Copwatch Premieres At Tribeca Film Festival.

Copwatch Documentary still.

Copwatch will be premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 23rd to April 28th, if you can grab a ticket and watch!

Copwatch is the true story of We Copwatch, an organization whose mission is to film police activity as a non-violent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. Around the country, a network of regular people take up cameras to bear witness to police actions and hold law enforcement to accountability. Director Camilla Hall profiles several We Copwatch members, including a young California dad who’s found direction in this activism, and Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal Staten Island arrest in the devastating video that has galvanized protestors and activists nationwide. And yet Orta is the only person involved in these incidents who has seen the inside of a jail cell. In her powerful directorial debut, Hall crafts an intriguing and incredibly timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who are seeking to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.

—Opal Bennett

If you’re unaware of We Copwatch, please become aware, and if you haven’t supported We Copwatch, please consider doing so now. You can get a snazzy T-shirt or hoodie!

Dakota Access Allowed to Keep Risks Secret.

© Marty Two Bulls.

It’s not enough that the pipeline went through, and once again, drinking water is threatened (which is fine, of course, because Indians), but ETP can now keep risk information to themselves. Just keeps getting worse. And to those people who think they are helping through vandalism? You aren’t, so fucking stop it.

Despite concerns that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline could threaten the primary source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux, a federal judge ruled that the pipeline’s developer can keep some information about spill risks secret from the public.

The ruling — which would permit Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, to keep information about spill risks at certain points along the pipeline shielded from the public — comes after unknown protesters used a torch to burn holes in empty above-ground segments of the pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes had argued that information about spill risks could potentially strengthen their case for more environmental review of the project.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg rejected that argument, saying that shielding the information from public view would prevent vandalism of the pipeline.

“The asserted interest in limiting intentionally inflicted harm outweighs the tribes’ generalized interests in public disclosure and scrutiny,” Boasberg said in his ruling.

[…]

Pipeline spills in North Dakota are not uncommon — according to analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity, North Dakota has averaged four pipeline spills a year since 1996, costing more than $40 million in property damage.

Under the Trump administration’s proposed budget, the Environmental Protection Agency would face sharp cuts in its enforcement programs, limiting its ability to enforce and penalize companies that violate environmental laws. When pipeline operators, for instance, violate laws like the Clean Water Act by spilling pollutants into waterways, the EPA is normally the agency that imposes fines on those operators. Last week, for instance, the EPA and the Department of Justice issued a fine against a pipeline operator in Ohio that violated the Clean Water Act by discharging approximately 1,950 barrels of gasoline from a pipeline into nearby waterways.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Farce That Is “The Wall”.

Ryan Zinke (Twitter).

Ryan Zinke (Twitter).

Just when you think rethuglicans really could not possibly go lower or more regressive, *bam*. Ryan the fink Zinke has a problem with the stupid wall – placing it on U.S. land would cede the Rio Grande, oh no wtfbbq!!!11!1 The solution? Doesn’t seem to be one right now, outside of making sure endangered animals are endangered right into extinction. It seems the only way to keep the Rio Grande would be to either steal land from Mexico, or build it on Mexico’s land and claim it for uStates. Or something. Jesus Fuck. There’s that Colonial mindset at work.

E&E News reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talked about the logistics of building a border wall while speaking at an event held by the Public Lands Council this week, and he said the Trump administration didn’t want to build the wall on American soil because it would mean ceding the entire Rio Grande river to Mexico.

“The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” Zinke said. “The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

Zinke didn’t elaborate on how the wall would get built if it wasn’t located on America’s side of the Rio Grande or in the middle of the river, which implies that it would be built on the Mexican side of the border.

Elsewhere in his talk, E&E News reports Zinke said the Trump administration will seek a waiver to the Endangered Species Act so it can build the wall in jaguar habitats that are for now protected from “destruction or adverse modification.”

Via Raw Story. And, Ryan fucking idiot Zinke has now said there’s no such thing as clean energy. Nope.

Neither Wolf Nor Dog.

Courtesy Roaring Fire Films.

Courtesy Roaring Fire Films.

Fans of Kent Nerburn’s book Neither Wolf Nor Dog, will be thrilled to know the movie has finally been made, to great acclaim so far. This was David Bald Eagle’s final role.

