Connect with us


Ndee-Nnee Alliance statement on the Future Work of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues



Twelfth Session United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

May 20-31, 2013 New York, New York

Ndee-Nnee Alliance




The NdeeNnee Alliance would like to thank Bik’ehgo’ihi’nan, the Life Giver, and Nigodzan, Earth is Woman, for giving us all life and for allowing all our indigenous brothers and sisters to be present here within the great land of the Lenape, whom, we thank for allowing us to gather in their inherent territory.

The Ndee-Nnee Alliance recommends to the UNPFII for future work the areas of  herbicide, pesticide, chemical and toxic contamination, the violations of sacred sites by governments and corporations, and the militarization of the US/MX border that now inhibits the culture, heath, and autonomy of  IP’s, not only in our region, but around the world.

While the United States mouths the empty rhetoric of concern about human rights in places around the world, like Burma, China, Tibet, and Syria, to name some examples, even furnishing an assessment of human rights through its own State Department, virtually nothing is ever said about the continued and incessant violation of human rights of the original people of this land, the Indigenous people. It’s bad enough that of the 370 so-called treaties made between the U.S. government and Indigenous nations from the early colonial settlement in Turtle Island, not ONE was kept.

It is thus relevant that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in its report of March 1, 2013 has expressed serious concern about the failure of the United States to provide a responsive report to the Committee’s raising of human rights violations of Indigenous peoples due on November 20, 2011, specifically regarding the following key issues:

The construction of a vast security wall on the Texas-Mexico border based on the purported aim of preventing entry of alleged terrorists, undocumented migrants, and drug traffickers into the United States that involved the Department of Homeland Security disregarding 36 Federal and State Laws in the wall construction, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, and the Administrative Act and where the lands on which the Kikapoo Traditional Nation of Texas, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua) nation, and the Lipan Ndé (Apaché) have lived for time immemorial are being victimized by wall construction that occurred with consultation of these respective Indigenous peoples and have uprooted ecological systems and lands while violating sacred cultural sites integral to these communities and preventing such peoples from gaining access to materials needed for traditional ceremonies. The rights of the Lipan Endé (Apaché) in particular warrant serious attention considering that the nation is unrecognized by the U.S. government and has no access to the courts as avenues for redress. It is also worth noting that commercial non-Indigenous enterprises such as the River Bend Golf Resort on the Texas-Mexico border were spared any disruption of their property and operations in the wall construction.


The impact of the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort Project in the sacred mountain in Northern Arizona, Dook ‘o’oosliid (San Francisco Peaks) on the cultural practices and sacred ceremonies of all Indigenous nations of the U.S. southwest, particularly given the Ski Resort Project’s plan to pipe sewage water to the mountain with the plan of making snow for skiing. Extractive Industries, mainly large scale mining corporations, since contact was made with Nnee, exploit the natural resources within the community’s territorial, cultural and spiritual boundaries causing harm to the health and welfare of Nnee and all peoples. The ongoing fight with Rio Tinto, Zinc and B.H.P. Biliton (whom both create a subsidiary company called Resolution Copper Company) and Nnee over the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013. This bill was introduced into the United States House of Representatives in February of 2013 without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Nnee.  The area Resolution Copper wants to mine copper Ore, is a holy place for Nnee and other indigenous peoples in the southwest United States and Northern Mexico. The site also maintains historical significance in the annuls of time through oral history and spirit within the Nnee, but also within  the  colonized history of Arizona, United States, Mexican, and Spanish histories as well. Not only culture is at stake, Water is as well. In a territory that is known for its desert dry lands and seasons of drought our sacred and precious water for a thirsty peoples will be depleted for the wealth of kingdoms, nations, governments and corporations, disguised as capitalism and free market societies, that continue to promote and impose adverse health effects, especially the polluted air from the mine smelter, that Nnee breathe in daily, which is known to effect the thyroid in human beings. There are repeated attempts by state and federal legislators to disturb Indigenous people’s ancestral lands by opening them for transfer to multinational extractive mining and energy corporations and commercial developers. Particular mention was made of the lethal destructive effects of dumping nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada and the resumption of underground nuclear testing on Newe Segobia (Western Shoshone) ancestral lands in fundamental violation of the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863. The Newe Segobia have declared their lands a nuclear-free zone, yet the U.S government continues to use these lands for underground nuclear testing, over 1,000 having been detonated over the past 60 years, actions which are foundationally illegal.

