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Wednesday, Jan 26th

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Native American tribes reclaim California redwood land for preservation

Native Americans reclaim tribal land

The descendants of Native American tribes on the northern California coast are reclaiming part of their ancestral homeland, including ancient redwoods that have stood since their forebears walked the land.

Save the Redwoods League, a non-profit conservation group, announced Tuesday that it is transferring more than 500 acres (202 hectares) on the Lost Coast to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council.

The group of 10 tribes that have inhabited the area for thousands of years will be responsible for protecting the land dubbed Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, or “Fish Run Place” in the Sinkyone language.

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  • Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, dies of cancer at 85

    Clyde Bellecourt dies at 85

    Clyde Bellecourt, one of the most significant Native American leaders in the struggle for civil rights, died in Minneapolis on Tuesday night, his son Wolf confirmed to Minnesota Public Radio.

    Bellecourt was 85 and had been battling prostate cancer.

    Bellecourt, who was born and grew up on the White Earth Indian Reservation, co-founded the American Indian Movement in 1968. It began as a local organization in Minneapolis and over decades has expanded to advocate for Native civil rights across the United States and Canada and around the world. AIM says that today, it represents over 375 million Indigenous people worldwide.

    "At the heart, AIM is deeply rooted in spirituality, and a belief in the connectedness of all indigenous peoples," Bellecourt wrote in a letter for the organization.

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    This US state is home to the most hate groups

    Montana hate groupsMontana is home to the most hate groups per capita out of all 50 states, according to a new report.

    The report, released by 24/7 Wall St., used data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group specializing in civil rights, to rank states based on their number of active hate groups from 2020 per million state residents.

    With 5.55 hate groups per million people, Montana came in first as the state with the most hate groups per capita with the SPLU reporting six hate groups: two ant-Muslim groups, two white nationalist groups, a skinhead group and a chapter of the Proud Boys, a group of self-described “Western chauvinists” created during the 2016 presidential election.

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    Jury awards $4 million to trans student denied bathroom access at school

    Blue Springs School DistrictA jury this week said a Kansas City school district must pay a transgender student more than $4 million after he was denied access to the boys’ restrooms and locker rooms at school.

    The Blue Springs school district in Missouri discriminated against the student based on his sex, a Jackson County jury decided.

    The school district in a statement said it did not agree with the verdict and will be “seeking appropriate relief from the trial court and court of appeals if necessary,” NBC affiliate KSHB-TV reported.

    "Defendants again denied [the plaintiff] access to the boys' restrooms and locker rooms even though he is recognized as a boy under the laws of the state of Missouri," a court document said. "Defendants continue to deny [the plaintiff] access to the boys' restrooms and locker rooms as of the filing of this Petition."

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    Canada bans conversion therapy, telling LGBTQ residents 'we'll always stand up for you'

    Canada bill bans conversion therapy

    Conversion therapy, treatments that claim to be able to change a person's sexual orientation or identity, has been officially banned in Canada as of Wednesday.

    The Canadian bill states that "providing, promoting, or advertising conversion therapy" is a criminal offense as is profiting off of the provision of the therapy.

    It adds that conversion therapy is a harm to society because it promotes "the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions."

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the decision the Royal Assent for confirming the bill and standing up for LGBTQ Canadians rights. The bill and its violations will go into effect 30 days from Wednesday, when the bill was received the Royal Assent on Wednesday.

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    How Can You Destroy a Person’s Life and Only Get a Slap on the Wrist?

    Justice corrupted

    Prosecutors are among the most powerful players in the criminal justice system. They can send a defendant off to years in prison, or even to death row. Most wield this power honorably. Yet, when prosecutors don’t, they rarely pay a price, even for repeated and egregious misconduct that puts innocent people behind bars.

    Why? Because they are protected by layers of silence and secrecy that are written into local, state and federal policy, shielding them from any real accountability for wrongdoing.

    New York City offers a prime example of a problem endemic to the nation. Consider the city’s official reaction to the barrelful of misconduct in Queens that a group of law professors recently brought to light. As The Times reported last month, the professors filed grievances against 21 prosecutors in the borough — for everything from lying in open court to withholding key evidence from the defense — and then posted those grievances to a public website.

    These weren’t close calls. In every instance an appeals court had made a finding of prosecutorial misconduct; in many cases the misconduct was so severe that it required overturning a guilty verdict and releasing someone from prison. Three men wrongfully convicted of a 1996 murder were exonerated after 24 years behind bars. But that rectified only the most glaring injustice. To date, none of the prosecutors have faced any public consequences. Some are still working.

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    Advocates welcome Taliban decree barring forced marriages but call for more

    Afghani women have to consent to marriageA decree released by the Taliban barring forced marriage was a major step forward, two leading Afghan women said on Friday, but questions remained about whether the hardline Islamist group would extend women's rights around work and education.

    Afghanistan's Taliban government on Friday released a decree which said women should not be considered "property" and must consent to marriage.

    "This is big, this is huge ... if it is done as it is supposed to be, this is the first time they have come up with a decree like this," said Mahbouba Seraj, the executive director of the Afghan Women's Skills Development Center speaking from Kabul on a Reuters Next conference panel on Friday.

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