Apache Stronghold Convoy Visits Graves of Children Who Never Came Home

Photo by Sandra Rambler, San Carlos Apache
Photo by Sandra Rambler, San Carlos Apache

Apache Stronghold Convoy nears DC for repeal of law desecrating Oak Flat for copper mining

By Brenda Norrell, The Narcosphere

The Apache Stronghold Convoy visited the graves of the children who never came home at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, remembering the Chiricahua Apache children who were held as prisoners of war.

“We need to know our history, where we have been will guide us to where we are going. ” said Wendsler Nosie Sr., Apache.

“The Apache Stronghold visited our relatives who never made it back home. It was a real emotional experience for all of us. The Chiricahua Apache children who were there did not arrive as students like other tribes, but arrived as Prisoners of War,” Nosie said after being present at the Carlisle Indian School cemetery.

The Apache Stronghold Convoy is enroute to Washington DC to demand repeal of the law which would desecrate the Apaches sacred Oak Flat with copper mining, which Sen. John McCain sneaked into the defense bill.

The Apache Stronghold will be in New York Times Square at noon today, Friday, July 17. It will be in DC on July 21 and 22 for a spiritual gathering. In DC, Ariz. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and others will join the Apache Stronghold to urge repeal of the law.

The San Carlos Apache Nation said, “Stops have been made in Denver, where Neil Young offered the pre-opening show to the Apache Stronghold.  Other spiritual prayers were also provided by members of the Sioux Nations in South Dakota when stops were made at the Crazy Horse Memorial and at Wounded Knee.  Radio, TV and newspaper interviews followed in various cities. The convoy continued into Minneapolis, MINN and Chicago, and were graciously greeted by those in support of the repeal of the land exchange.”

“The spiritual journey of the Apache Stronghold caravan led by Wendsler Nosie, Sr., former Tribal Chairman and now the Peridot District Council for the San Carlos Apache Tribe, first stopped at the Gila River and Salt River Indian communities for spiritual prayers.”

“On the Navajo Nation, they met with spiritual leaders. After stopping at the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in Dulce, N.M., members of the Tribal Council unanimously passed a Tribal Resolution in support of the H.R. 2811, a bill introduced by Arizona Representative, Raul Grijalva to stop the implementation of Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act which was passed last December 2014, that allows federal land at Oak Flat to be given to a foreign mining giant, Resolution Copper Company-Rio Tinto-BHP to construct a billion dollar mine while promising jobs.” Read statement and more: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2015/07/gathering-power-apache-stronghold.html)

Back in Arizona, Dine’ (Navajo) walkers enroute to the Sacred Mountains are speaking out about the coal mining and power plants that have devastated the Navajo Nation.

On Big Mountain at Black Mesa, the Nihigaal bee Iina, Journey for Existence, described the enormous impact and loss of water from the Navajo Aquifer as a result of Peabody Coal’s mining for the Navajo Generating Station, one of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the world. While it provides electricity to southern Arizona, Navajos on Black Mesa live without running water and electricity. This coal mining and power plant are the real reason for the relocation of more than 14,000 Navajos and the heartbreak of those families. Read the Dine’ walkers words about Peabody Coal’s abuse of water: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2015/07/nihigaal-bee-iina-on-big-mountain.html

Meanwhile across Indian country, deception, fraud and plagiarism dominate national online Indian country news. When the casino industry took control of online national Native media, reporters were replaced with stay-at-home plagiarizers. Currently, there are no watchdog media actually present in DC.

The lack of authentic reporters who are present in Indian country also means that there are no Indian country reporters on the Tohono O’odham Nation to expose how the Israeli Apartheid defense contractor Elbit Systems is building spy towers and pointing those at traditional O’odham homes. Homeland Security gave the border contract for surveillance towers to Israel’s Elbit Systems, responsible for Apartheid security surrounding Palestine.

The lack of authentic reporters on the Arizona border means no one is covering the fact that US Border Patrol agents kill with impunity and run drugs, while the agents abuse Indigenous Peoples, including Tohono O’odham, in their homeland. There is no one to expose the real role of the US in the so-called drug war, including the fact that the US ATF armed cartels with assault weapons.

