|Visit to USA. Media Coverage Report: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz Press Conference|
1. APTN News(Canada):United National Special Rapporteur expected to release interim report on New Mexico and Standing Rock Friday
2. Associated Press(USA):UN official: Tribe not properly heard in pipeline dispute
3. Associated Press(USA):Enviada ONU: No se consultó a tribu sobre oleoducto Dakota
4. BuzzFeed News(USA):A United Nations Observer Said The US Is Still Mistreating Native People
5. Daily Lobo — University of New Mexico(USA):Indigenous people speak out against pollution of tribal lands
6. Jurist – University of Pittsburgh(USA):UN rights expert urges US to create indigenous land policy
7. KVRR(USA):U.N. Investigator Says Native American Rights were Violated by DAPL Law Enforcement
8. NRK Sápmi(Norway):Sametinget kan bryte med DNB: – Uholdbart at en norsk bank tråkker på urfolks rettigheter
9. PJ Media(USA):UN Human Rights Official Says U.S. Oil Projects Inflicting Crime, Trafficking Toll on Native Americans
10. Radio Canada (Canada):Les Sioux de Standing Rock insuffisamment entendus, juge l’ONU
11. RT(Russia):UN official again condemns Dakota Access for ignoring rights of Standing Rock Sioux
12. SDPB Radio(USA):U.N. Special Rapporteur Weighs In On DAPL
13. Washington Post(USA):U.N. human rights official criticizes federal relationship with Indian tribes
1. APTN News (Canada)
United National Special Rapporteur expected to release interim reporto n New Mexico and Standing Rock Friday
March 3, 2017
The United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples is expected to release an interim report Friday on her visit to two territories in the United States.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz toured sites in New Mexico and North Dakota this week.
In North Dakota, Tauli-Corpuz held meetings on the Fort Berthold reservation. The community sits 250 kilometres north-west of where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been battling against the Dakota Access pipeline.
But unlike Standing Rock, Fort Berthold is in the heart of the Bakken oilfields and hosts a number of pipelines on its territory.
The UN special rapporteur also talked to people in Bismarck and that is where APTN caught up to her.
2. Associated Press (USA)
UN oficial: Tribe not properly heard in pipeline dispute
By Blake Nicholson
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP)Mar. 3, 2017
A United Nations official who visited North Dakota in the wake of months of protests over the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline believes the concerns and rights of Native Americans haven't been adequately addressed.
North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum says the state has respected legal protests and that it focused on maintaining peace and protecting the environment. He said his administration is working to restore relations with the Standing Rock Sioux.
The tribe has led the fight against the $3.8 billion pipeline to move North Dakota oil to Illinois. The opposition became centered at a camp that protesters established on federal land between the tribe's reservation and the pipeline route. It grew at times to thousands of people, many of whom clashed with police, leading to about 750 arrests since August.
"My impression is that there was unnecessary use of force," Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, told The Associated Press after visiting the area this week at the invitation of Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault. "Anybody has a right to protest and express their opposition to what is happening."
Police say some protesters were violent and took part in riots, and that some targeted police both professionally and personally.
"Through this ordeal, our law enforcement personnel have shown great professionalism and restraint as they faced taunts, verbal abuse, threats, thrown objects and even gunshots," Burgum told the AP.
The main protest camp recently was shut down in advance of spring flooding, and a federal contractor is cleaning up hundreds of tons of trash and debris before it can pollute nearby rivers. Tauli-Corpuz acknowledged the large amount of garbage but said she considered it "not such a huge issue."
"Efforts to clean it up could be undertaken even if people were there," she said.
Burgum said the pollution concern and the cleanup that could cost federal taxpayers up to $1.2 million isn't overblown.
"More than 600 truckloads of garbage, building materials and toxic debris were hauled away from the protest camps. ... Most North Dakotans would agree that's 'a huge issue,' " he said.
Tauli-Corpuz also said she believes the tribe wasn't properly consulted about the pipeline route — an argument the tribe has made in a federal lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers and Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners. The defendants dispute that claim.
The tribe says the pipeline threatens its water, sacred sites and religion. The tribe successfully pushed for a full environmental study of the pipeline's crossing under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir from which it draws water. However, the Corps rescinded the study at the urging of President Donald Trump.
Tauli-Corpuz said she's likely to recommend a full environmental study in a September report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. The report will have no force of law.
