Friday, April 24, 2015

Zapatistas SupGaleano: Registration Report 'Critical Thought Versus Capitalist Hydra'

Photo: SupGaleano in Sonora
by Brenda Norell

Report on Registration for the Seminar “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra”

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Mexico.

April 21, 2015
Translations: Italiano, Espanol

To the compas of the Sixth:
To the presumed attendees of the Seminar “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra”:
We want to let you know that:
As of April 21, 2015, the number of people who have registered for the seminar “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra” is approximately 1,074 men, women, others,i children, and elderly from Mexico and the world. Of this number:
558 people are adherents of the Sixth.
430 people are not adherents of the Sixth
82 people say they are from the free, autonomous, independent, alternative, or whatever-you-call-it media.
4 people are from the paid media (only one person from the paid media has been rejected, it was one of the three who were sponsored by the Chiapas state government to sully the name of the Zapatista compa professor Galeano and present his murderers as victims.)
Now then, we don’t know if among those 1,074 who have registered so far there might be a portion who have gotten confused and think that they have registered for Señorita Anahí’s wedding (apparently she’s marrying somebody from Chiapas, I’m not sure, but pay me no mind because here the world of politics and entertainment are easily confused… ah! There too? Didn’t I tell you?)
Anyway, I’m sharing the number of attendees because it’s many more than we had expected would attend the seminar/seedbed. Of course now that’s CIDECI’s problem, so… good luck!
What? Can people can still register? I think so, I’m not sure. When questioned by Los Tercios Compas, doctor Raymundo responded “no problem at all, in any case the number of people who will actually pay attention are far fewer.” Okay, okay, okay, he didn’t say that, but given the context he could have. What’s more, not even the doc knows how many people are going to come to CIDECI.
In any case, if you are engrossed by the high quality of the electoral campaigns and are reflecting profoundly on the crystal clear proposals of the various candidates, you should not waste your time on this critical thinking stuff.
Okay then, don’t forget your toothbrush, soap, and something to comb your hair.
From the concierge of the seminar/seedbed,
In search of the cat-dog,
SupGaleano.
Mexico, April 2015.
The Cat-Dog in the chat “Zapatista attention to the anti-zapatista client”:
(You are currently on hold, one of our advisors will be with you in a moment. If it takes awhile, it’s because we’re on pozol break.iii We thank you for your patience.)

Yaqui Water Rights Defenders Released from Prison

Vicam Yaqui Water Rights Spokesman Imprisoned since Fall of 2014 Ordered Released

Rights Violated! Judge Orders Release of Jailed Indigenous Activist in Mexico Yaqui Tribe spokesman, Fernando Jimenez, in April. Mario Luna was released in January.

Article by TeleSur TV
Photo on right: Water Rights Forum in Vicam, Sonora, by Brenda Norrell
Detained Yaqui Tribe leader and activist, Fernando Jimenez, recieved a favorable decision due to lack of evidence. A third circuit judge has issued an injunction in favor of Yaqui indigenous tribe spokesman, Fernando Jimenez, ordering the release of the jailed indigenous rights activist for lack of evidence against him. Jimenez, who has been imprisoned since September 23, 2014, was detained in the northern state of Sonora amid the context of the Yaqui Tribe’s protests in defense of the Yaqui River. According to the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda), which made the information public, the judge’s ruling, on Tuesday, represents the states participation in violating Jimenez’s human rights for ordering his imprisonment without due process. Jimenez was arrested only days after Mario Luna, another prominent spokesman and activist of the Yaqui Tribe, was detained under the same circumstances. The two are accused of illegal deprivation of liberty and carjacking, after members of the Yaqui Tribe stopped a man who attempted to drive into their protest roadblock. In January, Luna also received a favorable court order for his release stipulating that at the time of Luna’s consignment to prison the state neglected to admit the defense’s evidence. Both Luna and Jimenez have led the Yaqui Tribe’s protests since 2010 against a state-sponsored mega aqueduct project that pumps water from the Yaqui River to urban centers such the Sonora state capital, Hermosillo. The 172 km long project transports more than 60 million cubic meters of water per year from the Novillo dam, which is fed by the Yaqui River, to supply Hermosillo and the large agroindustry in the region. The project openly violates a 1940 presidential decree by then president Lazaro Cardenas, which guarantees that at least 50 percent of the water from the Yaqui River pertains to the Yaqui Tribe.