It is germane to add that the rights of the Nnee Nation in San Carlos, Arizona, were and are being expressly violated with the introduction and spraying of twelve major herbicides–minopyralid, chlorsulfuron, clopyralid, dicamba, glyphosate, imazapic, imazapyr, metsulfuron methyl, picloram, sethoxydim, sulfometuron methyl, and triclopyr– (containing ingredients used in Agent Orange that was used as a defoliant by the U.S. military in Vietnam) at the rate of 9,000 acres per year on the Coconino, Kaibab, and Prescott forests around federal and state highways. The spraying of these toxic herbicides by the U.S. Forest Service under the pretext of eliminating invasive weed and plant species without prior informed and free consent of the Nnee Nation and its members, has been deployed in every Ranger District and spans vast ecological diversity from the Sonoran Desert to mixed conifer forest, including watersheds covering Salt River, Verde River, Agua Fria, New River, and Cave Creek and contaminating water resources in the process. Some 2,872, 876 acres of forest have been affected. These hazardous conditions have resulted in lethal health conditions of many among the Nnee Nation who are now suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses from poisoned water and vegetation. The Chircahua Apaché Alliance is currently engaged in documenting such hazardous health accounts of Indigenous community members.

It is also disturbing to note that members of the Indigenous Tohono O’odham nation whose lands span the Arizona-Mexico border continue to experience harassment, intimidation, and terror by U.S. border authorities as they cross the border to participate in ancestral ceremonies, due to the presence of an electrified wall and the violation of sacred sites by state agencies like the U.S. Border Patrol. The situation of fear has escalated to the point that O’odham community members no longer visit their neighbors and are afraid of leaving their homes at night due to concerns about safety of their children and elders. The sovereignty of the Tohono’ O’odham needs to be recognized by the U.S. government in accordance with the legal protections assured by international law and U.S. state security agencies are called upon to immediately desist from further invasion of O’odham lands on the pretext of pursuing drug smugglers.

The genocide of Indigenous people began with the first invasion by European pirates under the leadership of Columbus in the 15th century, starting in the Caribbean, followed by South and Central America, and then in the 17th century, Turtle Island (North America). While the United States has created a vast capitalist and globalized empire that has made trillions of dollars in wealth over four and a half centuries, few in the world recognize that this lascivious and insatiable greed for land, minerals, and wealth that resulted in the wealthiest economic and military power in the world, actually entailed the enslavement of African people and the systematic genocide of Indigenous peoples on these lands. It is high time for the world bodies of justice like the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the World Court to demand that the U.S. desist from its ongoing genocidal actions in violation of international human rights law and that it restore Indigenous people’s lands and sovereignty unconditionally in the interest of global justice, peace, and harmony. The United States can no longer be shielded from scrutiny in its obsessive pursuit of resources for capitalist industrialism through perpetual genocide and war in all continents of the world, making it the leading outlaw nation in the world.





Continue Reading


  1. Christine Prat

    May 31, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Add your comments (racist, sexist, & trans/homophobic comments will not be published)


Ox Sam Camp Raid Update: One Arrested as Prayer Tipis Are Bulldozed and Ceremonial Items Confiscated




Thursday, June 8th, 2023

Contact: Ox Sam Camp

THACKER PASS, NV — On Wednesday morning, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s department on behalf of Lithium Nevada Corporation, raided the Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokutun (Ox Sam Indigenous Women’s Camp), destroying the two ceremonial tipi lodges, mishandling and confiscating ceremonial instruments and objects, and extinguishing the sacred fire that has been lit since May 11th when the Paiute/Shoshone Grandma-led prayer action began.

One arrest took place on Wednesday at the direction of Lithium Nevada security. A young Diné female water protector was handcuffed with no warning and loaded into a windowless, pitch-black box in the back of a pickup truck. “I was really scared for my life,” the woman said. “I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, and I know that MMIW is a real thing and I didn’t want to be the next one.” She was transported to Humboldt County Jail, where she was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest, then released on bail.