She isn't the first U.N. official to weigh in on the pipeline. The U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues last August issued a statement calling for more tribal input. Forum member Edward John visited the camp in late October, saying he found a "war zone" atmosphere, and the group issued a statement in November calling on the U.S. government to protect sacred sites and uphold human rights.
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3. Associated Press (USA)
Marzo 3, 2017
Una funcionaria de la ONU que visitó Dakota del Norte tras meses de protestas allí sobre el controversial oleoducto Dakota Access dice que las autoridades no han atendido adecuadamente las preocupaciones y derechos de la tribu siux Standing Rock.
El gobernador de Dakota del Norte, el republicano Doug Burgum, dice que el estado ha respetado las protestas legales y se ha concentrado mayormente en mantener el orden y proteger el medio ambiente. Dijo que su gobierno está trabajando para restaurar relaciones con los siux.
La tribu ha encabezado la batalla contra el oleoducto de 3.800 millones de dólares para llevar petróleo de Dakota del Norte a Illinois. La oposición estableció su centro en un campamento establecido por manifestantes en tierras federales entre la reservación siux y la ruta del oleoducto. El número de participantes llegó en ocasiones a miles de personas, muchas de las cuales estuvieron en choques con la policía. Ha habido 750 arrestos desde agosto.
"Tengo la impresión de que hubo un uso innecesario de fuerza", dijo Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, reportera especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas, en declaraciones a The Associated Press tras visitar el área esta semana por invitación del presidente de la tribu Standing Rock Dave Archambault. "Todo el mundo tiene derecho a protestar y expresar su oposición a lo que está sucediendo".
La policía dice que algunos manifestantes fueron violentos y participaron en disturbios y que atacaron profesional y personalmente a policías.
El principal campamento de protesta fue cerrado recientemente y un contratista federal está limpiando el lugar de basura y otros objetos antes de que contaminen ríos aledaños. Tauli-Corpuz admitió que había grandes cantidades de basura, pero dijo que no lo consideraba "un problema tan grande".
"Se pueden realizar gestiones de limpieza incluso si hay gente allí", dijo.
Tauli-Corpuz dijo además que no se consultó a la tribu adecuadamente sobre la ruta del oleoducto, un argumento presentado por la tribu en una demanda federal contra el Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército y Energy Transfer Partners, la compañía de Texas que instala el oleoducto. Los acusados disputan la aseveración.
4. BuzzFeed News (USA)
A United Nations Observer Said The US Is Still Mistreating Native People
BuzzFeed News Reporter
postedonMar. 4, 2017,at11:08a.m.
A United Nations representative slammed the US government for its use of force on activists at Standing Rock on Friday, and said that federal agencies are unjustly robbing native people of power over tribal lands.
“The goal of tribal consultation is not simply to check a box,” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, who was invited by the Obama administration, said at a press conference.
Tauli-Corpuz cited clashes between tribes and federal agencies over the Dakota Access pipeline as symptoms of a broken system of communication between the US government and native people.
“I think it’s an international embarrassment for the US to need a reminder from a UN Special Rapporteur about our core civil rights obligations to native communities,” Catherine Lhamon, chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, told BuzzFeed News.
“It’s critically important that the US come to terms with its obligations,” Lhamon said, responding to the report.
On her ten-day tour last month, Tauli-Corpuz visited tribes all over the country, from Albuquerque to Bismarck to Boulder.
She also discussed the Dakota Access pipeline with North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and Major General Donald Jackson, Jr., the United States Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.
In a report shared with officials at the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and others, she called theTrump administration’s executive actionsto expedite the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL, “deeply concerning.”
“I still hope that these executive [actions] can be rescinded because I think it does a lot of injustice for indigenous people and will lead to serious human rights violations,” she said at a press conference Friday.
In January, the US Army Corpsofficially announcedtheir intention to conduct a lengthy environmental inspection before issuing a permit for construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Just days after President Trump’s memoranda were issued, the Corps reversed that decision and on Feb. 7 issued permission to begin drilling.
US CCR’s Lhamon called the Army Corps’flip-flop“deeply problematic.”
“I am deeply sorry that the United States had not on its own stood by its commitment to the full environmental impact study,” she said.
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5. Daily Lobo – University of New Mexico (USA)
Indigenous people speak out against pollution of tribal lands
We are not terrorists for wanting to live.’
“We are here after dog attacks, we’re here after (being attacked) with chemical agents, military combat tactics, grenades, aerial surveillance, military vehicles, inhumane detention — instruments of war.”
