Skywaves Program Archives

Listen to the Program September 27, 2012

IN NORTH AMERICA - U.N. Report Chastises U.S. for Status of Native Population
By Carey L. Biron

WASHINGTON, Sep 20 2012 (IPS) - A top United Nations official has presented the first ever international investigation into the situation of indigenous peoples in the United States, urging the adoption of new policies and mechanisms to "address persistent deep-seeded problems related to historical wrongs, failed policies of the past and continuing systemic barriers".

Based on research in the United States this past spring, James Anaya, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, presented his final report to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday. The process marks the first time that the United States has allowed an external body to formally investigate and comment on the situation of its indigenous communities, a notably sensitive issue.
Speaking before the council, Anaya stated that indigenous communities in the United States (also referred to as American Indians) continue to "face significant challenges that are related to widespread historical wrongs, including broken treaties and acts of oppression, and misguided government policies, that today manifest themselves in various indicators of disadvantage and impediments to the exercise of their individual and collective rights."

SOURCE: International Press Service (
IN AFRICA - On Sunday, Sep. 9, 38 people were killed in revenge attacks in the Tana River Delta district of Kenya's Coast province. The deceased include eight children, five women, 16 men, and nine police officers.

The incident occurred as the government announced it would conduct a disarmament exercise in the Tana River Delta following clashes over water and pasture that have left more than 80 people dead.

Coast province police boss Aggrey Adoli told IPS that about 500 raiders from the Pokomo ethnic group attacked the Kilelengwani village, in Tana River Delta, and torched a police camp and several other structures at dawn. On Monday, Sep. 10 the area was inaccessible and police officers were flown in by helicopter to quell the violence.

Listen to the Program September 20, 2012

SOURCE: The Guardian (

Bolivia enacts law to protect Amazon pink dolphins
Bolivian President Evo Morales has enacted a law aimed at protecting a unique species of dolphins that live in the country's Amazon rivers.
The new legislation bans fishing freshwater pink dolphins and declares the species a national treasure.
At a ceremony along the shores of the Ibare river, President Morales called on the armed forces to protect the habitats of the pink dolphins
The species is threatened by erosion, pollution and logging in the Amazon.
The Bolivian pink dolphin, whose scientific name is Inia boliviensis, is similar to mammals found in neighbouring Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.
Male Bolivian freshwater pink dolphins can weigh up to 200kg (440 pounds).
An appendix to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) says the species is vulnerable because of overfishing in the Amazon basin.
But it says the main threat is the contamination of rivers in the region by mercury, used in illegal gold mining operations.


The Winnemucca Indian Colony of the Western Shoshone people is making history, but not if the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has its way.
On Saturday September 17, the new administration for the Winnemucca Indian Colony began re-occupation of the tribal offices following a historic ruling on Tuesday, September 4th 2012 when Nevada District Court Judge Robert Clyde Jones decided in favor of tribal sovereignty by upholding Thomas R. Wasson as Chairman of the Winnemucca Indian Colony.
For the first time since the implementation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, an Indian nation has freely elected their leadership without interference from the United States Government. This election has now been upheld in a United States district court.
This ruling is also the next step in a long quest for justice that began in February 2000 when traditional Winnemucca Shoshone chairman Glenn Wasson was assassinated outside colony offices. His murder remains unsolved, and serious questions remain about interference from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Following the assassination, the Bureau of Indian Affairs aided the coup by supporting the installation of non-Indian William R. Bills, a prime suspect in the murder, into power. The “Bills and Ayers” group has occupied the Community Administration Building and assumed administrative responsibilities despite overwhelming opposition for 12 years.
Bills was publicly in favor of relations with the BIA despite repeated Shoshone claims of stolen land and resources.
Tuesday’s ruling upheld a September 20th 2011, District Court of Nevada Injunction extending a Temporary Restraining Order (Case No. 3:11-cv-006220RCJ0VPC) resulting in the recognition of Thomas R. Wasson as the Chairman of WIC.
Judge Jones put matters to rest stating,” Bureau of Indian Affairs Western Region did not comply with my Order.”
Since the ruling people from other Indigenous nations have traveled to Winnemucca, Nevada in support of this historic occasion, including members from the Paiute, Cherokee, Northern Arapaho, and Lakota nations.
One indigenous supporter offered: “Other nations are continuing to arrive in support of this great victory. This is something that all nations can do when they start asserting their sovereignty. We have this right according to the Vienna convention of 1961.


Victory: Vedanta to close Orissa refinery
Supporters of India’s Dongria Kondh tribe are celebrating after controversial British mining company Vedanta Resources declared it will close its bauxite refinery in the state of Orissa, this December.
The news is a major breakthrough for the tribe, who have fought a David and Goliath battle against Vedanta’s plans to extract bauxite from their land.
Dongria leader, Lodu Sikaka, said today, ‘We will be happy if the company leaves. If the refinery is there, they will keep trying to take our mountain, if not today, then tomorrow, or two years, 10 years from now.’
The Lanjigarh refinery sits at the base of the Dongria Kondh’s Niyamgiri Hills, which are home to the 8,000-strong tribe, and the seat of their god Niyam Raja. The company has spent more than one billion US dollars expanding the site without securing all the required clearances, as well as knowing it was unable to source enough bauxite to run the refinery at capacity.

“News sources today include Survival International, the Guardian and Winnemucca Indian Colony. ”
“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI New York in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples Worldwide, providing funding for community-initiated and community-driven Indigenous projects worldwide. Go to or to download today’s featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program September 13, 2012

IN AOTEORA or New Zealand

New Zealand Grants a River the Rights of Personhood
From the dawn of history, and in cultures throughout the world, humans have been prone to imbue Earth’s life-giving rivers with qualities of life itself — a fitting tribute, no doubt, to the wellsprings upon which our past (and present) civilizations so heavily rely. But while modern thought has come to regard these essential waterways more clinically over the centuries, that might all be changing once again. Meet the Whanganui. You might call it a river, but in the eyes of the law, it has the standings of a person.
Read more:

IN AFRICA - Cameroon
U.S. Company Accused Of Greenwashing Cameroon 'Land-Grab'

Environment groups are accusing a New York-based agricultural company, Herakles Farms, of going forward with plans for a 73,000-hectare palm-oil plantation and refinery in southwest Cameroon despite a lack of government authorisation, two court injunctions, and in the face of significant community opposition.

Declaration Of War Against Indigenous Peoples In Mato Grosso do Sul

The land conflict between the Guaraní-Kaiowá indigenous people and large landowners in the southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul is a powder keg ready to explode, say observers. Nísio Gomes, Jenivaldo Vera, Rolindo Vera, Teodoro Ricardi, Ortiz and Xurete Lopes are just a few of the names on a long list of people murdered in this state in recent years, according to the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI). The statistics gathered by the Council, founded in 1972 by the Brazilian National Bishops’ Conference, reveal that 279 indigenous people have been killed since 2003 in land disputes with landowners and ranchers.

New Bill Would Criminalize Community Radio
© Danielle DeLuca
A new bill proposed by the right-wing political party in Guatemala would criminalize the use of the radio spectrum for any actors not authorized to do so. The bill aims to take community radio stations that are fighting for legal recognition off the air.

“News sources today include Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News and Survival International and Care2.”

Listen to the Program August 22, 2012

SOURCE: Amesty International (

Mato Grosso do Sul: Indigenous Community Attacked, Threatened

The Arroio Kor indigenous community in the central-western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, have been attacked by gunmen trying to push them off their ancestral lands. One of the community is missing, feared dead. They are at risk of further violence.