Read more on ‘Deception online: Media in Indian country and corporate criminals’ http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2015/07/deception-online-media-in-indian.html

In Sonora, Mexico, Yaqui defenders of water rights remain imprisoned, regardless of judges orders to release them. Even with an appeal from Amnesty International and judges orders, two spokesmen for Yaqui water rights defense remain in prison, Fernando Jiminez and Mario Luna. http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2015/04/yaqui-water-rights-defenders-released.html

Meanwhile, in Chiapas, Zapatistas SupGaleano, formerly known as Marcos, continues to speak out on the truth of capitalism and the reality of the ongoing struggle for dignity, autonomy and justice. Read his latest words:


LIBERATION DAY: AIM Members Gathers at Wounded Knee to Remember 1973 Takeover


Liberation Day: They gathered to remember 1973 Wounded Knee. PHOTO Courtesy: Michelle Mills
Liberation Day: They gathered to remember 1973 Wounded Knee. PHOTO Courtesy: Michelle Mills

WOUNDED KNEE — Despite wintry temperatures, under a brilliant blue sky, Wounded Knee 1973 veterans, such as Clyde Bellecourt and Bill Means, were joined Thursday, February 27, 2014 with a younger generation of American Indian Movement grassroots members—many of whom were not yet born—to remember the takeover 41 years ago of Wounded Knee.

February 27th is known in Indian country as Liberation Day because it was on that date in 1973 the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the Pine Ridge Reservation near Wounded Knee in protest against the federal government and its policies related to American Indians.

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and AIM ensued. On March 13, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the US Justice Department, Harlington Wood Jr., became the first government official to enter Wounded Knee without a military escort. Determined to resolve the deadlock without further bloodshed, he met with AIM leaders for days and, while exhaustion made him too ill to conclude the negotiation, he is credited as the “icebreaker” between the government and AIM.

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

Both sides reached an agreement on May 5 to disarm, and three days later the siege had ended and the town was evacuated after 71 days of occupation; the government then took control of the town. During the incident, a Cherokee and an Oglala Lakota were killed by the FBI.

Yesterday, those gathered remembered and honored the memory of 1973 Wounded Knee veteran, Carter Camp (Ponca), who walked on in late December with a dinner in Manderson, South Dakota.

Editor’s Note: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources contributed to this article.


Carter Camp, Indian activist, dies at 72

Carter Camp is dead at the age of 72 (Photo by Photobucket/Ajijaakwe)
Carter Camp is dead at the age of 72 (Photo by Photobucket/Ajijaakwe)

Vince Devlin, January 2, 2014, Buffalo Post

Carter Camp, who helped organize the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, has died at the age of 72.

The Associated Press reports Camp succumbed to cancer on Dec. 27 in White Eagle, Okla.

Camp, a member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, was a longtime member of the American Indian Movement, organizing more than 30 chapters in his home state of Oklahoma, (his sister Casey) Camp-Horinek said. The American Indian Movement was founded in the late 1960s to protest the U.S. government’s treatment of Native Americans and demand that the government honor its treaties with Indian tribes.

He had a leading role in the Trail of Broken Treaties in 1972, in which a caravan of Native American activists drove across the country to Washington, D.C., to protest treaties between tribes and the federal government. They took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs for several days.

Although several people in leadership roles went on trial for events that took place at Wounded Knee, the AP reported that Camp was the only one to ever serve time. He spent two years in prison.

“He was the only person in (a) leadership position in Wounded Knee who never left Wounded Knee, not to go out and do press junkets, not to go and sit in a hotel for a while. None of that. He was a war leader there. He stayed inside with his warriors,” Camp-Horinek said of her brother.

Most recently, Camp fought the Keystone XL pipeline.

Wounded Knee Back on the Block: Will It Be Sold to an Outsider?

Vincent Schilling, ICTMN

Earlier this month, James Czywczynski, the owner of the Wounded Knee site told the Oglala Sioux Tribe they had until Labor Day, September 2 to purchase the land. As the date approaches, tribal President Bryan Brewer says he isn’t worried about the deadline.

In an interview on the Native Trailblazers online radio program, Brewer said Czywczynski’s claims are nothing new. “He has been threatening to sell this land for years. This isn’t the first time.”