These were the words of human rights lawyer Michelle Cook, describing threats posed to her and her clients while camping out at Standing Rock during the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
“We are not terrorists for wanting to live,” Cook said.
Cook was joined by more than 30 indigenous people and representatives of native communities, gathered at the UNM School of Law on Feb. 25, waiting for their chance to speak out against energy development on native lands across the United States.
Hosted by United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz as a part of a series of five visits around the U.S., the conference aimed to observe and collect information on energy development within indigenous communities.
Tauli-Corpuz will deliver a comprehensive report on her findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council at a U.N. conference in September.
Speakers shared with the special rapporteur their concerns for health care, issues of sovereignty, alcoholism on reservations and safety in tribal communities.
The two most pressing concerns brought to attention, however, were water rights and the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
“(DAPL) is an issue that keeps on coming up, and it’s not an issue that’s only limited to the United States,” Tauli-Corpuz said.
Cook, a UNM Law School alumna, had recently returned from Standing Rock where she lived for several months with her mother Leoyla Cowboy, a Diné tribal member and former Red Nation Coalition member.“We didn’t know what community was until we got to Standing Rock,” Cowboy said.
She and her family traveled to the camp outside of Bismarck, North Dakota, with “hopes to stop the drilling, stop that pipeline,” she said.
Cowboy’s eyes filled with tears as she pleaded for help from Tauli-Corpuz to restore her peoples’ sacred lands and begin the infrastructure needed to establish renewable energy.
“Coal, oil and gas, as well as uranium, has had a huge negative impact on our lands, and has taken us away from our lands,” Cowboy said.
“All we’ve ever wanted was to live,” Cook added.
Though the issue has not recently received as much attention, water in indigenous communities is currently endangered by proposed nuclear testing, mine site contamination and waste runoff that have the potential to pollute rivers and groundwater.
Cathy Sanchez of Santa Fe said that Los Alamos National Labs is on grounds that her people consider sacred, and that the polluting of the land has a lasting “mental, physical, emotional and spiritual impact” on the surrounding native community.
Sanchez, who grew up in the pueblo of San Ildefonso, “just downwind of Los Alamos National Labs,” claims that Los Alamos and neighboring communities still suffer from the impacts of chromium pollution from LANL, which was discovered more than 10 years ago.
Calling for action to be taken by the U.S. government in order to restore the land occupied by the Los Alamos labs, Sanchez said the facility “must use their intelligence to conduct practices that promote life to the ultimate of what is possible.”
Petuuche Gilbert, Indigenous Worlds Association president and Acoma pueblo descendant, brought to the attention of Tauli-Corpuz the proposed Roca Honda Uranium Project.
If permitted, the mine would cut into Mount Taylor, located in northwest New Mexico and considered by the Acoma people to be sacred land.
“Our concerns are for the amount of water that has to be removed from the ground,” Gilbert said.
The so-called “dewatering” procedure would remove and contaminate between 4 and 10 million gallons of water per day, according to Gilbert, a process which would “allow wastewater to desecrate the mountain.”
Tribal leaders also voiced concerns about financial deficits, which affect how much money can be allocated to environmental protection.
“As a tribal leader you look at your growing population and it’s very dynamic,” said Cota Holdings President Roger Fragua. “You look at all those things (tribal leaders) have to afford with decreasing federal support coming in, and you’re told that you’re sovereign so you have to do this yourself. How are (tribal leaders) going to feed these people, how are they going to support these people?”
Celia Raney is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted email@example.com on Twitter @Celia_Raney.
6. Jurist – University of Pittsburgh (USA)
UN rights expert urges US to create indigenous land policy
By Miracle Jones
Sunday 5 March 2017
UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz [official website] called [press release] Friday for the US to adopt a consistent approach to indigenous land rights in pipeline projects. The Special Rapporteur was concerned [transcript] about how indigenous peoples were not fully consulted on the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), leaving them with disruptions to their land. She said that she was encouraged by how indigenous people were trying to engage new technologies to utilize their property as well as a recent report that lays out how the government should try to approach similar pipelines in the future. However, she was concerned about how current projects are being pushed through with harrowing consequences for indigenous peoples without their meaningful inclusion in the decision making process.