According to the community, on 10 August around 50 armed men surrounded the 400-strong encampment in the municipality of Paranhos, on the border with Paraguay. For several hours the gunmen fired, shouted threats and burnt crops, and the community fled into surrounding scrub. One community member, Eduardo Pires, disappeared during the attack; the community say that he was taken away by the gunmen, and they fear he has been killed. The next day, a two-year-old baby girl, Geni Centuri o died. The cause of death has not been officially established, but the community have said that the infant became unwell during the attack and it was impossible to feed her.

SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (

As a result of lack of land title, insensitive state intervention and climate change, members of the Barabaig tribe of Tanzania are facing the greatest challenge to their physical and cultural survival in living memory.
Recognizing the problems of the Barabaig and the deficiencies of state assistance, the Indigenous Knowledge Project (IKP) has devised The Barabaig project' with members of the tribe. A fully participatory scheme, the project seeks to empower members of the Barabaig to help themselves out of their current crisis and to secure an autonomous future. This initiative is a rarity, founded on the ideals of sharing, autonomy, participation and sustainability. In the words of IKP co-founder Heather Cruise, it has to be "heart-to-heart, grass roots, participatory."
This is the story so far.
The Plight of the Barabaig of Basodami sub-village
The group of Basodami Barabaig who are the first to have chosen to embrace the IKP's initiative (after numerous consultations and unanimous votes) are facing grave challenges indicative of those being suffered by other Indigenous Peoples in this region. Based in a highland area of Tanzania near Mount Hanang the Barabaig were, for the largest part of their history, semi-nomadic pastoralists. However, since 1969 this way of existence has been under threat due to the extensive violation of Barabaig land rights. The result of these transgressions has been the privatization of vast swathes of indigenous territory for use as exclusionary nature reserves and agricultural developments. The Barabaig have weathered assaults, the desecration of their sacred sites, house burnings and the revocation of their customary land rights. As a result their livelihoods have been left decimated by decades of suffrage.

Today, our world is experiencing a rapid decline in cultural diversity and the eradication of indigenous peoples and their lifeway. One in five people in the world speak the same language: Mandarin Chinese. Spoken by the largest single ethnic group in the world - the Han - whose 1.3 billion speakers represent 92 percent of the mainland Chinese population and 19 percent of the world's population, while 235 languages make up the other 8 percent of China's population. Likewise, in India - the world's second most populous country - there are 415 living, recognized indigenous languages, but the majority of people speak either Bengali or Hindi. Around the world linguists recognize some 6,000 to 7,000 spoken languages, of which 5,000 or so are spoken by indigenous peoples who represent an estimated 6 percent of the world's population.

Many of these indigenous people, their language, culture, and lifeways face a questionable future. The relatively rapid decline in language diversity parallels the decline in cultural diversity. These changes are due in part to the product of both historical relationships - imperialism, colonialism, global economic development, and militarism - as well as cultural beliefs that rationalize or justify actions that have served certain cultures at the cost of others. In many instances, this cost has been disproportionally sustained by indigenous peoples.

For the week of AUGUST 23rd to AUGUST 30th, 2012
"News sources today include Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News and Amnesty International."

Listen to the Program August 16, 2012

SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News (

Mexico: Statement Concerning Military Intervention In Kumiai Community

We are joined together at this first statewide gathering of Yo soy 132 Baja California to bring awareness to the facts relating to the incident which occurred in the Kumiai [Kumeyaay] community one La Huerta located in the Valle de Ojos Negros and within the municipality of Ensenada, Baja California where the community suffered the military intervention by elements of the Mexican Army which consisted of raiding homes and personal belongings, frightening and threatening members of this indigenous community under the pretext of a search for drugs.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, we are aware that similar acts are repeated throughout Mexico, where, using under different pretexts such as the drug war or the supposed "defense of natural resources," many indigenous communities have been subjected to violence and repression like in Xoxocotla, Morelos, Cher n Michoac n, the Cucap [Cocopah] in Baja California, many communities in Oaxaca and the support bases for the indigenous zapatistas in the state of Chiapas, Mexico.

We are aware that these types of episodes are becoming everyday more common throughout Mexico as a consequence of the militarization promoted by President Calderon and his so-called war that has claimed more than 50 thousand victims.

SOURCE: Indigenous Issues and Resources News (

Peru: Shipibo Unite To Face New Oil Rush On Ucayali

Braving long river journeys and uncomfortable stays away from their forest villages, indigenous leaders from Peru's Central Amazon are converging in the city of Pucallpa this week to plan a common defense as foreign oil drillers coveting underground treasures of gas and oil invade the region on a scale and pace not seen since Peru's debut oil boom of the 1970s.

While the oil lies mostly beneath indigenous territories, Peru's government has leased the rights to those subsurface resources to private companies, setting the conditions here for the same style of inevitable conflict between companies and communities that has rocked other regions of the country in recent months and years.

To help bolster their side in the divide, leaders from at least 25 Shipibo indigenous communities from the upper Ucayali River region met in a workshop on Monday 6th August to share experiences of their contacts with the industry, compare stories of company tactics and hear from leaders from other regions whose communities' lands and water have already been ravaged by the first 40 years of oil production there.

SOURCE: Indigenous Issues and Resources News (

Canada: James Bay Cree Nation Enacts Permanent Uranium Moratorium In James Bay Territory

Crees "determined to protect our way of life against the unique and grave threat posed by uranium mining and waste, today and for thousands of years to come".

The James Bay Cree Nation has declared a Permanent Moratorium on uranium exploration, uranium mining and uranium waste emplacement in Eeyou Istchee, the James Bay Cree territory. The permanent moratorium was enacted unanimously by the Annual Cree Nation General Assembly in Waskaganish.

"The risks inherent in uranium exploration, mining, milling, refining and transport, and in radioactive and toxic uranium mining waste, are incompatible with our stewardship responsibilities in Eeyou Istchee," the Resolution declares.

"The Cree Nation is determined to protect our economies and way of life against the unique and grave threat posed by uranium mining and uranium waste, today and for thousands of years to come," said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. "We are not opposed to sustainable and equitable mining and other industrial and resource development activities in Eeyou Istchee - but the toxic and radiation risks created by uranium mining and uranium waste are unique in scale and duration.

SOURCE: Survival International (

Paraguay: Exposed - Spanish Tycoon's Role In Destruction Of Hiding Tribe's' Forest

One of Spain's richest men has been implicated in the illegal bulldozing of a South American forest where the last uncontacted Indians outside the Amazon are hiding, following a recent raid by Paraguayan officials.

Jacinto Rey Gonz lez is President of ranching firm Carlos Casado SA , which is a subsidiary of Spanish construction and property giant Grupo San Jos . Mr Rey Gonzalez is also the President and controlling shareholder of Grupo San Jos .

Two weeks ago, Carlos Casado SA was caught red-handed by Paraguayan forestry officials bulldozing forest, constructing buildings and reservoirs, and putting up wire fencing, in the large block of forest they own in the Paraguayan Chaco.

The work, in preparation for the wholesale clearance of the area, is illegal as the firm has not obtained the environmental permits required by law. Such permits would probably have been refused, as the forest is known to be inhabited by uncontacted members of the Ayoreo tribe.

