Indian Country in the News: Oct. 21 - Oct. 28, 2011
This week's news highlights include the decision in Bolivia to scrap plans for a road into the Amazon following weeks of protests by the country's indigenous groups; a new outcry in nearby Brazil against a proposed hydroelectric dam in the rainforest; the end of a decades-long legal fight between the Osage tribe and the U.S. government; the launch of a new indigenous film collaborative; and the Washington Post's discussion on race and the city's controversial football mascot:
- BBC: Bolivia's Evo Morales scraps Amazon road project - "Bolivia's President Evo Morales has scrapped plans for a road project in the Amazon that had triggered protests by indigenous people. Morales said the road would no longer go through a rainforest reserve. He made the announcement two days after protesters arrived in La Paz following a two-month march from the Amazon lowlands to voice their opposition. It is not yet clear what the demonstrators' response will be. The president said he would send a measure to Congress that would accommodate the protesters' demands. An indigenous leader, Rafael Quispe, said the president's proposal was a "good sign" but said they had 15 other demands that needed to be discussed, the Spanish news agency Efe reported."
- NYTimes: Brazilian Amazon Groups Invade Site of Dam Project - "Hundreds of members of indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon invaded the construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on Thursday. Although they had vowed to permanently occupy the site in their latest attempt to stop the dam from being built, the protest disbanded late Thursday. About 300 people arrived on seven buses at 6 a.m. and made their way to the site in Pará State where the North Energy consortium is building a workers’ camp for the mammoth dam, said Paulo Cunha, an inspector for the Federal Highway Police. The group blocked the Trans-Amazon Highway around the village of Santo Antônio, where it passes the construction site, he said."
- AFP: Native American tribe gets $380 million to end lawsuit - "The United States reached a final settlement of $380 million Friday with a Native American tribe to resolve allegations of mismanagement of trust assets in a long-standing lawsuit. The agreement with the Osage Tribe capped a 12-year dispute over the Interior Department's accounting and management of trust funds and non-monetary trust assets belonging to the Oklahoma tribe, including its mineral estate. The agreement, which was executed on October 14, came a year after the Department of Agriculture reached a separate, landmark $760 million settlement with Native American farmers and ranchers to resolve claims of discrimination in a government-administered farm loan program."
- Variety: Indigenous filmmakers launch confab - "The Sami village of Kautokeino, Norway, is getting ready to host the world's first Indigenous Film Conference, to be attended by a lucky clutch of filmmakers and execs who will congregate in the middle of the Tundra. Among those expected to descend into the ancestral arctic heartland Oct. 27-29 are N. Bird Runningwater, head of the Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program, U.S. producer Heather Rae ("Frozen River"), Erica Glynn, chief of Screen Australia's Indigenous unit, and producer Cory Generoux with Canada's National Film Board. Confab organizer Anne lajla utsi, topper of the Sami film Center, says indigenous peoples have seen enough of romantic ethnographic stories and stereotypical tales made by outsiders. Besides taking the pulse of indigenous production worldwide, and initiating a global network, one of the purposes of the confab is to prompt funding in Scandinavia for indigenous cinema, modeled on existing funding entities for such films in Australia and Canada."
- WashPost: Redskins fans: What do you think? - "Our story about black fans being more loyal to the Redskins than white fans is generating plenty of comments. And it raises a few questions we’d like you to consider: Should African American be outraged about the team name, given that some Native Americans consider it a slur? What is your family’s relationship to the team and why? Is there a generational split in your family?"