But challenges remain. The contemporary executive action that provides the most direct guidance on consultation with tribes, Executive Order 13175, while well intentioned, has developed into a confusing and disjointed framework that suffers from loopholes, ambiguity, and a general lack of accountability. The regulatory regime has failed to ensure effective and informed consultations with tribal governments. The breakdown of communication and lack of good faith involvement in the review of federal projects has left tribal governments functionally unable to participate in consequential dialogue with the United States on projects affecting their lands, territories, and resources.
The Special Rapporteur called on the US government to develop stronger relationships with the tribes and create specific standards for future interactions.
The pipeline project has created a legal battle between the government and the indigenous nations. A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia in February turned down a request [JURIST report] to stop construction on the final stretch of the DAPL. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe had filed [JURIST report] a legal challenge in an attempt to stop the construction. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) granted [JURIST report] the final permit for the DAPL after an order from President Donald Trump to expedite the process.
7. KVRR (USA)
U.N. Investigator Says Native American Rights were Violated by DAPL Law Enforcement
March 3, 2017
MORTON COUNTY, N.D. — An official with the United Nations says the rights of Native Americans in North Dakota are not being respected by the state.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz visited Dakota Access protest camps in Morton County.
Tauli-Corpuz is the U.N.’s special investigator on the rights of indigenous peoples.
She says authorities used unnecessary force and that the reports of the cleanup in the county have been blown out of proportion.
She also says the Standing Rock Sioux tribe was not consulted on major issues.
Gov. Burgum says the state is focused on maintaining peace, protecting the environment and restoring a good relationship with the tribe.
Tauli-Corpuz’s report will be given in September to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
8. NRK Sápmi (Norway)
Sametinget kan bryte med DNB: – Uholdbart at en norsk bank tråkker på urfolks rettigheter
Magne Ove Varsi
March 6, 2017
– DNB eies av den norske staten, den norske stat har jo aksjemajoritet, og vi mener det er uholdbart at en norsk bank tråkker på urfolksrettigheter, som man gjør i Nord Dakota, sier sametingspresident Vibeke Larsen.
Sametinget mener at nå må DNB trekke seg ut av lånene de har gitt til det omstridte oljerørledningsprosjektet Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
– Hvis ikke DNB nå kommer med egne retningslinjer, og prøver å ivareta urfolksrettigheter i sitt arbeid, så kommer vi til å bytte bank, fastslår sametingspresidenten.
Lånt ut over 4,5 milliarder
Urfolk og andre demonstranter flere steder i verden har i nesten ett år . De mener oljerøret vil forurense både drikkevannet, og miljøet for øvrig, i tillegg til å ødelegge hellige områder.
Flere av verdens største banker er inne med lån til prosjektet, deriblant Norges største bank, DNB, som .
Kritikk til amerikanske myndigheter
I helgen kritiserte FNs spesialrapportør for urfolks rettigheter, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, amerikanske myndigheter for å ikke ha informert Sioux Standing Rock reservatets urfolksstammer om hvor DAPL kom til å gå.
– Reservatet fikk blant annet ikke sett kartene, som viste hvor nær oljerørledningen kom til å være reservatet, i tillegg til at den kom til å krysse historiske traktat-områder. Ved å ikke informere om dette, så har man i miljøvurderingen ansett stammenes interesser som ikke-eksisterende, har spesialrapportøren sagt i et intervju, ifølge .
Oppfordrer statlige institusjoner til å bryte med DNB
Dersom DNB ikke følger opp Sametingets anbefaling om å trekke seg ut av DAPL, oppfordrer Sametinget andre statsinstitusjoner til å bryte med DNB.
Det vil si å si opp rammeavtalen som Direktoratet for økonomistyring (DFØ) har med DNB.
– Vi har allerede sendt et brev til DFØ, altså Direktoratet for økonomistyring i staten, der vi ber om at DNB tas ut av rammeavtalen for økonomiforvaltning, forteller sametingspresident Larsen.
I dag er det DNB som utfører alle overføringer for Sametinget, som har et budsjett på cirka 450 millioner kroner. Til sammen i fjor utførte DNB nesten 35 millioner transaksjoner for statlige institusjoner som inngår i rammeavtalen.
– Rammeavtalene er obligatoriske for statlige virksomheter å benytte. DFØ inngår på vegne av statlige virksomheter, underlagt statens økonomiregelverk, rammeavtaler med banker om betalings- og kontoholdstjenester, skriver DFØs kommunikasjonsrådgiver, Anniken Celine Berger i en e-post til NRK.
Transaksjonene som DNB utførte for statlige institusjoner kostet i 2016 i overkant av 15 millioner kroner i gebyrer.
