For the past year I have been in conversation with Ndé (Lipan Apache) Land Defenders whose traditional territories have been encroached upon by the U.S government , historically the construction of the border wall, and contemporaneously through the ever increasing militarization of the border via the Department of Homeland Security. These actions by the U.S. government trample the sovereign rights of the Ndé over their land as well as creating an intersection of discriminatory “immigration laws” that target Indigenous populations from the South. I stand in solidarity with their organizing efforts which are many.

Thanks to Margo Tamez who has been an excellent collaborator on this project and to Laura Rivas for making the introduction.

Ndé Current and on-going actions:

•         The Ndé recently hosted a gathering in El Calaboz with invited Traditional Chiefs, Clan heads, Elders, and allied ativists, as well as invited human rights experts from the University of Texas, School of Law, Human Rights clinic.

  • The main theme:  Articulating Indigenous rights and land-relationship principles as distinct and known in El Calaboz and throughout the Texas-Mexico border region; Articulating the appropriate human rights framework of Ndé land-based laws with regard for not diminishing the Indigenous understanding of such rights; and, articulating Ndé histories of struggles with regard to U.S. violations against their human rights.

•         The Ndé submitted their analysis and voices to the legal ‘Shadow Report’ responses of a body of Indigenous leaders raising key issues and cases against the United States in front of the Human Rights Committee which is reviewing the United State’s obligations to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

•         The Ndé will soon submit their own ‘Shadow Report’ to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination when it reviews the United States in August 2014.  This is based on numerous rights violations caused by the U.S. border wall and militarization of the traditional and customary lands of Ndé in the Texas-Mexico border region.

•         The Ndé are engaged in self-determination. Key projects related to this on-going process are:

o          Healing the Circle: Family empowerment & reclamation—

*Children, Youth, Adult, Elder Gatherings beyond Violent Borders

*Decolonization gatherings

o          Language revitalization

o          Ceremonial revitalization and dissemination

o          Ndé governance in a bifurcated, militarized region

o          Ndé Clan genealogies and resurgence

o          Decolonial partnerships built upon respect, responsibility, accountability, and reciprocity

o          Transitional Justice

o          Research and Advocacy

o          Indigenous Rights & Human Rights (Emilio Institute for Indigenous and Human Rights, El Calaboz)

o          Resource Protection

Contact: lawdefense1@gmail.com

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