This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Judge-Orders-Release-of-Jailed-Indigenous-Activist-in-Mexico-20150408-0028.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

Mohawk Nation News: BRITISH PROTECTORATE: Kanekotah


BRITISH PROTECTORATE: Kanekotah


NN. APRIL 24, 2015. This letter was sent by Registered Mail on April 11, 2015, to General Sir Peter Wall and received at Whitehall. confederacy flag
kahentinetha, P.O. Box 991, kahnwake [Quebec Canada] J0L 1B0.
April 11, 2015.
Gen. Sir Peter Wall, KCB CBE ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff, UK Army, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2HB
Dear Sir:
As you have been previously alerted by our ahserakowa of kanekotah, thahoketoteh, we write today to remind you of the order you are under. You have a copy of Captain General Sir Frederick Haldimand’s order he left for you. We provide you another.
Halidmand Proclamation 1784 making Kanekotah the only UK military protectorate for the Mohawks in the world.
Halidmand Proclamation 1784 making Kanekotah the only UK military protectorate for the Mohawks in the world.
This issue has now come before the Iroquois Confederate Council. We put you on notice of your legal requirement to follow military law and do as your General ordered in 1784. “Due to the early attachment of the Mohawks and the loss of their settlements in the American states”, “we have purchased a tract of land, six miles from each side of the Grand River, starting at Lake Erie and extending in that proportion to the head of said river, which them and their posterity shall enjoy forever”.
You are legally required to follow this order. Due to the colonial settlerism issues, we require your physical presence in kanekotah when we move to our tract. We would like to do this in June 2015.
Your house in kanekota is waiting for you.
Your house in kanekota is waiting for you.
The Canadian courts have neglected this Royal Proclamation. It is a Royal Proclamation because of the title “Captain General”. We now come to you with one mind and demand your protection for our people.
In 1947 the British Army built a mansion you can occupy in the Hamlet of Hornings Mills, kanekotah. I forward you a copy of the Royal Proclamation from the Captain General, Sir Frederick Halidmand, and the survey we had done at the Queen’s Printer of Ontario. I would like to talk with you on the telephone. Please call me when you get this letter at . . . . , email:kahentinetha2@mohawknationnews.com. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
kahentinetha, bear clanmother, kanekotah.
The British have already set the precedent on this legality when they invaded Palestine to create Israel in 1947. They claimed their legality through the Balfour Declaration, which is not really a royal proclamation since it was not signed by a Captain General or a King. These are the only entities that can make a royal proclamation. Now the British Army must carry out their legal requirements and protect 6 miles from the source of the Grand River, as per the attached survey we have done by the Queens Printer of Ontario. [map]. Source of the Grand River ColourSource-of-the-Grand-River-Colour
We require physical signs everywhere to indicate that people are entering a British military protectorate under the laws of the Kaia’nere:kowa.testan
As Gene Autry laments, “The Red Man was pressed from this part of the West, it’s not likely he’ll ever return. To the banks of the Red River, where seldom, if ever, his flickering campfires still burn, home on the range.” [Home on the range].

MNN Mohawk Nation Newskahentinetha2@mohawknationnews.com For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go towww.mohawknationnews.com  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L thahoketoteh@hotmail.com for original Mohawk music visit thahoketoteh.ws

Let's get ready for peace, peace, peace!
Let’s get ready for peace, peace, peace!

