I resigned from my University of New Mexico position a few months ago. Around the same time as my resignation I released a new album of music WINDING THROUGH THE MILKY WAY. Funny how much attention I've received over the resignation. Many have emailed or called, in solidarity, and wanting to know the story. As for the music, the CD is making it's way, huffing and puffing over the boulders of the native music police who kicked the CD out of the Grammy native category. Apparently I don't have enough native flute or powwow for it to qualify. Hey, the Creeks were there when jazz was invented!! And, by the way, the album has more then the required percentage to qualify as a native album, including flutes, Mvskoke language, etc. I guess there's sort of a blood quantum thing going on here for music,too..

(You can buy it NOW for Christmas on Paypal. I'll even send it Priority Mail and sign!)

Goes to show you however, how much we humans are drawn to controversy, to flashy story. Must have sex, betrayal, and people we know, or think we know and a peaks of highs and lows. Alexie knows this. It's an element of his success.

And almost to the day of my resignation I got word that I had been chosen for a Rasmuson USA Artists Fellowship. What a gift! It will help me live for a year, without university pay. And will help fund a writing/music workshop for Mvskoke students next spring or summer. At the same time, I was turned down for three proposals, including one I sent in to a national native organization. One of the reasons I was rejected was because my creative work, the panel decided, "was not the highest artistic quality" (This particular note is for the friend who was surprised I got rejected for anything. Yes, I have and do. As I've said, after I've been introduced by a long list of accolades, that my list of failures is much much longer.)

Because I keep getting inquiries, here's my version of what happened: a UNM female creative writing poetry professor colleague (not Diane Thiel) was discovered selling phone sex on a website with female students, all in s and m undress, complete with accoutrements and accompanying demeaning dominatrix language. She denied there was a site and proceeded to attack the creative writing program director for slander. The site in question was uncovered in internet archives after it had been quickly taken down. The university legal counsel came to the conclusion that all involved were consenting adults, even though the students were taking classes from the professor at the time of the interactions. The investigation became a castigation of the creative writing director whose credentials and contributions to the university were stellar. Most of the creative writing faculty and many of the English Department were surprised and stunned at the turn of events. Our concerns for the students were not addressed. The sex site was actually only a small part of the problem. We took the case, level by level, up the ladder of the university hierarchy to get the situation evaluated by the faculty ethics committee. We were refused, despite the many policies in place to address the behavior. We were then called "troublemakers" and those of us most outspoken suffered direct retaliation. The creative writing program director was forced from her position. Against a majority vote the then then department chair appointed someone, against our collective will to direct the program. At the beginning of fall 2008 the President of the university basically cleared the faculty member for teaching. There was no reprimand. We were told we had to continue to work with her. I hear that the poetry professor is quite proud of her "win".

I travel all over the country and I am contacted by many students who want to come and study with me and others of the mostly fine faculty in the writing program at UNM. I could no longer recommend the creative writing program. It was painful to come to this conclusion. I loved the program and my students. I had to walk away.

So there it is. All parties weren't served. Nothing was put to rest. And because there are complex reasons and forces behind everything, I chose to think that I needed to leave, so that I could turn my full attention to my creative work.

And I'm working to get the CD out there. I need a radio station in every state who will interview me and play the album. The last interview was with KAOS Radio at Evergreen College in Washington State. Please email me with any suggestions. Many of the songs will be in my one woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, that opens in March at the Well Fargo Theater in L.A..

Come and see me there! And don't be shy. Come up and say hello. It matters.


In Barrow in April 1984

In one of my favorite places in the world, Barrow, Alaska 1984


Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me came about because of the community story of the mishandling of sacred objects. In Hawaii we all read or heard about the story, or knew someone who knew someone who was related to so and so…. In Indian country we call it the “Moccasin Telegraph”. Here it’s called the “Coconut Wireless.” The story also made its way into larger indigenous circles and circulated through the world press. That how it became part of us. And how it was handled effected and continues to affect each of us here. Who do the “objects” belong to? Who has authority? Do they belong in a museum? Or must they be turned to a cave that may or may not have been the place in which they originally lived? And who is the final authority? There’s more to this complex story that we may never know or understand.

This conflict became the spark for the exploration of the story. That the Maori writer Witi Ihimaera’s Whale Rider story was brought successfully to the screen was also a major catalyst for Lurline. She began to consider the creation of a Hawaiian story with the power to heal. She asked me to collaborate in writing the screenplay and we set off on our journey with prayers, and the help of many around us both seen and unseen. Though this is a particularly Hawaiian story, the issues, characters, and sensibilities are similar to indigenous people all over the world. Lurline then took the screenplay and made the beautiful novel, Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me.

Most of what we do in this life, as individuals and organizations are not of us, but through us. Each of us, community and being, is a small part of a web of ancestral thoughts, beings, and knowing. This living being is always shifting according to our acts, thoughts and dreams. It is us. Western educations and religions have taught us that we are omnipotent rulers, given dominion over the earth and waters. Our indigenous educations, (and ultimately we are all indigenous for we can each trace our lineages back to a time and place when we remembered the original teachings in which we are related), remind us that everything is alive and of consequence. This conflict of understanding is at the root of Lurline’s novel Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me. It’s what drove Whale Rider, and perhaps is driving the fate of human beings in these times of cumulative destruction of our natural world. We, of this time and place, must make beautiful and diligent sense of all of it, for surely colonization has taken us away from ourselves so we could learn to see and know ourselves with absolute clarity.

Stories are alive and have the power to create bright openings into a larger, sacred sense, or destroy by wiping out peoples, languages and other ways of knowing. As the only indigenous person to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, Scott Momaday, of the Kiowa People of Oklahoma has spoken of the power of words, how they are alive, to speak is to call into being, to interact with power in the world. He says: “Words were medicine; they were magic and invisible. They came from nothing into sound and meaning. They were beyond price; they could neither be bought nor sold….”

Now the story called Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me is making its way into the world, and like any human creation it bears strengths and weaknesses. The story has come together through the efforts of many (many in this room). Mahalo Lurline for bearing this story into this time and place. May it continue its journey with aloha, or as my people say: vnvketckv. May we continue together beautifully in this world.

No Huli (in F)

We failed a little
Dip the wound in water
Wrap it in a song
Climb into the canoe

And paddle out from the weeping
Let the failing fail
Let the stars bear trouble
Let the canoe carry
What we cannot bury.


No huli!



This morning when we left the house it was dark. We wound down the hill, Diamondhead direction to Hui Nalu Canoe Club at Maunalua Bay on the other side of the island. I’ve been on the road with intermittent landings in New Mexico, nowhere near warm seas. It was to be my first time paddling in months. We have a number of paddlers for a 7AM Sunday morning paddle, several canoes worth. I’m happy to be in Jeff’s canoe. He’s one of the best at surfing currents. After our New Year’s Eve debacle about six years ago, we are not allowed to surf in the six-man canoes; still, steering involves the agility and body/ocean knowledge to ride whatever is out there. We go out past the blinker buoy the water turned turquoise and clear. Beautiful. And because it’s relatively flat we keep going straight out past the point to the deep blue. Those waters are ultramarine.

(I look up “ultramarine” in the Compact Oxford English Dicitionary and discover that “ultramarine” means “1 a brilliant deep blue pigment originally obtained from lapis lazuli. 2. A brilliant deep blue color.—ORIGIN from obsolete Italian azzurro oltramarino ‘azure from overseas’ (because the lapis lazuli was imported) from Latin ultramarinus ‘beyond the sea’.)

Yes. It’s ultramarine. And deep.

Then we turn toward Diamondhead and ride the blue. When we turn back we race. This means picking up the time and intensity of the stroke, and focusing. Focusing means to look ahead, so that your vision places your canoe ahead of the rest.

I am in seat two behind an inexperienced stroker. I notice that when we can hear the competition coming up alongside (we hear the person calling the stroke changes in seat three) she turns. When she turns her stroke deteriorates. When the stroke deteriorates, everyone else’s stroke suffers, because we follow her lead. I also notice that when she looks anywhere besides directly ahead the canoe falters. I deliberate whether to say anything or not because I am not the steersman, the person in seat six, who directs the canoe. Then, because we’re falling back, I do.

“Focus! Look straight ahead. Your eyes carry energy. You are the canoe’s eyes.”

It’s almost magic the way the canoe responds.

And this becomes a lesson for me, something the stroker and the spirit of the canoe is teaching me. Our attention literally goes in the direction we look or spend our time.

And p.s. and/or by the way, when we near the blinker buoy we stop to enjoy a pod of dolphins. They leap and arc in and above the water.


December 7, 2008


Muscogee Nation News Column November 2008

Last Thursday I flew into Columbia, South Carolina. As a Mvskoke person from Oklahoma, returning East is always going home. When I stepped out onto the earth the mist of breath was thick with medicine plants. The trails of our peoples go back and forth through the South. The towns, rivers and other places still have our names. The indigenous people are everywhere in the spirit of the place, yet there isn’t the tangible physical presence of Indian people as there is in Oklahoma, or Florida. The Catawba is the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina, with at least ten tribes or groups who have received or are in process of receiving recognition from the state. I met Cherokee storyteller, photographer and cultural ambassador Will Moreau Goins for lunch the day after I arrived. He reminded me that we met years ago in Nebraska when we worked together on a narrative film project for the Omaha people; we gave Wes Studi his first film job. Will caught me up on what is going on in Indian Country in South Carolina. The story is familiar: diabetes, tribal politics, state politics, the politics of black and white, and just trying to make it…Later I got to meet Monty Branham, a fine Catawba potter, and his wife, and saw a display of some of his fine pottery. All made me feel at home. That is the best gift you can give any traveler. Mvto.

