Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Sovereignty and Treaty Protection

Published: March 4, 2015, Author: JayTaber

For indigenous peoples, protecting themselves from attack has to be done simultaneous with developing self-determination infrastructure. One area they must pay attention to is the role of religious bigotry and organized racism, especially in mainstream media and NGOs devoted to terminating indigenous nations.

A microcosm of this indigenous challenge can be found in the Wall Street/Tea Party convergence on the Salish Sea, where CERA — the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian Country” — partnered in 2013 with Whatcom Tea Party and KGMI radio hosts, to launch an anti-Indian campaign against the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Lummi Nation, who oppose fossil fuel export in Coast Salish territory.

The mainstream media cover-up of this story was broken in Anti-Indian Conference, a 2013 article at IC Magazine, and in Whatcom Watch Online – What Would Corporations Do? Native American Rights and the Gateway Pacific Terminal, a 2014 cover story by independent investigative journalist Sandy Robson, writing for Whatcom Watch community news.

Reviewing public records, Robson revealed how the coal export consortium (SSA Marine, BNSF railroad, and Peabody Coal) funded the CERA campaign via PACs established by Whatcom Tea Party leaders. Anti-Indian CERA Doesn’t Like the Law of the Land in United States, or Us, Apparently was later covered by Terri Hansen at Indian Country Today Media Network.

As IREHR documented in a 2013 special report, “Take these Tribes Down” The Anti-Indian Movement Comes to Washington State, the Tea Party has engaged numerous times with CERA against tribal governments across the US.

While diplomacy and communication are vital components of indigenous self-determination, intelligence — garnered through opposition research and analysis — is critical to indigenous sovereignty and treaty protection.

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