He added that even if Czywczynski sold Wounded Knee to an outsider, it would be unusable. “One of the problems is that our tribal lands completely surround his 34 acres. There is no way anyone could ever get to this land to do any type of development or anything else… the tribe would not allow it.

“He wants to sell it, and it has only been valued at about $8,000,” Brewer said. “The owner has valued this land at $6 million, so I say to him, ‘Then why aren’t you paying taxes on land that is valued at $6 million?’ I and some of the descendants of Wounded Knee met with him and I told him, ‘No one will ever buy this.’”

Czywczynski says he has given the tribe every opportunity to buy the land, and believes the tribe has enough money to buy the site. “They received $31 million from the Cobell settlement and they didn’t buy it then,” he said.

Brewer is still hopeful that someone will act on behalf of the tribe. “Some people have said they want to buy this land and return it to the tribe–we may get the land back, but he will be the only one that benefits financially from the sale. I told him that we would gladly offer to support and bless the sale if he could find a place in his heart to give half the money to the descendants of Wounded Knee so that we could fix up the area and our own people could learn about what really happened there. Our history books don’t tell the story.

“I just don’t understand someone making this much money off this land and putting it into their pocket and walking away.”

Czywczynski is still hopeful he will sell Wounded Knee for the full asking price. “I hope to, one way or another we are going to get this done.”


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/31/deadline-looms-will-wounded-knee-be-sold-outsider-151112

Wounded Knee Owner Tells Tribe: Buy or Site Goes on Auction Block

Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today Media Network

James Czywczynski, the current owner of the Wounded Knee site has told the Oglala Sioux Tribe they have until September 2 to purchase the land. If no one steps forward to purchase the land for the tribe, Czywczynski says he will hold a public auction for the land.

“I feel that I have given the tribe every opportunity to buy the land or for someone associated with them to do it. They say they have multiple buyers ready to purchase it for them, but they have not taken the steps to get it done,” he told Brandon Ecoffey, managing editor of Native Sun News. “When I met with President [Bryan] Brewer and the descendants I thought it went well and something would have come from it… but I have heard nothing.”

That meeting took place at the newspaper’s offices July 14 between the Horn family, Brewer and Czywczynski. It was then that Brewer asked Czywczynski if he would consider selling the site with the tribe’s blessing and donating half the proceeds to the Survivors of Wounded Knee organization.

At the close of the meeting, Czywczynski said he would consider the offer.

Shortly after the meeting in Rapid City Czywczynski told ICTMN he sent an email and packet to the tribe and Brewer asking them to pay the entire $4.9 million asking price if they wanted to obtain the land and the deed.

Czywczynski has also been telling ICTMN that he has had offers from several interested parties that want to donate the land to the tribe, but as of yet, none of those parties have been able to raise all of the money or make good on their promises to buy.

“I have put other potential buyers off while I entertained the groups working on behalf of the tribe, but I can’t wait any longer,” he told Native Sun News.

Brewer doesn’t believe Czywczynski will have any buyers with the arrangement not to donate half of the proceeds to benefit the site. He also says a deadline is nothing new.

“This isn’t the first time he has said this, he set a deadline and we watched and waited and he had no buyers. No buyers are going to purchase this land because they will never be able to use it,” Brewer said.

Brewer also has not received an email or a package from Czywczynski about any counter offer.

“I have received nothing. I have not heard from him other than the letter I received from him that thanked us for having the meeting in Rapid City. I have not received anything else yet,” he said.

Johnny Depp Sighted?

For over a month since his interview in the UK’s DailyMail in which Johnny Depp announced an interest in purchasing the site of Wounded Knee, there is still no word from Depp or his publicists about his comments to buy the land.

There was however a recent rumor about a sighting of Depp on Pine Ridge. President Brewer said it was only a rumor though.

“That was a crazy rumor. There were rumors going all over. There was no Johnny Depp, at least not that I know of. There were rumors he was with me. He wasn’t with me. Every girl on the reservation was calling me to say ‘please give him my telephone number.’ I don’t know who started those rumors, but it spread like wildfire. I have a whole list of numbers I am supposed to give to him,” Brewer said. “It really would be great if he could come to our reservation.”


