Bay Native Circle 03-29-2023
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00:00:00 <Show Theme Plays>
00:00:45 Tony Gonzales
Anpetu Thayetu Waste Mitakuyapi – Good Evening Relatives & Welcome to Bay Native Circle here on KPFA & online at KPFA.org. This is Tony Gonzales your host Tonight, March 29th & this evening we will be speaking with Kenny Barrios of Tachi [Southern Valley Yokuts] Peoples of the San Joaquin Valley, south of Fresno out in Akron area. Kenny will talk to us about the floods & all the waters are feeding into the San Joaquin Valley into what was once Tulare. Lake Tulare had disappeared over the decades because of the damming of the four major rivers, in the Corcoran area. [Lake Tulare] is now reappearing, true to form, with all the water draining over the sidewalk canals, levees & waterways—now refilling Tulare Lake. So, Kenny will talk to us from his point of view & give us a little history of his people around that Lake [& their relocation]. [Kenny] will sing us a song of his people’s ancient song of this Western Hemisphere my relatives, I hope you will appreciate.
We will [also] be speaking with Jean Roach. Many of, you know, over the years, she’s a longtime friend & supporter of Leonard Peltier [the] political prisoner—now, going on 48 years for a crime he did not commit. Jean Roach was at that firefight, that historic day back on June 26th, 1975, when three men were shot & killed two FBI agents Joe Stuntz was also among those killed. & by the way, an investigation on his death has not been initiated, nor concluded by the Department of Justice.
Jean will talk to us about Leonard, Peltier, and all the various campaigns. Most importantly, [Jean will talk about] going to the United Nations, this April 17th through 28th, to attend the 22nd session of the Permanent Forum on indigenous history. So I’ll be sharing some of that history of the international arena with Jean [&] the impact of indigenous peoples of the world, on the United Nations Arena goes back, a hundred years now—[since] nineteen twenty-three, my relatives [when we] went for the first time, [when] Chief Deskaheh of the Cayuga Nation of the Iroquois [Haudenosaunee] Confederacy appeared in Geneva & [addressed] the League of Nations to tell them about the environment, & pollution. He went with his Wampum to talk about honoring treaties & many of the issues that are still relevant…today, [such as] protecting sacred sites. But this is a milestone in international indigenous development & we will be attending that permanent forum—& Jean, & her delegate advocates will be among them. [Jean will] share a bit of history with us, my relatives.
But before we do that, I just wanted to express some concerns. Indian People all across the country [ha] gotten attention when President Joe Biden broke another campaign promise. & that is with the opening [of] northeastern Alaska for the Willow Project. & this Willow Project is to open up gas & oil drilling in that region. Formerly President Trump had opened up for leasing during his term & when President Biden came on board, he suspended it. But evidently [Biden is] backpedaling & now he’s opened up that region much to the consternation of Indian Peoples on both sides of that slope. & I’m talking about the NPR or the Northern Petroleum region and how that could be a major concern to the kitchen and other traditional peoples. On the Western Slope with reference to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That is where the Caribou [are], 300,000 Caribou my relatives, in that Northern Region way up there. The porcupine caribou needs the protection of the traditional people & for us to help them in that protection.
So there’s a lot to be said, so I will try & get a story for you on that perhaps next week or as soon as possible to see how you can help. That’s the Conico drilling company in Alaska who will be doing some of that [drilling]. There is projected like six hundred million gallons of oil per year will be extracted from there. So, there’s much concern on how they just might begin to overlap into sacred ground of the porcupine caribou—referred to as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the ANWR, my relatives; that drilling would be in that North Slope area. Now, we need to be considering how to hold President Biden accountable and what is to be done & will there be some any lawsuits where legal challenges are ahead? This is the concern that seemed to be popping up & we’ll try & tell that story to my relatives. But also, I just wanted to say that Morning Star. Gali—she’s our co-host here on Bay Native Circle, as we rotate during the month & has a show with us—she’s now…the new vice-president… [for the] Pit River Tribe, where she’s been the preservation officer for many years. Well, now she is the vice chairperson of Pit River Tribe up there in Northern California. So that is terrific. Will be hearing some good news from her & her tribe as we move forward.
All right, let’s go into that interview with Kenny Barrios…of the Tachi Indian peoples & [talk about] the work that he’s doing & bringing us the insights of the lake that once was Tulare Lake and is now once again. &…on the line I’ve invited the Kenny Barrios [who] lives out there in the central San Joaquin Valley & out there in the Corcoran area. Kennedy, I’ve invited you to talk to us here on Bay Native Circle…about the weather conditions in the San Joaquin Valley. & we’ve been hearing a lot about flooding of course & out on the West Coast, a lot of news & concern for the people there and in Pajaro. But in the central San Joaquin Valley, the weather conditions are such that people are in need as well. Can you introduce yourself & describe the people that you’re working with please?