Dineh Walkers Arrive at Sacred Doko'oosliid









Thank you to the Nihigaal bee line, Journey for Existence, for walking to the Four Sacred Mountains and speaking out against the ongoing genocide of oil and gas drilling, fracking and coal mining. Thank you for sharing your journey with Censored News and our readers around the world. 
-- Brenda, Censored News

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wioweya Najin Win 'Starlight and Red Raspberries'

Starlight and Red Raspberries 
by Wioweya Najin Win,
writing from the banks of Wounded Knee Creek
In these days of winter fading away while springtime emerges slowly, all I can think about is the smell of the wild raspberries in their full ripeness, their red skin glowing from the sunbeams falling along the banks of Tongue River in the Shining Mountains.  I close my eyes and hear the roar and splash of the river, rolling against the rocks and banks, water drops splashing like little bright lights against my skin as I hang my legs over the rocks to cool my feet in the raging river, full and bank to bank with snow melt from a good winter, and rains from a loving sky. I can hear the sounds of our grandchildren laughing while their moms grill elk meat over the cracking fire, their uncles teaching the boys how to make drum sticks. I have my little spot in the shade over there all picked out, where I sit and bead.
I think of the Medicine Mountain, high up above, where our ancestors walked and prayed and lived and made war to protect our lands and waters and babies yet to be born. West and North boundary of Ft Laramie Treaty, Crazy Horse went there in the closing days of summer, I think of him when I touch ancient rocks, so many millions of years old my mind can’t handle comprehending that span of time.  In the oldness of the Universe, we really are the shine of a firefly in our lifetime.
The park rangers close the mountain for us, we ask them to, so we can send our voice to the universe without four track enthusiasts buzzing around our ancient medicine wheel, tourists peeking over our shoulder, taking photos and videos on their cell phones, smirking at us, or worse yet, wanting to join us! We walk up the mountain, carrying our bundles. Each with our own thoughts, yet together in a collective consciousness gifted to us by the spirits and our ancestors. Sorrow over the destruction of Mother Earth, Grandmother Earth, all over.  Prayers for guidance as Red Nations, Her children and grandchildren, to protect Her.  The medicine wheel is like us, wrapped up inside a fence. That big telescope hovers, up on the next mountain. Human beings of so called America watching the stars, or watching for an atomic bomb their enemies might be sending against them? Another desecration of sacred place.  Today, the people in Hawaii are standing against a telescope planned for their sacred mountain, my heart is with them.
Our delegation has four hours to be on the mountain alone, as a family, as a hocoka, as relatives to Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth). Then we must get back on the road, a long haul to the next stop in the Tour of Resistance, to get to the Moccasins on the Ground Training Camp in Montana. Water protectors and land defenders are gathering there, from the four directions. Unci Maka needs Her children and grandchildren.
We present at Moccasins, our passion for grassroots people to stand up for Unci Maka, we bring together trained and seasoned water protectors and land defenders from all over to share their truths, their experience. Tipis are everywhere, along the base of the mountain. Rains come, bless us.  Drumbeat greets morning star.  Ancient warrior societies keep us safe, there’s those drones again!  Government infiltrators try to get in to our training camp. We are common people, but government and industry see us as challengers to the tarsands, to KXL Pipeline, the Enbridge Pipeline, planned coal mining near the Tongue River, uranium mining in Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, fracking in North Dakota, as we all gather at Moccasins.  Medicine people are there, offering prayers and wisdom. A powerful place and time for parents, grandparents, common people who have nothing to lose.  Lakota are always the four poorest counties in so called America. Why?