I tillegg til DNB, har statlige institusjoner rammeavtaler med Nordea og Sparebank 1. Ingen av disse bankene har per i dag presisert at de tar hensyn til urfolks rettigheter i sine etiske retningslinjer. Alle tre har solgt sine aksjer i selskapene bak DAPL, og dermed er det kun DNB som fortsatt har økonomisk engasjement i DAPL, med sine lån til selskapene.
DNB har bedt om møte med Sametinget
Sametinget og DNB møtes neste mandag for å samtale om nettopp engasjementet i DAPL.
DNB ønsker ikke å kommentere saken før de har møtt Sametinget.
– Det er DNB som har tatt initiativ til møtet. Vi ønsker ikke å kommentere et møte som ikke har funnet sted ennå, og opplever at vi har en god dialog med Sametinget om saken, sier informasjonsdirektør Even Westerveld til NRK.
Staten eier 34 prosent av aksjene i DNB, og har dermed ikke aksjemajoritet, men er den største aksjonæren i konsernet.
9. PJ Media (USA)
UN Human Rights Official Says U.S. Oil Projects Inflicting Crime, Trafficking Toll on Native Americans
March 3, 2017
The United Nations' special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples wrapped up a fact-finding mission to the United States warning that Native American rights are not being respected in energy production decisions and that oil projects put native women and children at risk of sex trafficking.
In her end-of-mission statement today released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz detailed her trip, which began Feb. 22 and took her to Washington, D.C., New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and North Dakota. She met with officials from departments involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) process, including the Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota's governor, as well as staff of pipeline supporter Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.). She also met with numerous Native American tribes.
Information gathered on her trip will be compiled into a report that will be presented at the UN Human Rights Council in September.
"From my conversations with people throughout Indian Country, I have learned that many of the complex issues that Native Americans face in the energy development context today are rooted in a long history of land and resource dispossession," Tauli-Corpuz said in her initial observations. "In particular, the policy of allotment implemented by the Dawes Act in 1887 continues to have significant impacts on the development of energy resources throughout Indian Country. The different types of land ownership that exist within reservation boundaries make consistent resource management and regulatory control difficult and complex."
She added that state governments "may assert tax and regulatory authority over energy development within tribal lands" while "the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies approve energy projects on lands within reservation boundaries without the consent or input of the tribal government."
"The regulatory regime has failed to ensure effective and informed consultations with tribal governments," she wrote. "The breakdown of communication and lack of good faith involvement in the review of federal projects has left tribal governments functionally unable to participate in consequential dialogue with the United States on projects affecting their lands, territories, and resources."
Implementing "best practices about tribal consultation will ensure a more positive and profitable outcome for all stakeholders concerned," the special rapporteur argued.
"Many indigenous peoples in the United States perceive a general lack of consideration of the future impacts on their lands in approving extractive industry projects in particular, and a lack of recognition that they face significant impacts from development of not just their own, but neighbouring resources as well. In the context of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the potentially affected tribes were denied access to information and excluded from consultations at the planning stage of the project. Furthermore, in a show of disregard for treaties and the federal trust responsibility, the Army Corps approved a draft environmental assessment regarding the pipeline that ignored the interests of the tribe," Tauli-Corpuz continued, adding, "Sadly, I found the situation faced by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is shared by many other indigenous communities in the United States, as tribal communities nationwide wrestle with the realities of living in ground zero of energy impact."
She stressed that the "goal of tribal consultation is not simply to check a box, or to merely give tribes a chance to be heard," but "rather, the core objective is to provide federal decision makers with context, information, and perspectives needed to support informed decisions that actually protect tribal interests."
The UN official also expressed concern about "the criminalization of indigenous peoples asserting their right to protest" against DAPL.
Tauli-Corpuz said she was "deeply concerned" about President Trump's order expediting the pipeline as "Indian lands represent twenty percent of fossil fuel energy in the United States, and possess an even greater percentage of renewable energy potential" and "the ability for indigenous people to protect their sacred places is severely restricted by the United States legal system."
She also wrote that the oil shale boom in the Bakken fields of North Dakota coincided with "a dramatic increase in violent crime and an incredible increase of human trafficking of Native women and children."
"As a direct result of outside development, the entrance of transient workers with no ties to the community, who can for the most part not be prosecuted for their criminal acts that occur on the reservation creates an unsafe and unstable environment for families on the reservation," the UN official said. "...Tribes informed me that the oil and gas leasing approvals undertaken by the Bureau of Indian Affairs should but do not adequately consider the safety and welfare impacts on native women and children of extractive industry projects."