It has taken twenty years for the bestselling novel, Neither Wolf Nor Dog to get made. And Indian Country was the venue as the independent film opened up Friday February 24 at the Yakama Nation Heritage Theater in Toppenish, WA, in theaters in Bemidji and Rochester, MN, and in South Dakota, where much of the film is set. These were the four sites to host the film’s theatrical premiere and they provided a very successful opening as the film was held over for another week at most of the venues.

Based on Kent Nerburn’s 1996 bestselling novel of the same name, Neither Wolf Nor Dog is the story of a well-meaning white writer (Nerburn himself, played by Christopher Sweeney) who is drawn into Native culture when a Lakota elder asks him to turn a box full of notes into a book. The elder — a man named Dan is played by 95-year-old David Bald Eagle — uses the opportunity to poke holes in Nerburn’s — and the audience’s — assumptions about Native people.

David Bald Eagle walked on his journey to the spirit world this past July at age 97, but was able to view the film and said, “It’s the only film I’ve been in about my people that told the truth.”

[…]

This is Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson’s third feature film made in South Dakota. Christopher Sweeney, Richard Ray Whitman, Roseanne Supernault, Tatanka Means, Zahn McClarnon (seen in ‘Fargo’, ‘Longmire’ and ‘Mekko’) and newcomer, Harlen Standing Bear Sr. make up the rest of the outstanding cast.

[…]

Simpson ran a grassroots operation distribution, telling indie filmmakers on Facebook how he self-distributed, hand delivered prints and paid an absolute minimum for a Facebook ad, as Neither Wolf Nor Dog premiered in 3 states. It’s successful opening now sets the stage as the initial audience ratings should help for a wider release around the nation.

In the multiplexes that showed Neither Wolf Nor Dog, the competition was all Hollywood films of the moment, and Simpson’s beat them all comfortably, only the top 3 films in the US that weekend had a better screen average attendance. And it was all word of mouth, local media, grassroots support and very much with the help of Facebook. The audiences have given the film a 9.3/10 rating on IMDB so far and the reports from people have been extremely complimentary.

[…]

The films world premiere was at the oldest continuously running film festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it’s first review was 5 stars, receiving an incredible audience and critical response. And fans of Nerburn’s novel gave the film a standing ovation at a special South Dakota Book Festival screening.

ICMN has the full story. Be sure to look out for the film wherever you are!

Decolonize Your Gitch.

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Summer Peters is hoping to inspire other Indigenous women to push the boundaries of Native art. (Andrea Noline).

Summer Peters, an Ojibway artist, recently won an award for her piece, Decolonize Your Gitch. I have to say, I quite like it, there’s a joyous assertiveness to it, and a bit of happy, rebellious fuck off in there as well. The piece has come under fire from some, there are people who say it promotes violence against native women, but I think those arguments can be consigned to the same old rape culture arguments women always hear, that for some reason or other, it’s totally our fault if we end up raped, beaten or murdered. There are also a number of people, usually not native, who object to any modernization of traditional Indigenous arts.

An Ojibway artist is taking a feminist stand against online critics, who say she should be ashamed of her recent award-winning piece called Decolonize Your Gitch.

Summer Peters recently won a judge’s choice award at a U.S. art festival for her artwork, a bra and thong beaded with traditional floral designs.

After she posted it to social media, “I would say 99% of the people liked it,” Peters said.

But others objected to the piece, accusing her of “promoting violence towards native women.”

“There was a guy that said I should be ashamed of myself, my family should be ashamed of me, that I was nuts, that I was crazy, that my beadwork was shitty,” said Peters.

In response to her critics, Peters wrote in an Instagram post:

“I will take all the negative criticism so that Native lady artists in the future will maybe have an easier time … women should not be told what to do, what to wear in attempts to avoid sexual violation, we should not have to cover up and/or NOT wear a pretty bra & panty set or bikini because we might be violated and it would be all of our faults.”

You can read more here.