The discovery of preparations for large-scale destruction in this highly sensitive area has outraged local experts. We are witnessing ethnocide in action. This crime is a human tragedy, an embarrassment for Paraguay in the eyes of the world - and it will only stop if those responsible are caught and punished', said Gladys Casaccia and Jorge Vera of GAT , a Paraguayan organization that has been working since 1993 with contacted members of the Ayoreo tribe to secure the area.

Signs that ranchers have been targeting this area have been growing for months. In June Survival International revealed that they had attempted to fool the Ayoreo into allowing them to build a new road that would have cut the Indians' territory in half. The road would have run along the northern edge of Carlos Casado's property.

Survival International's Director Stephen Corry said today, It's shocking to discover that one of Spain's biggest companies is involved in such scandalous behavior. Perhaps they thought that as this is happening in a far-off corner of South America, no-one would notice. But if they continue, they will be directly responsible for the destruction of the Ayoreo's heartland - in flagrant violation of Paraguayan and international laws .'

Most members of the Ayoreo tribe have been contacted, but some members remain in hiding in the forests of western Paraguay. They are the last uncontacted Indians outside the Amazon. Rampant forest destruction in the region, much of it illegal, means they live permanently on the run.
Grupo San Jos was responsible for the recent extension to the Prado Museum in Madrid, part of the Madrid-Valencia high-speed rail link, and many other projects.
"News sources today include Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News and Survival International."

"Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI New York in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples Worldwide, providing funding for community-initiated and community-driven Indigenous projects worldwide. Go to or to download today's featured stories. Email us at

Listen to the Program August 9, 2012

Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of August 9th to 16th, 2012

SOURCE: Climate Connections (
Africa - MOSHI, Tanzania

A logging boom has hit Tanzania's tourist-drawing Kilimanjaro region, reducing the region's native forests, hitting rainfall and leading to unusually high temperatures.
The increasingly extreme weather has come as a surprise to people who live a stone's throw from one of the world's heritage sites, and who had been used to a cold, misty climate.
Forests play an in important role in maintaining natural water cycles around Mt. Kilimanjaro, but the region's forests are disappearing as a result of growing demand for timber across the country and unmanaged logging of trees for timber and charcoal making, residents in the region say.
The government has accused unscrupulous timber dealers, who collude with corrupt officials, for driving the destruction. But forests also have come under pressure as people in the area struggle to meet their energy needs by making charcoal.
Particularly hard hit are the region's "Erica" trees, which thrive (8,850 feet) above sea level and that local people believe are crucial to helping collect cloud moisture. The trees, now on the verge of extinction, according to people in the village of Machame, also provide traditional medicine used to treat fever and diarrhea.
Growing rainfall shortages in Machame have led some farmers to set up irrigation systems for their fields, while others have moved to cities to find other work.

SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (
In Chile

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the injuries suffered by
children of the Mapuche indigenous people in Chile, during the eviction operation conducted
by Carabineros' police officers. The IACHR urges the State to investigate the facts and sanction
those responsible, and to adopt measures in order to avoid in the future the excesive use
of force in these operations. In addition, the Commission urges the State of Chile to adopt
special measures of protection of children in this type of police action.

SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (
In Africa: Nigeria: Ogoni Declares Self-Government

"We are acting with legitimacy to reclaim all of our rights, without exception," says Goodluck Diigbo

Jubilations are continuing throughout Ogoniland after the Ogoni people in southern Nigeria, today, Thursday, 2nd of August declared political autonomy.

In a live broadcast on a newly established radio station: Voice of Ogoni, MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo vowed that:"By this declaration of political autonomy, we, the Ogoni people are determined to enforce the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without fear or retreat," Diigbo said.

Listen to the Program July 5, 2012

Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of July 5th - July 12th, 2012

SOURCE: Front Line Defenders (
In South America\Brazil

On 24 and 25 June 2012 the bodies of human rights defenders Mr Almir Nogueira de Amorim and Mr João Luiz Telles Penetra were found following their disappearance on 23 June 2012.

Source: Indigenous Issues and Resources News (
In South America/Brazil

Pará: Lawful Belo Monte Protestors Threatened With Imprisonment
Leaders of Brazilian movement opposed to controversial Belo Monte dam threatened with imprisonment, for Lawful Protests
International Groups Denounce Attempts to Criminalize Civil Society Leaders before OAS and UN Human Rights Bodies
Brazilian social movements and civil society organizations are facing politically motivated prosecutions for their lawful opposition to the Belo Monte dam complex in the heart of the Amazon, a leading international human rights and environmental organization said today. In a report issued to the human rights arms of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN), Brazilian and international groups detailed attempts to prosecute human rights and environmental activists and seek the arrests of 11 civil society leaders.

Stop the Belo Monte Monster Dam

The Brazilian government is moving ahead "at any cost" with plans to build the third-largest dam in the world and one of the Amazon's most controversial development projects – the Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River in the state of Pará. The Belo Monte dam complex dates back to Brazil's military dictatorship and the government has attempted to build it through various series of national investment programs including Brasil em Ação and the Program to Accelerate Growth. Original plans to dam the Xingu have been greenwashed through multiple public relations programs over the course of two decades in the face of intense national and international protest.

Alarmed UK MPs urge Brazil to save Earth’s most threatened tribe

Brazil’s Awá tribe are the Earth's most threatened tribe.
Dozens of British politicians are calling on Brazil to save Earth’s most threatened tribe by halting illegal logging and land invasions in their territory.

Listen to the Program June 28, 2012

Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of June 28th - July 5th 2012

SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (
In the Pacific Islands

Maori Television is increasing its broadcast hours to focus on language revitalisation and scrapping infomercials in the process - a move which has been praised by a language critic.
From Sunday, the station will broadcast tuition programmes from 10am to 3pm, replacing infomercials which brought in about $250,000a year.

Sarawak: More People From Baram Voiced Opposition To The Proposed Baram Dam

Sarawak, Maylasia - More than 200 people from Baram District as well as supporters from outside the district thronged into Telang Usan Hotel, Miri yesterday afternoon to participate in an open dialogue opposing the proposed Baram Hydro-electric Project.


Since world leaders last gathered in Rio de Janeiro to talk about the state of the Earth, temperatures have climbed and disasters have mounted. As diplomats discussed climate, sustainability and biodiversity, here is the Earth by the numbers since 1992:
The average annual global temperature has increased 0.32 degrees Celsius since 1992 based on 10-year running averages, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Every year since 1992 has been warmer than the year of the original Rio conference.
Global levels of the chief heat-trapping gas, carbon dioxide, climbed 10 per cent from nearly 358 parts per million in April, 1992, to 394 ppm this past April.
Since 1992, natural disasters have affected 4.4-billion people worldwide, killed 1.3-million people and cost $2-trillion in damages, according to the United Nations. Earthquakes, storms, extreme temperatures and floods were the biggest killers.
Since 1990, the world's primary forest areas have decreased about 300-million hectares, according to the United Nations. That's an area larger than Argentina.

Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of June 28th - July 5th 2012

Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News
Listen to the Program June 21, 2012

SKYWAVES – June 21st, 2012

Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of June 21st - June 28th, 2012.

“This is Skywaves: Indigenous News Worldwide, a news feature about the remaining cultures of Indigenous peoples globally and the struggles they face daily, including those in your backyard. In partnership with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples Worldwide, I’m Tiokasin Ghosthorse.”

SOURCE: Intercontinental Cry –
In the Pacifica Islands

A group of Indigenous Elders are raising questions about the possible environmental impacts of a proposed geothermal plant in the province of Kalinga, Philippines. More than anything, the Elders want to know what Chevron would do if the company's geothermal drilling operations trigger a volcanic eruption. Writing for Northern Dispatch, Gina Dizon reports.