00:07:40 Kenny Barrios
So, my name is Kenny Barrios. I’m a Tachi Yokut Tribal Member from the Central Valley. We’re the people of Tulare Lake. We’re the Mud Duck People, so…you see we the people of Tulare Lake. Our Tribe originated around the lake.
00:07:52 Tony Gonzales
Tulare Lake was a big majestic freshwater lake. It was considered the largest west of the Mississippi, Kenny & over the decades, over the century that is. [With] the dams that have been built there on the Sierra Nevada’s out in your area…with all this rain, a lot of water [had] nowhere else to go—but it seems like it’s naturally flowing into what was Tulare Lake and is today. [Kenny] tell us about the conditions in your particular community.
00:08:30 Kenny Barrios
So, we’ll go back to when it first started when we were getting all that rain. So, our sister Tribe—Tule River Tribe, took a big hit. A lot of flash floods throughout their tribe & they washed away the roadway & everything & then it started trickling down to the to the city. Yeah, our sister tribe, they took a really big hit [from the storm] They’re good now, you know, they’re back to working & everything. The conditions of the, the roadways & everything have been really bad, so [the Tule River Tribe] lost a lot of their back roads, [became] submerged underwater to back to its original place of Tulare Lake. The so where?
Where [my tribe is] right now, we’re like 15 miles away from the water to where the water is starting right now. But eventually, when all the water is done, we should be at least 10 miles away. You know the lake gets pretty big. It is the largest freshwater lake, West of Mississippi. That’s 75 miles long & 45 miles away. We went from the great the base of the Grapevine, all the way up to the town of Lemoore & went from Corcoran all the way to Kettleman City. It is a big fresh body, and there were stories of when they were taking the lake down. They had so many fish in there…fish hatcheries that were around here until the lake was gone.
00:10:16 Tony Gonzales
OK, can you tell us if you are in Corcoran proper or an outlining incorporated [area]?
00:10:30 Kenny Barrios
So, we are like 10 miles away from Corcoran & it’s just a little bitty town. But the town is like, right on the edge of the shore of the Tulare. So once all the water comes, it passes right by Corcoran, & so Corcoran is taking a big hit of it right now. The Corcoran Prison is right next to it. They just showed another picture of the water, & they showed the I5 & it is big ready [to flood more] & there’s a lot of snow.
Still in the mountain river, a lot of water is still coming down. We’re not done raining yet, you know? So that’s all these years that they were hiding the water, taking it away from the land & letting everybody in the valley suffer with no water. It’s all coming back all at once & now it’s going to be where you can’t control it. You can’t control what you thought you could control. It’s coming back to Mother Nature, you know, mother nature’s going to let you know who’s really in charge. This is her land, that this is created around. This is indigenous peoples land, this land right here. [Our land] speaks, this land is alive, this land & that lake have been asleep. It wasn’t gone, they tried to make it a memory, it is not a memory. It is alive & so itself again, just like that.
00:11:49 Tony Gonzales
Is it just your [personal] tribal community that you are working with? Is that the Tulare [River] Reservation you’re working at or?
00:12:02 Kenny Barrios
No, I work. I work at Tachi Yokut tribe. So, Tachi Yokut Tribe, we are the sister tribe of the Tule River [Tribe]. So, like I said, we’re the Mud Duck People, we’re the people from Tulare Lake. So, there’s five original tribes around the lake. There is the Tachi & the Nutunutu, Wo’lasi the Wowol and I think the Wo’noche (Wo’noche may be misspelled. If you know the proper spelling, please contact us) they were all they were all the five tribes that were around the lake.
00:12:31 Tony Gonzales
I understand though, when Tulare Lake was in its full development, you know, as a water body & that there are well over 30[to]50 Indigenous [tribes around the lake]. Your peoples…got relocated further east into the foothills?
00:12:56 Kenny Barrios
Yeah, so we had…over like 70,000 members in our tribe. So, when the first contact came, by the time a lot of it was done, we were down to like 200 tribal members & [then] we got down to like 40 Tribal Members. Then…that’s when the government came in & started saving us & helping us out & gave us a piece of land to where they gave us 40 acres where we reside on today. That is our original village of Waiu [on Mussel Slough].
00:13:35 Tony Gonzales
Kenny, are you reaching out? Is there a state of emergency call or?
