.
- New powers will be granted to Chinese companies to sue the
government of Canada if Canada’s laws hinder their expectation of
*For example, when British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec oppose Enbridge pipelines,
then China is permitted to sue the respective provinces for anticipated loss of profits ranging into billions of dollars.
- SECRET TRIBUNALS outside of Canada’s jurisdiction will establish compensation for these companies with damages in the billions of dollars paid by Canadian Taxpayers.
- The FIPA will undermine Canada’s ability to set environmental protections. Therefore, environmental legislation gutted in Omnibus Bills C-38 and C-45 may not be restored for the duration of the FIPA.
- There are two parties that can stop this dangerous and extreme FIPA:
* one party is the premiers of each province (who have to date not stepped up to protect their citizens)
* the second party is the sovereign First Nations of Canada.
AT ANY MOMENT, the Peoples of Canada will restore peace, order and good government throughout the land.
AT ANY MOMENT, the Peoples of Canada will rise up and take power to protect our beautiful country.
AT ANY MOMENT, the Peoples of Canada will reclaim the wisdom enshrined in our Constitution and the established laws of our nation.
AT ANY MOMENT, the Peoples of Canada will stand together to tell politicians and corporations they have no authority to violate the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens of Canada.
The time is now to send a message to Stephen Harper and his Conservatives from the PEOPLES OF CANADA that we demand a say in the formation of our country. and in particular where the “Canada China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement” is concerned.
CANADA IS AT A CROSSROAD.
However, AT ANY MOMENT, Canadians WILL create a better Canada of the people, by the people and for the people.
WE SHALL PREVAIL
- For A Future that Won’t Destroy Life On Earth, Look To The Global Indigenous Uprising Yes! Magazine http://www.countercurrents.org/moe270513.htm MelinaMessage 6 of 6 , May 27, 2013View Source
For A Future that Won’t Destroy Life On Earth,
Look To The Global Indigenous Uprising
Melina Laboucan-Massimo stands next to logs from clearcuts at a proposed tar sands site north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jiri Rezac.
There’s a remote part of northern Alberta where the Lubicon Cree have lived, it is said, since time immemorial. The Cree called the vast, pine-covered region niyanan askiy, “our land.” When white settlers first carved up this country, they made treaties with most of its original inhabitants—but for reasons unclear, the Lubicon Cree were left out. Two hundred years later, the Lubicon’s right to their traditional territory is still unrecognized. In the last four decades, industry has tapped the vast resource wealth that lies deep beneath the pines; today, 2,600 oil and gas wells stretch to the horizon. This is tar sands country.
In 2012 testimony before the U.S. Congress, Lubicon Cree organizer Melina Laboucan-Massimo, then 30, described witnessing the devastation of her family’s ancestral land caused by one of the largest oil spills in Alberta’s history. “What I saw was a landscape forever changed by oil that had consumed a vast stretch of the traditional territory where my family had hunted, trapped, and picked berries and medicines for generations.”
“When we’re at home, we feel really isolated,” says Laboucan-Massimo, who has spent her adult life defending her people’s land from an industry that has rendered it increasingly polluted and impoverished. The Lubicon are fighting a hard battle, but their story—of resource extraction, of poverty and isolation, and of enduring resistance—is one that echoes in indigenous communities around the world. Today, Laboucan-Massimo and others like her are vanguards of a network of indigenous movements that is increasingly global, relevant—and powerful.
This power manifests in movements like Idle No More, which swept Canada last December and ignited a wave of solidarity on nearly every continent. Laboucan-Massimo was amazed—and hopeful. Triggered initially by legislation that eroded treaty rights and removed protection for almost all of Canada’s rivers—clearing the way for unprecedented fossil fuel extraction—Idle No More drew thousands into the streets. In a curious blend of ancient and high-tech, images of indigenous protesters in traditional regalia popped up on news feeds all over the world.
A history of resistance
To outsiders, it might seem that Idle No More materialized spontaneously, that it sprang into being fully formed. It builds, however, on a long history of resistance to colonialism that began when Europeans first washed up on these shores. Now, armed with Twitter and Facebook, once-isolated movements from Canada to South America are exchanging knowledge, resources, and support like never before.
Idle No More is one of what Subcomandante Marcos, the masked prophet of the Mexican Zapatistas, called “pockets of resistance,” which are “as numerous as the forms of resistance themselves.” The Zapatistas are part of a wave of indigenous organizing that crested in South America in the 1990s, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of European conquest—most effectively in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico. Certain threads connect what might otherwise be isolated uprisings: They’re largely nonviolent, structurally decentralized, they seek common cause with non-natives, and they are deeply, spiritually rooted in the land.
The connections among indigenous organizers have strengthened through both a shared colonial history and a shared threat—namely, the neoliberal economic policies of deregulation, privatization, and social spending cuts exemplified by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization. Indigenous organizers see these agreements as nothing more than the old colonial scramble for wealth at the expense of the natives. In a 1997 piece in Le Monde Diplomatique, Marcos called neoliberalism “the totalitarian extension of the logic of the finance markets to all aspects of life,” resulting in “the exclusion of all persons who are of no use to the new economy.” Many indigenous leaders charge that the policies implemented through organizations like the World Bank and the IMF prioritize corporations over communities and further concentrate power in the hands of a few.
