Indigenous rights

Hopi Nation and HARP File Lawsuit in France to Stop Future Sales of Sacred Objects

Posted on Updated on

Hopi Tribe and HARP File Lawsuit in France to Stop Future Sales of Sacred Objects

Herman Honanie

WASHINGTON — The Hopi Tribal Council and the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) filed a lawsuit in France to appeal a recent decision by the French “Conseil des Ventes” (“Board of Auction Sales”), an administrative body in charge of regulating and supervising auction sales on the French market.

The announcement of the lawsuit filing was made jointly by Herman G. Honanie, chairman of the Hopi Tribe and Ori Z. Soltes, of HARP.

Although the Conseil has the administrative power to suspend sales, it refused to suspend a December 15, 2014 auction sale of sacred “kwaa tsi” owned by the Hopi tribe, the Conseil allowed the sale to proceed after a special hearing held in Paris on December 11, 2014, rejecting the arguments put forth by the Hopi Tribe and HARP that title had never vested with subsequent possessors due to the sacred nature of these objects. Read More…

Women and Youth Fight for Freedom of Expression in Guatemala

Posted on Updated on

Women and Youth Fight for Freedom of Expression in Guatemala
March 16, 2015
On February 25, 2015 the Guatemalan National Police and the Public Ministry once again raided two community radio stations, this time in Chichicastenango, Quiche, a popular tourist destination. Radio Swan Tinamit and Radio Ixmukane both serve important audiences in Chichicastenango. Radio Swan Tinamit is mostly staffed by youth, and the topics they cover include the rights of Indigenous Peoples, youth participation in leadership, and Indigenous traditions, among others. Radio Ixmukane is mostly staffed by women, as the radio was founded as part of and is housed by Asociacion de Mujeres Ixmukane (Ixmukane Womens’ Association). Radio Ixmukane focuses on women’s rights, education on domestic abuse, and reproductive rights.
Persecution against community radio stations is an all too-common occurrence in Guatemala, and increasingly has been on the rise over the last two months… Read more.

Maya Land Rights Case to be Heard in International Courts

Posted on Updated on

Maya Land Rights Case to be Heard in International Courts
March 26, 2015
The Maya people of Toledo are scheduled for a hearing to reaffirm their land rights case at the regional Caribbean Court of Justice in April of 2015, after almost a decade of back and forth in the national courts in Belize. Their claim to the land has been upheld twice in the Supreme Court, once in 2009 and again in 2013. The government of Belize continues to assert that the land title the Maya hold should not be considered native or Indigenous land title, but merely based on a long period of occupation. However Maya leaders are optimistic about the ruling: “We are of the belief that it is our unity, our long standing customary practices that has sustained us and our humble leadership that yet again we will achieve not only the favors of the court but the minds and hearts of many people. The struggle of the Maya is the struggle of all people,” announced Alfonso Cal, President of the assembly of traditional leaders, looking forward to the hearing… Read more.


Guided Tour at MOA: c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city, April 21, 7pm

Posted on

guided tour
c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city

April 21, 7pm

Join MOA, the Musqueam First Nation, and the Museum of Vancouver for a series of groundbreaking exhibitions that will connect Vancouverites with the living legacy of c̓əsnaʔəm, the ancient villages and burial sites upon which the city of Vancouver is built. Highlighting language, oral history, and the community’s recent actions to protect c̓əsnaʔəm, the exhibitions invite visitors to engage with the long and dynamic history of the land. MOA’s exhibit features 3D modelling of maps and artifacts, original videography, family-friendly interactivity, and soundscapes blending traditional and modern sounds.

On April 21 join Musqueam community members, Elders, artists, and activists as they share their knowledge and explore the themes in the MOA exhibition. The tour begins at 7pm and is free with admission.

World Bank Admits Link to Forced Evictions in Africa

Posted on Updated on

World Bank Admits Link to Forced Evictions in Africa

February 23, 2015

The World Bank has failed to properly enforce its environmental and social guidelines regarding Indigenous Peoples in Africa. According to a leaked report obtained by  the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Bank knew there was an “operational link’’  between its funding for an Ethiopian development initiative and the forced evictions of thousands of Indigenous Peoples.

Over the last decade, the World Bank created a health and education initiative that galvanized about $2 billion in funds. Members of the Indigenous Anuak people in Ethiopia’s Gambella region declared that the Ethiopian government was using some of the World Bank’s money in a program that supported forced evictions and allowed soldiers to beat, rape and kill Anuak people who refused to leave their homes.

Cultural Survival’s 2012 campaign successfully urged the governments of the US and UK, donor nations to Ethiopia, to recognize this link and pull funding for the projects that lead to the removal of Indigenous Peoples from their lands.  The campaign highlighted the Anuak people’s forced removal to state-created villages, and how those who refused to leave their lands were met with violent attacks, rape, and torture.

