6th Annual Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium
Currents of Resistance, Activism and Justice: Indigenous Responses to Neoliberalism
April 13-14, 2017 UC Davis
We are pleased to announce the 6th Annual Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium, to be held on the UC Davis campus on April 13-14, 2017. We welcome proposals from current graduate students and tribal college students from across the globe whose research critically addresses the issues, concerns, and lives of indigenous peoples worldwide.
This year’s theme, “Currents of Resistance, Activism and Justice: Indigenous Responses to Neoliberalism” draws inspiration and guidance from the affirmation “Mni Wiconi” or “Water is Life,” a call heard and repeated across the globe in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux actively resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline. This and previous struggles continue to connect indigenous activists and allies around the causes of Native sovereignty, environmental protection, land reclamation, and justice for indigenous peoples who have been brutalized and criminalized for fighting for the right to exist. Like rivers meeting the sea, Native and non-Native currents of resistance, activism and justice are coming together, uniting our voices as we find each other. It is in this spirit of unity that we extend our call for papers across and beyond Turtle Island. Some of the questions we hope to explore during this year’s symposium include:
● What are decolonial and indigenized correctives for current globalized neoliberalism?
● How can we indigenize the voices of resistance and justice against the calls of moderation and modernization?
● How do indigenous peoples work together to create sacred spaces for intellectual metamorphosis?
● How do indigenous communities and allies come together to mobilize indigenous knowledge for change?
These and many other questions call upon the wisdom and efforts of our diverse communities and relatives.
Graduate students from all disciplines from universities worldwide are encouraged to participate in this international dialogue. Presentations should be 12-15 minutes in length.
Possible areas of interest may include (but are not limited to):
July 22, 2016 marked a day of victory, not only for Rigoberto Juarez Mateo, but also for the Indigenous Q’anjob’al Maya community in the municipality of Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. In a split decision made by Judges Yasmin Barrios, Patricia Bustamante, and Gerbi Sical, seven Ancestral Authorities, including Rigoberto Juarez, Domingo Baltazar, Ermitano Lopez Reyes, Sotero Adalberto Villatoro, Francisco Juan Pedro, Mynor Lopez, and Arturo Pablo were released from prison, five of whom were acquitted of all charges.
Sixteen months ago, Rigoberto Juarez, one of nine Ancestral Authorities, was detained for his advocacy against two private hydroelectric and mining companies, Hidra Energia and Hidro Santa Cruz, respectively, for their failing to comply and consult with Indigenous communities’ prior to accessing licensure for their projects. Posing a threat to their natural resources, land, and way of life, those who resisted the projects faced threats, coercion, and were sometimes kidnapped, raped, or even murdered. Rigoberto Juarez and Domingo Baltazar, two well-known Indigenous leaders, traveled to Guatemala City to file reports on these various human rights violations to the Department of Public Ministry and the United Nations Commission for Human Rights but both were arrested by police without warrant or charges. They were illegally imprisoned without due process on that day of March 23, 2015. Rigoberto Juarez was placed in High Risk Group A preventive detention center for false accusations in a series of crimes which the private companies claimed against them. Sixteen charges were then made against him, including public disturbances of peaceful demonstrations, kidnapping, and intent to commit crimes. However, the lack of evidence and factual grounds for the heinous charges that were made only indicate that the hydroelectric and mining companies, working with the Mayor and judicial system of Guatemala, strategically organized the persecution and arrest of the community leaders in order to remove their voice and actions from the resistance movement he had begun and committed to since 2008. Read more…
by Cultural Survival on March 10, 2016
The international community has been reeling after the gunning down of Indigenous Lenca activist Berta Caceres of Honduras, well known and loved around the world for her dedication and commitment to her community, their lands, and protecting the environment. Last week on March 3th, Berta was assassinated in her home by a death squad, after years of documented threats and harassment by Honduran military and private security of the hydroelectric dam company DESA. Here are six concrete actions you can take to fight back for Berta and multiply the work she was dedicated to.
1) Ask the FMO bank to withdraw investment from the Agua Zarca project.
