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August 03, 2012

Indian Country in the News: July 27 - August 3, 2012

This week's news highlights include a story about indigenous resistance against illegal logging in Mexico, a plea to pass tougher anti-violence laws protecting American Indian woman, mandatory evictions for non-Indians living on Seneca land in upstate New York, and the celebration and sorrow over sacred white buffaloes in Connecticut and Texas:

  • NYTimes: In Mexico, Reclaiming the Forests and the Right to Feel Safe - "On the morning of April 15, 2011, using rocks and fireworks, a group of women attacked a busload of AK-47-armed illegal loggers as they drove through Cherán, residents said. The loggers, who local residents say are protected by one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations and given a virtual free pass by the country’s authorities, had terrorized the community at will for years. Cherán’s residents said they had been subjected to multiple episodes of rape, kidnapping, extortion and murder by the paramilitary loggers, who have devastated an estimated 70 percent of the surrounding oak forests that sustained the town’s economy and indigenous culture for centuries."
  • CSMonitor: Pass a Violence Against Women Act that protects American Indian women - "Violence against women is a distressingly common problem in all segments of US society, but American Indian women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence. Data show that a shocking 1 in 3 American Indian women have been raped in their lifetime – twice the national average. The rate of domestic violence victimization is even higher, with more than 2 out of 5 American Indian women experiencing violence at the hands of a husband or boyfriend."
  • AP: NY tribe moves to evict non-Indians - "The Seneca Nation, a native American tribe in western New York known for its defiant stances on sovereignty, said Friday that it would evict around 80 families living in a lakeshore community on its territory because the residents aren't members of the tribe. The action covers an area on the shores of Lake Erie called Snyder Beach, now dotted with summer cottages, many of which are occupied by people who have been there for decades. Tribal leaders said in a written statement that they want the families out by Nov. 8."
  • NPR: One White Buffalo To Get Sacred Name; Death Of Another Still Stirs Anger - "Hundreds of Native Americans are expected to gather Saturday at a former dairy farm in Goshen, Conn., to hold a sacred naming ceremony for what they hope is a rare white buffalo. Mark Herz from NPR member station WSHU catches up with the story for All Things Considered in a report due to air later today. As he says, the calf's DNA still needs to be tested to confirm that he truly is a white buffalo — "or bison, as they are more properly known." But, "test results or no," many Native Americans are planning to be there tomorrow."

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