Kliluk in nsyilxcen.

spottedlake_2

In the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, lies a lake like no other. Known as kliluk in nsyilxcen, it is a site of deep spiritual and cultural significance for the Syilx Okanagan people. Throughout winter and into spring, this lake looks like any other body of water, nestled away in the rolling hills with a shallow depth and shimmering surface.  However, as the summer sun grows hotter and its rays beat down on the lake, water evaporates, lowering the surface level over time. As the water level drops, interesting shapes begin to break the surface.

As the summer heat drives on, it becomes clear that these shapes are sections of giant circles, which are normally lying invisible just below the surface. Now, with the hot summer providing no relief or added water, the circles continue to reveal themselves. Colourful pools of water appear at their centre, displaying gorgeous hues of yellow, blue and green. These beautiful ‘spots’ give this magical lake its English name – ‘Spotted Lake’. The lake’s beauty is only half the story though – its history is fascinating as well.

‘Spotted Lake’ has no outflow; no river or creek to drain it, and receives all its water as run-off from the surrounding hills. Each year, as snow melts and flows into the basin, it brings with it minerals and salts, which accumulate year over year, century over century. As the summer sun evaporates the water, the salts become exposed and the spots change in size and colour over a matter of months, creating these beautiful fluctuating hues, based on the mineral composition of each spot.

You can read more here. And a couple of videos:

Indigenous Activism Roundup.

Protesters gather outside of the White House. CREDIT: Natasha Geiling.

Protesters gather outside of the White House. CREDIT: Natasha Geiling.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mni wiconi—”water is life”—appear to be empty words to the federal government, but they now constitute a battle cry for Native nations as they rise together in the U.S. capital today to voice their discontent with the Trump administration’s policies regarding indigenous rights and power.

[…]

Organizers also want the public to know that this gathering is not just about the Dakota Access Pipeline, even though it now serves as the symbol of all that’s wrong with the government-to-government relationship that tribes and the federal government are supposedly involved in. Tribes point to the Trump administration’s fast-track actions on the pipeline sans meaningful consultation and environmental review serving as the tipping point for Indian country by making a mockery of free, prior and informed consent—the right of every other sovereign nation in the world. They hope to make the point that the federal government, in going forward with the pipeline against the tribes’ wishes, abdicated its role as trustee to protect the tribes’ rights and resources, and violated their sovereignty and self-determination.

Full Story at ICMN. Think Progress also covers this story.

Tipis on the National Mall, near the White House, as water protectors gather for a march advocating for indigenous rights and a halt to environmental destruction. Kandi Mossett/Facebook.

Tipis on the National Mall, near the White House, as water protectors gather for a march advocating for indigenous rights and a halt to environmental destruction. Kandi Mossett/Facebook.

“The Standing Rock movement is bigger than one tribe,” the Standing Rock Sioux said. “It has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment and future generations. We are asking our Native relatives from across Turtle Island to rise with us.”

Full story at ICMN.

There is No O’odham Word for Wall.

TUCSON, ARIZONA—The Tohono O’odham Nation Executive Branch is firm on their stance against a border wall being built.

“[It’s] not going to happen,” said Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manual. “It is not feasible to put a wall on the Tohono O’odham Nation…it is going to cost way too much money, way more than they are projecting.”

TON Chairman Manuel went on to say, “It is going to cut off our people, our members that come [from Mexico] and use our services. Not only that we have ceremonies in Mexico that many of our members attend. Members also make pilgrimages to Mexico and a border wall would cut that off as well.”

ICMN has the full story.

This Is My Body.

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This Is My Body. A figure stands in the middle of the image with arms outstretched. A red headband covers the forehead and long, loosely braided dark hair, parted in the middle. White streams down the face, and the eyes are red and swollen. The body has a bleeding wound on its side, a hole in each palm, and three rubber bullet wounds. Dark figures with riot gear border the figure to the right, while water from a vehicle cannon shoots down at the figure. (Art done by Joann Lee Kim).