Berta stood up to corporations and helped delay the construction of the Agua Zarca dam which, if built, would destroy her community’s land and the Gualcarque River in Honduras. The dam was delayed due to protests for so long that investors started pulling from the project. As a result, Berta became a target for corporate spying, intimidation, and ultimately murder, simply because money wasn’t being made. This is why we are calling on the largest remaining investor of the dam, FMO (a Dutch Development bank) to join the Chinese investors Sinohydro and the International Finance Corporation in withdrawing financial support for this project immediately.
2) Call on Authorities to Protect Gustavo Castro Soto, murder witness and assassination target.
Gustavo Castro Soto, a Mexican human rights defender, environmental activist and long-time ally of Berta and COPINH, was also shot during the attack. Gustavo is the sole witness of the murder, and is currently being held against his will by Honduran authorities. In a note to some friends on March 6, Gustavo wrote, “The death squads know that they did not kill me, and I am certain that they want to accomplish their task.” Take action to ensure his safety by calling on Honduran, Mexican and embassy authorities demanding security for Gustavo, and to halt the criminalization against COPINH.
3) Call on the U.S. Department of State to take concrete steps
Berta was a vocal opponent of US backed 2009 presidential coup in Honduras. COPINH denounced the coup d’état as an instrument of violence serving transnational corporations to exploit resources and to repress the dissent of social movements. She also opposed continuing US military bases on Lenca territory. The United States played has played a major role in legitimizing the 2009 coup and funding the right wing military government that has formed since. In 2011 Washington authorized $1.3 billion for U.S. military electronics in Honduras, and U.S. military expenditures for Honduras have gone up every year since 2009. Yet in the years since the coup, human rights violations in Honduras have increased at an alarming rate: roughly 150 environmental and human rights defenders have been killed. Berta was a strong opponent of US military presence in Honduras. The Department of State and the US ambassador to Honduras have issued statements of condolences to Berta Caceres family and condemning her death, but stop short of describing concrete steps being taken to address the underlying issues prompting her assassination.
Write to the US state department demanding the following:
Pressure Honduran authorities to ensure the security and prompt release of Gustavo Castro.
Support COPINH’s demands that the Honduran state sign an agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to send independent experts to conduct a clean, impartial, and transparent investigation.
Ensure that no US aid goes to military units repressing the Lenca people of Rio Blanco and encourage the Honduran government to withdraw the military from the zone.
4) Ask Congress to Suspend Funding for the Alliance for Prosperity
Berta was a vocal opponent against the Alliance for Prosperity, a plan for US funding to Central America was recently approved by US congress to provide $750 million in military financing and training million to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, as well as to facilitate investment in extractive industries, including a massive gas pipeline from Mexico to Central America. But preconditions for percent of the total funds mean that countries will have to prove they are working to reduce migration and human trafficking, combat government corruption, and decrease poverty—just some items among a considerable list. The U.S. State Department and Agency for International Development, which are jointly in charge of administrating the money, will have to report to Congress by September 30 2016 on whether sufficient progress has been made, and if not, funding can be suspended.
5) Keep the pressure on through social media.
Tweet US and Honduran officials:
6) Spread the word
Share this list with family, friends, and networks, as well as the following statements from Berta’s family and colleagues:
Statement from the daughters, son, and mother of Berta Cáceres
Urgent denunciation by COPINH
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
Learn, Listen, Act: Promoting Reflexivity to Genocide of Indigenous Peoples
About the Conference
In light of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report published in June 2015 regarding the cultural genocide of First Nations peoples, STAND is looking to reorient itself toward domestic issues related to genocide in addition to our international advocacy focus. This conference will convene STAND Canada’s national leadership on the UBC campus, hosted by our UBC Chapter, for a robust dialogue on STAND’s future in relation to genocide on this land that will engage multiple stakeholders.
The objectives for this conference are open-ended as we listen through consultations, meetings, and events in an effort to understand our responsibility as a Canadian anti-genocide advocacy organization. As a result of the topic of focus, we are excited to build relationships with external allies and local Indigenous groups that may be interested in teaching us and working with us.
Changing Through Listening: An Open Forum on Promoting Reflexivity to Genocide of Indigenous Peoples on Saturday, January 22, 2016 from 5-7PM at the Global Lounge at UBC. Please visit our Facebook event for more information and to RSVP.
