The United States must do more to heal the wounds of indigenous peoples caused by more than a century of oppression, including restoring control over lands Native Americans consider to be sacred, according to a U.N. human rights investigator. James Anaya, the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, just completed a 12-day visit to the United States where he met with representatives of indigenous peoples in the District of Columbia, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Washington State, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. He also met with U.S. government officials.
American Indians and loggers have been longtime rivals in the forests of South Dakota’s Black Hills region, but they have joined forces to fight a common adversary. Joe Shark’s Native American heritage taught him to be leery of the timber industry on the South Dakota reservation where he grows apples and gooseberries, but a growing threat from tiny pine beetles has impelled him to grab a saw and join the loggers.
The skull of an indigenous Ache girl has been returned to her community in Paraguay, more than a century after it was taken to a museum by scientists. Damiana Kryygi was kidnapped by white settlers in 1896 when she was four in a raid in which her family were killed. When she died in captivity in Argentina 11 years later her skull was given to anthropologists and eventually taken to a museum in Germany.
The Hunt County Sheriff's Department is among several agencies investigating the gruesome death of a rare white buffalo, born nearly a year ago on a ranch near Greenville, Texas. Lakota Buffalo Ranch owner Arby Little Soldier said he and his wife returned from out of town to find the calf, considered sacred by some in the Native American community, killed and skinned. The next day its mother was also found dead. The non-albino white buffalo was named Lightning Medicine Cloud in a special ceremony last summer. The chance of a white buffalo birth is said to be 1 in 10 million.
Brazil is planning to build at least 20 hydroelectric dams in the Amazon region by 2020, but indigenous residents say they are threatened and so is the rainforest.
After seeing Anheuser-Busch’s devastating exploitation of American Indians, I’m done with its beer. The human toll is evident here in Whiteclay: men and women staggering on the street, or passed out, whispers of girls traded for alcohol. The town has a population of about 10 people, but it sells more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually — because it is the main channel through which alcohol illegally enters the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation a few steps away.