She urged a "program of reconciliation" between tribes and the U.S. government that "would acknowledge the historical wrongs inflicted upon indigenous peoples in the United States and confront systemic barriers that prevent the full realization of indigenous peoples’ rights."
The State Department, which traditionally comments on United Nations matters, did not issue a statement on Tauli-Corpuz's trip and has not held a press briefing yet in the Trump administration.
Last week, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II blasted the White House assertion that it has been in constant contact with the tribe regarding the pipeline project as "absolutely false."
“We repeatedly asked for meetings with the Trump administration, but never received one until the day they notified Congress that they were issuing the easement. I was on a plane to Washington, D.C. when the easement was issued. It was an insult to me and to the Tribe," Archambault said. "I cancelled the meeting upon hearing this news. We have since filed a lawsuit for the immoral and illegal issuance of the easement and suspension of the environmental impact study.”
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is promoting a Native Nationsmarchon Washington beginning with lobbying Capitol Hill on Tuesday and culminating with a march from the National Mall to the White House on Friday to "make our demands to the new administration."
"We ask that you rise in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples across the world and demand that Indigenous Rights be respected," the tribe said in a statement. "This is not about one tribe but all Native Nations."
10. Radio Canada (Canada)
Les Sioux de Standing Rock insuffisamment entendus, juge l’ONU
La rapporteuse spéciale des Nations unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, estime que les préoccupations et les droits des Sioux de Standing Rock dans le dossier du pipeline Dakota Access, au Dakota du Nord, n'ont pas été traités adéquatement.
Après avoir visité la région la semaine dernière à l'invitation du président des Sioux de Standing Rock, Dave Archambault, la représentante de l'ONU croit qu'ils n'avaient pas été consultés adéquatement au sujet du tracé du pipeline, que la pétrolière texane Energy Transfer Partner veut faire passer à proximité de la réserve.
Elle a également critiqué la façon dont les forces de l'ordre avaient géré le mouvement de protestation contre Dakota Access.
« N'importe qui a le droit de protester et d'exprimer son opposition à ce qui se passe », a affirmé la représentante de l'ONU à Associated Press.
Le gouverneur du Dakota du Nord, Doug Burgum, a de son côté assuré que l'État avait respecté les manifestations et qu'il s'était porté à la défense des policiers.
« À travers cette épreuve, le personnel chargé de l'application de la loi a fait preuve d'un grand professionnalisme et de retenue alors que ses membres ont fait l'objet de railleries et d'injures, qu'on leur a lancé des objets et qu'on leur a même tiré dessus », a soutenu l'élu républicain.
Depuis des mois, la police accuse certains manifestants d'être violents, de prendre part à des émeutes et de prendre les agents pour cibles.
La Nation sioux a été au centre de la lutte contre le pipeline de 3,8 milliards de dollars, qui doit acheminer le pétrole du Dakota du Nord vers l'Illinois sur une distance de 1885 kilomètres. En appui à leur cause, des centaines - et à certains moments des milliers - de manifestants ont convergé vers des campements près de la réserve, notamment sur une terre fédérale située entre la réserve et le tracé du pipeline.
Plusieurs manifestations ont tourné à l'affrontement avec les forces de l'ordre, qui ont arrêté quelque 750 personnes depuis le mois d'août.
Le gouverneur Burgum a par ailleurs assuré que son administration oeuvrait à améliorer les relations avec les Sioux.
Le gouverneur à la défense de l'environnement
Le campement principal a récemment été démantelé, à l'approche des inondations printanières. Un contractant fédéral a été mandaté pour nettoyer les centaines de tonnes de déchets et de débris avant qu'elles ne polluent les rivières à proximité.
La rapporteuse spéciale de l'ONU a reconnu la quantité importante de déchets que cela représentait, n'y voyant cependant « pas un problème si important ». « Des efforts pour le nettoyer pourraient être entrepris même si les gens étaient là », a-t-elle soutenu.
Le gouverneur Burgum affirme de son côté que les inquiétudes reliées à la pollution générée par les campements et au nettoyage de la zone, qui pourrait coûter 1,2 million de dollars américains, ne sont pas exagérées.
