Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of May 4 - 10, 2011: Canada, Peru, Africa, Bangladesh, Philippines


Canada: Peace River Valley Pipeline Oil Spill Threatens Lubicon Cree Nation


On Friday April 30th, 2011, the Rainbow Pipeline ruptured on the lands of the Lubicon Cree Nation in the Peace River area of northern Alberta. 28,000 barrels of raw crude oil was spilled into the environment causing significant damage to the environment and habitat of the area. A spill of this magnitude on a provincial pipeline hasn’t happened since 1975 when the Bow Valley line leaked 40,000 barrels of oil.


Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus stated: “Our people are downstream from this spill and are very concerned of the impacts this may have on us. The oil may seep into the Mackenzie Valley Water Basin and contaminate our fresh water system that we all depend on”. He also said: “the Dene National Office has contacted Chief Steve Noskey of the Lubicon Cree First Nation and was informed that his people have been getting very little information regarding the spill and his members are feeling the effects of the contamination with symptoms including headaches, nausea, burning eyes and are being hospitalized”.


The pipeline is owned by Plains Midstream Canada, the Canadian arm of Rainbow All American Pipeline, a company that controls about three million barrels of crude oil a day around the continent. The pipeline was built in 1965 and starts from Zama to Edmonton, Alberta. The Rainbow pipeline carried about 187,000 barrels of oil a day in Alberta last year. The same line leaked about 200,000 litres of oil near Slave Lake, Alberta in 2006. Read more about the oil spill in the Peace River Valley and impacts to Lubicon Cree here....


Peru: New Incident Reported In Madre De Dios With Indigenous People In Voluntary Isolation


This time the incident occurred in the northern region with a group of fishermen


A new incident with indigenous people in voluntary isolation, it was reported this time in the Tahuamanu River, north of the region of Madre de Dios.


The incident occurred on Tuesday 3 May in an area known as "Small Island", near the Quebrada Channel, about three hours away by boat from the eastern boundary of the Territorial Reserve, reported, and Lener Pilco Pereyra and Erigardo López Cuchitineay, fishermen in the area.


Pilch Pereyra said he was accompanied by his wife and his young son in that place, when they were notified by July Añes Dos Santos, also a fisherman in the area, that their camp located upstream was supposedly dismantled by isolated indigenous peoples.


After the warning, the group continued plying the river to the Gulch area near the Channel, when an arrow struck near his boat. Read more about the new incident with indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation in the Madre de Dios region here....


Africa: First-Ever Congressional Hearing On Indigenous Peoples Of Africa


On May 12, for the first time, the U.S. Congress will devote a hearing solely to Indigenous Peoples of Africa.* The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will host the gathering, the second in its unprecedented series of hearings on Indigenous Peoples worldwide.


African leaders will outline Indigenous-controlled economic development models. Other speakers will describe continuing human rights abuses and the challenges of climate change for Indigenous Peoples of Africa.


Also on the agenda will be the groundbreaking decisions of several African states to include Indigenous Peoples, for the first time, in the lawful social consensus. Post-colonial regimes throughout Africa have spent decades denying that Indigenous Peoples exist, just as colonial powers had done before them. But as they break with the colonial past, African nations have recognized Indigenous rights for the first time. The Central African Republic, Kenya, and the Republic of Congo have taken legal measures to reclaim Indigenous Peoples as original citizens. Read more about the congressional hearing on indigenous peoples of Africa here....


Bangladesh: Constitutional Recognition Demanded By Indigenous Peoples In Rajshahi


The indigenous peoples of the north Bengal demanded constitutional recognition as ‘indigenous people’, but not as 'small ethnic groups’. The demand was made in a huge human chain and public gathering at Rajshahi held on 3 May 2011 organized by Jatitya Adibasi Parishad, central committee. The speakers of the human chain and public gathering also demanded to establish a separate land commission for plain land indigenous peoples and include the indigenous peoples who were excluded from the directory of government. The human chain was presided over by Mr.Anil Marandi, president, Jatiya Adibasi Parishad, central committee. Later a memorandum was submitted to the prime minister passing through the divisional commissioner of Rajshahi division.


The human chain was carried out from 11.00 am to 12.00 pm at Bongobondhu square, Rajshahi. The speakers of the human chain said, ``the indigenous peoples are the adornment of the country. They have significant role in the great liberation war of Bangladesh as well as in all kind of democratic movements. But the indigenous peoples are still facing the identity crisis of them in Bangladesh. The government has taken initiatives to recognize indigenous peoples constitutionally .But the government is terming the indigenous peoples as `small ethnic groups’, as a substitute of 'indigenous peoples’. The indigenous peoples are not pleased anymore in this regard. The indigenous peoples like to introduce themselves as the 'indigenous peoples’.’’


The speakers also said, “the indigenous peoples are living with suppression and oppression constantly. They are losing their lands continuously. But the government ever expresses the affability to solve the problems of the indigenous peoples.” Read more about the constitutional recognition demanded by indigenous peoples here....


Philippines: Palawan Communities Report Militarization In Ancestral Domains - IPs Fear Killing Incident Due To Mining


Crossfire incidents forced indigenous peoples to leave their homes. Communities in Palawan are threatened by the presence of military in their areas allegedly due to infestation of New Peoples Army (NPA) in the mountains.


“Pinaputok ng mining company ng ang lugar naming ay infested ng mga NPA. Na di umanoy may mga NPA na sumusuporta sa anti-mining, lalo na sa amin ni Kap Lagrada. Hinahanap di umano ng mga NPA ang mga pro mining leaders dahilan para mag apply sila nga military sa area lalo na sa mining claim (Mining companies here reported that there are members of NPA here, that NPAs are supporting anti-mining struggle. NPA are allegedly looking for IP leaders who are pro-mining that is why there is a need to deploy military in areas where mining activities are present) said Artiso Mandawa, chairperson of Ancestral Land Domain Watch Network of Palawan (ALDAW) and Palawan Provincial Consultative Body.


Mandawa further reported that it has been almost two months since military and policemen regularly go up and down, even passing through their ancestral domain. In the morning of April 29, one squad in full battle gear again trekked to the mountains. Read more about the militarization of indigenous lands in Palawan here....


Last Weeks Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues can be found here.

Tags: Canada  Peru  Africa  Bangladesh  Philippines  

Distributed by Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources External link (IPIR). IPIR aggregates, indexes, and distributes content on behalf of hundreds of indigenous nations, organizations, and media outlets. Articles, commentaries, and book reviews that do not identify a source are produced or commissioned by IPIR.

Please help support IPIR. Without your support, we cannot continue to provide articles, videos, news, resources, and more on indigenous peoples issues from around the world. IPIR is the largest distributor of news on indigenous issues, and we host one of the largest databases on indigenous issues in the world. Please help support IPIR - any contribution helps, no matter how small.
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Grab our RSS Feed
Find us on Google Plus