Our lands and territories have produced the wealth of “America”, the homestake gold mine in our sacred He Sapa (Black Hills), has enriched “America” beyond belief, as it poisoned the Cheyenne River. Uranium open-pit mined in the sacred He Sapa by “America” and its collaborator, Tennessee Valley Authority gave “America” its nuclear bombs while it poisoned all the rivers and lands for hundreds of miles around, forever. Fukushima is part of the “American” dream, just like Hiroshima and Nagasaki was. Now the oceans and Her babies are poisoned forever. Forever is a long time.
Crawford, Nebraska is a relatively “new” place for industry to extract uranium, 30 minutes as the crow flies from our Pine Ridge Homeland southern border, with their In Situ Leach uranium mining, piercing the Ogllala Aquifer with 8,000 wells to get at and get out the uranium, creating a toxic soup we must live with and die with, forever. Cameco and “America” do not care enough that the Ogllala Aquifer provides sacredwater to 2 million people and the breadbasket of the world. They want the money and to feed their nuclear power plants that perch along river banks all over this big land. Nuclear energy is not GREEN, President Obama! Do not believe the brainwashing. Silly man, we do not need all that energy, forget bragging that one walnut of nuclear holds the same energy producing capacity of 100 coal train cars. What we NEED, is to change our idea that we as human beings are priviledged and deserving of destroying our Unci Maka to have hair dryers and fast cars and electric oh my gawd facial hair removers. What we NEED is to collectively accept that the war making machine is what needs all that fracked oil and uranium. Why fear the alternative, which is peace and social justice for ALL?
Hear from relatives in the Williston Basin, babies born with birth defects now, people can hardly breathe in North Dakota, infiltrated by the monster taking over their home. Wasting all OUR water to frack, frack, frack. Hate those fracking frackers, Frack them! They are pushing their idea of importing drinking water now, not to drink, but to use for fracking because the river water is down so low now. The worst of the worst social problems are a plaque now in their lands, putting a damper on their enjoyment of royalty payments.
Driving south now, the Tour of Resistance continues.  The desert air is different from on the plains. Traveling to Gila River in Arizona, we drove through many mountains. Blizzards in the south pushed us to drive through north country. Chinle is flooding. What is wrong with that picture? Arrival in the desert came as a blessing, dry air, warm temperatures good for my bones. But that pollen! Sneezing for days until someone gave me some meds. Maybe the GMO created something in all the Standing Silent Nation (plants) that now makes us allergic? Watching a cactus flower is so beautiful. Rising while the starlight shines, waiting for daybreak, sitting under the trees while it is still blue outside, drinking hot, hot coffee, watching the fog come out of the mountains when that first sunbeam hits. Bunny rabbits scurry back to the homes, those big black birds fly away. Insects stop singing, the birds flutter in. Gila River folks are fighting that major highway nearby, proposed to enhance the economy.  Then it is time to pack the car and drive to Sedona, the vortex of people wanting something out of their capitalist life, something spiritual.
Crying Earth Rise Up documentary about our struggle to protect sacred water will show at Sedona. We drive up a mountain, offer tobacco and water for our time in this territory.  Apache greets us, welcomes us. Ahh, it is so good that natural protocol can be enacted, because he felt drawn to the theater. Lots of friendly people there. We travel on to Oak Flat, meet the Apache medicine man who prays with us. Big monster machines of Rio Tinto plunked down on the next hill over, a reminder that copper is under our feet. Apache nations’ sacred places to be destroyed so Rio Tinto can get richer? Government and industry must be in bed together, how else can it be explained that a people’s destiny is not as important as the quarterly bottom line? Wanted to see the Grand Canyon, but home responsibilities called out, uranium mining is proposed there, can you believe it?  I take a good look at the Apache sacred lands, and think of the lands in British Columbia ruined forever by the copper mine there whose toxic dam broke and flooded, ripping trees out of the ground, leaving poisonous sludge everywhere. Nope, millions of dollars later, and still it cannot be cleaned up.  