Depuis des mois, les Sioux s'opposent au tracé du pipeline parce qu'ils craignent que le pipeline n'empoisonne la rivière Missouri, dans laquelle la réserve puise son eau potable, en plus de mettre en péril les lieux sacrés
En décembre dernier, pour permettre une évaluation environnementale plus approfondie, l’administration Obama avait suspendu le projet, qui a cependant été relancé par un décret signé par le président Donald Trumpquatre jours après son entrée en fonction.
Le mois dernier, le Corps des ingénieurs de l'armée américaine, qui administre le territoire où se trouve la partie litigieuse du tracé, a de fait indiqué qu'il autoriserait la construction de la portion restante de l'oléoduc.
La rapporteuse spéciale de l'ONU a par ailleurs indiqué qu'elle recommanderait probablement une étude environnementale complète dans un rapport qui sera remis en septembre au Conseil de l'ONU sur les droits de la personne.
La semaine dernière, un juge a entendu les plaidoiries sur un possible arrêt de la construction du dernier tronçon du pipeline Dakota Access, réclamé par les Sioux, possiblement quelques jours avant qu'il ne soit fonctionnel.
11. RT (Russia)
UN official again condemns Dakota Access for ignoring rights of Standing Rock Sioux
Published time: 3 Mar, 2017 22:37
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was not properly consulted about the Dakota Access Pipeline's construction, a UN official on indigenous rights says. The tribe's opposition to the project led to months of protests that were marked by clashes with police.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) over sacred tribal sites and through Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux's water source, was conducted with a lack of respect to the tribe's land rights. She said she is also concerned about how protests of the pipeline were met with aggressive police force.
"My impression is that there was unnecessary use of force,"Tauli-Corpuz told the AP."Anybody has a right to protest and express their opposition to what is happening."
Tauli-Corpuz made the comments following an officialvisitto the US to assess the impact of"energy development projects"on native peoples. She was invited to the US by Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault, AP reported. She said she will eventually recommend a full study of the DAPL's environmental impact. Her visit to the US included concerns over the Keystone XL pipeline, as well.
This marks the second time in recent months that a UN official on indigenous issues has criticized the DAPL, particularly in how the US government approved the project without respect to the Standing Rock's concerns over health and human rights, as well as how local law enforcement handled protests.
In November, acting on a request from the tribe, Edward John, a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, visited the Oceti Sakowin protest camp and other areas near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers in North Dakota. He also met with local law enforcement, he said.
The escalation of law enforcement activity around the camps contribute to a"war zone"atmosphere, Johnwrote, recommending the US"swiftly reverse its current approach of criminalizing Indigenous human rights defenders – those standing up for their solemn treaty rights to lands, territories and resources and their inalienable human rights."
Tauli-Corpuz previously called on the US to halt construction of the DAPL."The tribe was denied access to information and excluded from consultations at the planning stage of the project and environmental assessments failed to disclose the presence and proximity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation," shesaidin September.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum defended his state's actions against DAPL protesters.
"Through this ordeal, our law enforcement personnel have shown great professionalism and restraint as they faced taunts, verbal abuse, threats, thrown objects and even gunshots,"he told AP.
Energy Transfer Partners, the company responsible for the highly-contentious DAPL, says that the pipeline will transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota's Bakken shale fields to Illinois.
Beginning last year, the DAPL incurred months-long protests originally led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and set up along the pipeline's route, near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers.
The protests camps eventually attracted more than just Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and those of other Native American tribes. In addition to tribal water supply concerns, the Missouri River is a source of drinking water to millions in the US. The DAPL also represents a continued dependance on fossil fuels, opponents say, which contributes significantly to global climate change. Thousands of people flocked to the area to support the DAPL opposition, leading to hundreds of arrests by at timesaggressive, heavily-armed law enforcement.
Latelast week, protesters located at the Oceti Sakowin camp were either forced to evacuate or were arrested upon orders from local police.
The Standing Rock Sioux has sued the Army Corps of Engineers and Energy Transfer Partners in federal court. The tribe claims it was not properly consulted on the project, which represented a threat to its health, based on the pipeline's route through its water source off the Missouri River.
The tribe also says the project violatestreaty rightsagreed to in 1868 with the US government. The tribe has argued that the DAPL also threatens its sacred cultural and religious sites in the area. The defendants in the lawsuit dispute these claims.
After months of indigenous-led opposition, creating an increasingly tense scene at the protest camps, the Barack Obama administration temporarily halted the project's construction through the area. Upon taking office in January, the Donald Trump administration quickly reversed course andapprovedof the DAPL's advancement.