An elder friend of mine from a local pueblo is heading up a campaign to include tribal members of quarter blood as tribal members. “If this isn’t done, then in a few years there will be no more pueblo, and the U.S. government will have accomplished what they set out to do long ago when they instituted racist blood quantum rules”, she told me. How can we deny our children their place, refuse them a home? When we base our tribal identity on blood quantum then we have truly been colonized. We don’t need the BIA anymore. We can do the job ourselves. Who are we really as tribal nations? Is it skin color that makes a Mvskoke citizen? Or is it language? Identification with the land? Being a known member of the community (whether that community be in Oklahoma or California?) Do we maintain tribal grounds or tribal church membership? When do our grandchildren cease to be our grandchildren? Think about it: U.S. policies of eradication of Indian identity have roots in the same ideas of racial purity that motivated the Nazis. Is this who we want to become? I have received many emails about this issue, more on this issue than anything else I have written about in this column.

And further South on October 14th in the Cauca Valley in Columbia the government of Columbia moved against native demonstrators who want the government to set aside more land for Colombia’s 1.3 million Indians, and to provide more money for better education and healthcare. They demonstrated to ask the government to prevent corporations and multinational companies from encroaching on their land. The government responded by killing five peaceful protestors. Many more have been injured, my friend, the Columbian native poet Fredy Chicangana has been giving me updates via email. Now you know. And what do we do with all of this knowing?

I’ll never forget the striking Bolivian Indian woman who stood up once during an historic meeting of indigenous peoples from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego in 1990 outside of Quito, Ecuador. After welcoming everyone she said, “This hemisphere is one body, one soul.” If we truly understood and believed these wise words, all of us, there would be no killing, no diabetes, no internal or legalized racism. Think about the true feast we could hold to honor the eradication of ignorance and misunderstandings! Now that would be a Thanksgiving.

October 28, 2008 Albuquerque


Riffing on Miles Sketches of Spain in Stockholm

In this mid November in Stockholm it's dark at six p.m.. I just walked through cold rain on cobblestones in the Old City with Madeleine. We talked spirits, poetry and history. Now I'm packing in my hotel room, listening to Miles Davis "Sketches of Spain". And as I did the first time I heard it in that crummy cinderblock housing in Iowa City, I flew from the center cord of my heart into the weather of heartache and beauty. The architects of mythic structures were gods, not humans. Again I ride out on a sword-like chord, with a battalion of warriors on horses through the dark, led by fire. I consider turning back but the current of the soul's destiny is stronger than any human will. Here in this legendary city, I find a royal theater, musicians, poets, actors, the sun, and though I go with Miles Davis into the heart of Spain in this faraway place, I go through a dense, excruciating moment the color of this northern sea at night, alone.

Racist Fallout From the Election

from The Huffington Post

November 16, 2008

Greg Mitchell

Posted November 15, 2008 | 11:41 AM (EST)

Racial Incidents and Threats Against Obama Soar: Here Is a Chronicle

Since election day, the number of threats against the president-elect, and
racial or violent incidents directed at his supporters, have soared. The
Secret Service is concerned, calling it the highest number of threats
against a President-elect in memory, but the national media until this
weekend have largely ignored the disturbing pattern. So a few days ago, over
at the Editor & Publisher site, we started chronicling the incidents, which
has drawn wide attention (so we will continue, though we hope the problem

Some claim that, given the size of this great country of ours, the incidents
don't amount to much or are merely anecdotal. I would argue: The ones we
know about may represent only the tip of the iceberg -- the ones that make
it into the local press. And, yes, they may die down as the country gets
used to the idea of a President Obama. On the other hand: They could soar
again as that reality nears.

So let me just briefly list the full range of episodes, which doesn't even
include several cross burnings on front lawns. These aren't necessarily the
worst but they do capture the national flavor/fever. Note that about 2 out
of 3 took place in states that Obama won.

* In a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign
inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to
an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into "The Osama Obama Shotgun
Pool," saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to
when Obama was attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner."

* In Idaho, the Secret Service is investigating a "public hanging"
erected by a man upset with the election outcome, the Bonner County Daily
Bee reported Thursday. A handmade sign posted on a tree reads "FREE PUBLIC
HANGING" written in large letters beneath a noose fashioned from nylon
The most prominent name on the sign is "OBAMA," according to the Bee.
"That's a political statement. They can call it whatever they want, a
or whatever," the creator of the sign, Ken Germana, told the Bee.

* A popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the
day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day. The
site, ..., was temporarily off-line on Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming
amount of activity it received. One poster, identified as Dalderian
Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to
see how 'messiahs' come to rest."

* From the Orange County (Ca.) Register: "Two gang members pleaded not
guilty Thursday to hate crime and attempted robbery charges in connection
with the beating of a black man who was trying to buy cigarettes at a
Fullerton liquor store." The two men shouted racial and anti-Obama
in the attack.

* From today's New York Times: "Two white Staten Island men face hate
charges after they were arrested on Friday in the beating of a black
teenager on the night that Barack Obama was elected president, the police
said on Saturday. The teenager, Alie Kamara, 17, was walking home on Pine
Place in the Staten Island neighborhood of Stapleton when several men hit
him on the head with a baseball bat and yelled 'Obama,' said Aliya
the civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who
was in contact with Alie's family since the attack and spoke to his mother
on Saturday after the arrests were announced."

* In Mississippi alone, the American Civil Liberties Union has received more
than 10 calls since the staff first reported anti-Obama incidents last
Friday, according to the Jackson (Miss.) Free Press.

* In Midland, Mich., a man dressed in full Ku Klux Klan regalia walked
around toting a handgun and waving an American flag. Initially denying it,
the man eventually admitted to police that the display was a reaction to the
Obama victory. "[The man] had a concealed weapon permit and was walking up
and down the sidewalk in front of a vehicle dealership while some motorists
shouted obscenities at him and others shouted accolades," police told The
Saginaw News.

* Parents in Rexburg, Idaho, contacted school officials this week after they
learned that 2nd and 3rd graders on a school bus were chanting,
"Assasssinate Obama!"

* At the University of Texas in Austin, a racist post on Facebook has cost
one student his place on the university football team, according to the
Houston Chronicle. Buck Burnette, a sophomore offensive lineman for the
fourth-ranked Texas Longhorns, was dismissed from the team on Nov. 5 after
posting a racist remark about President-elect Obama as his "status"
on the
social networking Web site. Burnette posted: "All the hunters gather up,
have a [slur] in the White House," the Chronicle reported.

* AP reports: "While the world watched a Grant Park celebration heralding
the election of the first black U.S. president, some white Chicago police
officers committed hate crimes against black residents cheering Barack
Obama's victory elsewhere in the city, attorneys alleged Thursday."
have been filed.

* At Appalachian State University, the administration has expressed
disappointment at the numerous times black students have expressed being
harassed in residence halls since the election. The Appalachian, a student
newspaper serving the university, also reported conversations suggesting
Obama may not be alive in 2009 and a t-shirt seen around campus that reads
"Obama '08, Biden '09."

* Mentioned in the same article, racist comments were discovered at North
Carolina State University last week. Spray-painted in university's free
expression tunnel after the election were the phrases, "Kill that
n..." and
"Shoot Obama," the Appalachian reported. The NAACP has called for the
expulsion of the four students accused of the graffitti, the Associated
Press reported Thursday.

* The Associated Press revealed on Wednesday, "Police on eastern Long
are investigating reports that more than a dozen cars were spray painted
with racist graffiti, reportedly including a message targeting
President-elect Barack Obama. The graffiti included racist slurs and
sexually graphic references. At least one resident in the quiet Mastic
neighborhood told Newsday her son's car was scribbled with a message
threatening to kill Obama."

* Employees at Hampel's Key and Lockshop in Traverse City, Michigan, flew
American flag upside down last Wednesday protesting of the new
president-elect, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported. One worker used a
racial slur during an interview with the Record-Eagle: "(The inverted flag
is) an international signal for distress and we feel our country is in
distress because the n----- got in," said Hampel's employee Rod
Nyland, who
later apologized for the comment, according to the Record-Eagle.

* Authorities in Temecula, Calif., found spray-painted graffiti on a city
sidewalk containing a swastika and anti-Obama slogan. And from the Los
Angeles Times: "Vandals spray-painted swastikas and racial slurs on a
and several cars in Torrance that displayed campaign signs or bumper
stickers for President-elect Barack Obama, authorities said Tuesday. The
incidents occurred Saturday night in the Hollywood Riviera section of the
city, said Sgt. Bernard Anderson. Four separate incidents were reported the
next day, he said. No arrests have been made."