Just hours before the raid, Ox Sam water protectors could be seen for the second time this week bravely standing in the way of large excavation equipment and shutting down construction at the base of Sentinel Rock.

To many Paiute and Shoshone, Sentinel Rock is a “center of the universe,” integral to many Nevada Tribes’ way of life and ceremony, as well as a site for traditional medicines, tools, and food supply for thousands of years. Thacker Pass is also the site of two massacres of Paiute and Shoshone people­. The remains of the massacred ancestors have remained unidentified and unburied since 1865, and are now being bulldozed and crushed by Lithium Nevada for a mineral known as “the new white gold.”

Since May 11th, despite numerous requests by Lithium Nevada workers, the Humboldt County Sheriff Department has been reticent and even unwilling to arrest members of the prayer camp, even after issuing three warnings for blocking Pole Creek Road access to Lithium Nevada workers and sub-contractors, while allowing the public to pass through.

“We absolutely respect your guys’ right to peacefully protest,” explained Humboldt County Sheriff Sean Wilkin on May 12th. “We have zero issues with [the tipi] whatsoever… We respect your right to be out here.”

On March 19th the Sheriff arrived again, serving individual fourteen-day Temporary Protection Orders against several individuals at camp. The protection orders were granted by the Humboldt County Court on behalf of Lithium Nevada based on sworn statements loaded with misrepresentations, false claims, and, according to those targeted, outright false accusations by their employees. Still, Ox Sam Camp continued for another week. The tipis, the sacred fire, and the prayers occurred for a total of twenty-seven days of ceremony and resistance.

The scene at Thacker Pass this week looked like Standing Rock, Line 3, or Oak Flat, as Lithium Nevada’s workers and heavy equipment tried to bulldoze and trench their way through the ceremonial grounds surrounding the tipi at Sentinel Rock, and water protectors put their bodies in the way of the destruction, forcing work stoppage on two occasions.

Observers stated that Lithium Nevada’s head of security was directing the Sheriff’s deputies where to go and what to do during the raid.

Lithium Nevada’s ownership and control of Thacker Pass only exists because of the flawed permitting and questionable administrative approvals issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM officials have refused to acknowledge that Peehee Mu’huh is a sacred site to regional Tribal Nations, and have continued to downplay and question the significance of the double massacre through two years of court battles.

Three tribes — the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, and Burns Paiute Tribe — remain locked in litigation with the Federal Government for permitting the mine. The tribes filed their latest response to the BLM’s Motion to Dismiss on Monday. BLM is part of the Department of the Interior which is led by Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo).

On Wednesday, at least five Sheriff’s vehicles, several Lithium Nevada worker vehicles, and two security trucks arrived at the original tipi site that contained the ceremonial fire, immediately adjacent to Pole Creek Road. One camper was arrested without warning, and others were issued with trespass warnings and allowed to leave the area. Once the main camp was secured, law enforcement then moved up to the tipi site at Sentinel Rock, a mile away.

There is a proper way to take down a tipi and ceremonial camp, and then there is the way Humboldt County Sheriffs proceeded on behalf of Lithium Nevada Corporation. Tipis were knocked down, tipi poles were snapped, and ceremonial objects and instruments were rummaged through, mishandled, and impounded. Empty tents were approached and secured in classic SWAT-raid fashion. One car was towed.

As is often the case when lost profits lead to government assaults on peaceful water protectors, Lithium Nevada Corporation and the Humboldt County Sheriffs have begun to claim that the raid was done for the safety of the camp members and for public health.

Josephine Dick (Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone), who is a descendent of Ox Sam and one of the matriarchs of Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokutun, made the following statement in response to the raid:

“As Vice Chair of the Native American Indian Church of the State of Nevada, and as a Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Nation elder and member, I am requesting the immediate access to and release of my ceremonial instruments and objects, including my Eagle Feathers and staff which have held the prayers of my ancestors and the Ox Sam camp since the beginning. There was also a ceremonial hand drum and medicines such as cedar and tobacco, which are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
In addition, my understanding is that Humboldt County Sherriffs along with Lithium Nevada security desecrated two ceremonial tipi lodges, which include canvasses, poles, and ropes. The Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokutun has been conducting prayers and ceremony in these tipis which are also protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. When our ceremonial belongings are brought together around the sacred fire, this is our church. Our Native American church is a sacred ceremony. I am demanding the immediate access to our prayer site at Peehee Mu’huh and the return of our confiscated ceremonial objects.