If you are interested in attending but do not have a Facebook account or you are bringing a guest, please email us or RSVP through Eventbrite to the film screening and Open Forum. We would like to ensure that our events meet room capacity numbers.
Stolen Land: First Nations, Palestinians
at the Frontline of Resistance
With Robert Lovelace
Queens University Lecturer & former Anoch Algonquin Chief
Friday, November 27 @ 1pm
Room 098, Henry Angus Building
2053 Main Mall, Unceded & Occupied Musqueam Territory
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stolen Land : Stolen Voices Canada and Israel are both built on land and resources stolen by European settlers; both are still sustained by the ongoing repression of indigenous peoples. The indigenous peoples of Canada and Palestine are on the front lines resisting the destruction of the land by militarism and industrial extraction. In the mainstream media and the halls of power, indigenous activists’ voices and stories have been silenced – they are treated as terrorists or historical curiosities. This event will explore the commonalities of indigenous struggles for land and freedom in Canada and in Palestine as well as connections to the global fight for a decolonized world.
Robert Lovelace is an adjunct lecturer at Queen’s University specialising in Aboriginal Studies, Re-indigenisation and De-colonisation. Robert is an anti-colonial activist and retired chief of the Anoch Algonquin First Nation. He spent 3½ months in jail as a political prisoner for defending the Ardoch homeland from uranium exploration. Robert has sailed twice on the Freedom Flotilla attempting to break the siege of Gaza. He lives at Eel Lake in traditional Ardoch territory.
UBC Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights • email@example.com
Sponsored by UBC Social Justice Centre, Seriously Free Speech Committee. Endorsed by Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Canada Palestine Association/BDS Vancouver, Canadian Boat to Gaza, Independent Jewish Voices – Vancouver, Mobilisation Against War and Occupation, North West Indigenous Council, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Streams of Justice, United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel.
B.C. First Nation writes its own declaration of title rights and strategy
THE CANADIAN PRESS OCTOBER 28, 2015
A First Nation on British Columbia’s central coast is not waiting for the provincial and federal governments to draft a reconciliation agreement. The Heiltsuk Nation has written and signed its own declaration, setting out what it says is a new mandate for a relationship within Canada.
BELLA BELLA – A First Nation on British Columbia’s central coast is not waiting for the provincial and federal governments to draft a reconciliation agreement.
The Heiltsuk Nation has written and signed its own declaration, setting out what it says is a new mandate for a relationship within Canada.
Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt says the First Nation has been collaborating with industry and senior governments on planning and economic opportunities, but without much progress on resource management decisions within its territories.
Chief Marilyn Slett says existing agreements will be honoured but the new approach will build a government-to-government relationship between the Heiltsuk, B.C., and Canada.
The First Nation relies on the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2014 Tsilhqot’in decision, that it says found a declaration of aboriginal title could be obtained through a negotiated agreement, or by court declaration.
Heiltsuk hereditary chiefs and elected leaders say as the sovereign authority over more than 35,000 square kilometres of the central coast, the First Nation has the right to control, manage and benefit from territorial resources.
Wednesday October 21:
Public talk with writer/activist Arthur Manuel
Arthur Manuel, a forceful advocate for Aboriginal title and rights in Canada, co-authored the recent book Unsettling Canada: A National Wake Up Call with Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrikson. Their work not only constructs a plan for a new sustainable indigenous economy, but also lays out a decolonizing roadmap for getting there. Please join him for this free public discussion.
Wednesday, October 21, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall, First Nations Longhouse
CCAP Job posting: administrator and community organizer
The Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) is looking for an administrator and community organizer to work with their volunteers to help low-income Downtown Eastside residents implement their Community Vision for Change and to ensure that decisions about the future of the community build on community assets. This includes working for more and better housing, higher welfare rates and to stop gentrification. This is a two day per week position through December, 2015 with the possibility of extension.