SOURCE: Western Sahara Resource Watch -
In Africa

Western Sahara: EU Consumers Unwittingly Supporters Of Western Sahara Occupation

On July 1, a new agricultural agreement between the EU and Morocco is expected to enter into force. Its vague territorial scope will allow greater volumes of fresh produce from occupied Western Sahara to enter the EU market. A new report from Western Sahara Resource Watch launched today documents how produce from the controversial agro-industry in the occupied territory, ends up in the baskets of unaware EU customers. The products are made on plantations owned by the Moroccan King or French-Moroccan conglomerates. “The income and the employment that these rich lands generate only benefit the occupying power. It directly undermines the UN efforts to solve the conflict”, stated Sara Eyckmans of Western Sahara Resource Watch.

SOURCE: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources –
In the Pacific Islands

Japan: Towards A Culturally Sustainable Environmental Impact Assessment - The Protection Of Ainu Cultural Heritage In The Saru River Cultural Impact Assessment, Japan

Culturally sustainable environmental impact assessment (EIA) requires consideration of the impact of development on local people's cultural activities, including holding ceremonies, collecting resources, and learning skills, which are fundamental essences of Indigenous rights. While culturally sustainable EIA has become a common practice when a development project involves an Indigenous community, it is still argued that Indigenous cultural heritage is not adequately protected. This is due to the fact that Indigenous people do not always keep power in the post-approval stage of EIA, or the lack of practical measures to minimise the impact of development projects on Indigenous cultural heritage and to enhance the possibility of reaching a consensus among stakeholders.

“News sources today include Intercontinental Cry, Western Sahara Resource Watch and Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources News.”

“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI New York in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples Worldwide, providing funding for community-initiated and community-driven Indigenous projects worldwide. Go to or to download today’s featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program June 14, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide
Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of June 14th - June 21st, 2012

Source: Intercontinental Cry (
In Australia

There was a major victory this week in the struggle to protect the Koongarra uranium deposit in Australia's Northern Territory.
The Northern Land Council, which represents native title claimants in the Arnhem Land region of Northern Territory, announced its decision to extend the boundaries of the world-heritage-listed Kakadu National Park to include the 1,200 hectare uranium deposit.
When the National Park was founded in 1979, the Australian government decided to leave Koongarra out, clearly recognizing the potential market value of the deposit.

Source: Peace, Earth and Justice News (
In South America

Indigenous leaders from all over South America are making their way by foot, canoe and eventually on buses to be part of the Kari-Oca Caravan to Rio de Janeiro, to talk to world leaders at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.

Rio+20 is meant to serve as an intergovernmental forum for the adoption of solutions to the global crisis of sustainability, manifested in the repeated failure of the globalised economy, a food shortage, energy problems and global environmental woes like climate change and biodiversity loss.

"Not everyone can hear the voice of Mother Earth from the jungle, and we want to bring that voice to Rio," added Enomenga, who said he was prepared to walk to Rio if the bus broke down. Enomenga was born into an uncontacted community.

The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Territories, Rights and Sustainable Development or Kari-Oca II will be held Jun. 14-22 in a traditionally constructed conference village built by Brazilian indigenous peoples five kilometres from the official Rio+20 conference facility.

"News sources today include Intercontinental Cry, ".
"Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI New York in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples Worldwide, providing funding for community-initiated and community-driven Indigenous projects worldwide. Go to or to download today's featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us."

Intercontinental Cry
Peace, Earth and Justice News
Listen to the Program June 7, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide
Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of June 7th - June 13th, 2012

Source: First Peoples Human Rights Coalition (
In North America

More than 40 years after a Dryden, Ont, Canada paper mill was caught dumping mercury into a river through the Grassy Narrows First Nations, area residents continue to suffer from mercury poisoning, a new report shows.

Source: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources (
In South America

What: While Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosts some of the most powerful figures in global politics and economics at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Xingu River in the heart of Brazil's Amazon rainforest will be the stage for ongoing popular protests against the Belo Monte dam complex. Protestors and affected communities will highlight the glaring gap between reality and the Brazilian government's rhetoric about Amazon dams as a source of "clean energy" for a "green economy" in a series of festivities, debates and actions.

Source: Indy Media Ireland (
In Australia

A meeting of representatives from across the continent gathered to confirm their intent to form a National Unity Government of the Sovereign Union of First Nations Peoples in Australia.
This intent was confirmed with representatives formally signing an Act of Sovereign Union between First Nations Peoples in Australia.

"News sources today include Indy Media Ireland, First Peoples Human Rights Coalition and Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources".

"Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI New York in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples Worldwide, providing funding for community-initiated and community-driven Indigenous projects worldwide. Go to or to download today's featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us."

Free distribution and airplay for Pacifica Affliates interested in worldwide Indigenous affairs for the week of June 7th - June 13th, 2012

Listen to the Program May 17, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide

Source: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources
In Australia

Australia Challenged At United Nations Over Racist Laws
The United Nations has heard significant criticisms from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegations over race-based laws currently being considered by the Australian Government.
The delegations are rejecting the argument of the Australian Government that the race laws are special measures' and are therefore not racially discriminatory.


The Dongria Khond, one of India's most isolated indigenous peoples, have been struggling for years against UK's Department for International Development (DfID) and Vedanta's plans to mine bauxite on Niyamgiri Mountain. India is the biggest single recipient of British aid, through the (DfID). Working on national and state level often with other development agencies including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

SOURCE: Inter Press Service -
In Central America

SAN SALVADOR - After decades of struggle, indigenous people in El Salvador will finally be recognised in the constitution - a first step towards recovering their community identity, which they have been denied by the state and by society at large.
Article 63 of the constitution will be modified to acknowledge native languages and other expressions of indigenous culture that the state has not explicitly recognised up to now. The lawmakers who took office on May 1 must ratify the amendment approved Apr. 25 by the outgoing legislature, as established by the laws governing constitutional reforms. But because the line-up of political forces in the legislature remained unchanged after the March elections, there are no doubts that the reform will receive the votes of the necessary special majority of two-thirds of the 84 members of the single-chamber Legislative Assembly. Indigenous leaders expect the amendment to be approved in June or July.

"News sources today include Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources and Cultural Survival".

"Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI NY and in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples World Wide, the only direct funder to Indigenous communities globally.
Go to or to download today's featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us."

Listen to the Program May 10, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide

Source: Cultural Survival
In Central America
Panama: Report Shows Government Plans More Dams

An investigative reporting crew released a documentary this month on Al Jazeera showing the protests and negotiations that have occurred regarding mining and hydro-electric projects in the Ngöbe-Bugle territory. The documentary shows the reservoir of the Chan-75 dam which submerged an entire Ngöbe community. Construction is now underway for the Barro Blanco dam, which will submerge more Ngöbe communities. The Barro Blanco region is also the home of a critically endangered endemic species of frog.

A confidential report leaked to the investigators uncovered the government’s plans for many other hydro-electric projects, with contracts already signed. Filmmaker Glenn Elis reported: “Alongside each project listed were the names of the company directors involved - a roll call of Panama's wealthiest families. It was not difficult to put two and two together. Electricity is a commodity like anything else and if there is spare capacity it can be sold to energy-hungry consumers in neighbouring countries. Someone, it seemed, was going to get very rich.”