* And from Maine: "More than 75 people rallied Sunday against an incident
last week in which black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount
Desert Island the day after Barack Obama won the presidential election,"
according to the Bangor Daily News.


Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher and its popular blog. His
latest book, on Iraq and the media, is "So Wrong for So Long." His
book on
the 2008 campaign will be published in January. Email him at:
"The President of the United States, the Vice President, the President
Elect, the Vice President Elect, and their families, are under the
protection of the United States Secret Service. If you have reliable
information concerning a serious threat to harm any of these persons, you
should call the nearest Secret Service field office. You can find the
number in the phone book or on www.secretservice.gov. If your information
checks out, you may receive a substantial reward." (Source:


Why I Don't Live in Oklahoma

I just bought The New Mexican newspaper. Included in the first section was a map of the U.S., each county and area of the each state was red or blue, depending on which presidential candidate carried the vote. Every state in the country had blue and red of varying amounts. Only Oklahoma was all red for McCain.

That's why I don't live in Oklahoma.

Doesn't mean I don't miss my people, or the earth there, or selected memories. I fled the hyper-Christian-cult and white only atmosphere as a teenager. Even our own native people support these attitudes. Colonization runs deep. I imagine many of them voted for McCain because he was white, and Obama is black (and white). It was a sad day when word got to me that someone in the Muscogee Nation declared in a meeting that the tribe was a Christian Nation. We're a Mvskoke Nation, which means, a nation rooted in our own tribal culture(s), which includes Muscogee-Christian, as well as the ceremonial grounds people, and all the various cultures that make up the tribe.

Rigid structures cut and separate. They eventually fall from the weight of the fear that sets them into place. This goes for cultures, religions, thoughts, political boundaries....

I have to find a way to forgive the relatives who sent hate mail during the campaign, including an email that made me very very sad, about burning others' holy books and doing terrible things to those who love those books. I must continue to love, yet hold in my knowing that they belong to a church that tells them that everyone else is going to hell, including their gay and non-white relatives. And I must remember that the original teachings of Christ were about love and acceptance, and not the making of rigid communities. And remember that are open and loving Christian communities.

Though I negotiate this territory every time I go to Oklahoma I always find a reason to stay: stompdancing around the fire all night in time with the stars, hearing the Mvskoke language, laughing with friends and relatives, talking and hugs from my mother, the smell of sunrise in the summer.

So who knows....one of these days I might buy a little place near Okmulgee...I'd stay there for a month or two during green corn season, dance every weekend, visit my friends in their welcoming churches and sing with them, go fishing....

Joy Harjo November 5th, 2008


Hope-- an historic night in these lands

Obama Won!
He will need our help for the road out of the Bush ruin.
Let's dream together.


Muscogee Nation News Column October 2008

Just back from Norman, Oklahoma where I was involved in honoring of a beloved Maori writer/storyteller and citizen of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand, Patricia Grace. She was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for literature. She is the first indigenous person to win this award. She has written six novels, five short-story collections and a number of children’s books. She writes about the every day life and traditions of the Maori people. She grew up with only a few books in her home. Her parents shared stories with her. One that caught her imagination as a child, was about the relative way back who had two sets of teeth, both top and bottom, which were great for sawing ropes on ships. She also raised seven children, taught school while she wrote. Now that’s quite an accomplishment!

The organizers were generous and brought in Gary Whitedeer’s southeastern intertribal dance group for the honoring. We danced to honor Patricia Grace and the Maori people and included everyone in the dancing. Grace, her husband, the educator Waiariki, and the Maori performer and storyteller, Rangimoana Tucker chanted and sang in return.

For some of the events the New Zealand consulate, John Mataira came from Los Angeles. He is also Maori. This got me to thinking: why not establish a Muscogee Nation consulate, or office of foreign service? This would be a person who is knowledgeable about other indigenous and world cultures as well as our tribal culture. This, it seems to be an important component of acting as a sovereign nation. What kind of protocols do we have in place for such things? Something to think about, though I can hear the outcry: we have to take care of everyone here at home first. And that’s true, however, we must continue to develop our vision, our relationships with other peoples. In this way we develop allies on this journey.

In the end, we are all representatives of our nation, whether we see ourselves this way or not. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we reflect back to our people, our homeland. Everyone watches our behavior. Every challenge we successfully negotiate, every small and large kindness makes an impact on the minds and hearts of everyone else around us. Why not acknowledge these small and large victories? Instead, jealousy is the most damaging epidemic in Indian country these days. And these days there’s a kind of virulent strain of jealousy going on. There’s way too much talking, and not enough doing for others.

For the last year I have attempted to write a column to address the division in our nation between various groups of citizens. Some would institute a full-blood only club. Others would exclude anyone not living in the boundaries of the Nation in Oklahoma. According to the U.S. inspired and enforced laws of division and disappearance the more we exclude, the smaller numbers we have and the closer we become to dying off as a nation. Why can’t the nation embrace all citizens? Aren’t all representative of genuine Mvskoke human experience? Do we throw away our children and grandchildren?
Send me your notes and ideas to me at nativesax@me.com. I’ll keep trying to find a way to address this in a compassionate manner.
September 21, 2008 Albuquerque, NM

Translation of Statement by Women Poets in Columbia


Ok I am not a native speaker, but I am supposed to be a translator, so this should be fairly accurate.


The following is a declaration written by a group of women poets, outraged by the actions that are taking place in Columbia against the communities of natives, and for the recent events in the Cauca Valley and the declarations of mr.president Alvaro Uribe Velez regarding the facts of Oct, 16th.

If you agree with this declaration please forward it back to me, and to any address you might find proper, adding your name and your nationality to it.
This document will then be sent to an international human rights organization.

Not much silence.

Bogotà, Oct 17th, 2008-10-28

Public declaration from Columbia’s and the world’s good citizens and intellectuals.

This is regarding the astonishing statement made by mr.President Alvaro Uribe Velez during Oct, 16th, in which he said “I pray the governor of Cauca to let the natives have my message: they should find in their imagination a suitable way to beg the forgiveness of the police forces”.

To give you a clear idea of the matter, let’s view this in first person: first I am dispossessed of the lands that I inherited, and that are mine, since the times of my oldest ancestors; then I am threatened of murder, and with me also my family and the men, children, elderly and women of my tribe, because we stand up, completely unarmed, in a pacific march in defense of our rights.
The police forces, sent to control the march, killed five of our tribe members, and wounded 50 more, attacking us with tear gas in all the fields of the Cauca Valley. And we, after such offense, we have to “imagine” how to beg the forgiveness of the police force, that killed our people while they were defending our inalienable rights?

Mr.president, if the principles of your Democratic Safety politic have their basis on the formerly described facts, they are not safe nor democratic at all. You were elected to watch over the honor and well being of all the people of Columbia, natives included, but the facts of Oct, 16th only prove the contrary.
For this reason, we sign this document as a formal protest against the actions taken on the native populations of the Cauca Valley and, in general, in the nation of Columbia, and against the subsequent statements of your government, that represent a violation against the dignity of the Natives.

**follows the list of names**


I am receiving information about the struggle in Columbia. I need help with Spanish to English translations so I can post (and read). If anyone can help, please advise, por favor. JH






Bogotá, Octubre 17 de 2008



Ante la asombrosa declaración del 16 de octubre del Señor Presidente de la República ALVARO URIBE VELEZ, en la que “Le ruega al Gobernador del Cauca que les haga llegar un mensaje a los indígenas para que vayan pensando en su imaginación como es que le van a pedir perdón a la policía”.

Para darnos una idea clara del asunto, vamos a ponerlo en primera persona: O sea a mi me expropian de las tierras que han sido heredadas por mis lejanos ancestros, me amenazan de muerte, a mi, a mi familia, y a los hombres, niños, ancianos y mujeres de mi tribu, que salimos en una marcha pacífica, sin armas, en defensa de nuestros derechos. Los integrantes de la fuerza publica, enviada para controlar la manifestación, matan a 5 compañeros indígenas, hieren a más de 50 de nuestra tribu, atacan con gases lacrimógenos a los manifestantes por todos los campos del Valle del Cauca, y nosotros, los agredidos, tenemos que 'imaginarnos' como pedirle excusas a la fuerza pública, por matar a nuestra gente en defensa de nuestros derechos civiles inalienables?

Señor Presidente, si la filosofía de su política de Seguridad Democrática se fundamenta en el hecho anteriormente descrito, de seguridad y de democrática no tienen nada. Usted ha sido elegido para velar por la vida honra y bienestar de todos los colombianos, incluidos los Pueblos Indígenas, y los sucesos del pasado 16 de octubre demuestran lo contrario.

Por lo tanto, los abajo firmantes lo hacemos en señal de protesta por los sucesos que se vienen dando en contra de los Pueblos Indígenas en el Valle del Cauca y en general en todo el país, y por las posteriores declaraciones de su gobierno que violan la dignidad de estos Pueblos ancestrales.


