Sioux Nation Treaty Council spokeperson Charmaine White Face, 73, at home in November in Rapid City, South Dakota. Native nations and Native organizations are actively fighting for the protection of local resources. See The Royal It is a comprehensive state of principles that guide the work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. “The land owns you. Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore — like his rally the day after Juneteenth in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of an infamous race massacre in 1921 — was part of a series of raucous campaign rallies aimed at firing up his base and provoking his political opponents. South Dakota lawmakers feared another massive protest like Standing Rock in 2016. The rise of automobiles and the tourist industry created new fortunes for the interlopers. Tilsen and others worked throughout the day to keep the protests organized, even speaking directly with park authorities to ensure that elderly activists and children were allowed to move away before any arrests were made. “Not only has this been a long generational battle, it is also part of this current moment,” said Krystal Two Bulls. Read More. Since the creation of the Agency’s environmental justice program in 1992, EPA understood the need to work with both federally recognized tribes and all other indigenous peoples to effectively provide for environmental and public health protection in Indian country and in areas of interest to tribes and other indigenous peoples. “I was a speaker at the Chamber of Commerce a year and a half ago. It’s a way of ensuring it’s protected and preserved by the people who originally took care of it, which is us.”, Laura Ten Fingers, 18, initiated calls to protest President Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore in July.Tailyr Irvine/High Country News. Look for it in your email each month. These health impacts are issues of both environmental and reproductive justice. Other Indigenous justice issues that we work on include: Action to stop Indigenous deaths in custody Robinson had been moved by the recently constructed memorial at Stone Mountain in Georgia, which honored the defenders of the Civil War’s inglorious “Lost Cause.” He contacted its flamboyant sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, who quickly accepted the offer. It must have felt like there were thousands of us, because you could feel that spiritual power from the hills. The ACLU of North Dakota recognizes that Indigenous Justice is not racial justice alone, but a complexity of political and sovereignty issues. It’s a way of ensuring it’s protected and preserved by the people who originally took care of it, which is us.”. In a letter to Robinson, Borglum warned that if his masterpiece wasn’t constructed properly, “we will only wound the mountain, offend the Gods, and deserve condemnation for posterity.” In 1936, an awestruck Franklin Delano Roosevelt echoed Borglum as he gazed up at the nearly completed shrine. The Policy also discusses EPA’s work with other federal agencies, state agencies, and other interested groups. I’ve been wanting my land back.” No one owns the phrase, he said; it “has lived in the spirit of the people for a long time.”. Several royal commissions and public inquiries have dealt with the issue of Indigenous justice. Kristi Noem when they first met in the Oval Office. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. When the shield was returned, the word “POLICE” had been spray-painted over and replaced by the slogan “LAND BACK.” That slogan put the Black Hills at the center of a movement whose unequivocal demands are rooted in a long, hard-fought history. Mount Rushmore came to South Dakota by way of a Southern, white supremacist ideology that blended easily with the West’s sense of Manifest Destiny. Social Issues Facing Indigenous Communities Can't Wait Now is the time. Long revered by many Indigenous peoples, the Black Hills are now also at the center of the NDN Collective’s LandBack campaign. Free speech and protest “It was powerful,” Tilsen said, remembering that day. They have become an international symbol of the call to return stolen land to Indigenous people. This Policy explains how the Agency works with tribes and other indigenous groups and members to protect the environment and public health in Indian country and in other areas of interest to tribes and other indigenous peoples. “It’s a reminder, as Indigenous people, we’re fighting for justice not just for ourselves but also on behalf of millions of Americans.” This was the battle Tilsen found himself in. “It was illegal to talk about the (1868) treaty” when the treaty council formed in 1894, “just like the language was prohibited, just like our religion was prohibited by the American government.” But times have changed: White Face believes that her grandmother’s treaty knowledge, which survived government suppression, can be useful for the “land back” campaign. A group of Trump supporters stood behind the police line, she said, shouting at the crowd “to go back to where you come from.” “It was really heartbreaking to hear them to say, ‘Go back,’” she said. The Policy focuses on EPA’s work with federally recognized tribes, state recognized tribes, tribal members, indigenous community-based/grassroots organizations, Native Hawaiians, individual Native Americans, and others living in Indian country. Cows graze in front of the unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The first set of tribal consultation and public comment periods were held February through April 2012. The side eventExitincluded panelists from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, and the USDA/Forest Service. Education Equity Indigenous issues