00:13:45 Kenny Barrios
Well…so where we are at…we’re not in a state of emergency because we’re not. We’re like, if anything happens, we’re going to be on the shoreline, we will not be in the middle of the water. We’re not going to be in the way of the of the lake. So, us as indigenous people, we never put our villages where they will be in danger & this is the one of our original villages that we are on right now. So, we are in our original village of Waiu. So, if that water was to come back fully, if that lake was to fully return, we still would be safe because we’re on our original village & our original villages were never put in in harm’s way—because that’s as native people, we know where to put our villages.
So our lake, we have stories about the lake. A long time ago, it was just our people. You know, our people, the stories are the animals created the world. So the story is that there was nothing but water. Well, Eagle & Raven were flying over & they seen a mud duck. So they went down & they saw the mud duck, had mud on his bill. So Eagle tells Mud Duck: “Hey Mud Duck! Where’d you get that mud at?” [Mud Duck] says: “I got it down at the bottom of the lake” & Eagle goes “Oh well, if you bring me one scoop of mud, I’ll give you 1 fish.” [Mud Duck] said “Oh, yeah, I could do that.” And Raven said “If you bring me one scoop of mud I’ll give you one fish too.” So…Mud Duck was bringing the mud up, Eagle was building his hills on the east side & Raven was building the hills on the West side. Well, Eagle said one day that he’s going to go off & look for more help & he tells Duck & Raven to keep building on his side so when he gets he can get building. So, when [Eagle] came back he found out that…Raven just built his [own] side. So Eagle tells Duck “I’ll give you two fish if you bring me two scoops of mud. So Duck said “Yeah, I’ll do that, I’ll give you 2 scoops of mud and you bring me two fish.” So they kept doing that & kept doing that for a while until they were done. That’s why Eagles hills on the east side are bigger than the hills on the West side, because the Eagle had made Duck give him more mud so he could build his [side] up to catch up to Rave—but he passed [Raven] up & made his house bigger. So we have stories about the lake. These are legit stories.
00:16:15 Tony Gonzales
Yes…Kenny, I wanted to ask you again [about] some of the incorporated towns…that are surrounded indeed by corporate farming like that whole area is. There towns that [are] threatened by water & floods—towns such as Allensworth for example—unincorporated [towns]. But they’re surrounded by a corporation…the big company of Boswell. Can you share with us a little bit of history about who this rancher Baron is—Boswell—who feels he can also control water?
00:16:49 Kenny Barrios
Well, sure, Boswell, he is a man that has the government in his pocket. He’s no longer here, I heard he’s no longer here, whatever. But his family, they are very, very powerful. They can make the government do things that we can’t. So he’s the reason why the dams are built, because it flooded his cotton fields one year, so he had then divert the water [so that his fields would no longer be prone to flooding]. He made decisions like that, he controlled the water, every piece of water that comes out of the ground. [The Boswell family] owns the most of it.
It’s hard because us as people, we need the water, we need the water to live. But everybody wants us to stop using the water so the farmers can grow whatever & make money for themselves. You know they don’t give anything back to any community. You know, like our community, for example, where we provide out everywhere you know, because we have our casino, we help out a lot of places & we hardly ever get [anything in return].
But so all the farmers around us, every farmer around us, they all fighting for water. Well, us as native people, we don’t even have the water rights. They have a water board, but we aren’t allowed on it because we are a government. We are not a individual owning a piece of land. They found a loophole to keep us out because if we were on [the board] we’d have more power [to] keep our water to ourselves.
00:18:18 Tony Gonzales
And the water? The Boswell family ultimately corralled included several major rivers in that area, the Kings River among them. What are the other rivers that I hear that there’s four major rivers that are indeed a part of this flood now that is overcoming the land?
00:18:32 Kenny Barrios
Yeah it’s the Kings River, it’s the Tule River, it’s the Deer Creek & Cross Creek. Well, the those ones come from Kaweah, Deer Creek. I think that comes from Kaweah & Cross Creek comes from Kaweah. So we got Lake Kaweah, we got Lake Success, we got—which I can’t think of the name of it—but there’s another one down South too. They all bring the water to the to Tulare Lake & that’s what’s happening right now. They cannot stop it & they’re not going to stop it so. They actually, told Boswell that [they have] to let the water go into the lake.