1- María Teresa Arrazola- CC. 41.476.928 de Bogotá

2- Myriam Orjuela Betancourt.- CC. 31.239.529 de Cali

3- Jesús María Rodríguez Vásquez. CC. # 16.580. 269 de Cali

4- María E Peñuela Esteban CC · 41 648 145 de Bogotá

5- José Luis Rodríguez Orjuela. CC.1.130.601.207 de Cali

6- Camila Reyes Azcuénaga. CC.52.905253 de Bogotá

7- Paula Juliana Rodríguez Azcuénaga. CC. 1032430229 de Bogotá

8- Conchita Guerra C.C. 35456247 Usaquén

9- Muriel Garderet

10- Jose Raul Moreno

11- Maria Ester Rodriguez

12- Helga Rocio Moreno

13- Pilar Jimenez B. C.C. 41.663.120 de Bogotá

14- Deisy Peralta C.C. 23.500.153 de San Miguel de Sema

15- Rafael Colmenares C.C. 17195954 de Bogotá

16- Gisele Alzate A. CC 20´068.987 Bogotá

17- Marcela Ramírez CC. 51551139 Bogotá

18 - Myriam Laverde de Salbarrey CC. 41454256 Bogotá

19 - Melissa Laverde CC. 53068696 Bogotá

20-Hector Buitrago CC 79317980 Bta


Phillip Deer, Beloved Mvskoke Person

Phillip Deer, Mvskoke Leader
I took this photo at the U.S. Capitol in the 1970's.

Columbia Update


VILLARICA, Colombia (CNN) -- Two men were shot to death Tuesday in a clash with riot police amid a burgeoning Indian protest in southwestern Colombia.

Thousands of Indians march toward the city of Cali on Tuesday pushing for land rights.

The men were shot in the head and back as they sought to join thousands of Indians marching on Colombia's second-largest city, Cali.

Other demonstrators said government security forces fired on the men, but Colombian authorities denied the allegation. Police claim protesters attacked them with homemade explosives.

Tuesday's violence stirred resentment among Indians.

"We went out there today to reject the government, and they open fire on us," one protester said.

Col. Jorge Enrique Cartagena, national chief of Colombia's riot police, said someone in the crowd of demonstrators killed one of the two men.

"We think he was shot from within the crowd, and they're doing that to whip up anger," he said.

Don't Miss
Colombian Indians push anti-government protests
The Indians have said that security forces have been shooting at them with rifles and canisters packed with shrapnel.

Colombia President Alvaro Uribe has denied that police and army forces have been using lethal force against demonstrators, but medics said they have treated scores of Indians injured by bullets and shrapnel.

Protesters have blockaded the Pan-American highway, fired slingshots and hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails in periodic clashes with riot police. Authorities said they have fought back with tear gas, rocks and batons.

Demonstrators want the government to set aside more land for Colombia's 1.3 million Indians and to provide more money for better education and health care. They also would like the government to prevent corporations and multi-national companies from encroaching on their land.

So far, four protesters have been killed since demonstrations began October 10. At least 130 more have been injured. The government says as many as 70 security force members, mainly riot police, have also been hurt. E-mail to a friend | Mixx it | Share



Paula Gunn Allen: A Memorial Tribute
Saturday, October 25, 2008

American Indian Two-Spirit Scholar, Poet, Mother and Grandmother

City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue

5 PM: Potluck Dinner, Film Showing (Visual Arts Bldg, Rm. 115)
6 PM: Book Sales, Reception
7-9 PM: Memorial Tribute (Diego Rivera Theater)

Hosted by Lauralee Brown, Daughter
Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Studies and
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Studies Departments, CCSF

RSVP and important details, see Evite below:


Wrestling Knowing

How do you tell beloved friends who are rarely in town (and so are you), who wanted to stop by with their children, that I was wrestling with my knowing? You don't. And though such a wrestling match is futile I went at it for hours. How ironic, I argued with myself. I had been growing my knowing, or rather, it has been growing me, since before this breath into this earth realm. And here I was, hours at the edge of night and into morning and afternoon I fought and wrestled until I was exhausted. My knowing was refreshed and clear, as usual. It has no need to fight, and won't. I exhausted myself against it. What a futility. All this time I have lured my knowing, fed it, given it reflection, roaming space, and have allowed it to naturally step ahead of my wiry, analytic and impatient mind. It loves poetry and music. It loves to sing.

When Knowing leads the way it has no use for games or subterfuge. The way is clear. This doesn't mean the way is easy, however. The way might be clear up to Mt. Everest. And that might be the only way you can go to get to where you know your spirit has to go. Knowing is vision of your spirit. You have to pay for everything, give honor to what honors you.

If I see what I see, why fight it? All the troubles of my past come from ignoring the clarity. I know I’m not the only one. I jumped into impossible relationships, I didn't listen. Everyone one of us has stories of what happened when we didn't listen. Hard-headedness runs in both sides of the family. Knowing is patient. It is eternal. It's voice is beyond secular lingo.

Last night I finally found peace with my knowing. I picked up my saxophone for awhile. And then the guitar and found a cool way to make sound in another way. I talked for quite awhile with my Athabascan friend Candyce whose knowing is immense. She made me laugh at myself and led me through speaking everything I thought, even the craziest things. The bindings in myself were then released. My spirit shimmered with itself, freely, as itself. We all put so many conditions on ourselves, from society, our family, relationships and others. I accepted my knowing. I remembered that when I listen and heed the voice of Knowing I am always in the right place at the right time, I make the right decisions. Even the wrestling match became a useful lesson, one I don't need to repeat, though knowing myself, I might wrestle again. Next time, I'll end the match much more quickly, because I know.


Every day is Indigenous Peoples Day: the Struggle Continues in Columbia. Please read and give support.

This was first sent to me by my friend, the indigenous poet Fredy Chicangana from Columbia. I couldn't read the Spanish well, and the first Spanish translation I received wasn't clear.

Here is a translation by Cristina Eisenberg, Black Earth Institute Literary Think Tank.

Dear Friends

The indigenous villages are developing a nation-wide protest to fight to recover our lands and our rights. We are prepared to die for this cause. The government is repressing us savagely.

We appreciate you dispersing this information and helping us protect our lives and our battle for justice.

* * *

At 7 a.m. the Minga (the indigenous movement for justice) blocked the via Panamericana. The media lies about the use of explosives, which is not what we have done. We continue to resist the displays of power, which half an hour ago attack our community. There is a simultaneous blockage of Valle de Cauca roads

In the villages we have occupied the road with which they chain us and are killing us. We are risking our lives for liberty. We have dignity and reclaim respect. The government’s violence has caused us to do this. We will not continue to live the life of the living dead. No more.

ORIVAC, the indigenous organization of the Cuaca Valley , has produced an exemplary proclamation that we have adopted. This document is for the history of human dignity. It bears witness to the truth. At dawn the women block the streets on the north and south of the valley. The indigenous people and the representatives of agricultural sectors have initiated a peaceful, but firm protest: the government will no longer be allowed to travel the ancestral roads that link our villages to confine us, exclude us, and rob us.

The government of Colombia with all of its agents, followed by cameras and reporters, are trying to present a spectacle of negotiation and civil behavior, which is laden as always with lies and deceit. They do not have the slightest intention to respect us, because their propositions and their mandates go counter to reverence of life and villages.

Until 5 a.m. today they have gathered to deny workers the right to make a living. These liars call this dialog. They are thieves and leaders of thieves. Masters of rhetoric and propaganda. They are white assassins who have magnified mistreatment and have never suffered.

Today, Tuesday, October 14, 2008, is 516 years since the invasion of the North American continent, which some call “discovery.” We do not celebrate this day, we mark it with sadness, in memory of the millions of indigenous people who were massacred in the most brutal manner recorded in history. http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=8887. This is how the Minga protest goes. More than twelve thousand indigenous people protest. Meanwhile, this morning they will bury and offer to our Mother the Earth the body of our brother Nicolas Valencia Lemus.

Web of communication and relations for truth and life:
Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca - ACIN
Telefax: 0928 - 290958 - 293999
Email: acincauca@yahoo.es
Web: www.nasaacin.org
Santander de Quilichao Cauca -Colombia

Related new: http://www.cmi.com.co/Contenido/noticia.asp?nota=20333&seccion=8

> Subject: Indigenous people of Colombia in struggle for their lands, the police are killed them Pueblos indígenas de Colombia lugan por sus tierras y su dignidad, la policía los reprime brutalmente
> Dear friends,