According to a leaked watchdog report, The World Bank’s internal Inspection Panel admitted that there was an “operational link” between the World Bank-funded program and Ethiopian authorities’ eviction actions. The Ethiopian government has argued that the forced removal of Indigenous Peoples and the creation of villages, known as the “villagization” program, was designed to provide access to basic socio-economic infrastructures like food, healthcare, and educational facilities to the people who are being relocated and to bring “socio-economic & cultural transformation of the people.” Under this program, the Ethiopian government forcibly relocated approximately 70,000 Indigenous People from the Gambella region to new villages that actually continue to lack basic necessities and minimum health standards. The Bank’s failure to publicly acknowledge this “operational link” and to ensure the protection of affected communities means the World Bank violated its own policies based on project appraisal, risk assessment, financial analysis and protection of Indigenous Peoples, concludes the report. …Read More.

2014 Vox Libera Award Winner: Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Posted on

2014 Vox Libera Award Winner: Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

NWAC President Michele Audette speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 13, 2014, calling on the federal government to act on violence against Indigenous women. PHOTO: CP/Sean Kilpatrick
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By Angela Sterritt

It’s a heart-wrenching story now etched in the minds of Canadians: more than 1,100 Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered across the country since the 1980s. But just as tragic as the reality of hundreds of lives lost is what seemed to be decades of public indifference. Only recently has that pervasive apathy finally shifted to a public outcry—thanks to the tremendous work done by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC).

In 2003, NWAC president Terri Brown, of the Tahltan Nation in British Columbia, broke the silence, speaking out about the disturbing estimate of more than 500 Aboriginal women gone missing over the past two decades. She underscored the limited investigation into most cases and called for action to support Aboriginal women in the struggle for their human rights to life and safety. Read More.

How an El Sereno charter school fought for (and won) the right to teach in an indigenous language

Posted on Updated on

How an El Sereno charter school fought for (and won) the right to teach in an indigenous language

1 of 11 View Here
Semillas Academy - 1

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Kindergartener Zoe, right, plays the drums during recess at Academia Semillas del Pueblo on Dec. 5, 2012. The LAUSD charter school incorporates language and cultural learning and is part of Semillas Community Schools, which also includes the Anahuacalmecac International Preparatory High School.

On a main thoroughfare in East Los Angeles, there’s a brightly painted public school: Anahuacalmecac International Preparatory High School, part of the Semillas school network. Semillas — Spanish for “seeds” — teaches teenagers about their indigenous roots and culture.

Students there learn in Spanish and Nahuatl, incorporating Mayan mathematics and indigenous visual and performing arts. One course teaches indigenous diplomacy and youth leadership skills. Parents and grandparents are integrated into the student’s learning. Read more.

Original Link:

Between Keewatin and Tsilhqot’in Conference, Nov 21 – 22

Posted on


“Between Keewatin and Tsilhqot’in” is an important conference regarding the implications of recent Supreme Court decisions for First Nations and Aboriginal people in Canada.

Space is limited for the November 21st and 22nd conference.  For more information and to register go to

This conference is co-hosted by Treaty Commissioner James Wilson and Professor Aimee Craft, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba.

Speakers Are:

*    Elder Harry Bone
*    Robert Janes, JFK Law Corporation,
*    Ovide Mercredi, University of Manitoba
*    Heather Leonoff, Manitoba Justice, Constitutional Law
*    Ken McNeil, Professor, Osgood Hall Law School
*    Heather Mahony, Lawyer, Woodward and Company
*    Julie Blackhawk, Department of Justice Canada
*    Doug White, Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, Vancouver Island University
*    Professor Aimee Craft, University of Manitoba
*    Michael Anderson, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
*    Bill Gallagher, Author
*    Jean Teillet, Partner, Pape Salter Teillet LLP
*    J.B. Fobister, Traditional Land User, Grassy Narrows First Nation
*    The Honourable Richard Scott, Former Chief Justice of Manitoba

View a complete agenda – For more detailed information, including session descriptions and speaker biographies, available at

Carmen Neufeld, President
Planners Plus Inc.
106 – 475 Provencher Boulevard
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2J 4A7
(204) 257-5205

Tsilhqot’in Panel Discussion, Nov. 18, 5:30 – 8:00 PM

Posted on

Join the Faculty of Forestry for a panel discussion on the Tsilhqot’in decision. This panel will give a background of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision and what it means to the landscape of BC and Canada for future and present forest professionals and the natural resource sector.

Panelists: Chief Roger William, Tsilhqot’in Nation; Angeline Nyce, Principal A. Nyce Law Corporation; Tim Ryan, Chair, Forest Practices Board; Tim Sheldan, Deputy Minister Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; and Doug White III, Interim Director of Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, Vancouver Island University.

Tuesday, November 18, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
FOREST SCIENCES CENTRE, 2424 Main Mall, Room 1005
For more information, visit here or contact
To RSVP no later than Wednesday, November 12, click here.
Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, November 10, 2014