12. SDPB Radio (USA)
U.N. Special Rapporteur Weighs In On DAPL
March 6, 2017
A U.N. representative who focuses on Indigenous issues around the world spent two weeks in the U.S. visiting Native American tribes in the Southwest and on the Northern Plains. Wespoke with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People about what she plans to file in her official report about her visit.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz travels the world from her home in the Philippines to investigate issues of concern for Indigenous peoples.
“I’m an independent expert of the United Nations who is tasked to look into the situation of human rights of Indigenous peoples all over the world,” Tauli-Corpuz explains. “So I am allowed to do official country visits and look at the Indigenous people’s situation in terms of how their human rights are respected or violated.”
Tauli-Corpuz began her journey in the U.S. by visiting the Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo people where they discussed concerns over oil and gas exploration and uranium mining. Then she headed north to the Fort Berthold Reservation and saw the gas flares of the Bakken oil fields.
The last stop for Tauli-Corpuz was in North Dakota at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where she examined the Dakota Access Pipeline issue.
“I find it very unfortunate that the consultations have not been done with the tribes…the Standing Rock Sioux,” Tauli-Corpuz comments. “And even the Environmental Impact Assessment that was made by the Army Corps of Engineers didn’t reflect the concerns of the tribes especially in relation to how their sacred places and cultural sites are going to be adversely affected by the pipeline.”
Tauli-Corpuz adds that as one who’s taken part in public protests in the Philippines she feels that local law enforcement were excessive in their use of force against the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.
The official report on the U.N. Special Rapporteur’s visit to Indigenous peoples in the U.S. is expected to be available to tribes and the federal government in June.
13. Washington Post (USA)
U.N. human rights official criticizes federal relationship with Indian tribes
By Joe Heim
A United Nations human rights official criticized the U.S. government’s handling of the Dakota Access pipeline project in a special report on Friday, saying it disregard treaties and ignored the interests of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a U.N. special rapporteur examining issues related to Native American tribes in the United States, said in an interview that she was struck by the ineffective communication between tribes and federal and local governments across the country, particularly when it came to development and energy projects on or adjacent to Indian reservations. In her report, she said the federal government has shown a “lack of good faith involvement” of Native tribes in reviewing such projects.
While she acknowledged that there has been progress in the relationship between the federal government and tribal governments, Tauli-Corpuz said there has been widespread failure to adequately communicate and consult with indigenous peoples on issues “affecting their land, territory and resources.”
Tauli-Corpuz concluded her 10-day mission to the United States on Friday in Washington where she delivered a preliminary report on her visit to State Department officials. The trip took her to meetings with tribes, politicians and government officials in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. She also traveled to North Dakota, where she visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, site of a year-long protest by Indians and environmentalists against the Dakota Access pipeline project.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has opposed the pipeline because it crosses the Missouri River a mile north of their reservation and, they say, poses a threat to their drinking water. The tribe has argued that it was not adequately consulted about the pipeline route — which it says crosses sacred burial grounds — and not given a chance to participate meaningfully in discussions about the project with the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal government representatives.
In an interview, Tauli-Corpuz said she was invited to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation by its chairman, David Archambault II, whom she met when he visited the U.N. in Geneva last year to speak about the tribe’s plight.
“In a show of disregard for treaties and the federal trust responsibility, the Army Corps approved a draft environmental assessment regarding the pipeline that ignored the interests of the tribe,” she wrote in her report. “Maps in the draft environmental assessment omitted the reservation, and the draft made no mention of proximity to the reservation or the fact that the pipeline would cross historic treaty lands of a number of tribal nations. In doing so, the draft environmental assessment treated the tribe’s interests as non-existent, demonstrating the flawed current process.”
According to Tauli-Corpuz, the experience of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is shared by many other indigenous communities in the United States. She wrote, “From my conversations with people throughout Indian Country, I have learned that many of the complex issues that Native Americans face in the energy development context today are rooted in a long history of land and resource dispossession.”
She urged the government “to undertake meaningful consultations with the indigenous people before any project is brought to their communities.”
Tauli-Corpuz will soon return to Geneva and put together a full report that will contain findings, observations and recommendations that she will present at a September session of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council.
“I hope that the United States government will at least look at the report and take into account the recommendations that I have done and see how they can implement them,” she said. “And I hope that the indigenous people will also use the recommendations to push the government to implement them.”
Selected online pickup:
a) The Daily Independent(USA)