Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of April 13 - 19, 2011: Australia, Mexico, Philippines, Bangladesh, United States


Australia: Vimeo Deletes Video After Legal Threats From FMG


Vimeo forced to delete “FMG’s Great Native Title Swindle” video after legal threats from FMG and CEO Andrew Forrest


A video exposing the interference of Fortescue Metals Group and its CEO Andrew Forrest at an illegitimate, FMG-sponsored native title meeting in Roebourne on 16 March, has been deleted from the video hosting site Vimeo after Vimeo got a lawyer’s letter from FMG threatening legal action.


The meeting shown in the video was staged to try and strong-arm the Yindjibarndi community into removing all its objections to FMG’s Solomon Hub development in the Hamersley Ranges, and into expelling the majority (four out of seven) Claim Applicants who rejected FMG’s deal as a rip-off.


The video, “FMG’s Great Native Title Swindle”, received 12,000 plays in just nine days on the Vimeo site before being shut down, and has spurred intense online response across global social media sites, Face Book, GetUp, twitter and so on.


“They say a picture tells a thousand words,” said Michael Woodley, CEO of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, “but this video, it puts you right in the room with us, lets you get an idea of how it feels to be bullied and abused by Twiggy Forrest and FMG .” Read more about FMG's Great Native Title Swindle and watch the video here....


Mexico: Yaqui Tribe Denounces The Evil Government For Stealing And Plundering The Natural Resources Of Their Territory


Yaqui tribe's territory, of Vícam, SONORA, MEXICO, AMERICAN CONTINENT.


It is for us, our people a great honor, to express the true word of real men, of whom are originally from these arid lands, where the sun tans your skin and rests on our shoulders, the desire for justice, struggle of our ancestors and our elders.


In these days of new year celebrations of our town, where the syncretism of the culture of missionaries and the major, major and temastianes, amalgamated the birth, life, passion and death of the creator, the concept of spiritual renewal, which equals the end of the year and start a new one, with the sprouting of new leaves, the flowering of our mother nature, environmental Orkon relations of our flora and fauna.


Based on our schools, laws, and uses internal rules allow us to express the following:


The region that makes up our traditional territory, is located in the square formed by the parallels October 17" and 27o 50 'North Latitude and the 109th meridian 55" and 110th 36" longitude west of Greenwich.


According to our heritage as an ethnic group, are said to form part of the Nahua migration, established in the Gila River in the third century and in the V century, part of the migration Tolteca although some researchers say, when it passed the Toltec migration, and we we found here in our" TOSA. Read more about the Yaqui tribe and their denouncement over plundering of natural resources here....


Philippines: Legarda Calls For Protection Of Indigenous Peoples From Climate Change Woes


Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Cultural Communities, expressed concern over the consequences of climate change on the lives of indigenous peoples.


"Indigenous peoples, given their current marginalization in society, are made even more vulnerable as their livelihood, health, food security, cultural integrity and lands are threatened by extreme weather events brought about by climate change," Legarda pointed out.


"Despite the fact that indigenous peoples contribute the least with respect to carbon emissions due to their simple and sustainable lifestyles and practices, they are most affected by the consequences of climate change," she added.


Legarda affirmed the Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research and Education (Tebtebba) Report which declared that the issue of climate change is not just an environmental issue but also has economic and cultural dimensions.


"As they struggle with each flood, landslide, drought or typhoon, they are displaced from their lands or are left to battle food and water scarcity as well as widespread outbreaks of vector-borne diseases. These occurrences radically change their way of life, threatening their sources of livelihood, traditional knowledge and practices, especially their sustainable practices in the management of their land, water and forest resources," she explained. Read more of Senator Legarda's call for protection of indigenous peoples here....


Bangladesh: Massive Communal Arson Attack Upon Indigenous Jumma Peoples By Bengali Settlers With The Support Of Security Forces In Ramgarh


On 17 April 2011 Bengali settlers with the direct support of security forces made massive communal arson attack on five indigenous Jumma villages of Hafchari union of Ramgarh upazila and two villages in Manikchari upazila in Khagrachari district of Chittagong Hill Tracts. In this attack around 200 houses belonging to indigenous Jumma villagers including two Buddhist temples were completely burnt to ashes. At least 20 Jummas including three women were injured and at least half of dozen of Jummas were still missing. The Jummas have fled in to the jungle in the face of the settler attack.


Background of the attack:


Bengali settlers led by Md. Joynal pc, a member of VDP, have been trying to occupy 15 acres of land belonging to one Jumma villager named Ruihla Aung Marma s/o Pija Aung Marma at Hatimura area of Hafchari union under Ramgarh union in Khagrachari district.


While most of indigenous Jumma people were engaged in enjoying the traditional Bizu or Sangrai or Boisu festival, the Bengali Muslim settlers led by Md. Joynal pc started occupying said lands of the local Jumma people. The local Jumma people, who are owners of the lands requested to stop it. The local Jumma people informed of the matter to the local authorities including army one. But it resulted in vain.


Summary of attack:


On 17 April 2011 in the morning around 10 a.m. the Bengali settlers started clearing bushes and making temporary makeshifts and at the same time fell upon the Jumma people, who finding no other alternatives were compelled to resist them. Consequently about 10 Jumma persons including a woman were injured and 5 Bengali settlers were precariously injured among whom 3 died on the way to hospital. They were identified as Ayub Ali (38) of Kochubhante area, Noab Ali (60) and Sunil Sarker of Boro Pilak village. Read more about the attacks on indigenous Jumma people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts here....


California: 150 Native Americans And Supporters Occupy Sacred Land At Glen Cove


150 Native Americans and supporters have successfully occupied the ancient burial site at Glen Cove, Vallejo, preventing the Greater Vallejo Recreation District from beginning work that would desecrate the sacred site. Beginning with an early morning spiritual ceremony, protesters vowed to block bulldozers and prevent any work that would desecrate the site from taking place. The occupation will continue until there is an agreement to protect the burial site. Dozens of people will camp at the site tonight.


At 11:30 am today the protesters held a peaceful rally and ceremony at Vallejo City Hall and then marched to the offices of the Greater Vallejo Recreation District.


Last night the United States Department of Justice sent a senior conciliation specialist to Glen Cove to meet with Native American leaders. The Native Americans asked the DOJ to help facilitate a meeting with the GVRD to try to reach an agreement to protect the sacred burial site. It is possible a meeting between the sides, mediated by the US Department of Justice, may occur Monday. Read more about Glen Cove and the fight to protect the sacred site in California here....


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

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