> This is the real and grave situation of indigenous people in Colombia.
> They are disposed to be killed by the police in order to recover to
> their land. The government is attacking them, even when are children,
> yesterday were killed two.
> We appreciate you forward the news and help to protect their lives and
> just struggle.
> ***
> Queridos amigos,
> Los pueblos indígenas están desarrollando una proptesta en todo el
> país en lucha por recuperar sus tieras y sus derechos, están
> dispuestos a morir por ésto. El gobvierno los está reprimiensdo
> salvajemente.
> Les agradecemos difundan esta información y nos ayuden a proteger sus
> vidas y su justa lucha.
> ***
> A partir de las 7:00 de la mañana la Minga ha bloqueado la Vìa
> Panamericana. Los medios ya mienten con informaciones sobre el uso de
> explosivos, lo que es contrario a nuestra acción de hecho.
> Continuamos resistiendo los embates de la fuerza pública, que desde
> hace media hora atacan a la comunidad. Simultáneamente se realizan
> bloqueos en vías del Valle del Cauca.
> Ya Basta Carajo!
> [ 10/14/2008] [ACIN ]
> A los pueblos, que hemos salido a ocupar las vías con las que nos
> encadenan y nos están matando. Arriesgamos la vida por la libertad.
> Tenemos dignidad y reclamamos respeto. Violento es el orden de codicia
> que nos ha obligado a esto. No estamos dispuestas ni dispuestos a
> seguir muriendo en vida. No más.
> La Organización Indígena del Valle del Cauca, ORIVAC, envía la
> proclama ejemplar que anexamos. Un documento para la historia de la
> dignidad humana. Un testimonio de la verdad. Las mujeres de los
> corteros amanecen bloqueando las vías del Sur del Valle y del Norte del
> Cauca. Los indígenas y representantes de sectores agrarios y populares
> del Valle y del Cauca inician la acción de hecho pacífica, pero firme:
> el Capital no seguirá circulando tranquilamente a través de territorios
> ancestrales encadenando a los pueblos con vías que encierran, excluyen
> y sirven para robarse todo.
> El Gobierno de Colombia con los
> empresarios, seguidos de cerca por las cámaras, los micrófonos y la
> gran prensa, corren vergonzosamente a montar un espectáculo de
> negociación y civilidad cargado como siempre de engaños y mentiras. No
> tienen la menor voluntad de respetar porque sus propósitos y su mandato
> son contrarios al respeto de la vida y de los pueblos. Hasta las 5 de
> la mañana de hoy reunidos con los corteros para negarles el derecho a
> ser trabajadores y ganar lo necesario para vivir. A esto llaman diálogo
> los falsos. Son ladrones y mayordomos de ladrones. Maestros de
> retóricas y propagandas. Mentirosos de buenos modales que aprendieron a
> ejercer como señores de los eufemismos. Lo que dicen es exactamente lo
> contrario de la verdad. Asesinos de cuello blanco, explotadores cultos,
> sensibles y sentimentales que aplican a otros magnificado el maltrato
> que jamás han sufrido y consideran insoportable en sus hogares.
> El Gobernador del Cauca declara esta mañana así:
> 1. Que la vía Panamericana es un bien público y que NADIE puede abusar
> de el o bloquearlo.
> 2. Que solo han muerto dos indígenas y que no fueron las Águilas
> Negras porque estas no operan en esta zona (Norte del Cauca)
> 3.
> Que el Gobierno Nacional está buscando dinero de inmediato para cumplir
> con el acuerdo de El Nilo en uno o dos días (a más tardar pasado
> mañana).
> Nosotros le decimos Gobernador:
> 1.
> Que la vía Panamericana es un bien privado de las corporaciones y
> gamonales por el que llegan a robarnos y reprimirnos y por el que sale
> la riqueza que le roban a la tierra y a los pueblos. Que sea pública y
> no la cadena con la que nos someten; precisamente es el pueblo el que
> la ocupa.
> 2. Que han sido asesinados además de los dos
> compañeros del Norte del Cauca de que usted habla, Raúl Mendoza, en
> Popayán, 5 compañeros en Nariño, tres en Riosucio, Caldas. Pero además
> se salvó por obra de nuestra resistencia el Gobernador de Canoas,
> mientras han asesinado a un líder afro en Tumaco, Olga Lucía Vergara y
> su familia en Medellín. No se le olvide que también en el Cauca
> asesinaron a Ever González del CIMA y a César Marín de la ANUC. Es
> posible, Gobernador, que a Nicolás y a Celestino no los hayan asesinado
> las Águilas Negras como a todas y todos los demás. Nos da lo mismo, en
> últimas, se beneficia de este terror el proyecto que entra y sale por
> la vía Panamericana, que se firma en tratados de libre comercio, que se
> impone con la seguridad democrática y la parapolítica que representa su
> predecesor y el establecimiento del Gobierno desde los más altos
> escaños, que se legaliza con las leyes que nos despojan de territorios
> y derechos, como el Estatuto Rural, el Código de Minas, el Plan
> Departamental del Aguas. Es el terror y son todos los muertos y
> desplazados, no solamente los que Usted escoja hoy con su memoria
> selectiva, los que nos movilizan. NO MAS TERROR PARA ACUMULAR, venga de
> donde venga.
> 3. Que ahora corren a aparentar que negocian con
> los corteros, corren a ofrecerle dineros a ASONAL Judicial y corren a
> buscar con qué cumplir con los acuerdos de El Nilo, 17 años después.
> Diez y Siete años después y solamente porque volvemos a movilizarnos!
> Gobernador, con sus palabras reitera Usted que es la institucionalidad
> que Usted representa la que nos obliga a las acciones de hecho. Que sus
> incumplimientos y encubrimientos y leyes y el terror que imponen para
> robarnos, existen para obligarnos a la acción directa. Ustedes son los
> mayores promotores directos de la lucha popular. Ustedes y el orden de
> odio y falsedades que representan y que acaba de cumplir 516 años.
> YA
> BASTA CARAJO! Estamos dispuestos a dialogar con la verdad si del otro
> lado no hay mentiras y trampas. Estamos dispuestos a creerle a los
> hechos y no a las palabras. Más que Usted Gobernador, le exigimos al
> orden que Usted representa que respete el Mandato de los pueblos:
> 1. No más Tratados de Libre Comercio que nos roban el territorio y la
> vida sin consultarnos ni respetar nuestros derechos.
> 2.
> Que se acabe la Seguridad Democrática , la Política de Guerra, el Plan
> Colombia II en nuestros territorios. Que se vayan a la cárcel los
> parapolíticos y que los pueblos juzguemos a quienes han sido criminales
> de Estado como su predecesor Juan José Cháux Mosquera. Quienes se han
> servido del poder para someternos y acabar con las culturas ancestrales.
> 3.
> Deroguen de inmediato todas las leyes del despojo, empezando por el
> Estatuto Rural (Ley 1152 de 2007), el código minero y el Plan de Aguas
> con el que la privatizan para matarnos de sed y acumular ganancias.
> A
> los pueblos, que hemos salido a ocupar las vías con las que nos
> encadenan y nos están matando. Arriesgamos la vida por la libertad.
> Tenemos dignidad y reclamamos respeto. Violento es el orden de codicia
> que nos ha obligado a esto. No estamos dispuestas ni dispuestos a
> seguir muriendo en vida. No más. A los policías y soldados, que no
> sigan defendiendo a quienes los utilizan para reprimir y matar a
> supropio pueblo. A quienes se acostumbraron a mirar desde lejos, que
> despierten, que luchamos por su dignidad, por nuestra libertad. A
> quienes desde el exterior sienten interés y compromiso, que se hagan
> solidarios, que no crean más mentiras, que esta lucha es por ustedes y
> nosotros, en la acción su frente de dignidad y resistencia. No nos
> ayuden, nosotras y nosotros ya estamos luchando por ustedes. Esta
> lucha es por la vida y la dignidad. YA BASTA CARAJO!
> Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca ACIN (Cxab Wala Kiwe)
> Orivac: por qué nos movilizamos!
> Hoy..martes 14 de octubre de 2008, 516 años de invasión para el
> continente americano, (descubrimiento para algunos). No celebramos esta
> fecha, simplemente la recordamos con tristeza, en memoria de los
> millones de indígenas que fueron masacrados de la manera más dantesca
> que se conozca en la historia. http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=8887
> ONIC: así va la Minga!
> Más de 12 mil indígenas desde la María Piendamó, resisten, mientras en
> Tacueyó esta mañana sembraran y ofrendaran a la Madre Tierra el cuerpo
> del hermano Nicolas Valencia Lemus.
> http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=8888
> Tejido de Comunicación y Relaciones Externas para la Verdad y la Vida
> Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca - ACIN
> Telefax: 0928 - 290958 - 293999
> Email: acincauca@yahoo.es
> Web: www.nasaacin.org
> Santander de Quilichao Cauca -Colombia
> Related new: http://www.cmi.com.co/Contenido/noticia.asp?nota=20333&seccion=8


New Mexico in Focus on the Desert Rock Power Plant

Friday, October 17, 2008, from 7 to 8 pm, on Channel 5, New Mexico in Focus looks at the controversial Desert Rock power plant, and how this coal-burning plant – if built where two other plants on the Navajo reservation already exist – will affect, not just the Navajo Nation, but also all of New Mexico including Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

I was commissioned by KNME to specifically produce the 15-minute segment for this New Mexico in Focus episode. The segment will be used as a springboard for discussion for the advocates and opponents of Desert Rock.

I would like to acknowledge the following New Mexicans, without whose production services my work-in-progress doc and this broadcast segment could not have been possible: Chris Candelario, David Cortez, David Floeter, Brandon Johnson, Sophie Rousmaniere, Marni Samuels, Adrian Wall, and Patrick Willink.

Tony Estrada
Wild Horse Films


MNN Column September 2008

You never know where you will find yourself, I told myself a few years back, as I marched along a Townsville, Australia street dressed in surf shorts, carried a canoe paddle, in a parade of outrigger canoe paddlers from all over the Pacific, including Tahiti, Aotearoa and Canada. I was with the Hawaiian contingent, marching behind the Hawaiian flag, singing Hawaiian songs. We were all there to take part in the International Outrigger Canoe Sprint Championships.

