“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.
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 This permit is called the Sovereign Lands Construction Permit and was revoked because a significant Native American archaeological site was discovered along its proposed path.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.
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
Even with Atlantic exemption, President Obama’s off-shore leasing plan remains a vibrant contradiction to all things that are supposed to mitigate climate change,” states Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Ground Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. “We cannot hope to see a Just Transition towards a renewable energy future, without a complete rejection of the dirty energy of the past. This plan is an affront to the lives of those Indigenous coastal communities of Alaska and the Gulf Coast, who are already carrying the brunt of our carbon addiction as quintessential sacrifice zones. For the benefit of Mother Earth and our future generations, we must Keep Fossil Fuels In the Ground. The President must take the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico off the oil and gas chopping block.
Indigenous Environmental Network and Alaska Native REDOIL Respond to Obama-Trudeau Joint Statement on Climate Change
Washington DC – In a joint statement released yesterday, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that their two countries would “play a leadership role internationally in the low carbon global economy over the coming decades.” They announced new commitments to work together to boost investment in clean energy; establish a pan-Arctic marine protection network and low-impact Arctic shipping corridors; limit greenhouse gas emissions, including methane; and pursue a number of other initiatives designed to slow global warming and speed up protection of the fragile Arctic.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we, the undersigned international human rights, environmental, social justice and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, strongly condemn the murder of our colleague, indigenous leader, feminist and human rights defender Berta Cáceres on March 3rd, 2016 in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. We are profoundly concerned about how Honduran authorities are handling the investigation and the safety of key leaders within COPINH and other members of civil society directly linked to the case.
The Indigenous Environmental Network thanks Leonardo DiCaprio for his Golden Globes Acceptance Speech
The Indigenous Environmental Network and on behalf of all frontline Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island, we send sincere thanks, appreciation and a heartfelt handshake to Leonard DiCaprio. A lot of people from my homelands, today known as Fort Berthold, in North Dakota, were pretty excited about the making of “The Revenant”, from the onset of filming. It’s really the first time a part of our history is being represented like this on the big screen; I mean, to go to the movie theater and hear Arikara is not exactly an everyday occurrence!
With your signatures you join a collective appeal to the pertinent authorities of the Ecuadorian State, that through their administration of justice, the verdict constitutes a true paradigm shift in favor of the Rights of Nature and guarantees the future of the children and grandchildren of our communities.
New York (15 December 2015)– In the midst of the holiday season, while thoughts turn to roasting chestnuts, a handful of scientists are working to genetically engineer the iconic American chestnut tree which they hope to release throughout the Appalachians and the Eastern US. Indigenous Peoples, scientists and others are raising alarms about the risks of these trees, cautioning about their dangerous impacts to forests, wildlife and human health . Due to these unassessed risks, they warn, GE chestnuts, or any GE trees trees should never be approved for planting.