Two weeks ago, the government concluded negotiations with the Ngöbe people to pass a new law that prohibits all new mining projects and requires approval of the Ngöbe people for dam projects, but the Barro Blanco dam is excluded from this requirement, despite the protests of the Ngöbe people.

Source: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources
In Pacific-Oceania

Papua New Guinea: Motuan Land Rights Need Attention

Arua Arua Miria, a Motuan from Hanuabada is an angry man. Over the years, his people have seen their traditional hunting and fishing grounds taken from them through “legal’ and illegal means.

Like many other Papua New Guinean communities, Motuan land was communally owned until the arrival of the British in 1884. Commodore James Erskine raised the Union Jack on Motuan land, declared it a protectorate of the British Empire and made laws that – over time – took away the land rights of the traditional landowners.

“The white man arrived just 200 years ago. We were here 2000 years before they arrived.

“They brought their laws – laws that took away our rights. Our ancestors placed their fingerprints on agreements, documents they didn’t understand,” Miria says.

Source: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources
New Zealand: Minister Supports Maori Language In All Schools

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has congratulated his colleague, Trade Minister Tim Groser, for saying te reo Maori should be taught in all primary schools.

“I welcome Minister Groser's comments. His work at global meetings would show him that most people in the world today are bilingual or multi-lingual,” said Dr Sharples.

“There is plenty of research evidence to say that being bilingual is a huge advantage intellectually, educationally and socially.

“The Maori Party thinks Maori should be ‘compulsorily available’ in all schools, and various public opinion surveys show most New Zealanders support that stance.

“I also think all Maori children should have access to Maori-medium education, which produces fluent speakers of Maori; and the government is working on a range of initiatives to help that happen.

“I am leading the development of a new Maori Language Strategy to guide government policy on language revitalisation, so we get the best outcome for the language for the money we invest. Maori whanau and hapu must lead efforts to maintain Maori as a living language in this country, and the Government needs to be systematic and co-ordinated in our support.

“It is very heartening to see that most New Zealanders want te reo Maori to be spoken in Aotearoa, and the idea of all children being able to learn Maori at school, which might once have been considered controversial, is now mainstream thinking,” said Dr Sharples.

Source: Gitga'at Nation
British Columbia: Oil Spill Response - Canadian Coast Guard "Gone Fishing"

CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Lead federal agency for oil spill response sends fishing party instead of clean-up crew; Gitga'at Nation accuses federal government of mishandling oil spill response in the Great Bear Rainforest.

The leadership of the Gitga'at Nation held an emergency meeting on May 5th to discuss what they see as a failure of the federal government to respond appropriately to an unfolding maritime oil spill in the Great Bear Rainforest. The spill is originating from the Brigadier General M.G. Zalinski, a U.S. army ship that sank in 1946 with 700 tonnes of bunker fuel on board.

The Gitga'at say the government is underestimating the size of the spill and they are demanding a full clean-up of the wreckage.

Video and photos of the oil spill and the Coast Guard fishing are available here:

“News sources today include Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources and Cultural Survival”.

“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI NY and in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples World Wide, the only direct funder to Indigenous communities globally.
Go to or to download today’s featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program May 3, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide
In Asia
An oil spill in northern Russia from a joint venture between Lukoil and Bashneft has damaged fragile reindeer pastures in yet another blow to the indigenous Nenets people. Environmental activists have warned about such disasters for decades but few precautions have been taken by the oil companies.

Lukoil, which is now Russia’s largest oil company, and Bashneft are currently drilling for oil in the Trebs oil field in the Nenets Autonomous District which is estimated to hold 153 million tons of oil.

Vladimir Bezumov, chief of the local office of the Russian Environmental Agency, estimates that some 2,000 tons of oil gushed out of an exploratory well in the oil field this past weekend damaging as much as 14,000 square meters of land.

Oil exploration started in the region in the 1960s and expanded after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Activists warned that environmental problems were bound to get worse.

Gail Osherenko, a Vermont-based anthropologist who works with the Nenets peoples, said “that the idea oil drilling in the region would have only minimal impact was "wishful thinking."

And Russian and indigenous groups sent out an appeal in 1996 to ask the public to lobby the World Bank not to finance projects in the region. The warnings were mostly ignored. 

An investigation by Nataliya Vasilyeva in late 2011 described some of the damage caused by the estimated half a million tons of oil spilled every year that make their way into the Arctic ocean, roughly two-thirds of the quantity of oil spilled in the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. “On the bright yellow tundra outside this oil town near the Arctic Circle, a pitch-black pool of crude stretches toward the horizon. The source: a decommissioned well whose rusty screws ooze with oil, viscous like jam,” she wrote.

The indigenous communities say their traditional way of life has been devastated by the oil industry. “There is no future for us. People are dying. If oil companies behaved correctly, they would ask us, where drilling is possible and where not, which river is spawning, where fish comes for winter cabin. Fish comes to this bog in the autumn. And now all the rivers are blocked here, and fish has nowhere to go,” Valdimir Vello, a reindeer herder told Greenpeace recently for a report titled “Is there a life after oil?” “I think that there is no future. If the oil companies leave us, we can manage to save something here, to recover this place.”

 Yuri Trutnev, Russia’s minister for natural resources and ecology threatened to sue Lukoil rival, Anglo-Russian oil producer TNK-BP (owned jointly by British Petroleum) for numerous oil spills in Siberia. Trutnev said the company has 784 accidents last year. The drilling ventures are hugely profitable so they are unlikely to be stopped but there is more than enough money to minimize some of the worst impacts.
In South America
Chiquita, the global banana producer, was ordered this week to face a federal court over their role in paying off right wing death squads in Colombia. Villagers allege that the death squads used “random and targeted violence in exchange for financial assistance and access to Chiquita’s private port for arms and drug smuggling,” according to a lawsuit filed on their behalf by EarthRights International and Cohen Milstein. 

The lawsuit, which is based on the Alien Torts Claims Act (ATCA), is likely to go forward, even though the statute is being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case against Royal Dutch Petroleum in Nigeria that may limit the use of the act against corporations under U.S. law. (see U.S. Supreme Court: Can Multinationals Be Sued for Crimes?) The 223 year old ATCA allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for violations the "law of nations.”

Cincinnati-based Chiquita has been growing bananas in Colombia since 1899. For over four decades these operations have been under attack – first by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a left-wing guerrilla group, and then by Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC), a paramilitary group created by ranchers and drug traffickers.

Court documents show that Chiquita executives paid off both groups. FARC was paid between $20,000 and $100,000 a month. Chiquita has also admitted to making over 100 payments totaling $1.7 million to the AUC or affiliated organizations over seven years. 

The villagers have accused the AUC of a number of human rights abuses including torturing and killing at least 40 people in the town of Mapiripan in July 1997 and then killing 36 people and torturing dozens in a February 2000 operation.

Court documents also show that a shipment of 3,000 AK-47 assault rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition from Nicaragua in 2001 was invoiced to Chiquita. The armaments were delivered to Chiquita warehouses and then trucked to the AUC by Chiquita, according to the legal papers.

Chiquita, which was represented by Eric Holder, admitted the payments and paid a fine of $25 million. (Holder has since been appointed U.S. attorney general in 2009 by Barack Obama)

In a ruling issued earlier this week, U.S. federal Judge Kenneth Marra in Florida ruled that the charges of “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; violation of the rights to life, liberty and security of person and peaceful assembly and association; and consistent pattern of gross violations of human rights” would be heard in court.