So I like the fact that…they are having to do what we had to do, but we are not doing it to them…You know, they did it to themselves. They put themselves in a situation where they won’t be able to help themselves or help anybody else. They’ve done so much damage to the Central Valley that it is all coming back to them & it’s nobody’s fault but their own. I feel bad for the ones that are in the path. That are going to be having stuff done to their homes and to themselves, but that’s nature. That’s the way Mother Nature works. She doesn’t sugarcoat anything if she’s going to destroy you, she’s going to destroy you. If you’re in her way, you’re in her path. She going to make you move if you don’t move, she’s going right over you. That’s what it is. That’s the way life is. & we had to deal with the fact that we couldn’t move around on our own land. We’re limited to what we did. So now it’s Creators way of telling you “this is what you’re going to do, & you’re not going to say nothing about it.” So yeah…we think the indigenous way & that’s who wea are.
00:20:30 Tony Gonzales
It’s full circle full circle with its corporate farming & now the push back because I understand that company is so powerful that they’re able to maneuver where the flooding should be, where it keeps the open fields as dry as can they be, so it doesn’t get flooded…trying to protect corporate interest.
00:20:50 Kenny Barrios
…who has that right to do these type of things to innocent people, you know? They should be held accountable for that. That is like they’re destroying peoples homes & it’s all because of greed because [they want] to make money at the end of the day.
00:21:19 Tony Gonzales
Well, I think the cities are going have to come to terms with that & try to deal with the corporation, which is almost like a government in itself. It’s so vast & powerful as you described it. Indeed, the damage, you know, the rain, the flood has creates so much damage. If you’re there because there’s a lot of farm workers that will be out of work for at least six, seven maybe eight months. I don’t know how many in your community are dependent on farm work, but that’s going be a big concern & a big need. Are there any other issues that you foresee in the future, Kenny, that your people are preparing for?
00:21:54 Kenny Barrios
So for our future I’m foreseeing more water. You know, we want to see more water. We’re fleeing everybody’s prayers are working here because we’re to see so far as it looks like it’s going to be a good, good turn out with it…so I just wanted to finish off with…a song about that lake. You know, we have songs about it…It talks about when the big floods come, you know, & then the Lake Grove & the natives would have to gather their stuff & move away from the lake. Then when summer time comes, the lake would shrink to move away from the people & so that people would have to gather their stuff up & move back to the lake. So this song, this song about the lake, it’s talking about how the natives thought that the lake didn’t like them. The lake did not want them by it because every time they moved by it, the lake would push them away or every time they moved back to it’ll move away from them. So this lake, we have a big connection to it. I’ve never seen this lake in my lifetime, you know, & I prayed for it, you know.
<Kenny Sings the Tulare Lake Song>
00:23:02 Tony Gonzales
Aho, an ancient song!
00:24:19 Tony Gonzales
Well thank you Kenny for reporting to us about the flooding that’s going on in the Corcoran area & a little history on Tulare Lake that is beginning to reappear. It’s still just a quarter…of the size it used to be as you described as 75 miles across. We’ll try to get back with you as the rain continues to let us know the damage going on & also what concerns your people may have, that we can get it out on the airwaves like we are today. Thank you very much.
00:25:00 Kenny Barrios
Alright, well if you all need anything else now let me know I hope you have a good day, Aho!
00:25:10 Tony Gonzales
Aho, I want to thank Kenny Barrios for his insights, his song & telling us about the water & the flood from an Indian point of view & how they perceive it—really making full circle from how it was a big, massive 75 miles across [lake]. From what I understand…the largest the West of the Mississippi & surrounded by over 40 California Central San Joaquin Valley tribes, including the Yokuts, the Tachi, & & many more. So, I want to thank Kenny for bringing that to us…Now let’s go into that interview with our good friend Jean Roach on behalf Of Leonard Peltier.
My relatives, now I’ve invited Jean Roach to talk to us. Jean Roach is with the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, & she’s been working the on behalf of Leonard Peltier & for his freedom since 1975. Well, I must say, Jean Roach has been on the airwaves here on Bay Native Circle on KPFA several times, because of our concern for Leonard Peltier. She’s launched many campaigns, both regional, national & international, & has been to many forms on behalf of Leonard Peltier.
Jean, you know we’re right at the cusp if you will, of attention. Here giving these changes over the last couple of months, indeed from the walk to Washington, DC, from Minneapolis, the Democratic National Committee support for the release of Leonard Peltier, & that’s representative of 70 million Democratic voters. Supposedly, there was a former FBI agent who stepped forward? A woman who’s retired, who says that indeed it’s a vendetta that the FBI has about Leonard Peltier & & now Jean, we’re up to this moment.
