“The UN Expert got it right,” said Tom Goldtooth, the Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “What the US calls consultation is not consultation but a statement telling people what they’re doing after millions of dollars have been invested, painting Indigenous Peoples as spoilers. The right of free, prior and informed consent begins prior to the planning process, not when their bulldozers are at your doorstep.”
Open Letter to President Obama: Halt Construction and Repeal Permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline Project
We write to you because we are deeply concerned by the Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of Dakota Access LLC’s construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the impacts of which have been highlighted by the growing public opposition to this project. The Dakota Access Pipeline project would extend 1,168 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, crossing through communities, farms, tribal land, sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat.
The United States via the Army Corps of Engineers is in the mist of moving ahead with an oil pipeline that officials are claiming is not potentially harmful to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. I am here to advise anyone that will listen, that the Dakota Access Pipeline is harmful. It will not be just harmful to my people but its intent and construction will harm the water in the Missouri River, which is the only clean and safe river tributary left in the United States. We been told by the officials that there will be breaches in the pipe line but they claim the situations are generally never really bad. This is unacceptable. Our Mother Earth is sacred. All things evolve and work together. To poison the water, is to poison the substance of life. Everything that moves must have water. How can we talk about and knowingly poison water?
I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations, ask you to understand an Indigenous perspective on what has happened in America, what we call “Turtle Island.” My words seek to unite the global community through a message from our sacred ceremonies to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator. We have been warned from ancient prophecies of these times we live in today, but have also been given a very important message about a solution to turn these terrible times. To understand the depth of this message you must recognize the importance of Sacred Sites and realize the interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.
We, the Indigenous defenders of the land and water within the traditional treaty lands of the Oceti Sakowin, make an urgent appeal to the international community to assist us in facing a human rights crisis. Dakota Access is trying to put a crude oil pipeline under the Missouri River. This is a dire threat to the drinking water and future generations of the Oceti Sakowin who have lived here for generations.
On 31 May 2016, five men sat outside the home of Ms Gloria Ushigua throughout the night, in what appeared to be an act of intimidation against the human rights defender. Gloria Ushigua is an Indigenous human rights defender and has been the target of increasing levels of harassment over the past month, as a result of her peaceful and legitimate work in defence of environmental rights and of her ancestral land. This follows another act of intimidation against her niece on 26 May 2016 and the killing of the human rights defender’s sister-in-law, Anacleta Dahua Cují, on 2 May 2016.
Des Moines, IA – The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has revoked its approval of a construction permit for the Dakota Access pipeline through the Big Sioux River Wildlife Management Area in Northeast Iowa. This permit is called the Sovereign Lands Construction Permit and was revoked because a significant Native American archaeological site was discovered along its proposed path. Due to the permit revocation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has ordered that Dakota Access LLC stop all construction work for its Bakken oil pipeline until a survey of the area is conducted and consultation with local agencies and tribes is completed.
New York –A false solution to climate change known as REDD+ causes conflict and is a new form of colonialism and must be immediately canceled, Indigenous Peoples denounced at the United Nations. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is a carbon offset mechanism that uses Nature as a sponge for greenhouse gas pollution instead of cutting emissions at source. “The sacred air we breathe is being sold to the highest bidder. We implore the UN to have compassion for humanity and Mother Earth by immediately canceling carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+ projects in or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories” said Calfin Lafkenche of the Mapuche Nation in Chile.
YANKTON SIOUX/IHANKTONWAN TO HOST GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION WITH US ARMY CORPS ON BAKKEN PIPELINE/DAPL
After two requests from the Yankton Sioux Tribe on March 17 and April 13, 2016 and numerous phone calls; the US Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to Consultation with the Yankton/Ihanktonwan on the Bakken Pipeline, otherwise termed the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Yankton reject the appropriation of the name “Dakota” in a project that is in violation of aboriginal and treaty lands. The word Dakota means “the People” in the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language and was never intended to be used in a project which violates traditional ceremonial areas.