We get back on the road, drive through the beautiful lands of the Dine, ravaged by uranium mining and coal mining and greedy tribal leaders. Looking for water, we see instead, the rock beds of the dwindling rivers and creeks and streams, they are all running so low. The Colorado River is being decimated by the fat taker cities of LA, Vegas.  Too many dams are still standing, trapping the sacred water and giving Americans their electricity while Unci Maka is suffering drought, and so do we all, suffer drought.  Our friends in California are hit with rationing of water while the mining fat cats and refineries have free rein. When will they learn?
Our friends send an email, they are preparing prayers for the south, the oceans, the surface and ground waters, the death has not left from BP’s mistakes. We drive for hours, hoping to rest, but no hotel rooms. “Haliburton is in town, all the rooms are rented out. Go to the next town.” The frackers are everywhere it seems. So we drive on deep into the night, bright starlight glistening so calm, I think about the star nation shifting now, spring equinox coming and our people sending delegations to Hinhan Kaga Paha in our sacred He Sapa, to welcome the thunders, the lightening that gives life through rain and destroys through fire.
I get home, pressing thoughts about the film Crying Earth Rise Up being released a few months prior to our seven year case against the worlds largest uranium miner, a case brought from us, the poorest people in America. Shake my dam head, who thought we’d be in a court room with these evil people? They want to gang rape Crow Butte with three MORE uranium mines, where Crazy Horse prayed with his sacred pipe before the 7th Calvary killed him.  A few steps away is the US Army barracks where our loving and red Cheyenne ancestors were held prisoners of war until they broke out in the dark of night and fought to the death for their freedom.  Out on the prairie, their spirits still wander, you can hear the sounds of unarmed Cheyenne Dog Soldiers and their women fight the 7th Calvary so their children and old people can run for their lives. I heard them, this past winter, on a night when the air was so cold your noseholes stick together, when our Cheyenne and Lakota remembered, and made prayers out in the middle of that farmers field. The sound of saddle leather creaking on the soldiers horses, the sound of hoof beats slamming against the frozen ground as they came to massacre our Cheyenne ancestors.
The thunders are coming back soon, on the plains the many plants are peeking out now, filling the air with their sweet perfume. Earth Day is all over the news, like its news. Human beings destroy Unci Maka and then create Earth Day, a tool to create awareness about human beings destroying the earth.  Everyone is supposed to plant a tree. I wonder about that. I wonder about how all these experiences are connected. The cell phone in my pocket beeps with an invitation to come to Manitoba, grassroots people there want out from under the thumb of tribal governments flirting with industry over diamonds, coal, oil, uranium.
I wonder about the thousands of missing and murdered women in Canada. I wonder about the stolen Lakota children ripped from families by the government of South Dakota. Lots of rallies and marches in South Dakota recently, against racism and theft of children, uranium mining and the KXL tarsands pipeline.
Walking along Wounded Knee creek, I see a beaver peering out from his dam.  The cottonwood trees wear big fat buds, ready to pop soon, teasing me, making me think of those hot summer days when the sunlight flashes off the cottonwood leaves.  The chokecherry trees are in full blossom now, their sweetness fills my head and heart.  The scent of the blossoms reminds me of raspberries.  My feet trample the baby blades of grass as I walk the miles back to my house, the earth is soft from recent rains, I sink in a little bit, and recall little girl days of springtime home visits after a long winter at boarding school.
I want to go back to the Shining Mountains when the raspberries are ripe and glowing in the summer sunshine, and cool my hot feet in the Tongue River, to give wopila and gather medicine like my great great great great grandmothers did, and their generations before them.   Like them, I remember the sacredness of water, starlight and raspberries.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kandi Mossett at UN: Native Youth Suicides and Extractive Industries