“We're thrilled that the judge has recognized that our claims against Chiquita for violations of Colombian law can proceed in this lawsuit,” added Marco Simons of EarthRights in a press statement. “The plaintiffs have been waiting for justice for a decade and more, and this is one more step in the right direction for them to finally have their day in court.”

In South America
Bolivian President Evo Morales ordered his military to seize the local assets of Spanish energy company Red Electrica.
Mr Morales said the expropriation of Transporter of Electricity (TDE), which runs most of Bolivia's power grid, was "in honour of all Bolivian people who have struggled to recuperate our natural resources and basic services". He timed the seizure for May Day. TDE is 99.94pc owned by Spain's Red Electrica and, according to El Pais, accounts for about 1.5pc of the company's business. Accusing Red Electrica of underinvestment in TDE, Mr Morales said: "We do this... for the benefit of the Bolivian people."
The nationalisation comes just two weeks after Argentine President Cristina de Kirchner announced the expropriation of Spanish company Repsol's stake in oil group YPF, also citing underinvestment. Mr Morales's move could further spook European investors already wary of resource nationalism in left-wing regimes in South America. He has past form in such May Day seizures. Two years ago he nationalised four power companies including Rurelec, an Aim-listed British company. Rurelec is still attempting to gain compensation for the assets and is pursuing a $142.3m (£87.7m) claim against Bolivia in the Hague.

“News sources today include The Telegraph and Corp Watch”.

“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI NY and in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples World Wide, the only direct funder to Indigenous communities globally.
Go to or to download today’s featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us.”

April 26, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide

In South America
In Brazil
‘They’re killing us’: world’s most endangered tribe cries for help. Logging companies keen to exploit Brazil’s rainforest have been accused by human rights organisations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355 and more than 100 of whom have had no contact with the outside world – are teetering on the edge of extinction. Survival International, with backing from Colin Firth, is campaigning to stop what a judge referred to as ‘genocide’
Trundling along the dirt roads of the Amazon, the giant logging lorry dwarfed the vehicle of the investigators following it. The trunks of nine huge trees were piled high on the back – incontrovertible proof of the continuing destruction of the world’s greatest rainforest and its most endangered tribe, the Awá.
Yet as they travelled through the jungle early this year, the small team from Funai – Brazil’s National Indian Foundation – did not dare try to stop the loggers; the vehicle was too large and the loggers were almost certainly armed. All they could do was video the lorry and add the film to the growing mountain of evidence showing how the Awá – with only 355 surviving members,.

In North American
United States

The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history.
The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Many of the country’s estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.
The UN mission is potentially contentious, with some conservatives almost certain to object to international interference in US domestic matters. Since his appointment as rapporteur in 2008, Anaya has focused on indigenous people in Central and South America.
A UN statement said: “This will be the first mission to the US by an independent expert designated by the UN human rights council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples.”
Anaya, a University of Arizona professor on human rights, said: “I will examine the situation of the American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian peoples against the background of the United States’ endorsement of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.”
The US signed up in 2010 to the declaration, which establishes minimum basic rights for indigenous people round the word first adopted in 2007.
Anaya said: “My visit aims at assessing how the standards of the declaration are reflected in US law and policy, and identifying needed reforms and good practices.”
Some of the biggest problems facing US Native Americans, apart from social issues, are the near continuous disputes over sovereignty and land rights. Although they were given power over large swaths of territory, most of it in the west, their rights are repeatedly challenged by state governments.
Most Americans have little contact with those living in the 500-plus tribal areas, except as tourists on trips to casinos allowed on land outside federal jurisdiction or to view spectacular landscapes.
Anaya’s work has taken him round the world, but he is originally from New Mexico and is well versed in Native American issues.
He will visit Washington DC, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Oklahoma and South Dakota, and will conclude his trip with a press conference on 4 May 4. He will present his findings to the next session of the UN human rights council.
Anaya’s past record shows a deep sympathy with Native Americans’ plight. In one development dispute, he told the council that the desecration of sacred sites was an urgent human rights issue.
The Tucson Sentinel reported in 2011 that he had testified to Congress on the need for the US to pass legislation that abides by the declaration.
Also in 2011, he wrote to the Canadian government requesting information about the poor living conditions of aboriginal groups in the country.

Listen to the Program April 19, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide

Chevron Lawyer Claims That Victims Of Rainforest Contamination Are “Irrelevant”

In South America
A lead Chevron lawyer has made the preposterous claim that the 30,000 Ecuadorian victims of the oil giant's contamination are "irrelevant" to the court case that led to an $18 billion judgment against the company.
Doak Bishop, a Chevron lawyer from the American firm King & Spalding, said the following before a panel of international investment arbitrators on February 15th:
"The plaintiffs are really irrelevant. They always were irrelevant. There were never any real parties in interest in this case. The plaintiff's lawyers have no clients... There will be no prejudice to [the rainforest communities] or any individual by holding up enforcement of the judgment."
Meanwhile, the Huffington Post published over a dozen photos of Ecuadorians who have died or have severe medical problems resulting from Chevron's contamination.
By arguing that no Ecuadorians had been harmed or were in danger of being harmed, Bishop was trying to convince the panel of arbitrators that they should block the Ecuadorians from enforcing their judgment against Chevron in other countries, a strategy that has failed for multiple reasons.
Chevron has a long history of trying to dehumanize the Ecuadorians by denying their very existence or by belittling their culture, said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the communities.
In 2010, Chevron tried to claim the signatures of 20 of the 48 named plaintiffs in the lawsuit had been forged by their attorneys. The charge was quickly rebutted after the plaintiffs appeared before a public notary to affirm their signatures were legitimate. Chevron engineers also belittled Ecuadorian indigenous leaders by making them wear Western clothes and suggesting that oil-laden streams were actually full of vitamins, according to published reports.
The existence and relevance of the Ecuadorians has been affirmed by multiple independent journalists, including those working for 60 Minutes, The Sunday Night Show in Australia, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The $18 billion damage award, levied by an Ecuador court, will be used to clean up Chevron's deliberate contamination of the rainforest and provide clean drinking water and health care to the residents of the company's former concession area. The damage decimated indigenous groups and caused an outbreak of cancer, according to evidence relied on by the court in issuing the judgment.
Chevron, under the Texaco brand, operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1992. Chevron admitted dumping 16 billion gallons of toxic drilling fluids directly into waterways and streams relied on by local residents for their drinking water.