Manage and track budget with support from accountant
Manage funding and year-end funder reports
Coordinate CCAP employee and volunteer team
Maintain CCAP website and Facebook page
Publishing & speaking (In collaboration with experienced volunteers)
Speak and support others to speak at meetings, events, classes, city hall, news events
Write bulletins & newsletter articles and layout newsletter
Community meetings & actions (In collaboration with experienced volunteers)
Track actions of city hall, province and federal governments and coordinate response statements with other staff and volunteers
Support volunteers to act and speak out for their community, developing leadership capacities.
Organizing low-income residents to attend rezoning and development application hearings and to speak out through other venues like news conferences.
Attend weekly CCAP volunteer meetings
Research: Help with producing CCAP’s annual hotel and housing report
Support: Help low income volunteers get what they need to keep volunteering
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Ability to use computer for research, emails, formatting flyers, posters, etc.
Web or blog design skills
Good people skills
Grant writing and reporting
Developing campaigns for social justice with community groups
Ability to work in a team and on own, and with a community board
Research on housing, income, and/or planning issues
Knowledge of city planning processes
Experience working in the DTES
Pay is $21 an hour gross.
Only people who are to be interviewed will be contacted. Thank you to everyone else for your interest.
The job will start when the candidate is available.
Please submit resumes by email with a half-page essay on the causes of homelessness and two references who are familiar with your work by July 21 to:
In an opening scene of the documentary Profit and Loss, Mike Mercredi, Athabasca Chipewyan, describes how thrilling it was for his teenage self to get a job driving one of the biggest rigs in the world at a massive oil sands extraction area in Alberta, Canada.
Yet the allure slowly transformed to horror, as he began to understand the extreme effects of the oil sands industry, which uses heated water from Lake Athabasca to extract oil from the sand, on his homelands. The films shows nightmarish visuals of a landscape that has seen the oil sands industry denude the boreal forests, poison culturally vital fisheries and, many believe, infect astoundingly high numbers of local indigenous people with deadly cancers.
“I had this overwhelming anxiety. I walked into the office and put my badge down and I quit,” Mercredi says in the film.
Plumes from a distant oil sands refinery reflected in a tailings pond taken in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. This image is from Episode 2, “Profit and Loss.” (Christopher McLeod)
Mercredi’s Fort Chipewyan band eventually hired him to create maps of sacred sites, and the film chronicles his work and those of other First Nations allies to save what they can from the oil sands development even as the Alberta government spends millions of dollars in advertising campaigns to promote the industry.
The stories of Mecredi and other sacred site guardians from eight indigenous communities across the globe will be broadcast to an audience of millions of Americans as Profit and Loss and the other three 60-minute episodes of the Standing on Sacred Ground film series air nationally on the PBS World Channel on consecutive Sundays beginning May 17 at 9 p.m. ET. The episode aired May 17 will also be aired May 20. Check StandingOnSacredGround.org for a full schedule of air times.
The indigenous subjects and producers of the films say the broadcasts are an unparalleled breakthrough for the depiction of indigenous stories on national television: An opportunity for the public to view indigenous people sharing their stories of resistance from their perspectives, learn how corporations and government often collude to circumvent indigenous rights and to gain an appreciation of how, contrary to stereotypes, indigenous knowledge and philosophy have never been more relevant in an era of climate change and mass extinctions.
“Watching the films, I was struck that even though we’re diverse culturally we all view the natural world in the same way,” Mercredi said. “If they had listened to the indigenous people from the beginning, we wouldn’t be in such a mess. Now, it’s a race against time to start ingraining our indigenous knowledge into the younger generations.”
From Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia to California and Russia, the indigenous people in the documentary series represent almost all the continents, but they face many of the same threats to their sacred sites and ancestral lands: government megaprojects, consumer culture, competing religions, resource extraction and climate change. But, producer Christopher McLeod said, the films show far more is at stake than indigenous religion.
“The sacred places are the heart where the indigenous worldview, the values and languages are anchored,” he said. “They’re a source of information and insight about adapting to climate change. It’s no coincidence the planet is dying and the sacred places are being destroyed.”
The film series is the culmination of nearly 10 years of work for McLeod and the Standing on Sacred Ground team, and he said it truly began almost 30 years ago when he was working on a film about uranium and coal mining in Hopi and Navajo territories and elders told him his work was missing an entire dimension: the sacredness of certain places and the obligation of indigenous people to care for them. Read More…