The United Nations is preparing their annual United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues, & this is the 22nd session. It will begin on April the 17th, on through the 28th. Jean Roach, myself, yourself, Ruthann Buffalo, attorney for Leonard Peltier, former federal Judge Kevin Sharp, is among the delegation going this April to the UN in New York. Please, that was a broad introduction to what we’re going to talk about, but if you can introduce yourself, Jean, tell us a little bit about some of the campaigns you’ve been involved in & the work that goes on at the UN…Jean Roach.
00:28:20 Jean Roach
Híŋhaŋni wašté good morning or good evening. My name is Jean, I’m a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. I’m a survivor of the 1975 Oglala firefight & I’ve been working on better freedom for yeah, many years since it happened. All along we’ve been saying that he was innocent. And there’s been so much FBI corruption & interference things & just straight up continued genocide. You know, when is this going to stop? And when it represents the treatment of our native people by the United States government.
And you know, it’s been a long time that 47 years, that he’s been inside there. We can’t imagine the psychological mental stress that he’s feeling there…You know…not only that his body…he’s a diabetic, he’s not getting the right food. He’s an elder, I mean, we can go on & on about his health & we see that as his number one priority, is trying to get him health care. [It is] along the same lines of Freedom & Justice. I Mean it’s all part of a well-being, & I think that he represents the same thing our native people.
We’re fighting for health care too. For him in a more way, because he has a aortic aneurysm that could explode at any time. Along with the diabetes, with the inadequate food, you know…it just continues on getting worse. You know, his eyes are being affected. So, you know, his health is really a big issue & people like the Bureau of Prisons, they ignore it. It’s such a big monstrous system that they have no personality &…they don’t treat you like human beings inside of the prison.
So Leonard’s been suffering, not only physical, but mental anguish. You know, he has…people telling him lies. A lot of elder abuse is going on there, you know. And we at the board of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, are very concerned.
You know we have attacks on our website we have other organizations that are trying to appear like they’ve been involved. I’ll tell you what our board has years of activism on a grassroots level & [we have] educated women. I mean, I’ve put this to the board right here, you know. Our next move is going back to the United Nations & keep putting that pressure on. I personally feel that. International pressure is really [important]. Alongside our tribal nations, we have several, you know, we have all the northern tribes pretty much that have signed resolutions or support letters & efforts to get Leonard Peltier freedom—& we’ve been ignored, you know.
National Congress of American Indians, but [we have] several resolutions…we’re just hitting the pavement & you know, we want everybody [to help]. I mean, Amnesty International just launched another international campaign. You know, we have so much support in the past & in the present, there’s senators have signed on, we have church groups. I mean, what is it going to take for President Biden to do what the American public wants?
And, you know, we focus on a lot of stuff along with Leonard. You know it represents, you know, like a total…representation of how our tribes are being treated. Until they give justice to Peltier, they’ll never come to the table in a good faith effort. As long as they let that atrocity of misinformation & manipulation continue to Peltier, you can’t trust them.
I mean, it only takes common sense & I would advise the people worldwide the same every nation that has the issue of the United States government, we all need to actually combine our efforts & ask for some real [action]. We don’t just want to get token answers, we want some reality recognition & respect of our human rights. That’s all we are asking for & part of the human the basic human rights is being treated fairly & just because the color of our skin should not continue keeping us in prisons & in poverty.
So this is a big case & it’s not only Peltier, but it’s prisoners & Native Americans & indigenous people worldwide. When they [imprison] a man for 47 years because they changed the laws to fit…what they want. You know, they wanted the scapegoat for the agents that were killed, but they didn’t tell the real story. You know, they attacked women & children in the camp, which they did at Wounded Knee. They did that & wounded in 1973 & 1890. I mean, they like to attack women & children & elders & never stopped in 1975.
Let’s be real with the real story is so all I can say is that…people can help do stuff if they’d like to. [They can] write letters, they [can] ask other organizations to write resolutions. We have the website www.WhoIsLeonardPeltier.info. We have a board, we have a Facebook page, the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. All the women on our board are actually very educated on his plight & a lot of Native issues, you know: we have the MMIW; we’re fighting for the Black Hills; we’re fighting poverty & a racist city, also known as Rapid City, SD. We’re fighting for housing. I mean, we’re just focused on survival & that includes every one of those things we talked about. So health here is a forefront…So we continue on.