In India

India, which doesn’t allow corporate farming domestically, has joined the growing list of countries going overseas to look for food security, with more than 80 Indian agribusiness companies investing more than Rp10.8 billion (US$211.2 billion) in African countries including Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Congo, Madagascar, Liberia and Ghana.
India is far from alone in looking for food security overseas, nor are the African nations where India is investing unique. Many developing countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations “are making strenuous efforts to attract and facilitate foreign investment into their agriculture sectors.” That has dovetailed with increasing nervousness on the part of countries which, either because of population pressures, lack of arable land or climate change problems, have begun to look overseas for land on which to grow their food.
With the global transport network now providing the ability to move vast amounts of food around the planet cheaply, and with the world population having reached 7.023 billion, both the need and the ability to do so have overlapped.
Deals, according to the report, occur at multiple levels, both within and between regions. In particular, as Asia Sentinel reported in May 2009, the major players were China, South Korea and countries in the Gulf States. However, today the deals have spread far beyond those countries, with the South African Commercial Farmers Association acquiring 200,000 ha in Congo and negotiating with another 22 African governments for more land, for instance. Brazilians are expanding their holdings in Bolivia, Vietnamese and Chinese interests are moving into Laos, UK interests are acquiring land in Eastern Europe. Kuwait has obtained 50,000 hectares of Cambodian farmland. Indian companies are growing oilseeds, cereals, flowers and tea in seven countries across Africa..
Although Indian companies are looking thousands of kilometers away in Africa for land on which to produce food, Sri Lanka is practically begging agricultural investors to enter the country, now recovering slowly from decades of sectarian violence and outright war.
Still, it appears that agricultural colonization is gaining pace although according to the Committee on World Food Security, the amount of hectarage being purchased across the world is shrouded in secrecy and estimates vary wildly. As an example, one 2011study cited by the committee estimated that 46.6 million hectares were taken over by foreign interests in 81 countries across the globe between 2005 and 2009 while another puts the figure between 51 and 63 million ha which reportedly was taken over in 27 African countries up to 2010. The direct players include companies seeking land to grow food, feed and biofuels.
Rapa Nui Protest Against Esoteric Conference At Hanga Roa Hotel
By Ahni Apr 18, 2012
The Hitorangi clan of the indigenous Rapa Nui people carried out a peaceful protest this week in response to an esoteric conference that was being held at Hanga Roa Hotel, a building that sits on the Hitorangi clan's ancestral land.
Two years ago, the Rapa Nui occupied the hotel--along with 17 government buildings in an effort to reclaim their ancestral land rights on the island of Rapanui (also known as "Easter Island" and "Te Pito te Henua", the Navel of the World).
The Rapa Nui were systematically evicted from the buildings with varying levels of violence.

On April 16, 2012, the Hitorangi Clan again protested in front of the Hotel Hanga Roa for the recovery of their ancestral lands.
They did so in response to an international conference organized by Anvisibleesoteric ( being held at the Hotel Hanga Roa built on the Hitorangi clan’s land and sacred Ahu Makere (family altar) which had been unlawfully and violently taken. The Hitorangi clan invoked their ancestors (matamúas) asking them to help them in their struggle to regain their land.
The peaceful protest took place outside the hotel and was attended by 40 members of the Hitorangi clan. Adults and children carried signs, chanting they voiced their discomfort to tourists who were staying at Hanga Roa Hotel.
The tourists hid in the inner courtyards of the hotel to avoid the protesters. Nevertheless, family members were able to hand the tourists brochures and tell them about the Hitorangi clan’s struggle to regain possession of their lands.
Under Chilean law only Rapanui people can own land on the island. However, the current Chilean administration under Piñera continue to violate Chilean and international law.
This is one of the many protests that have occurred in recent months. These protests will continue in the coming weeks to ensure that the land be returned to the rightful owners.
Credit is Rapa Nui Press
Contact: Santi Hitorangi (845) 596-5402
Contact: Trinidad Milestone 9715.8080 (Entel)
“News sources today include Intercontinental Cry, Aboriginal New Group and First Peoples Worldwide"
“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI NY and in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples World Wide, the only direct funder to Indigenous communities globally. Go to or to download todays featured stories. Email us at Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program April 12, 2012

SKYWAVES:Indigenous News Worldwide

A news feature about the remaining cultures of Indigenous peoples globally and the struggles they face daily - including those in your back yard.

Read Orginal Article here:
In South America
BRASILIA, Brazil, April 5, 2012 (ENS) - A federal judge has suspended the construction license of the Teles Pires hydroelectric dam in the Brazilian Amazon, saying the permitting process violated the rights of indigenous people protected under the Brazilian Constitution.
In her ruling, Judge Celia Bernardes, a federal judge in the state of Mato Grosso, sided with federal public prosecutors and public prosecutors from Mato Grosso and the state of Pará who argued the dam would cause "imminent and irreversible damage to the quality of life and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of the region."
The dam would flooding a series of rapids on the Teles Pires River known as Sete Quedas, or Seven Waterfalls, the spawning grounds of fish of great importance to the indigenous residents.

Read Original Article here:
In Australia
Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living If Their Land Rights Are Recognized
Indigenous peoples are living examples of societies living, sustainable low-carbon lifestyles. Successfully meeting the global climate change challenge requires that much of the world shift from high carbon-living to low.
This shift is daunting. Current emissions for Australia and United States average about 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. In the coming decades that needs to fall to two tonnes per person as it is currently in Brazil or Dominican Republic.
Emissions from most Indigenous peoples are even lower and are amongst the lowest in the world.
All options for making the shift from high to low carbon living needs to be explored and that’s why the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) invited Indigenous peoples to a special three-day workshop in Cairns, Australia last week.
Climate change is the result of our behaviour,” said Youba Sokona, from the African nation of Mali. “One of the critical solutions is to change our behaviour, to change our production and consumption systems. Traditional knowledge of local and indigenous peoples have been left out until now.

Read Original Article here:
In North America
Tuba City, Arizona - A group of Diné and Hopi people ( including traditional people and elders) upset by the latest colonial attack on indigenous peoples water rights, gathered to protest the visits of two US Senators to the Navajo Nation today. The people had gathered to say “no deal” to s2109, the bill that would allow more water to flow into Arizona for the benefit of companies and urban growth.
Protesters chanted “water is life”, “free indian water ends now”, “let the water flow”, “sewage water for McCain and Kyl”, other chants were said in Diné.
Protesters waited for Navajo president Ben Shelly and US senators McCain and Kyl to exit the meeting in, on the Navajo Nation. Earlier protesters marched in the streets of Tuba City, as Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly met with the senators to discuss the further dismantling of Navajo and Hopi water rights. Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly has left the meeting and said that there is no deal yet made, and that they are going to hear input from 7 of the 111 chapter houses (similar to districts) and council delegates.
Senators McCain and Kyl were in Tuba City to gain official support from the Tribal governments for their bill, Senate Bill 2109, described in a Native News Network article as:

“News sources today include Environment News Service, National Geographic News Watch – Australia and Indigenous Action Media

“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI NY. and in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples World Wide, the only direct funder to Indigenous communities globally. Email us at or go to and to download todays featured stories. Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program April 5, 2012

Skywaves: Indigenous News Worldwide.

A news feature about the remaining cultures of Indigenous peoples globally and the struggles they face daily - including those in your back yard.


In South America

Peru’s government is ignoring new UN guidelines on the protection of uncontacted Indians in the Amazon. Instead of backing the UN’s landmark report, which supports the tribes’ right to be left alone, Peru is allowing the country’s largest gas project to expand further into Indigenous territories known to house numerous uncontacted Indians.
The new UN guidance makes clear that uncontacted tribes’ land should be untouchable, and that ‘no rights should be granted that involve the use of natural resources’.The expansion plan adds to existing controversies around Argentine gas giant Pluspetrol and its notorious Camisea project in southeast Peru.Past oil and gas exploration in Peru has resulted in violent and disastrous contact with isolated Indians.

In the early 1980s, Shell workers opened up paths into the uncontacted Nahua Indians’ land. Diseases soon wiped out half the tribe. One surviving Nahua who lives close to Camisea’s developments said, ‘The company should not be here. All the time we hear helicopters. Our animals have left, there are no fish. For this, I don’t want the company. No! No company.’
Despite an electoral campaign that promised to respect indigenous rights, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala has done little to guarantee the survival of indigenous peoples. The Camisea consortium includes US-based Hunt Oil and Spain’s Repsol. Both have been accused of violating tribal peoples’ rights.


