Mark Charles Announces Presidential Run; Pope Backs Indigenous Land Rights, and More

In this blog:

  • HMS friend Mark Charles (Dutch/Navajo) announces presidential run.
  • Pope Sides with Indigenous Rights
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe to hold Keystone XL hearings
  • School changes dress code, allowing Native student to wear eagle feathers at graduation

Charles Runs for President

Screen shot from Charles’ video.

Mark Charlies, Native rights activist, writer, and friend of Healing Minnesota Stories, announced his presidential run in this 9-minute You Tube video. In it, Charles emphasizes the need for a national Truth and Conciliation Commission on par with what happened in South Africa, Rwanda, and Canada.

Pope: Indigenous People Should Have Final Say on Decisions that Affect their Land

Pope Francis, the first Pope from Latin America, said this month that that indigenous peoples have the right to “prior and informed consent” — that nothing should affect their land and resources unless they agree, according to an article in The Guardian.

The Pope made the comments in Rome following the third Indigenous Peoples’ Forum, the article said.

Francis also told his audience “humanity is committing a grave sin in not caring for the earth”, and urged them to resist new technologies which “destroy the earth, which destroy the environment and the ecological balance, and which end up destroying the wisdom of peoples.” He called on governments to enable indigenous peoples to fully participate in developing “guidelines and projects”, both locally and nationally.

Rosebud to Hold Keystone XL Hearings

TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) lost the Keystone XL pipeline construction season because of legal challenges. But the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) reports that “the company has asked the courts to lift the current injunction so that they can immediately begin to build their man-camps and pipe-yards.”

“TC Energy has indicated it will be looking at a very ambitious 2020 construction season to make up for the lost time, as well,” the update said. Therefore, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Utility Commission is holding a public hearing on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline on May 28 and 29. You can watch the hearings here.

Rosebud and the Fort Belknap Indian Community sued the Trump Administration in September, 2018 asking the court to overturn the Keystone XL pipeline presidential permit which they claim are illegal. NARF is representing them.

School Changes Dress Code, Allowing Native Student to Wear Eagle Feather at Graduation

Tvli Birdshead of the Chickasaw Nation wanted to wear an eagle feather and other regalia to his graduation from Latta High School in Oklahoma. He and his mom Taloa Birdshead contacted the school to let them know. The principal and superintendent rejected their request, according to NARF, which intervened on their behalf.

According to NARF, it joined Tvli and Taloa, the ACLU and over 50 members of the local Native community in attending the Latta School Board meeting on Monday, May 6. “After hearing about the cultural and religious importance of eagle feathers and other regalia, the board agreed to amend their graduation policy in order to accommodate Tvli’s request.”

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