The desecration that Humboldt County Sherriffs and Lithium Nevada conducted by knocking the tipis down and rummaging through sacred objects is equivalent to taking a bible, breaking The Cross, knocking down a cathedral, disrespecting the sacrament, and denying deacons and pastors access to their places of worship, in direct violation of my American Indian Religious Freedom rights. This violation of access to our ceremonial church and the ground on which it sits is a violation of Executive Order 13007.

The location of the tipi lodge that was pushed over and destroyed is at the base of Sentinel Rock, a place our Paiute-Shoshone have been praying since time immemorial. After two years of our people explaining that Peehee Mu’huh is sacred, BLM Winnemucca finally acknowledged that Thacker Pass is a Traditional Cultural District, but they are still allowing it to be destroyed.”

Josephine and others plan to make a statement on live stream outside the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Winnemucca on the afternoon of Friday, June 9th around 1pm.

Another spiritual leader on the front lines has been Dean Barlese from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Barlese led prayers at the site on April 25th which led to Lithium Nevada shutting down construction for a day, and returned on May 11th to pray over the new sacred fire as Ox Sam camp was established.

“This is not a protest, it’s a prayer,” said Barlese. “But they’re still scared of me. They’re scared of all of us elders, because they know we’re right and they’re wrong.”



Thacker Pass is located in northern Nevada near the Oregon border, where Lithium Nevada Corporation is in the first phase of building a $2 billion open-pit lithium mine which would be the largest of its kind in North America. The lithium is mainly destined for General Motors Corporation’s electric car batteries, which the corporation laughably claims is “green.” Mine opponents call this greenwashing and have stated that “it’s not green to blow up a mountain.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted Lithium Nevada corporation and all other business corporations a whole variety of constitutional “rights” that were never meant for business entities. Without these special so-called corporate “rights,” the mine owners would never have been allowed to construct this mine.

Three Native American tribes filed a new lawsuit against the Federal Government over Lithium Nevada Corporation’s planned Thacker Pass lithium mine on February 16, 2023, the latest legal move in the two-and-a-half-year struggle over mining, greenwashing, and sacred land in northern Nevada.

The Tribes notified the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 19th that they mean to appeal their Motion seeking a Preliminary Injunction which was rejected by a lower court in early March. Four environmental groups which lost their case in January have also appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and are expected to be heard in June.

Continue Reading


Ox Sam Camp Update: Land Defenders Arrested, Camp Raided After Blocking Excavator




From (follow for more updates).

Read the new press release from 6/8/23 here:

First arrests are underway and camp is being raided after land defenders halted an excavator this morning at Thacker Pass.

OROVADA, NV — This morning, a group of Native American water protectors and allies used their bodies to non-violently block construction of the controversial Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada, turning back bulldozers and heavy equipment.

The dramatic scene unfolded this morning as workers attempting to dig trenches near Sentinel Rock were turned back by land defenders who ran and put their bodies between heavy equipment and the land.

Now they are being arrested and camp is being raided.

Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone people consider Thacker Pass to be sacred. So when they learned that the area was slated to become the biggest open-pit lithium mine in North America, they filed lawsuits, organized rallies, spoke at regulatory hearings, and organized in the community. But despite all efforts over the last three years, construction of the mine began in March.

That’s what led Native American elders, friends and family, water protectors, and their allies to establish what they call a “prayer camp and ceremonial fire” at Thacker Pass on May 11th, when they setup a tipi at dawn blocking construction of a water pipeline for the mine. A second tipi was erected several days later two miles east, where Lithium Nevada’s construction is defacing Sentinel Rock, one of their most important sacred sites.

Sentinel Rock is integral to many Nevada Tribes’ worldview and ceremony. The area was the site of two massacres of Paiute and Shoshone people. The first was an inter-tribal conflict that gave the area it’s Paiute name: Peehee Mu’huh, or rotten moon. The second was a surprise attack by the US Cavalry on September 12th, 1865, during which the US Army slaughtered dozens. One of the only survivors of the attack was a man named Ox Sam. It is some of Ox Sam’s descendants, the Grandmas, that formed Ox Sam Newe Momokonee Nokotun (Indigenous Women’s Camp) to protect this sacred land for the unborn, to honor and protect the remains of their ancestors, and to conduct ceremonies. Water protectors have been on-site in prayer for nearly a month.