Joann Lee Kim has a stunning body of work, do yourself a favour and wander over for a long look. I came across Ms. Kim’s work at The Establishment, specifically an article by Dae Shik Kim Hawkins Jr., about the days when 500 ministers descended on the NoDapl camp. I was there for that, and talked to several of the ministers. The ones I spoke with all seemed rather dazed and overcome by everything happening at the camps. The particular perspective of the article is an interesting one, and quite important, I think: Christianity Is Co-opting The Justice Movement. It’s an excellent article. Solidarity is more important than ever, as is making sure that solidarity is intersectional and inclusive. When it comes to christian involvement in major social justice fights, particularly indigenous ones, it is very important that attention is seriously paid to the colonial roots and colonial mindset which still rules most peoples’ thinking and actions, especially those of churches.

Have a read, highly recommended. And when you’re done, have a look around at the rest of The Establishment, a lot of good writing going on there.

Cultural Codex.

culturalcodexhome-720x445

https://culturalcodex.com/

A new online publishing platform is working to preserve and share knowledge of the cultures and languages of indigenous communities. Cultural Codex, developed by software company Dadavan Systems, invites anyone to contribute stories and experiences that record aspects of indigenous culture they want to celebrate, through personalized galleries that support text, video, photographs, and sound recordings. Currently in its early stages, the website features just a few dozen examples so far, but its creators envision archivists, artists, curators, museums, cultural and language centers, and many others producing online exhibitions and libraries that feature everything from archival material to personal reflections. Like those ancient, handwritten books from which the project takes its name, the growing resource will come together as a collaborative effort.

For a new platform, there’s a lot to see already, so do a bit of exploring and learn a little! Cultural Codex.

If you’d like to read more about the project, Hyperallergic has you covered.

White Minority Rule…

USA-black-and-white

A checklist of how maintaining white minority rule can be achieved.

Well, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Trump Administration and the GOP are engaging in a plan that Karl Rove and his billionaire patrons, as well as the GOP have had in the mill for a few decades. What is the plan?

TO CONTINUE WHITE PRIVILEGE AND THE WHITE SUPREMACY HOLD ON ALL BRANCHES OF FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF LOSING POWER DUE TO THE ON-GOING SHIFT IN POPULATION TO MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR AND FOREIGN BORN THAN WHITES. THEY WANT TO ESTABLISH AND/OR MAINTAIN WHITE MINORITY RULE IN AMERICA UNDER THE GUISE OF NATIONALISM AND PATIOTISM.

How are they going to do it? As follows:

  • They will create and carry out a Civil War, if necessary, in order to achieve their aims.
  • They will engage in massive violations of the United States Constitution and Laws to achieve their goals.
  • They will scapegoat certain segments of the population, mainly people of color, immigrants and “liberals”, but also the middle class.
  • They will engage in passing discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation that the populace will accept as long as it is not aimed at their particular segment and when it is eventually aimed at them, they will be too fearful to do anything about it, and no one will be left to defend them.
  • They will engage in policy efforts, law enforcement efforts, military efforts and judicial efforts to reduce the influx on “non-white” immigrants and reduce the present population of non-whites, and this will include efforts to control the growth of non-white populations.
  • They will continue to “militarize” local, state and national law enforcement agencies and use them to protect corporate interests domestically and abroad and they will utilize the “domestic military” for these same purposes.
  • They will privatize public lands and interests in land, such as minerals and fuels, and continue to privatize (Corporate Control) the safe drinking water supply while allowing Corporate interests to pillage the “public trust” without regard to environmental impacts and the impacts to safe drinking water and agricultural water.
  • They will engage administrative policy enforcement through “Executive Orders” and other mechanisms, even if some are ultimately struck down by courts, and will utilize the same to divide the populace into warring segments.
  • They will engage or attack the Judiciary Branch in order to achieve their aims or eventually destroy it.
  • They will depend upon their followers, and those unaffected by initial discriminatory laws and policy, to eventually accept surrender of their Constitutional rights in order to establish white people as the “ruling class”.
  • They will use the catchwords of “nationalism and patriotism” as euphemisms or “code words” for “white rule” and “white supremacy” and will make it clear to poor and uneducated whites and eventually all of the white population, that their aim is to maintain white rule and white privilege, for the good of America.
  • They will attack the Free Press and attempt to silence any “Corporate Owned” media by convincing their followers, and others who eventually understand and accept their aims (either out of self-interest or fear), and will engage in Policy efforts and Congressional efforts to restrict the Free Press and Free Expression that is the lynchpin of the Constitutional Republic.
  • They will incrementally replace the Free Press with media sources that spew only manufactured “alternative” facts or function as the propaganda arm for the achievement of their aims.
  • They will create false facts which their followers will accept as Gospel in order to destroy the Free Press and attack and destroy the credibility of the Judicial and Congressional branches of government, which the GOP will go along with in order to achieve “one-party” domination.

