Archives for October 2007

Strategic Land Planning on the Pine Ridge Reservation

Today, Village Earth launches a new section on our website to promote strategic land planning on Native American Reservations. While the site is focused on the Pine Ridge reservation, it is hoped that it will also provide information and resources for individuals and families interested in consolidating and utilizing their allotted lands on reservations throughout the United Sates.


Why Strategic Land Planning?

Approximately 24.5 percent of Native American’s, an estimated 800,000 people, are living in poverty at or below the national poverty level. Despite this dire economic situation, Native Americans own a great deal of land, approximately 112,637.29 square miles, second only to the federal government. Yet, many Native American’s have not been able to fully benefit from these vast resources because of various contradictions in the Federal land tenure policy for Indian lands. In particular, the obstacles created by the General Allotment Act (GAA) signed in to law in 1887.

Today, many Native Americans would like to live on and utilize their lands. However, from over 120 years of unplanned inheritance under the GAA, Indian lands have become so fractionated (divided from generation to generation) that in order for someone to utilize their lands for agriculture, business development, housing etc. they might be required to get the permission from hundreds or even thousands of individual land owners.


How Can Strategic Land Planning Help?

 

Village Earth supports individual land owners by providing education, resources, and support to analyze the different options they have for the management, use and inheritance of their lands, now and for future generations. But also, to choose an appropriate course of action and move towards it. This might include but is not limited to:

    • Consolidating fractionated pieces of land.

    • Creating wills to lessen further fractionation.

    • Creating agreements between landowners for the use of specific undivided allotments of land.

    • Accessing the resources, information and training needed to utilize their lands on their own.

    • Participating in Federal/Tribal land consolidation programs.

Village Earth’s newly launched web resource will help consolidate and disseminate information and resources for individuals interested in strategic land planning. Indian land owners on Pine Ridge can also download an application to participate in Strategic Land Planning Initiative.

The URL for Village Earth’s Strategic Land Planning Web Resource is: //www.villageearth.org/pages/Projects/Pine_Ridge/SLP/index.php

NO Free Trade Agreement/Tratado de Libre Comercio US (EEUU)-Peru

Take Action: Tell Congress that expanding NAFTA and CAFTA to Peru is a bad idea

Reposted from Upside Down World

Watch this video (Mira este video): No al TLC – No to the FTA with Peru

Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (http://www.pcasc.net/) activist and Radio Libre Negro Primero volunteer Megan Hise interviewed Peruvian labor and campesino leaders for a short documentary, looking at the damage the Peru FTA will cause on both sides of the border. Two months ago, four million Peruvian campesinos went on strike against the agreement, which will allow highly-subsidized and artificially cheap U.S. agricultural products to be dumped on the Peruvian market . Tens of thousands, if not millions, of campesinos will be driven off their land if they are undercut by US agribusiness.

Reposted from Trade Matters at the American Friends Service Committee….
The Bush administration has begun moving the Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) through Congress. A final vote in the House of Representatives is expected in October, with the Senate to follow shortly thereafter.

Please call your Representatives and Senators immediately to urge them to vote against the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

Peru is engaged in a delicate reconciliation process after decades of armed conflict and the country remains burdened by high levels of poverty. In a desperate attempt to gain support for the U.S.-Peru FTA, the U.S. Trade Representative is claiming the trade pact will lead to increased democratic stability in the region and curbed cultivation of coca and trafficking of cocaine. Based on the results of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), we think the opposite is true.

While the Peru FTA includes some significant improvements regarding labor and environmental protections and access to medicines, it still contains many of the NAFTA/CAFTA problems. These fixes do not address the structural and systemic flaws the current framework generates, including growing inequities, the destruction of livelihoods, increasing deterioration in the health and well-being of people living in poverty and environmental devastation both in the U.S. and abroad. The US-Peru FTA will not bring stability or development to the region!
Tell Congress that expanding the NAFTA and CAFTA model to Peru is a bad idea.

CALL-IN INSTRUCTIONS
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Ask to be connected to your House or Senate member (give your state and zip code if you’re not sure of your Representative’s name)
When you are connected, ask to speak with the staffer working on trade issues. Tell him or her that you oppose expanding NAFTA and CAFTA to Peru.
Ask for your representative’s position on the US-Peru FTA in writing to be sent to you by email or regular mail.
Use a local or personal story of damage from bad trade deals to illustrate your case or use the call script provided below.
Stop the US-Peru FTA vote call script:
Hello, my name is _________, and I am a constituent. May I speak with the staffer that deals with trade issues?
I am calling to find out Representative/Senator ______________ position on the upcoming U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. Can you tell me how he/she plans to vote?
It is very important that Representative/Senator _____________ come out publicly to oppose this FTA. Despite changes to the Peru FTA it will still (select one or two of the below talking points):
THREATEN SMALL FARMERS. The agreement will favor only a small sector of Peruvian farmers who export to the US. By lowering Peru’s tariffs on agricultural products, the vast majority of farmers would be vulnerable to cheap subsidized imports from the U.S. This would wipe out local farmers—as happened to the 1.3 million who have been displaced in Mexico since NAFTA passed 12 years ago.
THREATEN ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING MEDICINES. While the amended text of the Peru FTA removes the most egregious, CAFTA-based, provisions limiting the access to affordable medicines, it still includes NAFTA provisions that undermine the right to affordable medicines for poorer countries.
THREATEN WORKERS AND ENVIRONMENT. Changes to the labor and environment provisions are insufficient. The Peru FTA allows discretion for FTA dispute settlement panels to interpret and apply the terms of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work differently than the Declaration has been interpreted and applied by the ILO itself. Enforcement of the new changes will be dependent on Peruvian President Garcia who has a consistent record of undermining domestic labor and environmental law enforcement.
THREATEN WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND THE POOR. Provisions promoting the privatization and deregulation of essential services such as water, healthcare and education are written into this trade agreement. As these services become less accessible, women and the poor would have to make up for increases in prices of these services.
THREATEN U.S. AND PERUVIAN SOVEREIGNTY. The Peru FTA contains a NAFTA-style foreign investor chapter that allows corporations to bring actions against governments that pass environmental and public health laws that might reduce corporate profits.
THREATEN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES by opening the way for large pharmaceutical and agribusiness corporations to patent traditional knowledge, seeds, and life forms. This opens the door to bio-piracy of the Andean-Amazon region and threatens the ecological, medicinal and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples.
Would you be willing to send me an email with Representative ________________ position on the trade pact to ___________________ [email address].

Photos from the September 2007 Buffalo Pickup in Rye, Co.

Below are some pictures from the buffalo pickup this weekend in Rye, Colorado. 15 Buffalo, donated by the Danylchuck Ranch were delivered to Pine Ridge this weekend. The buffalo will be distributed between three families working together to recover land and restore the native ecology on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The buffalo are carefully sorted into a tub to be guided down an alley into the trailers. Prior to transport all the buffalo must be tested for diseases and treated for parasites by a veterinarian.

The buffalo are then loaded into trailers for the Journey to South Dakota.