On Monday, Lithium Nevada Corporation also attempted to breach the space occupied by the water protectors. As workers maneuvered trenching equipment into a valley between the two tipis, water protectors approached the attempted work site and peacefully forced workers and their excavator to back up and leave the area. According to one anonymous land defender, Lithium Nevada’s action was “an attempted show of force to fully do away with our tipi and prayer camp around Sentinel Rock.”

Ranchers, recreationists, and members of the public have been allowed to pass without incident and water protectors maintain friendly relationships with locals. Opposition to the mine is widespread in the area, and despite repeated warnings from the local Sheriff, there have been no arrests. Four people, including Dorece Sam Antonio of the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe (an Ox sam descendant) and Max Wilbert of Protect Thacker Pass, have been targeted by court orders barring them from the area. They await a court hearing in Humboldt County Justice Court.

“Lithium Nevada is fencing around the sacred site Sentinel Rock to disrupt our access and yesterday was an escalation to justify removal of our peaceful prayer camps,” said one anonymous water protector at Ox Sam Camp. “Lithium Nevada intends to desecrate and bulldoze the remains of the ancestors here. We are calling out to all water protectors, land defenders, attorneys, human rights experts, and representatives of Tribal Nations to come and stand with us.”

“I’m being threatened with arrest for protecting the graves of my ancestors,” says Dorece Sam Antonio. “My great-great Grandfather Ox Sam was one of the survivors of the 1865 Thacker Pass massacre that took place here. His family was killed right here as they ran away from the U.S. Army. They were never buried. They’re still here. And now these bulldozers are tearing up this place.”

Another spiritual leader on the front lines has been Dean Barlese, a spiritual leader from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Barlese led prayers at the site on April 25th (shutting down construction for a day) and returned on May 11th.

“I’m asking people to come to Peehee Mu’huh,” Barlese said. “We need more prayerful people. I’m here because I have connections to these places. My great-great-great grandfathers fought and shed blood in these lands. We’re defending the sacred. Water is sacred. Without water, there is no life. And one day, you’ll find out you can’t eat money.”

The 1865 Thacker Pass massacre is well documented in historical sources, books, newspapers, and oral histories. Despite the evidence but unsurprisingly, the Federal Government has not protected Thacker Pass or even slowed construction of the mine to allow for consultation to take place with Tribes. In late February, the Federal Government recognized tribal arguments that Thacker Pass is a “Traditional Cultural District” eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. But that didn’t stop construction from commencing.

“This is not a protest, it’s a prayer,” said Barlese. “But they’re still scared of me. They’re scared of all of us elders, because they know we’re right and they’re wrong.”

Continue Reading


O’odham Executed by Border Patrol: Statement by Raymond Mattia Family




Raymond Mattia of the Tohono O’odham Nation was executed by US border patrol agents on May 18th at his home. He was reportedly shot 38 times.

A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border
Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from

For more information please visit:

Statement by Mattia Raymond’s family:

We have been trying to find the strength to write this statement. This tragedy is so
grievous because it is apparent what had happened. Raymond called for help and, in turn, was
shot down at his doorstep. Raymond’s rights were violated by the authorities whom we trust to
protect our Nation. Improper and unprofessional actions of the agencies involved were witnessed
by family members present near the crime scene. Loved ones sat in agony, not knowing of
Raymond’s condition until they were told that he had passed hours later. Raymond lay in front of
his home for seven hours before a coroner from Tucson arrived.
In our eyes and hearts, we believe that Raymond was approached with excessive and
deadly force that took his life. He was a father, brother, uncle, friend, and an involved
community member. Raymond always fought for what was right, and he will continue to fight
even after his death. This is not an isolated incident, but it should bring awareness of the
oppression our people live through.
We want to thank so many of you for your condolences and support. A GoFundMe for
defense funds will be available soon. A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from 10:00am-Noon.

Contact for support:

Continue Reading

Popular Posts