00:33:43 Tony Gonzales
Aho thank you, Jean Roach. You know for that layout & we also have a lot of young listeners that are, you know, tuning in & are becoming more & more familiar with Leonard felt here as we present this cases as frequently as often as we can here on KPFA. And there’s a book out if people want to read the details on the case of Leonard Peltier—a book by Peter Matheson, & that is in the spirit of Crazy Horse. And it’s a very detailed, because it also talks about what led to the shootout there, as Jean Roach just described—her being a part of their 1975 June at the Jumping Bull compound in South Dakota in 1975. What culminated there was a result of Wounded Knee ’73, & the years that led up to that moment. And then after the 71 day [about 2 and a half months] siege at Wounded Knee of ’73 from that period to 1975-1976, the reign of terror where so many over 60-70 men & women were killed murdered, assassinated, disappeared & still unaccounted for. My relatives, the Department of Justice has not looked into the shooting of Joe Stuntz…who was killed there on June 26th of 75 along with the two FBI agents that were killed there on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
My relatives well, there’s a lot that had happened since a trip to Russia—when it was the Soviet Union back in the 1980s. Bill Wahpepahi & Stephanie Autumn Peltier, had gone to Moscow & came back with millions of letters from the Russian people to the White House calling on for [Leonard’s] freedom. And since then, all these other campaigns, notably if I may, Jean, here in the Bay Area in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors unanimously last year adopted a resolution calling for February 24 as day of solidarity with Leonard Peltier, & in that resolution they also called on President Biden to immediately release Leonard Peltier.
Last year or before Leonard Peltier was also struck with the COVID-19. So, there is a COVID-19 release there among the options that President Biden would have, along with the executive clemency or a compassionate release—all these avenues that are wide open for him, plus the support from the Democratic Committee as well. So, it’s all there & he’s the only person that can free Leonard Peltier so my relatives, you can go to the website, Jean Roach said: www.WhoIsLeonardPeltier.info or please call the White House. Call them today now & every day. At area code 202-456-1111 That’s 202-456-1111 & leave a message with those options that he has to free Leonard Peltier. But to do it now immediately, this is really a matter of urgency & the attention that right now beckons for his freedoms throughout the world.
You know over the years have Jean, if I may go on the Nobel Peace Prize winners, at least 1015 of them have stopped. Forward that includes Rigoberta Menchu, two 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop of Canterbury & & many more celebrities. Nationally known celebrities across the country it’s all there, it & the campaigns that have been launched. So, it’s prayers at this moment that we have for seeking Leonard Peltier’s freedom as well my relatives.
And do you know that we’re planning to go to the permanent forum—as I said earlier—on Indigenous issues. This year, the theme, vague as it may sound, there’s some work methodically that is done within the theme, as I will read, it’s called – Indigenous Peoples Human Heath, Planetary, Territorial Health & Climate Change: A Rights Based Approach. My relatives, that’s the theme for these two weeks that will begin April the 17th through the 28th.
Jean Roach is helping to gather a team of advocates, young advocates that can be effective there at the United Nations & my relatives at this juncture, that 22nd session. This will be the first time that it’s a physical engagement. [In] the past three years [the forum] has been by zoom & prior to that the sessions had involved 3000-4000 Indian Indigenous peoples from throughout the world. That’s black Indians, white Indians, Red Indians of the Americas, Indians of Asia Indians of Oceana. This is the Big Gathering.
My relatives, the international Indian movement, if you will, has been launched & that began, of course, with the efforts of The American Indian Movement & NGOs at that time 1977, the International Indian Treaty Council, was among them. From that 1977 outcome was a Declaration of Independence of Indigenous nations. My relatives & they cut a plan out, made a plan into the future that would include involvement in the international arena, which is where we take all the issues that Indian peoples—& it’s 400 million & plus at this point in terms of numbers according to the World Bank & other United Nations specialized bodies who have given counts of the Indian people throughout the world.
But we’re coming together & we’re organizing an international movement…& Leonard Peltier is very much a part of that & is well known, & which is why at this forum at the in New York beginning of April 17th it’s expected 2000-3000 Indian peoples will come & it will give an opportunity to engage & talk about the issues that we have & for us. Jean Roach, myself, Ruth & Buffalo, Kevin Sharp, the attorney & a few others that we hope to bring on board, will advocate about Leonard Peltier so that they too can share their voice on the United Nations Forum on the floor, & depending on the items that are that are relevant to the subject matter of political prisoners, human rights defenders. And Leonard Peltier’s case can be brought up.
This is what we ask. We’ll be asking the indigenous peoples who are there that when they speak on the floor, they make a statement to try to think about Leonard Peltier, the number one international indigenous political prisoner…I must say, & that it’s time for Leonard to come home. All of us, including myself & our organization AIM-West, are able to bring delegates. Of course, there’s maximum of 10 delegates per organization that can be credentialed into the UN, but from there we kind of flare out, if you will, & engage as many NGO’s, Indigenous peoples & including governments that are open to hear the case of Leonard Peltier. So, Jean Roach Tell us as we’re preparing, there’s a flight, there’s lodging, there’s travel while we’re there & that all cost money & yourself, including myself & others where we’re looking for ways to cut that expense. Can you tell us how you’re faring, how you’re coming along & what kind of support you might be able to need, how people can help you get to the Permanent Forum [On Indigenous Issues] in New York?