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/15/wounded-knee-owner-tells-tribe-buy-or-site-goes-auction-block-150892

40 Years Later, Wounded Knee is Still Fresh in Our Minds

Laura Waterman Wittstock, Indian Country Today Media Network

Hundreds of travelers left their home areas from points all over the United States and Canada last weekend to meet in the tiny village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. There, they will observe the 40th anniversary of one of the most unusual military undertakings the United States has ever engaged in—or we could say entangled in—during the 20th century. Wounded Knee is located in the southwestern corner of the 11,000 square mile Pine Ridge reservation.

According to then Senator James Abourezk, when the American Indian Movement arrived in Wounded Knee on February 27, 1973, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and federal marshals were already there on alert for armed activity on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The marshals were there in the event of a civil disturbance that might occur during a possible attempt to impeach the tribal chairman.

There were many issues on the table but two that emerged at the top of the list were the torture death of Raymond Yellow Thunder, which took place in Gordon, Nebraska. Yellow Thunder was from Kyle on the reservation. AIM leaders were incensed at the brutal death and what appeared to be a lack of concern for the victim. The other issue was Pine Ridge tribal chairman Richard (Dick) Wilson’s presumed disrespect of traditional Lakota culture. So strong was the sentiment that Gladys Bissonette and others formed the new organization OSCRO: the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization.

According to AIM’s national chairman Clyde H. Bellecourt, it seemed that as soon as a meeting with OSCRO and traditional leaders got underway, word of the movement of FBI and federal marshals toward Wounded Knee was taking place and a defense perimeter was needed. By the next morning, an armed standoff began to take shape. There were three governmental groups lined up: Dick Wilson’s GOONS, the federal marshals, and the FBI. The federal group brushed aside Wilson’s government and took over the tribal offices with its only telephone, which made reporters on the scene wait in line for their turn to call in stories.

Newspapers across the country blared headlines about the “occupation of Wounded Knee.” At that time the name “Wounded Knee” was also part of the name of an American best seller by librarian Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The book title was taken from the poem, “American Names” by Stephen Vincent Benet, and a strong sense of American romanticism attached itself to what was happening at Wounded Knee. Of course distance added much to the élan presumed to be part of the takeover, but a close up showed unarmed women and little children becoming increasingly pinned down with little prospect for food and the daily necessities of life. February was cold and March was no warmer. Blanketed Indians were photographed moving around the compound and it could be seen in Kevin McKiernan’s photographs that nearby cattle were being sacrificed for food.

With little time to plan, all action was about response and reaction. Help poured in as Indians from all over the U.S. came to help, as did Vietnam Vets and the traditional government of the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations in Iroquoia.

Negotiations began to end the standoff and secure direct communication between the traditional chiefs and the U.S. government. Representatives of the Richard M. Nixon administration, primarily Assistant U.S. Attorneys General Kent Frizzell, were sent to secure a peace. Presumably, an internal fight over how much violence to use against the occupiers was underway, but the president did not want dead unarmed civilians to be among the casualties.

Some help was less evident, such as that of screen star Marlon Brando, who helped the negotiations through support of the work of Hank Adams. These were pre mobile phone and pre Internet days. Official government papers had to be typed out and signed. At one point, between May 3 and 5, Adams was in the process of delivering a letter with terms to the chiefs and it had been decided that the letter would be delivered at the reservation border. The chiefs, headmen and their interpreters numbering 100 feared breaking the government seal until they could carry the letter into Wounded Knee, Adams writes in the Hank Adams Reader.

The invisible hand and pocketbook of Brando helped bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion on the weekend of May 5-6, 1973, and arms were laid down. The Sioux National Anthem filled the air with a heart-filling swell of notes at sunrise on May 8 and around 125 Wounded Knee defenders surrendered to federal authorities in three predetermined groups. Federal authorities then overran the village, searching for arms and explosives. Returning residents were searched. No arms or explosives were found and the marshals went to their cars and drove out of Pine Ridge.

Laura Waterman Wittstock’s book with Dick Bancroft’s photographs, We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement, will be released in May, 2013.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/opinion/40-years-later-wounded-knee-still-fresh-our-minds-147898