Kandi Mossett, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
from North Dakota where oil and gas drilling and fracking has caused death and misery.

Kandi Mossett at UN: 'Leave it in the Ground' is the message from Native American youths

14th Session of The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Fourteenth Session, 21 April 2015
Agenda Item 3(c), Youth, self-harm and suicide

Madame Chairwomen,
Members of the Permanent Forum
Distinguished Brothers and Sisters, Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples' Nations

I'm speaking on behalf of the Indigenous Environmental Network, MADRE and a dozen Indigenous Peoples' Organizations and regional networks from North, Central and South America, Africa and Asia on the root causes of indigenous youth's self-harm and suicide.

In order to protect and promote the well-being of Indigenous Youth and prevent self-harm and suicide, we need to stop the destruction of Mother Earth. When we see governments, extractive industries and multinational corporations raping and destroying Mother Earth, it simultaneously destroys our hope for the future and diminishes our will to live. There is a direct corollary between the harm to Mother Earth, especially on our lands and territories, and Indigenous youth's self-harm and skyrocketing rates of suicide.

Furthermore, extractive industries and the burning of fossil fuels are causing climate change. We need the United Nations and governments to take real action on climate change.

We, therefore, respectfully submit the following RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. That the special theme of the 15th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues be Indigenous Peoples' Territories and Extractive Industries and that the UNPFII hold an expert meeting on Indigenous Peoples' Territories and Extractive Industries prior to the 15th Session.

That the States adopt a limitation on oil and fossil fuel extraction whereby 80% of all oil and fossil fuel reserves be left in the ground.

That the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the forthcoming Paris Accord implement and protect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and all other human rights instruments.

That the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the forthcoming Paris Accord include legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source by 60-80% as recommended by the UN without false solutions to climate change which include carbon trading, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanisms, REDD+, Carbon Capture and Storage, monoculture tree plantations and agrofuels.

Madame Chairwoman, our connection to the land is such that when we see mining companies ripping into the land, we find it physically painful within our own bodies. When fracking injects chemicals into the earth and poisons our waters, the women, children, youth and all Indigenous peoples are also poisoned by the toxic chemicals. When logging destroys entire forests and ecosystems and we see such death and destruction before our eyes, we begin to lose hope in humanity. The question of whether or not the future is even worth living for in the face of such destruction is put into our minds and hearts and many indigenous youth lose hope to the point of believing that self-harm and suicide is the only way out.

My own work against fracking in North Dakota has shown me and my reservation community first hand the urgency of the dire situation. This kind of extreme energy extraction negajtively impacts the mental and spiritual health of our youth.

When I look into the eyes of my 1 year old daughter I see such hope and light for the future and I want that hope to always be with her. This is why our organizations are proposing these recommendations as a next step to help ensure that Indigenous Youth do not fall into the trap of self-harm and hopelessness, but rather, can fulfill the role as joyous and healthy guardians of Mother Earth.

In closing, I remind the United Nations that "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

Thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kandi Mossett
Indigenous Environmental Network
Native Energy and Climate Campaign Organizer
Check out our new website!
www.ienearth.org

 Join the IEN Newsletter https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/tools/subscription.php?username=ienearth
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


'Indigenize Zuckerberg' Natives Protest Facebook Real Names Policy

#IndigenizeZuckerberg
Natives Protest Facebook 'Real Names' Policy

By Jacqueline Keeler

Censored News


In response to my cousin, Deloria Many Grey Horses-Violich’s repeated suspension from Facebook for her surname I created the event All Natives Become Zuckerbergs! Protest FB Name Policy​.
In solidarity with Deloria Many Grey Horses-Violich's repeated banning from Facebook for her surname we ask that all Native American and First Nations Facebook members and allies change their names to Zuckerberg for one day. You can also choose to change your profile picture in support of #IndigenizeZuckerberg (see attached).
Her account was reported by Biloxi High School mascot supporters as a form of bullying and silencing of Native people. This must stop. Facebook policies should not allow it to happen nor should they collaborate with the bullying of Native people.
I will be changing my profile name because I do not believe that my Facebook account should be more protected than my relatives simply because I have a European surname.
The way these Facebook "real name" policies are enforced reveal cultural biases against our people that are still alive in the minds of our peers. And that is not acceptable. Also, since they rely on an account being "reported" they are useful tools for bullies to use to silence and further marginalize Native people. I cannot silently accept either while I enjoy the protections my surname gives me on FB. That I even have to type that sentence is unbelievable to me in this day and age but then, so is the fact that our people are mascotted. It is all unbelievable and yes, unacceptable in 2015.
You can find me on Google Plus (+JacquelineKeeler) and Twitter (@jfkeeler) if I get suspended tomorrow.
DATE: 4/22/2015
EVENT Page: All Natives Become Zuckerbergs! Protest FB Name Policy​ (https://www.facebook.com/events/1555205128076480/)
CONTACT: Jacqueline Keeler - jackiekeeler@icloud.com and
Deloria Many Grey Horses - deloriamgh@gmail.com
MEDIA KIT:
Statement by Deloria Many Grey Horses-Violich about event