Uprising in Ecuador
The mid-1990s saw a massive expansion of such policies—and with it, an expansion of resistance, particularly in countries with significant indigenous populations. In 1990, CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, staged a massive, nonviolent levantamiento—an uprising—flooding the streets of Quito, blocking roads and effectively shutting down the country. Entire families walked for days to reach the capital to demand land rights, fair prices for agrarian goods, and recognition of Ecuador as a plurinational state, made up of multiple, equally legitimate nations. In the end it forced renegotiation of policy and created unprecedented indigenous representation in government; many hailed CONAIE’s success as a model for organizing everywhere.
CONAIE’s slogan, “Nothing just for Indians,” invited participation from non-indigenous allies around larger questions of inequality and political representation, creating a political space that was big and inclusive enough for everyone. Dr. Maria Elena Garcia, who studies these movements at the University of Washington, says that non-indigenous support has been “crucial” for success across the board. In the case of CONAIE, she says, there came a tipping point when “most Ecuadorians … said, ‘Enough. This organization is speaking for us.’”
Idle No More clearly exists in the Zapatista tradition, but it goes further in incorporating the language of climate justice. In December as many as 50,000 masked Mayan Zapatistas marched into cities across Chiapas. Differing from the 1994 armed indigenous uprising, this one was done in complete silence.
The Zapatista Army
Meanwhile, in Mexico, the Zapatista movement was busy building a different kind of revolution. On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army took its place on the international stage. It was day one of NAFTA, which Subcomandante Marcos called “a death sentence to the indigenous ethnicities of Mexico.” More than any other movement, they linked local issues of cultural marginalization, racism, and inequality to global economic systems and prophesied a new movement of resistance. The media-savvy revolutionaries used their most potent weapon—words—and the still-new Internet to advocate a new world built on diversity as the basis for ecological and political survival. Transnational from the beginning, the Zapatistas made common cause with “pockets of resistance” everywhere.
Then, a curious change occurred: for nearly 10 years following their initial insurgency, the Zapatistas maintained a self-imposed silence. The world heard little from Marcos, but the autonomous communities in Chiapas were very much alive. They had turned inward, building independent governments, schools, and clinics. As journalist and author Naomi Klein observed, “These free spaces, born of reclaimed land, communal agriculture, resistance to privatization, will eventually create counter-powers to the state simply by existing as alternatives.” Embodying, here and now, the society they seek to create is a powerful manifesto; for those who cared to listen, their silence spoke volumes.
Victory in Bolivia
Most of these movements have used nonviolent tactics, including blockades, occupations of public space, and mass marches—combined with traditional political work—to varying degrees of success. In Bolivia these tactics yielded an extraordinary outcome: the election of Evo Morales, in 2005, as Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state.
Five years later, Morales convened 30,000 international delegates for the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. A response to the repeated failure of international climate negotiations, the gathering was rooted in an indigenous worldview that recognized Mother Earth as a living being, entitled to her own inalienable rights.
The resulting declaration placed blame unequivocally on the capitalist system that has “imposed on us a logic of competition, progress, and limitless growth.” This unrestrained growth, the declaration says, transforms “everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself.” Significantly, the declaration also extended the analysis of colonialism to include climate change—calling for “decolonization of the atmosphere”—but it rejected market-based solutions like carbon trading. It’s a holistic analysis that links colonialism, climate change, and capital, a manifesto for what has come to be called “climate justice.”
Idle No More
Fast forward to December 2012, and two things happened: The Zapatistas staged simultaneous marches in five cities, marking a resurgence of their public activism. Anywhere from 10,000–50,000 masked marchers filled the streets in complete silence. The march was timed to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar—and the beginning of a new, more hopeful era—and demonstrated the Zapatistas’ commitment to the indigenous cosmology of their ancestors.
That same month, a continent away, Idle No More emerged on the scene. While it began as a reaction to two specific bills in Parliament, it has gained strength and momentum in opposition to the network of proposed pipelines that will crisscross North America, pumping tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries and ports in Canada and the U.S. These pipelines will cross national, tribal, state, and ethnic boundaries and raise a multitude of issues—including water quality, land rights, and climate change. The campaign to stop their construction is already unifying natives and non-natives in unprecedented ways.
Dr. Garcia, whose own ancestors are indigenous, believes that indigenous movements offer something vital: hope, and what she calls “the importance of the imaginary. Of imagining a different world—imagining a different way of being in the world.”
“We’re a land-based people, but it goes further than that. It’s a worldview. When you destroy the earth, you destroy yourself,” says Melina Laboucan-Massimo. This is “the common thread in indigenous people all over the world.”
It is this thread that goes to the heart of our global ecological crisis. While indigenous cultures differ widely from one another, what they collectively present is an alternative relationship—to the earth, to its resources, and to each other—a relationship based not on domination but on reciprocity. Any movement that seeks to create deep, lasting social change—to address not only climate change but endemic racism and social inequality—must confront our colonial identity and, by extension, this broken relationship.
Laboucan-Massimo has spent a great deal of time abroad, studying indigenous movements from Latin America to New Zealand and Australia, feeling the full weight of their shared history under colonialism. These days, though, she’s more likely to be on the road, educating, organizing, and building solidarity among natives and non-natives. It was understanding the connections between movements, she says, that gave her “all the more fervor to come back and continue to do the work here.”
Recently, she traveled from Alberta to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where she and her elders stood at the forefront of the largest climate change rally in history. And she’ll keep organizing, armed with a smartphone, supported by a growing network of allies from Idle No More and beyond, connected in every possible way to the rest of the world.
Kristin Moe wrote this article for Love and the Apocalypse, the Summer 2013 issue of YES! Magazine. Kristin is a writer, farmer, and graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She writes about climate justice, grassroots movements, and social change.