Indigenous Peoples’ Rally and Prayers for Justice for Berta Cáceres and Honduras: Denouncing Violence against Indigenous Peoples, Women Human Rights Defenders and Mother Earth – Celebrating struggles against dams and extractive industries – Calling for an independent, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights investigation and – Immediate suspension of US aid to Honduras including military aid until impunity ends and the rule of law and respect for human rights are re-established
The Agricultural Missions Solidarity Delegation to Honduras visited with representatives of the US Embassy. Our concerns included: (1) That the US Embassy support the demand that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the assassination of Bertha Cáceres. (2) That the US Government evaluates the hundreds of concessions (permits for industrial development) issued throughout Honduras, particularly those 51 concessions issued to corporations on the Lenca Indigenous territories in the state of Intibuca and ensure the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. (3) That all security and military aid from the US government to Honduras be suspended until the massive violation of human rights, including extrajudicial killings be stopped. (4) That US aid be suspended to Honduras until the situation of gross and massive violations of human rights is resolved.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras – May 6, 2016 -Officials of the United States Embassy will meet a North American solidarity delegation in honor of Bertha Caceres; organized by Agricultural Missions with participation of the Indigenous Environmental Network. The issues the delegation will raise with the United States Department of State, include:
I’m sorry I can’ be with our brothers and sisters at this press conference to shed light on California’s misguided attempts to fight global warming. I’m on my way to Honduras, in an international delegation to Honor Bertha Caceres, COPINH and the Lenca people of Honduras. Bertha Cáceres was assassinated, as have been others of the Lenca Peoples, for resisting the building of a series of hydroelectric dams on their territory. It is a well settled fact that these hydroelectric mega projects actually contribute greatly to global warming, and have been described as “methane streams.” This delegation is meant to honor her and her people’s brave resistance to another of the false solutions to climate change and global warming.
We demand the participation of an international, independent commission of experts to investigate the murder of our beloved Berta given the recent actions by the Honduran Attorney General. Olivia, Berta, Laura and Salvador Zúniga Cáceres (Berta Cáceres’s daughters and son), Austra Bertha Flores (her mother), and the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), each a victim of the assassination of Berta Cáceres under Honduran law, were surprised this morning by the Attorney General and ATIC (Criminal Investigation Agency) announcement in relation to the capture of persons involved in this vile crime against our beloved Berta.
Sydney, Australia – Australia’s first Indigenous youth led climate network, SEED, will be hosted the ‘Protect Country’ Climate Justice Summit in Sydney April 29-May 2, 2016. This summit culminated in an action against the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine on Wangan and Jagalingou country in Central Queensland.
Lisa DeVille, a board member of Dakota Resource Council (DRC) and the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, and a resident of Fort Berthold Reservation, is meeting with Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Representative Kevin Cramer to share her experience dealing with the Bakken oil and gas development and her perspective on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed methane waste prevention rule for public and tribal lands.
Navajo Nation, AZ – The nation’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy Corporation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday as the coal industry grapples with the fallout of low natural gas prices and the increased enforcement of federal regulations. Peabody has ownership stakes in 26 mines in Australia and the U.S. including the Kayenta Mine located in the Black Mesa region of the Navajo Nation. This declaration of bankruptcy has many Navajo communities asking what this means in terms of Peabody’s responsibility to workers, health care and the clean up the region’s land and water, and transition its economy.
Freeman, SD – On Saturday, April 2nd, TransCanada announced that an oil leak was detected by a South Dakota landowner on its Keystone I pipeline. The foreign corporation initially stated that only 4.5 barrels, approximately 187 gallons, of oil appeared to have spilled. Those numbers have now changed. TransCanada estimates that about 16,800 gallons of oil has now leaked from the Keystone pipeline into a field in South Dakota.
On April 1st, hundreds gathered in Ft. Yates on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation to show opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Bakken pipeline.
“the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens public health and welfare on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe relies on the waters of the life-giving Missouri River for our continued existence, and the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a serious risk to Mni Sose and to the very survival of our Tribe.” Standing Rock Sioux Tribe resolution opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline