Posted by Brenda Norrell
November 12, 2008
No one is illegal -- Somos un solo rio/We are all one river"
Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
SAN FRANCISCO -- AIM-West is hosting the 40th Anniversary Reunion of
the American Indian Movement, Nov. 24 -- 28. With the theme, "No one
is illegal -- Somos un solo rio/We are all one river," the topics
include the militarization of the US borders, treaty rights,
protection of sacred places, international Indigenous rights and
religious freedom for prison inmates.
Bill Means, cofounder of the International Indian Treaty Council, is
among the featured speakers at the sunrise gathering on Alcatraz
Island on Thursday, Nov. 27. The weeklong AIM-West reunion includes
Native Americans who have made history in the struggle for Indigenous
Peoples rights, including Madonna Thunder Hawk, Manny Pino, Lenny
Foster, Mike Flores, Charlie Hill, Patricia Bellanger and others.
The theme is "SOMOS UN SOLO RIO!" We Are One River, and "No One is
Illegal!" This includes recognition of Indigenous Nation's inherent
right to self-determination, honor and respect for treaties ratified
by the US Congress, protection of sacred sites, freedom for political
prisoners, and the encouragement for the U.S. to adopt the United
Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples. The discussions include strategies for the "Manifesto for
Change", Green power and Red Power, a sustainable future, and taking
a stand in solidarity with our relations from Mexico, Central and
During the organizing session in San Francisco on Tuesday night, Tony
Gonzales said the reunion, which includes speakers, concerts and an
Unthanksgiving Feast, offers the opportunity to focus on the
direction and needs of the future. Pegge Lemke said, following the US
elections, it is important to remember that it is the people who hold
the power. Lemke said it is the people who have "the power to empower
others to return to a more natural way of life and live in balance and rhythm."
Earthcycles web radio returns to the air live, to cover the week's
events, Nov. 24 -- 28. Earthcycles producer Govinda Dalton, and
cohost Brenda Norrell, will be in San Francisco for the week to host
the live show. Dalton, who lives in northern California, and
Norrell, based in Tucson, were cohosts of the Longest Walk Talk
Radio, on the five-month walk across America. Native Americans walked
from Alcatraz to DC for sacred places and protection of Mother Earth,
from February through July of 2008.
The same issues covered by the Longest Walk Talk Radio will be
highlighted in the weeklong, on-air coverage, including the
proliferation of coal mines, power plants and drilling in Indian
country; the militarization of the US borders and the oppression and
violations of human rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world.
Brief audio interviews are now available from Tuesday night's
planning session, with Tony Gonzales, Mark Anquoe, Kiowa from
Oklahoma, and Pegge Lemke, who was also a Long Walker. Pegge also
encourages Native American Indian Nations to rescue and adopt wild
horses, because the US government is now considering euthenasia for
the horses. Pegge urged Indian Nations to develop programs for their
youths with these horses, preserving Native horse culture. The audios
are at http://censored-news.blogspot.com/
To donate food, coffee and other items for the week, please click
here for the list. A turkey dinner will be served for the
AIM-West said in its announcement that AIM founded or inspired
organizations including American Indian OIC (Opportunities
Industrialization Center), Legal Rights Center, Little Earth of
United Tribes Housing, Native American Community Clinic, Migizi
Communications and Indian education that began with Little Red School
House and Heart of the Earth Survival Schools in Minneapolis and St.
AIM members brought the plight of Indian people to the attention of
the world community through the creation of the International Indian
Treaty Council (IITC), a United Nations non-governmental organization
based in San Francisco. The IITC was founded in 1974 at a gathering
by the American Indian Movement in Standing Rock, South Dakota
attended by more than 5,000 representatives of 98 Indigenous Nations
throughout the Americas. In 1977, the IITC became the first
organization of Indigenous Peoples to be recognized as a
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Status to the
United Nations Economic and Social Council, AIM-West said.
Despite the history and the accomplishments, AIM is difficult to
identify for some people. It seems to stand for many things at
once-the protection of treaty rights and the preservation of
spirituality and culture. But what else?
"Unlike the American civil rights movement, with which it has been
compared, AIM has seen self-determination and racism differently.
Desegregation was not a goal. Individual rights were not placed ahead
of the preservation of Native Nation sovereignty. At the 1971 AIM
national conference it was decided that translating policy to
practice meant building organizationsschools and housing and
employment services," AIM-West said.
Over the years, as these organizations have grown, they have
continued to serve the community from a base of Indian culture.