In North America

Members of the Lakota Nation rose in protest this week to join a 48-hour hunger strike in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline—and all tar sands pipelines—they say will destroy precious water resources and ancestral lands in the U.S and in Canada.
On April 1st, hunger strikers and supporters marched at a rally against tar sands oil mining operations and pipelines in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, a impoverished community on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, close to TransCanada’s 1,700 mile proposed Keystone XL pipeline route to refineries in the Gulf.
Lakota tribal members and their children drove to a camp in the rugged hills near the Missouri River to fast in solidarity with a hunger strike at the Bella Bella Community School in British Columbia. Children at the school are protesting a plan to ship millions of barrels of oil through a potentially dangerous “Northern Gateway” pipeline that would pipe corrosive tar sands oil from Alberta to giant super tankers navigating Canada’s treacherous Pacific coast.
The massive environmental devastation caused by tar sands mining in Canada and oil company plans to ship it through the U.S. has united Native Americans against proposals to build tar sands pipelines here in the U.S.
Karen Ducheneaux, who lives on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, one of the poorest regions in the country, came up with the hunger strike idea after seeing a powerful video protesting tar sands oil by the children of the Bella Bella Community School in Canada. After talking to her family members and tribal leaders, Ducheneaux decided it was time to act in solidarity with the First Nation peoples of Canada.
It is a tradition these hunger strikers say they will fight for until there are no Lakota left.


In Africa

West African States Impose Sanctions, Seal Off Mali Borders
by Jason Ditz, April 02, 2012 Following a high profile summit today in Dakar, Senegal, the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) has announced a full scale embargo on neighboring Mali, sealing all the borders of the landlocked nation to the outside world in retaliation for the military’s recent coup d’etat.
In addition to closing the borders, ECOWAS will freeze all the assets of the Malian central bank, and will halt all imports to the country. Since Mali produces literally no oil of its own, it relies entirely on imports from the Ivory Coast for its energy needs. The nation’s electricity production is partially hydroelectric in nature, but is likely to still leave the nation in a situation of rolling blackouts.
ECOWAS also announced that they are mobilizing a regional military force after the meeting, but exactly to what end was not readily apparent.
Though the coup in the official reason for the sanctions, there may also been an effort to effectively quarantine Mali for the duration of its ongoing secessionist war. The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA), an Indigenous - Tuareg rebel faction, has seized the entire northern half of the country, and while officially they seek only that region there has been speculation that they will eventually seek to incorporate Tuareg-heavy regions in neighboring nations into Azawad.
The Mali junta has promised to hold fresh elections soon, but their calls for international military aid to crush the Tuaregs is likely to be stalled indefinitely while the embargo is in place.

There are an estimated 350 million indigenous peoples remaining with Mother Earth. They legally own more than 11% of the world’s forests and those coincide with areas that hold up to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Traditional knowledge is a different but no less valid way of understanding the world.

“News sources today include Survival International, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Aboriginal News Group.

“Skywaves is produced in the studios of WBAI NY. and in alliance with First Voices Indigenous Radio and First Peoples World Wide, the only direct funder to Indigenous communities globally,. Email us at or go to and to download todays featured stories. Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program March 29, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide - March 29th, 2012

There are an estimated 350 million indigenous peoples remaining with Mother Earth. They legally own more than 11% of the world’s forests and those coincide with areas that hold up to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Traditional knowledge is a different but no less valid way of understanding the world.

To Asia - Cambodia

During the last 50 years, almost half of the world’s forests have been destroyed. The remaining forests contain 80 percent of terrestrial species and provide livelihoods for nearly a third of the human population. Studies by the Center for International Forestry Research show that Indigenous forest-dwelling communities do a better job of protecting forests than conservation programs do.
Some 200,000 mostly Indigenous Kuy villagers, a small group of people located in the highlands of Cambodia are desperately trying to prevent the destruction of Prey Lang (“Our Forest), the last large primary forest of its kind on the Indochina peninsula.


To South America - Bolivia has transformed itself by ignoring the Washington Consensus

By breaking with orthodox prescriptions for progress, Evo Morales has helped to forge a new Bolivia centred on 'living well' from the desk of Luis Hernandez Navarro

In spite of the force of racial discrimination, on 22 January 2006, the Aymara Indian and cocalero unionist Evo Morales was elected president. Since then, the Bolivian state and society have undergone a profound transformation. The country has been decolonised. Indigenous people hold key cabinet positions in government and also in political institutions, while their standard and quality of life have been notably improved.
In the past six years, Bolivia has become one of the Latin American countries most successful at improving its citizens' standard of living. Economic indicators such as low unemployment and decreased poverty, as well as better public healthcare and education, are outstanding.

To North America - Thousands of Indigenous peoples and campesinos in Guatemala have embarked on a nine-day protest march to the capital Guatemala City, covering over 214 kilometers. Organized by the Comite de Unidad Campesino or Campesino Unity Committee, (CUC) the march demands the attention of the State of Guatemala, as well as local, national, and international media to the issues facing the rural Indigenous and campesino majority of the country. The march has been gaining the participation of different communities and activist groups throughout their journey, which started in the city of Coban, in Alta Verapaz on Monday, March 19th. Community Radio station Uqul Tinamit, a member of the Guatemala Radio Project's pilot radio network streamed online their on-location reporting of the event as it passed through the departments of Alta and Baja Verapaz, allowing community radio stations across the country to broadcast their programing.
The movement leaders have issued a press statement, “Declaration of the March for Resistance and Dignity, in Defense of the Earth and Territory”.

“News sources today include Survival International, Cultural Survival, Bolivia Rising’s Luis Hernandez Navarro and Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources”

“Skywaves is produced in the WBAI NY studios and in partnership with First Peoples World Wide and First Voices Indigenous Radio. If you have an Indigenous peoples story to share -please email us at or go to and to download todays featured stories or if you want Skywaves for your radio station. Thanks for joining us.”

Listen to the Program March 22, 2012

SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide

Story One: Botswana, Africa: Bushmen Make A Splash On World Water Day - For the first time in ten years, Botswana's Bushmen are celebrating World Water Day as they enjoy unobstructed access to the life-giving substance.

Story Two:Canada, North America - First Nations from Alberta and the Northwest Territories gathered in Edmonton, where the National Energy Board review panel investigating the environmental impacts of the
proposed project Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines has been holding the latest of a series of controversial public hearings.

Story Three: Ecuador, South America -March 8, 2012 - International Woman's Day - marked the beginning of the two-week march for "Water, Life, and Dignity of Indigenous Peoples" in Ecuador. Led by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the trip will take protesters 435 miles to Ecuador's capital, Quito. The route includes a number of places emblematic in the anti-mining struggle, and protesters have managed to gather support from various sectors of society.

First Voices Indigenous Radio (FVIR) in partnership with First Peoples Worldwide (FPW), a globally renowned Indigenous grant making organization, will be broadcasting a weekly 7-minute news feature SKYWAVES: Indigenous News Worldwide - nationally and internationally. Beginning Thursday March 22, 2012 and for syndication wherever possible in radio broadcast media including the 150 Pacifica Affliates.

Based in the world's communication capital of NYC, SKYWAVES will offer an important, unique service: to bridge the experiences and concerns of Native peoples in the US and North America with Indigenous peoples worldwide for the purpose of creating a deeper grassroots community.

Sources: Survival International, Cultural Survival and Peace, Earth and Justice News