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Krystal Curley is a mother to three girls. They attend rallies with her and often hear her support for reproductive rights and other critical issues. Curley has taught her daughters about body sovereignty, reproductive justice, and self-determination. Her daughters are acutely aware of issues that impact them, their community, and the world.
Knowing this, Curley, Diné, couldn’t bring herself to tell her daughters Tuesday before school, opting to wait until they returned that afternoon to break the news that the Supreme Court is likely to overturn those rights.
“It's really heartbreaking to be living in a world like this where women are just completely disregarded, completely,” said Curley, executive director for Indigenous Lifeways.
On Monday night, a Supreme Court draft opinion leaked to Politico indicated a majority of the court — Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — had overturned the rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the legal footing that guarded a woman’s right to choose. On Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the document was authentic and called for the marshal of the Supreme Court to launch an investigation into the leak. An early publication of the court’s thinking is unprecedented. READ MORE — Pauly Denetclaw, Indian Country Today
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Fans are gearing up to celebrate the informal Star Wars Day, known as “May the 4th be with you,” on Wednesday. Fans from across the world participate and Indigenous fans are there to celebrate too.
One impressive example of the Native fandom is Hopi-R2. He is the first Indigenous droid which is a copy of R2-D2, the famous droid character from Star Wars, that is covered in Hopi pottery designs. It weighs about 200 pounds, and additional 200 pounds with a case.
He has recently been traveling around Arizona from the Phoenix Country Day School, First Mesa Youth Center, AZ First Tech Challenge Championship and Coconino High School.
Artist Duane Koyawena, Hopi-Tewa, painted the robot for about three months. His art mainly focuses on his Hopi culture, translating it to contemporary art and portraits.
He said R2-D2 is one of his favorite characters because of how they apply to his life and how “they’re always there to support, they’re always there to help. They have the keys beyond the keys to help; if you can’t get past one door they have the key to get past the other door.”
The journey of creating the robot began when the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff planned an exhibit called "The Force is With Our People,” to be made up entirely of Native American artists. The purpose was to explore the “influence Star Wars has had on contemporary Native artists and the question of why this enduring piece of popular culture resonates so strongly with Native communities, specifically those in the American Southwest.” READ MORE — Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today
In the 1970's, the Kenyan government evicted hundreds of Indigenous Endorois people from their homelands to create the Lake Bogoria National Reserve. The park is known for its hot springs, beautiful Rift Valley landscape, and large flamingo population. The Endorois were devastated. Disconnected from their homelands and traditions, the Endorois faced poverty, language loss, separation from cultural landmarks, and other threats. “It took away our sense of belonging,” said Carson Kiburo, Endorois and Executive Director of the Jamii Asilia Centre. “We have lost our culture.”
The Endorois challenged the eviction in court, eventually taking their case to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. In 2010, the Commission ruled that Kenya had violated the Endorois’ human rights and provided seven recommendations for restitution and compensation, including the return of land, providing access for animal grazing and ceremony, and financial damages. The Commission established a three month timeline for the Kenyan government to provide a progress report, but 12 years later, the Endorois say that Kenya has failed to follow through on the Commission’s core recommendations.
This week, Kiburo is demanding Kenya adopt the Commission's other recommendations and using the United Nations' Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to call for stronger international action to support the Endorois in defending their rights.
“We want to retain our sense of belonging, our culture, our food sovereignty, our spirituality, and contribute to humankind,” Kiburo said. “That's all we’re asking.” READ MORE — Joseph Lee, Grist
The above story is published as part of the Global Indigenous Affairs Desk, an Indigenous-led collaboration between Grist, Indian Country Today, and High Country News.
Around the world: Illegal mining is bringing sexual violence and disease to Indigenous people in Brazil, a First Nations man is named a finalist for an NHL award, deforestation continues to claim Indigenous lands in tropical countries, and a new tourist attraction offers an Indigenous experience in Queensland.
BRAZIL: Illegal miners brings violence and disease, report says
Illegal miners in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory in the Brazilian Amazon are forcing girls as young as 11 into sex work, and bringing other violence and disease into Indigenous communities, according to the findings of a new investigation reported by Mongabay.com on April 28.
“Many miners are enticing teenage girls and women in the Yanomami communities,” according to the report published April 11 by the Hutukara Yanomami Association. “There are 11-, 12- and 13-year-old girls being bribed to stay in the tent with them. They offer food, clothes and work materials [in exchange for sex].”
Areas within six miles of illegal mining operations on the Yanomami reserve are facing incidents of rape, murder, organized crime, malaria and malnutrition, and reports of Indigenous youths being drawn into the mining operation, according to the report. READ MORE — Deusdedit Ruhangariyo, Indian Country Today
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On Wednesday's ICT Newscast, we learn the story behind the Navajo translation of "Star Wars." Plus, an Indigenous photographer shares her practice and wildfires in New Mexico
- EPA recommends against reissuing permit for PolyMet mine: Federal regulators determined that there were no conditions that the Army Corps of Engineers could place on the wetlands permit that would ensure compliance with Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s water quality regulations
- Fire crews take stand against destructive New Mexico blaze: Wildfires have become a year-round threat in the drought-stricken West
- Employers post record 11.5 million job openings in March: A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March
- Largest Native American cave art discovered using 3D scanning technology
- The Kaw will reunite with a sacred rock that Lawrence used as a monument to white people
- Native Americans in Lincoln Set Up A Prayer Camp in Protest
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