"Before AIM in 1968, culture had been weakened in most Indian
communities due to U.S. policy, the American boarding schools and all
the other efforts to extinguish Indian secular and spiritual life.
Now, many groups cannot remember a time without culture. This great
revival has also helped to restore spiritual leaders and elders to
their former positions of esteem for the wisdom and the history they
can teach. All of these actions are in concert with the principles of
AIM and came into being at this time in history because Indian people
have refused to relinquish their sovereign right to exist as free and
non-colonized people," according to the statement.
AIM-WEST was established to bring about awareness on issues that
concern or affect Indians of the Americas on a daily basis. Further,
it advocates for communities to establish strategic processes,
procedures for standard setting, and for the betterment and
well-being of all Indigenous peoples. AIM-WEST addresses issues
implicit in international laws and standards related to human rights,
the environment, and promotes and show cases cultural and traditional
events to complement the diversity of Indigenous peoples
representative from throughout the Americas and Pacific region. It
is common knowledge San Francisco is that microcosm of the new
American Indian merging together in mainstream USA today, AIM-West said.
The general public is invited to attend. The press and media
welcomed. Wheel chair accessible. Broadcast daily on
www.earthcycles.net and on local SF radio FM 104.1
Contact: Tony Gonzales – 415-577-1492; Volunteer to help: Peggy
Lemke 408-625-0986; John Powers – 415-559-9724 and Mark Anquoe 415-566-5788
Schedule of events for the Anniversary AIM West 40th Anniversary
Reunion (updated Nov. 12)
AIM-WEST, a San Francisco community based human rights and cultural
education non-profit organization, an affiliate of the American
Indian Movement, cordially invite you to the 40 Year Anniversary
Reunion of the American Indian Movement in the CITY November 24-28,
2008. Please mark your calendars.
Monday, Nov. 24: Location – San Francisco Public Main Library, 100
Larkin Street, across from City Hall.
Time: 8 am registration is on-going. Public meeting opens at 10:30
am until 5:30 pm. The press is invited.
Master of Ceremony: Mr. Bill Means with Madonna Thunder Hawk.*
Opening prayer and introductions: California Native Nation's
representatives, speakers, AIM special guests, and film and
Panel discussion on where the Movement is today and primary issues of
attention: Immigration and welcoming our relations from the South,
National concerns, Treaty Rights, "Green Economy" and Mother Earth,
and the recently adopted "UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples".
Tuesday, Nov. 25: Location – The San Francisco Baha'i Center, 170
Valencia Street (between 14th Street and Dubois Street). Solidarity
statements and topics will include Land struggles today; Sacred
Sites; "Manifesto for Change"; Fishing Rights and subsistence
gathering; Political Prisoners.
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (coffee and snacks will be provided)
Wednesday, Nov. 26: Location - The San Francisco Baha'i Center,
Unthanksgiving Dinner, Special Human Rights Award night. The theme,
"The Eagle invites the Condor to eat turkey!" Potluck and speakers
and performers; Keith Secola, Phoenix! Also Fancy Dancers "Medicine
Warriors" and "All Nations Singers".
Special guests: Lehman Brightman, Patricia Bellanger, Little Wolf
Bellecourt, Yvonne Swan, Charlie Hill, with Max Gail, and much more fun!
Time: 10 am bring food to share and help with setting up tables,
chairs, (volunteers needed). 12 noon to 6 pm – Open prayer, drum,
dancers, MC introduction, feast and awards.
Thursday, Nov. 27: Free time for AIM conferees! Everyone invited to
attend the Annual UnThanksgiving Alcatraz Island Sun Rise
Gathering. Boats leave from Pier #31. Call Hornblower Tours at
415-981-7625 for price and schedule of departures; booths open 4:30
am. To purchase tickets in advance (advised!) go to
www.alcatrazcruises.com The event is broadcast live 6 am to 8 am
from "The Rock" by AIM-WEST, on Pacifica Radio KPFA 94.1 FM. All
boats return by 9 am. Have a good day!
Friday, Nov. 28: Fundraiser concert for AIM-WEST at the Baha'i
Center with Dr. Loco and Rockin' Jalapenos, The Bob Young Project,
including local and known music performers. Prices $10-20 slide
scale. Time: doors open 6 pm to 10 pm. (Support the local advocacy
in the bay area!)
For more information or to make a donation on-line: www.aimwest.info
or call 415-577-1492.The entire event will be broadcast live at
www.earthcycles.net For San Francisco local radio listeners dial 104.1 FM
Be informed, stay tuned, AIM high! Thank You All My Relations!