More than 150 internationally known writers and artists are urging Mexican President Felipe Calderon to cancel mining concessions in an area of northern Mexico considered sacred ground by the Huichol Indians. The list of petition signers released Thursday comprises a who’s who of arts and letters from 30 countries, including former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass, who said he was “very happy to participate.The petition urges Mexico to rescind mining concessions granted to Canada-based First Majestic Silver Corp. for nearly 16,000 acres (6,300 hectares) in a desert area known as Wirikuta in San Luis Potosi state. The area is home to the Cerro Quemado, a mountain where the Huichol believe the sun was born.
Each year about 1,500 American Indian children in Minnesota spend time in foster care or other out-of-home-care, often after allegations of neglect or substance abuse by a parent. In Minnesota, American Indian children are 14 times more likely to be placed in out-of-home care than white children - the widest such gap in the nation. Officials place 66 percent of the children with relatives or with American Indian foster families. Even as the total number of Minnesota children in foster care dropped 44 percent in the last decade, the number of American Indian children placed in foster care dropped by only 16 percent.
This Friday, tribal leaders from across the continent will meet for their third summit with the president in Washington, and one of the prime items on the agenda will be the ﬁght against the Keystone Pipeline. They'll talk about the way both the pipeline and the process of approving it have violated treaties, and they'll present the president with a copy of the Mother Earth Accord adopted in a special meeting at the Rosebud reservation a few weeks ago. It's a strong document, full of details about the impacts of tar sands mining and pipeline leaks and carbon emissions -- but it also speaks with the real power of the people who've lived longest and best on this continent. Indeed, it begins by afﬁrming that "the earth is our true mother, our grandmother who gives birth to us and maintains all life."
AJ Russell began racing when he got his first dirt bike at age five. He's now part of the first racing team to have both a Native American owner and driver. He recently debuted in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series. As part of Native American Heritage Month, host Michel Martin speaks with Russell about race car driving and embracing his ancestry.
A native American community in remote Alaska this week revived legal efforts to hold some of the world's largest energy companies accountable for allegedly destroying their village because of global warming. The so-called "climigration" trial would be the first of its kind, potentially creating a precedent in the US courts for further climate change-related damages cases. Attorneys acting for the 427 Inupiat people living in Kivalina made representations before an appeals panel in San Francisco on Monday, to claim climate change-related damages from Exxon Mobil, BP America, Chevron, Shell, Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal provider, and America's largest electricity-generating companies including American Electric Power and Duke Energy.