This Week's Program: Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Carrie Dann on the Pentagon's Cancelled "Divine Strake" Test Blast; Tohono O'odham Battle Secret Plans to Build a Hazardous Waste Dump Near Ceremonial Land; Winona LaDuke on Food Sovereignty: the New Arena of Colonialism

Divine Strake Test Called Off, Western Shoshone Protest Ongoing Violation of Land Sovereignty The Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency had planned to detonate a 700-ton non-nuclear fuels explosion at the Nevada test site tomorrow, June 2nd. But the test, called the "Divine Strake." was postponed by the National Nuclear Safety Administration because of questions about possible fallout. Members of the Western Shoshone Nation were at the forefront of opposition to the test. They and their supporters argue that the test site, along with most of Nevada and parts of California, Idaho and Utah, is still Western Shoshone land. Though Divine Strake has been delayed indefinitely, more than 200 people peacefully demonstrated on Sunday at the Nevada Test Site. More than 30 were arrested when they crossed over onto the site. Carrie Dann was one of those people. For over forty years, along with her late sister Mary, Carrie has been at the forefront of the Western Shoshone Nation’s struggle for land rights and sovereignty. Leading the political and legal battle to retain ancestral lands, Dann has squared off against international gold mining corporations, the nuclear industry and the U.S. government. Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone Nation, working with the Western Shoshone Defense Project. Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network.

Opponents of Secretly Planned Toxic Waste Dump Near U.S.- Mexico Border Say it Poses Danger to Indigenous Communities on Border and Violates International Law

Plans to build a hazardous waste dump in Tohono territory south of the U.S. - Mexico international border have drawn fire from the indigenous communities straddling the border, local officials in Tucson, and citizens in Mexico. The plans have been secretly carried out without notifying in the surrounding communities, who fear for the effects of released toxins into the land, air and water. Pima county officials in Arizona said Mexico violated an international treaty when it failed to notify them about plans for the waste facility. It would be located about 125 miles southwest of Tucson, close to the Tohono community of Quitovac where sacred ceremonies are conducted. People on both sides of the border have voiced opposition during protests in April and May. Ofelia Rivas, member of the nation. Brenda Norrell, a journalist with Indian Country Today. Talli Nauman, co- director of the independent media project: Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness. She is a long time collaborator with the International Relations Center based in Silver City, New Mexico, of the Americas Program.

Links to articles: Brenda Norrell's article "O'odham Oppose Planned Hazardous Waste Dump" in Indian Country Today. Talli Nauman's article "Public Due Consideration on New U.S. - Mexico Border Toxic Waste Site Proposal" published by the Americas Program of the International Relations Center.

Winona LaDuke on Food Sovereignty: "The New Arena of the Biological Make-up of the World"

Author and activist Winona Laduke, a Mississippi Band Anishinaabe, recently spoke at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City with Northern Cheyenne lawyer Gail Small. LaDuke (re)affirmed her commitment to preserve Native lands against the ravages of environmental abuse. She also spoke about recovering humanity, in the theme of her most recent book “Recovering the Sacred.” We play her speech from that night, in which she talks about food sovereignty and more. Winona LaDuke, activist and author. Her newest book is "Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming." She is the Program Director of Honor the Earth and the Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project.