This summer I finished a regatta racing season at Hui Nalu Canoe Club. The season involves three to four practices a week, and other training. I continued weights, and added other aerobic training. It was a time of many firsts for me. I managed to “do a change”, that is, leap from an escort boat into the ocean and swim to the outrigger canoe, jump in and keep paddling, as part of the club’s 100th year anniversary around the island paddle; win a couple of medals, including a gold, and I even made it to States with a crew.

I was never an athlete. I decided this when I was four and was given a pair of roller skates for Christmas. When I clung in fear to the chairs in the kitchen and refused to let go, my father snatched them off my feet. My fear made him angry. After that, I saw sports as something I couldn’t do. When a ball came in my direction, I ducked. I had no body confidence, unless there was music involved. Then I could even dance under a stick and win the limbo.

I thought of all this yesterday as I biked several miles along the ditch here in Albuquerque. I felt body confidence, something I had never felt for most of my life, beginning with my growing up years in which I escaped into forgetting, eating, and hiding.
This last week I was invited to perform at the fifty-year anniversary program for the organization Wings of America, a Santa Fe Indian Market event. The mission is to empower native youth with running programs. Running is a “catalyst to empower…Native youth to take pride in themselves and their cultural identity, leading to increased self esteem, health, and wellness, leadership and hope, balance and harmony.” Participants in Wings programs around the country showed a 99% high school graduation rate, and 94% went on to college. They also used less alcohol and drugs, and were healthier. Impressive.

I think about how this body confidence would have helped me bypass so much heartbreak in my coming up years. We need the power and blessing of breath moving dynamically through our bodies, cleaning us, giving us fresh thoughts, no matter what age we might be. It’s never too late. You never know where you might find yourself.

And finally, I also did a little running around the south a few weeks ago. Craig Womack invited Rosemary McCombs Maxey, Ted Isham and me down to Atlanta, where Craig is now teaching at Emory University, to work on a translation project together. Everyone was on their best behavior because I said I was writing everything down they said or did. I now have enough for several columns. Stay tuned. One of the problems, I understand, that is troubling our Mvskoke language specialists, is, coming up with a Mvskoke word for Viagra. Any ideas?


Getting in What Kind of Shape?

I turn on the tv in the fitness room of my hotel in Norman, Oklahoma. A trailer for the movie “The Women” runs—something with Meg Ryan as someone like Meg Ryan turning into another Meg Ryan. Then, another trailer for another stupid movie, no, it’s an advertisement for Thomasville furniture. There is no seam. Each is of the same shallow weightlessness. The movie is an advertisement for the studio producing it to make money, and the trailer is literally an advertisement for the advertisement. The furniture company just wants to make money, by telling all of us watching that we will look like the beautiful people sitting on their furniture who just might be movies stars in the next take, if we buy their furniture. And all of it vibrates at the level of greed, including the absurd irony that follows: Senator John McCain running for president on a platform of no greed. Now, follow that!?


Winding Through the Milky Way CONTEST WINNERS

Congratulations to the winners!!!!
I enjoyed hearing from everyone.

A new CD to the person who lives farthest away from where I am at the moment, Albuquerque, New Mexico is:
Hedwig from Manila, Philippines
For the first person to write from Oklahoma. Renate from Okmulgee
For the person who can name the cassette of my first musical, poetic endeavor. Laura Coltelli, Furious Light Denver 1986 and for Lyle Daggett because he also knew the title.

And from the drawing:

Anonymous from Rio Hondo, TX
Steve Shoemaker
Gail Ann Fagen

Please send your addresses so I can mail out your copies to: mekkopoet@earthlink.net.


Friday, September 12, 2008 – Music Maker: Joy Harjo:

Joy Harjo (Muscogee) is back with a new album titled “Winding Through the Milky Way.” She mixes Native rhythm, her distinctive vocal style, and tight instrumental sound for an exciting new journey through time and space. The talented singer, songwriter, saxophone player, poet and author will join us in-studio to provide insight about her new work, chat with listeners and give us all a ride on the paths that take us on a trip through the Milky Way. We’ll talk with her about that faint band of light in the night sky, sorrow, ancient ones, destiny and of course, joy.

Native America Calling Airs Live
Monday - Friday, 1-2pm Eastern



This morning as I prepared for this week's class on images, on the power of images, and how they operate in poetry I thought of seeing, how we see, how we are trained to see and not see. I remembered the story of the explorer Magellan. When he and his crew docked at a village near Tierra del Fuego and climbed onto land, the villagers couldn't see them. It sounds unbelievable, actually, until you realize that yet everyday we walk and exist within several realms. In the western world we have been trained to interact and see only one, the one discernible with our five senses. (There are more than five senses.) There are the plant realm, insect realms, various creature realms, the sky realms, ancestor human realms, the realms of the deceased who do not know they are dead to this world, and so on. In the western way of thinking (western, that is, non-indigenous, all of our cultures have indigenous roots), if we see and communicate within these realms, we are dwellers in the imagination, or outright crazy. Poets are interpreters and singers. We are crossover stations of these realms.


Sarah Palin’s Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues

(Thanks to Suzan Harjo for this. She says,"I had a very tiny hand in it, but it's best to say that it was written by Alaska Native people. I did fact-checking and cite-checking, and can verify its accuracy.")

1. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Fishing

Perhaps no issue is of greater importance to Alaska Native peoples as the right to hunt
and fish according to ancient customary and traditional practices, and to carry on the subsistence
way of life for future generations.

Governor Sarah Palin has consistently opposed those rights.

Once in office, Governor Palin decided to continue litigation that seeks to overturn every
subsistence fishing determination the federal government has ever made in Alaska. (State of
Alaska v. Norton, 3:05-cv-0158-HRH (D. Ak).) In pressing this case, Palin decided against
using the Attorney General (which usually handles State litigation) and instead continued
contracting with Senator Ted Stevens’ brother-in-law’s law firm (Birch, Horton, Bittner &

The goal of Palin’s law suit is to invalidate all the subsistence fishing regulations the
federal government has issued to date to protect Native fishing, and to force the courts instead to
take over the roll of setting subsistence regulations. Palin’s law suit seeks to diminish
subsistence fishing rights in order to expand sport and commercial fishing.

In May 2007, the federal court rejected the State’s main challenge, holding that Congress
in 1980 had expressly granted the U.S. Interior and Agriculture Departments the authority to
regulate and protect Native and rural subsistence fishing activities in Alaska. (Decision entered
May 15, 2007 (Dkt. No. 110).)

Notwithstanding this ruling, Palin continues to argue in the litigation that the federal
subsistence protections are too broad, and should be narrowed to exclude vast areas from
subsistence fishing, in favor of sport and commercial fishing. Palin opposes subsistence
protections in marine waters, on many of the lands that Natives selected under their 1971 land
claims settlement with the state and federal governments, and in many of the rivers where Alaska
Natives customarily fish. (Alaska Complaint at 15-18.) Palin also opposes subsistence fishing
protections on Alaska Native federal allotments that were deeded to individuals purposely to
foster Native subsistence activities. All these issues are now pending before the federal district

2. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Hunting

Palin has also sought to invalidate critical determinations the Federal Subsistence Board
has made regarding customary and traditional uses of game, specifically to take hunting
opportunities away from Native subsistence villagers and thereby enhance sport hunting.

Palin’s attack here on subsistence has focused on the Ahtna Indian people in Chistochina.
Although the federal district court has rejected Palin’s challenge, she has carried on an appeal
that was argued in August 2008. (State of Alaska v. Fleagle, No. 07-35723 (9th Cir.).)

In both hunting and fishing matters, Palin has continued uninterrupted the policies
initiated by the former Governor Frank Murkowski Administration, challenging hunting and
fishing protections that Native people depend upon for their subsistence way of life in order to
enhance sport fishing and hunting opportunities. Palin’s lawsuits are a direct attack on the core
way of life of Native Tribes in rural Alaska.

3. Palin has attacked Alaska Tribal Sovereignty

Governor Palin opposes Alaska tribal sovereignty.

Given past court rulings affirming the federally recognized tribal status of Alaska Native
villages, Palin does not technically challenge that status. But Palin argues that Alaska Tribes
have no authority to act as sovereigns, despite their recognition.

So extreme is Palin on tribal sovereignty issues that she has sought to block tribes from
exercising any authority whatsoever even over the welfare of Native children, adhering to a 2004
legal opinion issued by the former Murkowski Administration that no such jurisdiction exists
(except when a state court transfers a matter to a tribal court).

Both the state courts and the federal courts have struck down Palin’s policy of refusing to
recognize the sovereign authority of Alaska Tribes to address issues involving Alaska Native
children. Native Village of Tanana v. State of Alaska, 3AN-04-12194 CI (judgment entered
Aug. 26, 2008) (Ak. Super. Ct.); Native Kaltag Tribal Council v. DHHS, No. 3:06-cv-00211-
TMB (D. Ak.), pending on appeal No 08-35343 (9th Cir.)). Nonetheless, Palin’s policy of
refusing to recognize Alaska tribal sovereignty remains unchanged.

4. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Languages

Palin has refused to accord proper respect to Alaska Native languages and voters by
refusing to provide language assistance to Yup'ik speaking Alaska Native voters. As a result,
Palin was just ordered by a special three-judge panel of federal judges to provide various forms
of voter assistance to Yup'ik voters residing in southwest Alaska. Nick v. Bethel, No. 3:07-cv-
0098-TMB (D. Ak.) (Order entered July 30, 2008). Citing years of State neglect, Palin was
ordered to provide trained poll workers who are bilingual in English and Yup'ik; sample ballots
in written Yup'ik; a written Yup'ik glossary of election terms; consultation with local Tribes to
ensure the accuracy of Yup'ik translations; a Yup'ik language coordinator; and pre-election and
post-election reports to the court to track the State's efforts.

In sum, measured against some the rights that are most fundamental to Alaska Native Tribes –
the subsistence way of life, tribal sovereignty and voting rights – Palin’s record is a failure.

HOAX: Sorry......Please disregard. Send other info. Books Palin Attempted to Ban While Mayor of Wasilla

(Thanks to Tetman Callis for the forward.)

The following is a list of books that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tried to get banned when she
was mayor of Wasilla. This information is taken from the official minutes of the Wasilla
Library Board. When the librarian refused, then-Mayor Palin tried to get her fired.

As you will note, the list contains works by, among many others, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and
Stephen King. It also includes the Harry Potter books and Webster’s dictionary. It speaks to
the underlying truths of Governor Palin’s political philosophy, which may or may not be that of
the Republican party.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouImpressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William ShakespeareThe New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and
Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth


Suicide Watch

Suicide Watch

I fought and choked in a slough of emotional backwash.
You know, said my teacher, you can wallow, or,
You can stand up here with me in the sunlight and watch the battle.

I climbed muddy up and looked around.
A skinny leech of perverted intelligence, bobbed about, looking for someplace to land.
No, I told suicide there are no handholds on my spirit.
I looked to its path to see its origin. I sent it back.

I became fascinated by the dance of dragonflies over the river.
This is where I found myself.

c Joy Harjo September 6, 2008 Albuquerque

I'm still working on this poem, especially line one.

I did see suicide as an energy looking for someplace to land, and backed away, studied it. I tracked it literally to a situation that happened in the university community a few years back to another native professor. It's related to the current state of affairs here. When there is not ceremony for putting away, for closing up, these things get loose.

Don't worry. I'm not suicidal now. I did struggle as a young native woman. Native youth often struggle with suicide. It's the most rampant killer of our young people.


McCain's Running Mate Palin

Where Are You?

Because I want to get an idea of who's out there and reading this (outside of the statistics pages and graphs), and to promote my new CD of music: Winding Through the Milky Way, I will give away four or more CD's this week. Here's how it goes:

A new CD to the person who lives farthest away from where I am at the moment, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A new CD to the first person to write from Oklahoma.
A new CD to the person who can name the cassette of my first musical, poetic endeavor.
And a CD drawing for everyone who writes. I'll pick a few.

Rules: Send your place name via comments and a way for me to reach you. (You can send email and I'll respond for your address.)
This contest will end Friday night at midnight NM time, September 5th.

Good luck.



What a foolish charade: who does McCain think he's fooling? He's chosen a running mate solely because he thinks he can win over the Hillary votes. Sarah Palin is an NRA backing, reactive, small-time, right winger. She does not have a compassionate spirit. Ask her constituency.

Maybe we've proven we'll vote for what we think we want to see. We have forgotten to think, speak and act with metaphorical depth. Instead we are back at one plus one equals two.

One woman is the same as any other women.

Maybe for McCain, this is true.



Thank you/Mvto to Yoshiko Kayano for this Declaration!


Iramkarapte – “Let me touch your heart softly in greeting” in the Ainu language.

We, Indigenous Peoples from Japan and around the world have gathered in Ainu Mosir, known as
Hokkaido, Japan, in the traditional land of the Ainu people, for the 2008 Indigenous Peoples
Summit in Ainu Mosir in advance of the G8 Summit in 2008. We represent over 600 participants
from Ainu Mosir (Hokkaido), Uchinanchu (Okinawa), the United States, Canada, Hawai’i, Guam,
Australia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Norway, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Taiwan, and
Aotearoa (New Zealand).

We are united as Indigenous Peoples because we share each other’s fundamental values and
understandings of our place in the world which includes our reciprocal relationship with nature. The
theme of our summit is Mawkopirka which means in Ainu “Good Luck” or “Be Happy,” and which
underscores our Indigenous values and notions of well-being, and illustrates the good faith in which
we approach this Summit and all the peoples gathered.

This is the first time that we, Indigenous Peoples, have gathered around a G8 Summit, to reflect on
the issues addressed by the G8 and analyse how these relate to us. This Summit was made
possible by the Ainu through the Indigenous Peoples Summit Steering Committee and we thank
and congratulate them for their commitment and work to make this happen.

With our collective wisdom and knowledge we discerned and agreed on the key messages we
would like to relay to the G8. We learned more about the situation of the Ainu and about each
others situation and aspirations. We are also gathered to celebrate the adoption of the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) on September 13, 2007 by the United
Nations General Assembly. This is a historic landmark and a collective achievement of Indigenous
Peoples movements from the local to the global.

We welcome the “Resolution calling for the Recognition of the Ainu as Indigenous Peoples of
Japan” passed by the Japanese House of Councillors and the House of Representatives on June
6, 2008, and accepted by the Prime Minister’s office also on June 6, 2008. We celebrate this gain
with the Ainu people which results from their centuries’ old struggle.


We want to express our profound concern over the state of the planet. Mother Nature nurtures us.
We believe that the economic growth model and modernization promoted by the G8, which
suggests that we can control and dominate nature, is flawed. This dominant thinking and practice is
responsible for climate change, the global food crisis, high oil prices, increasing poverty and
disparity between the rich and the poor, and the elusive search for peace, the themes which the G8
nations precisely want to address in this Hokkaido Toyako Summit. Some of our issues and
concerns are the following;

 continuing egregious violations of our civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights.
 militarization of our communities, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings of indigenous
activists and use of national security and anti-terrorism laws to criminalize legitimate
resistance actions against destructive projects leading to increasing conflicts in our
 grabbing of our lands by the state, corporations and landlords
 continuing racism and discrimination against us and against our use of our own
languages and practice of our cultures
 non-recognition of our collective identities as indigenous peoples
 theft of our intellectual property rights over our cultural heritage, traditional cultural
expressions and traditional knowledge, including biopiracy of genetic resources and
related knowledge.
 desecration and destruction of sacred and religious sites.
 adverse impacts of climate change and actual and potential negative effects of climate
change mitigation measures which include;
 displacement from our lands because of expansion of biofuel monocrop production,
establishment of carbon sinks in our forests, building of more large scale hydro-electric
 market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading leading to more centralized, top-
down management of our forests under the reduced emissions from deforestation and
degradation (REDD) scheme.
 food crisis and increasing hunger due to:
 decreased control and access to sources of subsistence (forests, hunting grounds,
agricultural lands, waters, grazing lands, etc.) and basis of traditional livelihoods.
 dumping of highly subsidized, cheap agricultural products from the rich countries to the
poor countries.
 the shift away from production of food crops to crops for biofuels
 hoarding and speculation on food commodity prices
 aggressive promotion of chemically intensive industrial agriculture and use of
genetically-modified seeds
 increased extraction of oil, gas and minerals from our territories, in violation of our free,
prior and informed consent, leading to more environmental degradation, forced
displacements and poverty in our midst.
 increasing loss of indigenous languages and cultures decreasing further the cultural and
linguistic diversity of the world.


It is in our values of reciprocity, mutual respect, regard for the earth as our mother and all creation
as our relatives, collectivity and solidarity; in our indigenous cosmologies and philosophies; in our
traditional livelihoods, lifestyles and sustainable consumption practices that we can find the most
effective paths to a sustainable world. We sadly note that these values and practices are being
marginalized in a highly commercialized, consumerist, atomized and individualistic world when they
could instead be a guide not only for Indigenous Peoples but for the rest of humanity.

We therefore call on the G8 to do the following;

1. Effectively implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
and use this as the main framework to guide the development of all official development
assistance (ODA), investments and policies and programmes affecting Indigenous

2. That the Governments of Canada, the United States and Russia, respect the demands of
the Indigenous Peoples in their countries that they adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, and press the Governments of New Zealand and Australia to do

3. Ensure and facilitate the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in all the processes
of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and establish a Working
Group on Local Adaptation and Mitigation Measures of Indigenous Peoples.

4. Jointly assess and evaluate with Indigenous Peoples the adverse impacts of climate
mitigation measures on them and their communities and undertake actions to address

5. Remove, as part of renewable energy sources, large hydro-electric dams and stop all
funding for these. Reject proposals to include nuclear energy as clean energy.

6. Promote and support the development of small-scale, locally-controlled, renewable energy
projects using the sun, wind, water and ocean tides in our communities through technical
and financial assistance.