That’s just part of Harold A. Monteau’s checklist and column. I highly recommend clicking over and reading the whole thing. Also recommended: West Wing World: The Amusement Park That Is the White House.

Norway’s Storebrand Goes NoDAPL.

NorSR

© C. Ford. All rights reserved.

More and more efforts are directed at divestment, and Norway’s largest private investor has decided to go No DAPL.

The largest private investor in Norway has pulled out of three companies connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) because of the conflict at Standing Rock.

Storebrand, an Oslo-based financial-services company that specializes in sustainable, socially conscious investing, has sold off nearly $35 million worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge, the company announced on March 1.

“Storebrand has made the decision to withdraw all investments from the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, including positions in the North American companies Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Enbridge Inc. and Phillips 66,” said Storebrand in a statement on March 1.

“Our conclusion is that these are poor long-term investments, both for our pension customer and from a sustainability point of view,” the company said.

Storebrand had investments of $11.5 million in Philips 66, $7 million in Marathon Petroleum Corp. and $16.2 million in Enbridge Inc., for a total of $34.8 million, said the company. According to its website, it has been in operation since 1767 and was managing pension funds since 1917, pre-dating Norway’s social security system by 50 years.

“There is too much uncertainty, for us as an investor, as to whether there has been a good process that ensures the rights of all parties in the conflict,” said Matthew Smith, Head of Sustainable Investments. “There has been involvement by the United Nations, by President Obama, and President Trump. Caught in the middle are the people directly impacted by the pipeline.”

[…]

Storebrand tried numerous tactics to enact change, Smith said in the statement, but none of them worked.

“Generally, it is our belief that we can have a more positive effect on companies and situations by using our position as an owner to effect change. We have successfully done so on many occasions, but it doesn’t always work,” Smith said. “Storebrand has been in direct contact with the companies, and has worked with international groups of investors. Our most recent initiative is an investor letter, representing 137 investors with $653 billion assets under management, that encourages involved banks that have lent money to the project to use their position and influence to engender positive change and a reconsideration the routing of the pipeline.”

Storebrand was forced to conclude that “active ownership is not going to deliver a better outcome,” he said. “We do hope that this can give a final indication to the involved companies to reconsider the routing of the pipeline.”

The investor joins a growing number of companies and entities that have pulled funds from Wells Fargo and other banks that are financing DAPL, ranging from the City of Seattle to individual account holders. Others, such as New York City, have put DAPL banks on notice.

The decision was not easy, Smith told The Guardian.

“Divestment is a last resort,” he said. “When you divest from companies, you give up your possibility to influence companies to come to a better solution.”

Full story at ICMN.

Fighting for Cultural Survival.

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Everything Anywhere.

A steel blindfold covers the head of a human female figure, yet, unlike Lady Justice, her arms and legs too are bound. Fiber, in an interlocking braid, ties her wrists, wraps her neck and belly, and snakes down to hitch her legs at the ankles. Over her shoulder, however, her hands clutch the means to freedom from her bondage: a soft white blade digs beneath the rope around her neck. Salvation via ceramics.

Artist Cannupa Hanska Luger was born on the Standing Rock Reservation. He is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian heritage. A graduate with honors from The Institute of American Indian Arts, in 2016 he was the recipient of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artists Fellowship Award for artists who “represent the cultural continuity of Native peoples in contemporary contexts, and are the creative voices of their communities.” His work in sculpture is figurative yet imaginative, assembling a panoply of cultural symbols—feathers, bones, textiles—into signifiers all his own. More mythopoeic than surreal, it frames him as a medium, a psychic intermediary between colonizer and Native, ancient tradition and modern understanding, soft clay and hard ceramics.

Nature.

Nature.

 

The Creators Project has an interview with Cannupa Hanska Luger, you can see and read much more!

http://www.cannupahanska.com/