and rights take place. “As a Northern Cheyenne woman, part of my original instructions is to be in relationship with the land as a steward.”, To Laura Ten Fingers, the idea of ownership doesn’t entirely mesh with Lakota relations with the land. IT WAS AT MOUNT RUSHMORE in the early 1870s that Black Elk, the Oglala holy man, had a vision of He Sapa: “From the mountains flashed all colors upwards to the heavens.” He was at the center of the world atop Tunkasila Sakpe, the Six Grandfathers. ", Traditional Knowledge (TK) - Considerations by Federal Government Side Event. Racial Inequality. A U.S. Government (USG) side event, Traditional Knowledge – U.S. Government Consideration, was held in April 2019, as part of the Eighteenth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous IssuesExit. And they continue to be a crucial part of the strategic position that sustained Native resistance to white encroachment. “We will not apologize for being an island of safety in a sea of uncertainty and death,” Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, wrote to Noem in reply. He saw a great hoop made up of many hoops of a people united. Our Indigenous Justice priorities are informed by conversations with Indigenous leaders and community members across the state, with equity in all aspects of life as our top priority. Since the inception of the Policy in 2014, EPA has been working to implement its seventeen principles. Soon, deputies announced that the assembly was unlawful, and the Air National Guard moved in, dressed in riot gear, pushing the protesters back and firing pepper balls at the retreating crowd. Tilsen hopes his case and the LandBack campaign will have a similar catalyzing effect, not only for the land-return movement but for the restored dignity of his people. Change the Record is chaired by Indigenous experts in the justice space and draws on the combined expertise of Indigenous peak, community sector and human rights organisations. The activists blocked the road, using three disabled vans to bar the way. Understanding the Overrepresentation of Indigenous People in the Criminal Justice System. If convicted, he faces up to 16½ years in prison for four felonies and three misdemeanors. “It’s not just about physical land back,” Tilsen said. And we want our sacred mountains back.”. Almost a century later, Trump proclaimed, “Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.” The crowd chanted, “USA! Indigenous Justice This series focuses on issues of Indigenous justice, including issues of social and criminal justice, law, and environmental justice as they impact Indigenous North America (with occasional references to other Indigenous nations). The ACHP focused on their authorizing federal laws, regulations, and recent policy developments in TK. “I DON’T WANT TO BE the next Leonard Peltier,” Tilsen told me, referring to the legendary American Indian Movement activist, who has been imprisoned since 1977 for the murder of two FBI agents. Custer, a Civil War veteran turned Indian fighter, discovered gold in 1874 near the town that now bears his name. For many years, EPA’s tribal program and environmental justice programs focused on helping federally recognized tribes develop their own environmental programs. Environmental sustainability is a concept that should be practiced by all people throughout the world. Tailyr Irvine/High Country News. The second tribal consultation period, which focused on the Working Draft of the Policy, started in November 2012 and concluded in February 2013. “We got braver and braver, and now we’re not afraid of anyone,” Fast Horse said at the time. “It’s a reminder,” Tilsen said, “as Indigenous people, we’re fighting for justice not just for ourselves but also on behalf of millions of Americans.” In March 2020, Noem signed a revised version of the law. Our Indigenous Justice priorities are informed by conversations with Indigenous leaders and community members across the state, with equity in all aspects of life as our top priority. Thank you for signing up for Indian Country News, an HCN newsletter service. ... Indigenous affairs was one of two major issues that the national federation reform council would address, he said. The ancestors were waiting for us to go up there.”, Cows graze in front of the unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. At the Grasse River Superfund Site in New York, EPA worked collaboratively with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe on the design of the cleanup of contaminated sediment along the shores of the Grasse River, specifically with thoughtful attention to habitat reconstruction and application of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to the restoration of habitats following cleanup. Indigenous Justice Issues. The Lakota and Dakota people inhabit several of the poorest counties in the United States. The recent acquittal by a jury of Gerald Stanley, a white farmer, in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan, has again raised issues about the way the criminal justice system deals with Indigenous people. Depending on the program and processes employed, OLEM can consider TEK during various phases of program implementation. It’s not about ownership, she said, but stewardship. the next Leonard Peltier,” Tilsen told me, referring to the legendary American Indian Movement activist, who has been imprisoned since 1977 for the murder of two FBI agents. “It’s also about undoing what was done to us as a people.” Also down the road from Tilsen’s home, just outside of Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is KILI, “the voice of the Lakota Nation” — the radio station his parents helped jumpstart in the 1990s. 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