7. Reform migration laws to allow for the migration of Indigenous Peoples who are forced to
leave their countries because of the impacts of climate change, such as the submersion of
small-island states and low-lying coastal areas, the erosion and destruction of their lands
due to melting of permafrost, strong typhoons and hurricanes, and desertification due to

8. Provide financial support for our campaigns to get corporations and national governments
to compensate us, through financial and other means, for the environment services (clean
air, clean water, fertile soils, etc.) we are providing to the world because of our sustainable
management and use of our forests, watersheds, and our conservation of biological
resources to ensure maintenance of biodiversity.

9. Protect, respect and ensure our rights to food, to subsistence, to practice of our traditional
livelihoods, and to self-determined development. This means the following;
 Ensure our control and access to our sources of subsistence and traditional livelihoods
such as rotational agriculture, pastoralism, hunting, gathering and trapping, high
mountain agriculture, marine and coastal livelihoods, handicraft development, etc.
 Stop the dumping of cheap, highly subsidized agricultural products in our communities.
 Implement a moratorium on the expansion of biofuel production on our territories
unless our free, prior and informed consent is obtained.
 Strictly regulate speculation on food commodity prices.
 Criminalize hoarding of food by food cartels and syndicates.

10. Stop the promotion of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture in our communities and the
dissemination of genetically modified seeds in our territories. The continuing use and
export of banned toxic chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides to Indigenous communities,
especially in the developing countries should be banned and criminalized.

11. Stop facilitating the entry of transnational corporations involved in extraction of minerals, oil,
gas, coal, etc. in our communities without ensuring that the free, prior and informed
consent of the affected communities are obtained. Corporations from G8 countries which
have been involved in environmental destruction of our territories and who have committed
human rights violations against us should be brought to justice and should be required to
compensate the communities where they have polluted or otherwise caused damage.

12. Support our campaigns against the militarization of our communities, extrajudicial killings
and stop the labeling of Indigenous activists as terrorists and the use of laws such as
national security acts and anti-terrorism to curtail our legitimate resistance against
destructive projects and policies.

13. Support, through technical and financial assistance, our efforts to bring our complaints
against States, who are violating our rights, before the Treaty Bodies of the United Nations,
the regional commissions or courts on human rights such as the Inter-American Court of
Human Rights, the African Commission on Peoples and Human Rights, and the European
Commission on Human Rights.

14. Support the inclusion of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the
ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Charter on Human Rights and ensure
that this becomes an integral part of the newly established ASEAN Commission on Human

15. Provide support for establishing more cultural centres and museums in our communities,
and for educational institutions and programmes promoting intercultural and bilingual
education, use of Indigenous learning and teaching methods – including education through
the traditional oral mediums of Indigenous Peoples and through honouring local ways of
learning and knowing – as well as language courses to teach Indigenous languages.

16. Give effect to the protection of Indigenous Peoples’ sacred sites in recognition of their
human rights and intergenerational responsibilities to practice, teach, and maintain their
spirituality and indigeneity through their traditional languages, customs, ceremonies, and
rituals to ensure the continuity of the sacred in the futures of those yet to be born.

17. Stop the theft and piracy of our traditional Indigenous knowledge, traditional cultural
expressions (which include indigenous designs, arts, crafts, song and music), bio-genetic
resources including our human genetic resources, by biotechnology corporations, cultural
industry, and even by States and individual scientists and researchers.

18. Reform national intellectual property laws and global Intellectual Property Rights regimes
including the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement of
the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Substantive Patent Law of the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO), among others, to respect and protect the collective
traditional knowledge and cultural expressions of Indigenous Peoples.

19. Stop nuclear proliferation and the use of depleted uranium as a weapon. Stop the dumping
of radioactive nuclear wastes as well as other toxic waste in Indigenous Peoples' territories.

20. To strongly support the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women in each nation, and to ensure that the marginalization of
and violence against Indigenous women, minority women, and all other women will be

21. Remove US military bases located in Indigenous Peoples territories and bring to justice the
military personnel who have been charged with rape and sexual assault of Indigenous
women. The forced drafting and recruitment of Indigenous youth to the military should also
be stopped.

22. To strongly encourage the Japanese Government, jointly with the Ainu community, to
interpret the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for implementation in
Japan as national law, and to further develop concrete actions and policy reforms to
amplify and clarify the Resolution recognizing Ainu as Indigenous Peoples. We protest the
fact that there is only one Ainu out of 8 persons included in the panel to discuss further the
implementation of this resolution. We call on the Government to increase the number of
Ainu representatives in the Panel.


We also discussed what we should do as, Indigenous Peoples, to implement the UN Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to strengthen our solidarity with each other and with
support groups and NGOs.

1. Establish a network of Indigenous Peoples to continue the task of organizing summits in
connection with the G8 Summits in the future. Indigenous Peoples in Canada are
encouraged to organize themselves so that they can host an Indigenous Peoples' Summit
during the 2010 G8 Summit in Canada. We will also encourage the advocates of
Indigenous Peoples rights in Italy to try to organize a summit for Indigenous Peoples at the
2009 G8 Summit in Italy.

2. Ensure that we, Indigenous Peoples all over the world, take up the responsibility to
implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, themselves, and enter
into constructive dialogue with States, the UN System and the other intergovernmental
bodies to discuss how they can effectively implement the Declaration at the local, national,
regional and international levels.

3. Use the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on
Indigenous Peoples' Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and
fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, as mechanisms to monitor and ensure the
implementation of the UNDRIP by the aforementioned actors.

4. Ensure widespread dissemination of the UNDRIP through the use of multimedia, the
translation of this into languages understood by Indigenous Peoples, and the preparation
of popular versions which can easily communicate the substance of the UNDRIP.

5. Work towards getting the UNDRIP integrated as part of the education curriculum of
schools starting from pre-school to higher learning institutions.

6. Establish and replicate the experiences of the Maori and others in setting up language
nests where Indigenous Peoples can learn how to speak fluently their languages to arrest
the loss of indigenous languages in the world.

7. Organize and sponsor more education and training-workshops for our peoples where they
can learn more about the UNDRIP, how to implement it and learn more about the existing
instruments and mechanisms within the United Nations, the regional human rights bodies
and courts on human rights where they may bring their concerns if the UNDRIP is not
adequately implemented by States.

8. Establish international tribunals to hear and address Indigenous Peoples’ issues and
adjudicate issues which are not adequately addressed under domestic and international

9. Establishment of an Indigenous Peoples Green Fund to support the initiatives of
Indigenous Peoples to establish and strengthen their traditional livelihoods, their arts and
crafts and other forms of development which are consistent with their visions of their self-
determined development.

10. Support the fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples to practice and to enjoy their cultural
history and the right to protect and to teach their cultural heritage through the
establishment of Indigenous-owned and controlled cultural centres within states and local

11. Support the struggle bv Indigenous peoples for land justice and for the return of forests
and traditional lands to the ownership and control of Indigenous peoples.

The implementation of the Declaration will not only benefit Indigenous Peoples but will also benefit
the earth and the rest of the world. If we are allowed to continue practicing our sustainable ways of
caring for the earth and caring for our relatives, not only human beings, but also plants, animals
and all other living things, these practices will redound for the benefit of everybody. If we are able
to continue speaking our languages and practicing our diverse cultures, then the world's cultural
heritage will be enriched. If our diverse economic, cultural, spiritual, social and political systems are
allowed to co-exist with other dominant systems then we can bequeath to our children and our
children's children a more diverse and viable world.

Agreed upon on July 4, 2008 by the following representatives:

Ainu (Japan): Ukaji Shizue, Kayano Shirô, Hideo Akibe, Shimazaki Naomi, Yûki Kôji, Sakai Mina,
Kibata Kamuisanihi, Kibata Hirofumi, Hitoresi (Kawakami Hiroko), Sakai Atsushi
Ami (Taiwan): Sing ‘Olam
Igorot (Philippines): Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum
on Indigenous Issues
Kanakana’ey - Igorot (Philippines): Joan Carling
Juma (Bangladesh): Dipty

The Pacific:
Chamoru (Guam): Fanai Castro
Hawai’i: Puanani Burgess, Puaena Burgess
Ngati Maniapoto (Maori, Aotearoa): Hohepa Rauputu
Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Tutwharetoa (Maori, Aotearoa): Zack Bishara
Nga Puhi, Ngati Kahu, Te Rarawa (Maori, Aotearoa): Eddie Walker
Ngai Tahu (Maori, Aotearoa): Steven Kent
Taranaki, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Maniapoto, Te Ati Haunui A Paparangi (Maori, Aotearoa): Liana
Uchinanchû (Japan): Nakaima Kenta
Yorta Yorta (Australia): Wayne Atkinson

Saami Nation: Magne Ove Varsi

The Americas:
Maya Kachikel (Guatemala): Rosalina Tuyuc
Miskito (Nicaragua): Rose Cunningham
Nauha (Mexico): Marcos Matias Alonso
Cherokee (USA): Jacqueline Wasilewski
Comanche (USA): Ladonna Harris and Laura Harris
Isleta and Taos Pueblo (USA): Ron Looking Elk
Jemez Pubelo (USA): Paul Tosa
Mohawk (Canada): Ben Powless
Lakota Sioux (USA)
St'at'imc (Lil’wat) (Canada): Attila Nelson