00:43:08 Jean Roach
Well, thanks. One of the things that I do have now is we have a donation button on our website. It’s called www.whoIsLeonardPeltier.info & you can donate there directly to [help cover the] cost for the US United Nations trip. I also have a fundraiser on Facebook from my [Facebook profile], Jean Roach & I’m raising funds for the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. The easiest way would be just going straight to the donation button on the website. We don’t have a GoFundMe, but that’s all we have right now. But we’re also looking for, you know, things to do while we’re there, other activities and so. You know…we’re going to have a side event if that all works out. And then outside the United Nations event. So yeah, there’s some cost available with that. I mean, well, lodging. Growth is outrageous.
00:44:02 Tony Gonzales
No, no, thank you.
00:44:03 Jean Roach
So, appreciate. Yeah, we appreciate everything you could do. Thank you.
00:44:07 Tony Gonzales
Yes Jean & your appeal for help & support for Leonard Peltier, & getting you, & our delegation there to New York for the annual session 22nd session of the Forum. It would be terrific for listeners to see if they can provide some help. And you mentioned the side event—that’s another word for a workshop there in UN jargon, my relatives. So, we’ve also requested for a side event that would include the case of Leonard Peltier & how people can help both in the international arena & at the local front, where the peoples come from, you know, in seeking help from coalitions & even the governments, they come as well.
So the side events or workshops [was] announced on April 7th & the deadline for NGO’s or IPO’s, you know like AIM-West & [other] Indigenous People’s Organizations (IPO’s), they had until April the 2nd to submit for a side event if they choose to do so. But that will be an important moment for us & hopefully our side event or workshop will be during the first week because, my relatives it’s very difficult even for North American Indians, who are people who have most resources available & opportunities to access the UN system, particularly now because these sessions are held in New York now as opposed to Geneva, Switzerland, where they were in the years past. But it makes it very difficult for Indian peoples from Central America, South America, way out in, in the Pacific islands to gather the money to stay there the full 2 weeks & being in government dialogue as well, because those opportunities are there.
You know the moments & the minutes that you do have at the UN on the floor with officials & with governments are the most valuable & sought after moments. But you go there with the payload—the drop that is the information that you bring because you want change & those are the moments to do that. That is the international lobbying that goes on at that level.
And at this juncture, Jean, just before we ask you for closing words, just to give our listeners a little bit more history about indigenous people’s involvement in the international & United Nations Arena, well 100 years ago when the United Nations. It was called the League of Nations. [In] 1923 chief of the of the Iroquois [Haudenosaunee] Confederacy was representative there in Geneva, Switzerland at that time, & that’s Chief Deskaheh. So indeed, this month…100 years ago marks a milestone of Indian peoples coming to the United Nations for as Indian peoples that have not been representative among the General Assembly.
Unless of course we do say countries like Bolivia with Evo Morales as president in several years back as being the first indigenous person. Then there’s been several others. I mean, we could say that the Mexico & all the other countries that as Latino as many of them…are indigenous people. This is a part of the consciousness, the awakening, the International Indian Movement, my relatives that we’re moving forward making progress & that includes even at the national level.
if I can go further. Jean Roach, a case that where we refer to in the international arena a lot, goes to the Doctrine of Discovery or the Papal Bulls that the Vatican had issued out back in the 14th, 15th century that are still very much alive & active today. My relatives, I think we only have to go to the case of Johnson V Macintosh…1823 as well. And so, this marks 200 years of the Doctrine of Discovery…being active & used in the US Supreme Court.
Both 1823 Johnson V McIntosh & Fast forward 2005 Justice Ruth Ginsburg had reintroduced the case of Papal Bulls, or the Doctrine of Discovery in the case of Wisconsin V Oneida. Nathan, my relatives. And that was the taking of more or neither Nation’s land & according to the Papal Bulls of that doctrine of discovery, very much alive. So, you know, yeah, we are. In very many milestones of history of Indian peoples, including Chief Deskaheh, as I said, Geneva, Switzerland, 1923 & the Johnson V McIntosh case 1823 & on to the present, this doctrine that has to be banished. That has to be acknowledged as invalid today because they are very much alive & in use in our Supreme Court. All right, Jean, so much good history & we’re going to be a part of that going to the permanent forum this year, April the 17th to the 28th. Any closing words for Leonard Peltier, Jean Roach, please?