#IndigenizeZuckerberg

Whether the High-powered Facebook machine realizes it or not their strict name policy is having a damaging impact on Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island. The name policy was put into place to weed out impostors, cyber bullies and people who use false identities, such as the impostors featured on MTV’s reality show Catfish.  The problem is that although this policy was put into place to “protect” members it is singling out and silencing many First Nations and Native Americans who have authentic genuine Indigenous names.
Name giving before and after Colonialism
Prior to colonization naming traditions varied from nation to nation. A person could acquire multiple names in their lifetime depending on their characteristics, accomplishments, and life events.  Names were sacred and very personal.  Indigenous Peoples did not typically carry surnames like those of the European settlers.  This concept of a first and last name was introduced in 1884 when the US Congress created an Act requiring the Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct an annual census on Indian reservations in the United States.  The census included the individual’s name, English name, sex, age, relationship, tribe, and reservation.  The Indian Agents conducting the census were not fluent in the Native language and often misinterpreted the meaning of the name or would changed the Native name to a European last name.  In some cases, Indian Agents would purposely change a name to something vulgar or demeaning out of spite and animosity towards the family or Nation.
It was also common during the Residential School Era that Indigenous children were given “proper christian” names.  For instance my mother entered St. Paul’s Boarding School in Southern Alberta with a Blackfoot name that translated to “Little Filly” and when she left she was known as Martha Many Grey Horses. Needless to say, the European naming of our people was another attempt to assimilate and strip us of our cultural identity. Dallas Goldtooth from the 1491s points out, “It is a frustrating thing that Indigenous people must constantly struggle to affirm our identities as Native people. Whether that's through derogatory imagery in media or simply our given, proud names on facebook.”
United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples
In Article 2 of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples it states, ““Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.” We have a right to our cultural identity!  It also outlines under the declaration in Article 8, “Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.” As Phil Fountain pointed out, “The United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples is not the endpoint rather the beginning.”  We as Indigenous Peoples need to assert and exercise our inherent rights as Indigenous Peoples.  All Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island need to make sure our next generations knows their rights underlined in the Declaration and implement them in all areas of their lives.  
Community Members Impacted by Name Policy
Last  week I started a petition asking Biloxi High School located in Biloxi Mississippi to please change their mascot the “Indian” and their band uniform where the entire band wears headdresses.   Since becoming vocal on the issue through social media outlets, my account was deactivated twice this past week. Both times I received an email stating I needed to provide proper ID that showed my Facebook name was indeed my “real” name.  Whether it was the Biloxi HS Alumni that tried to get me banned, Facebook still needs to rethink their name policy when it comes to our unique Indigenous names.
I wasn’t the first Indigenous person to be targeted for my last name.  In fact, a petition was started on change.org “Allow Native Americans to use their Native names on their profiles.”  It now has 24, 742 signatures.
Recently, in February 2015 Lance Browneyes helped bring National attention to to the issue when he filed a lawsuit agains Facebook for forcibly changing his last name Browneyes to Brown. Facebook finally agreed to let him keep his name but it took a great deal of effort on his part.  It really shouldn’t be this hard.
Community Call of Action
Today, April 22, 2015 we are asking all Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and Allies to please change your profile last name to Zuckerburg or your profile picture to the one attached with the hashtags #IndiginizeZuckerburg or #notyourZuckerburg
We hope this community call of action will inspire Mr. Zuckerberg to have an open dialog with the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and help educate him on the uniqueness and importance of our names.


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