January News

Law is on the side of Indigenous group in pipeline dispute, say legal experts

“VANCOUVER—Permissions for a pipeline in Northern B.C. and subsequent police action constitute bald violations of both the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and domestic court precedent, according to lawyers and Indigenous nation members.”

More than 100 First Nations could purchase the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline

The fossil fuel industry is a dying industry. Our planet has suffered enormous damage from this industry. I find it ironic that the powerful elites will toss this over to the indigenous people to own. Fossil fuel jobs?? That potential profit hanging over your head? Do you really want that? Better to take the lead on alternative sustainable energy markets! Look forward, not behind. Question why the elites would let you purchase such a thing.


How we can combat climate change?

“Last year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded the alarm: The world has until 2030 to implement “rapid and far-reaching” changes to our energy, infrastructure and industrial systems to avoid 2 degrees Celsius of warming, which could be catastrophic. But the scale of the challenge can appear so overwhelming that it’s hard to know where to start. The Post asked activists, politicians and researchers for climate policy ideas that offer hope. Radical change from one state, or even the whole United States, won’t address climate change on its own, but taking these actions could help start the planet down a path toward a better future.”


Moving Forward – Halfway to Hell: Joshua Frank on The Big Heat

A podcast with the author on his new book The Big Heat.


Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden

“Worldwide, the most common kind of gender violence is domestic violence, which occurs in the home or within the family. It affects women regardless of age, education or socioeconomic status. Although generally women are the victims, men are also abused by their wives or partners. Violence also occurs among same-sex partners.”


Looking Ahead

Lakota Law

Lakota Law
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
describes her progressive agenda,
including the the Green New Deal

The countdown is on. One week from tomorrow, the Lakota People’s Law Project will proudly join the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. While we’re there, Phyllis Young will join me and the rest of our delegation in meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss next steps for Indigenous participation in the Green New Deal.

If you’re near the D.C. area or can make the trip, we invite you to join us and march for the rights of Indigenous people everywhere. Even if you can’t make it, you can still RSVP and/or purchase merchandise to show your solidarity and support the movement.

In the meantime, it’s critical that we continue to spread the word about the Green New Deal and the need for Indigenous wisdom and leadership. If you haven’t yet, please send an email to your representatives urging their support. And if you have, please share the letter using the social media buttons below so we can increase the pressure on Washington in advance of our trip!

Facebook Share Link Twitter Share Link

Our march is also being supported by the organizers of the women’s march, who will hit the streets the following day. I can’t wait to share the results of our actions with you once we return home. We are building partnerships and coalitions that have so much potential to create meaningful change.

Now is the time to ensure that Native voices are heard loud and clear in the streets of Washington and the halls of power. Following a year when we elected a record number of women — including our first two Native congresswomen — your help is critical to ensure they have all the support they need to enact a truly progressive agenda informed by the traditional knowledge of America’s First Nations.

Wopila — As always, we are grateful for your solidarity!

Chase Iron Eyes
Lead Counsel
Lakota People’s Law Project

P.S. 2019 is off to an exciting start, with so many opportunities for you to empower equal justice for Native people, women, and the earth we all share — either by marching or supporting from afar. Please continue to spread the word about an Indigenous-influenced Green New Deal through your networks, and stay tuned for an exciting progress report when we return from Washington!

Lakota People's Law Project
Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859

The Lakota People’s Law Project is part of the Romero Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.

News from Canada

‘An act of war’: Gidimt’en clan prepares for police raid on Wet’suwet’en Territory

Kathleen Martens
The RCMP is planning ‘an act of war’ to remove Indigenous protesters from blocking construction of a natural gas pipeline in northwestern B.C., says one of the clans involved.

The clan that has been maintaining a checkpoint keeping Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., off traditional Wet’suwet’en Nation territory south of Houston, B.C. posted a message on Facebook Saturday that police are planning to ‘forcibly remove’ them.

“(They) indicated that specially trained tactical forces will be deployed to forcibly remove Wet’suwet’en people from sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory,” said a post on the Gidimt’en clan Facebook page.

“Police refused to provide any details of their operation… including the number of officers moving in, the method of forcible removal, or the timing of deployment.”

The Gidimt’en post said they met Friday with members of the RCMP Aboriginal Police Liaison unit and learned action to enforce a court injunction is imminent.

But no further details were given, the Gidimt’en said.

“By rejecting the requests for information… the RCMP indicated that they intend to surprise and overwhelm the Wet’suwet’en people who are protecting their territories on the ground,” the post added.

“The RCMP’s ultimatum, to allow TransCanada access to unceded Wet’suwet’en territory or face police invasion, is an act of war.”

The checkpoint is 20 kilometres from the Unist’ot’en Camp. It was established 10 years ago along the route of three proposed pipelines, including the one Coastal Gaslink is building, in an effort to stop them.

It has since become a land-based wellness centre on the shores of the Morice River, close to the pipeline route.

The pipeline will carry fractured natural gas from Dawson Creek 647 kilometres to coastal Kitimat where it will be processed and shipped.

Camp members have the support of five hereditary chiefs in rejecting fossil fuel development and that’s why they have refused to allow Coastal GasLink employees to cross the Morice River bridge.

The company turned to the courts and won an interim injunction on Dec. 14 giving it access to the bridge across the Morice River and one kilometre down the road from the camp where the pipeline will run.

The injunction gives the RCMP the power to back up the court order.

The company has said in previous correspondence with APTN News that it only wants access to its construction camp and is not asking for the camp to be cleared.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Marguerite Church agreed work should not be delayed further on the $40 billion construction project.

Both sides are due back in court in late January.

But the Gidimt’en believe the RCMP will move in before then.

“In these injunction decisions, the court gives the order, and then the police determine how to implement the court’s direction within a reasonable time,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said in an email to APTN.

“The primary concerns of the police are public safety, police officer safety, and preservation of the right to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, within the terms set by the Supreme Court in the injunction.”

Saunderson added the RCMP hope “there will not be violence or disorder as we enforce the court order.”

A spokesperson for Coastal GasLink did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The elected chiefs and councils of the five Wet’suwet’en bands have approved the pipeline.



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“Congress is not quite yet a representative body: Four Native Americans in Congress equals two-thirds of one percent

Today is all about Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, and Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, the first two Native American women to be elected to the Congress of the United States.”