00:50:07 Jean Roach
Yes, everyone should try to write a letter to him. You know they don’t allow postcards. You know, cheer him up. I mean, he needs some support. Also encourage your local governments & your local tribes, tribal nations—anybody can be part of this by writing a letter. We’ve gone international, so we have support all over the world, but we really need more [support] & if you get a chance, call the White House. [If] you aren’t doing anything, just call them. Know that you’re interested, & there’s certain hours [you need to call] that we have that on our website.
So I’d Just like to encourage everybody to keep pushing & everything. It really does help, & as long as we can continue pushing for its freedom, hopefully soon it will come. We’re just really hoping & praying.
00:50:57 Tony Gonzales
Thank you, Jean Roach & Jean we’re broadcasting for Bay Native Circle for tonight here with KPFA. I believe April the 19th I will be hosting Bay Native Circle once again, after Morning Star Gali & my colleague Eddie Madrill [who] will have a show after her & then I will have it on April 19th. So, I’ll see about us being able to broadcast live, if you will, from the United Nations there in New York at that time. Alright, Jean Roach, thank you very much for your dedication, your commitment & your courage, Jean—your courage to go forward.
00:51:46 Jean Roach
Thank you very much, thank you.
00:51:47 Tony Gonzales
Aho Jean Roach. What a woman, what a person [with] her dedication & commitment to seek the freedom of Leonard Peltier. Everything that that she does, with local, regional, national & international, my relatives, & now with her & colleagues going on to the UN Permanent Forum that begins April 17th. So, a big shout out there & hopefully we’ll be able to succeed reaching out to include…various government officials & seek their support to send letters to President Biden for the Freedom of Leonard Peltier, the longest held indigenous political prisoner in the entire world, my relatives.
And as we’re coming close to the [end of our show] my relatives. I just wanted to make a few announcements as Chumash Day is coming right up (note: this event has already occurred), that’s right! The Chumash people are having Native American powwow, & that’s going to be also an intertribal gathering that’s April 1st & that will be from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at Malibu Bluffs Park. OK, try to make that one, [it] is the 23rd annual, so there’s a lot of experience there & a lot to see & do…& that will be at 2357 Live Civic Center way in Malibu Bluffs Park. Chumash Day Native American Powwow my relatives & see about going there.
Also, we’ve been hearing that the Apache Stronghold is holding up good & Dr. Wendsler [Noise] caravanned all the way to the court case [at] the 9th district [court of appeals] …to rehear the case of their sacred sites & protection of Oak Flats. So hopefully with Dr. [Wendsler] Noise expressing protecting that site under the First Amendment. Also, the Treaty agreements that the Apache peoples have with the US [are being addressed as well], & that includes shoring it up with international laws, including the declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That would ensure sacred sites & for the governments to honor them, & that includes the United States, which signed that declaration by President Obama in December—when was that, 2010? So, all these efforts are now before the 9th District Court once again to protect the Oak Flat & the advocacy of Dr. Wendsler Noise.
You know for that…Friday, March 31, [was] Cesar Chavez’s birthday, & it will be honored here in California, as…it’s a federal commemoration by President Barack Obama during his time. But several states have pushed on even further. That includes Arizona, California & Utah to make it a state holiday, my relatives. So, there’s time…to share the legacy, the history of Cesar Estrada Chavez. Cesar Chavez, as many of you know, is the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers Association of America. Also, Co-Founder, as many of you know, Dolores Huerta was born in Yuma, AZ.
In Santa Cruz on April the 1st my relatives, that’s on Saturday Cesar Chavez will be very much remembered & appreciate. Barrios Unidos is organizing & gathering there, & Cesar Chavez day, April 1st at from 12:00 to 5:00 PM my relatives (note: this event has already occurred). So, if you’re interested in going down to Santa Cruz, to be a part of body so neither they’re on Soquel St…I’m going to make that one, & I hope you do too…
This has been Tony Gonzalez & you’ve been listening to Bay Major Circle & our producers, Jeanine Antoine. The opening music was L. Frank Manriquez mixed with Ross K’Dee, Robert Maribel & Rare Tribal Mob. Thank you goes out to Falcon Molina for helping engineer the show to Diane Williams for the opening prayer. We also thank our musical artists, our guests & you are listening to audience for your continued support, & we want to give a shout out to our brothers & sisters on the inside, especially those on death row. Thank you to Creator to the Indigenous Peoples whose lands we occupy, to ancestors & to those yet to come, blessings.
00:57:59 <End Show>