It’s All About the Water

https://www.lakotalaw.org/resources/hot-water-preview?ceid=2659296&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_content=textlink&emci=3910ff14-db37-ea11-a1cc-2818784d084f&emdi=0ee92e56-bc38-ea11-a1cc-2818784d084f

 

Thu, Jan 16, 2020 6:00 pm
Chase Iron Eyes, Lakota Law (info@lakotalaw.org)To:you Details

In 2016 and ‘17, you stood with Standing Rock because you knew the importance of the Lakota maxim: Mni Wiconi — water is life. Decades back, a liberal Congress understood that, too, which is why a conduit that carries fresh water from the Missouri River to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is named the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply System.

As described here by the Guardian, the Oglala Lakota Nation gets about half of our water through the Mni Wiconi. The other half comes from private wells and the deeper Ogallala and Arikaree aquifers. If the Keystone XL oil pipeline (KXL) is completed, it will traverse the Mni Wiconi in two locations, cross tributaries that flow into the Missouri River, and endanger both our aquifers. There literally isn’t a drop of our water supply that isn’t threatened by KXL.

If that isn’t scary enough, uranium mining — licensed by the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations in the 1950s and ‘60s and tied to nuclear weapons manufacturing — has, at times, contaminated water near Pine Ridge. Extraction looms over us in multiple ways, threatening our water and threatening our health.

It probably won’t surprise you that Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t test our water for uranium. That’s why the Oglala Sioux Tribe has conducted tests at more than a dozen locations on and surrounding Pine Ridge. We helped secure the experts and resources for the field testing and now await results from the University of South Dakota.

“Hot Water,” a powerful documentary available on Amazon, talks about the tragic effects of contamination on our people. The filmmakers have generously allowed us to share a special excerpt with you here.

Lakota Law

Oglala Lakota President Julian Bear Runner and I were both unlawfully arrested in 2017 for trying to stop the Dakota Access pipeline from traversing our Oceti Sakowin Oyate — with all charges now dismissed. In 2020, we pledge to keep fighting to safeguard water by attending to contamination issues and by doing all we can to stop KXL in its tracks.

I wish a happy New Year to you and yours, and I ask that you stay active with me in this battle. By holding our coalition together, we water protectors can and will continue to make a tremendous difference.

Wopila — Our gratitude for your attention,

Chase Iron Eyes
Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project

Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th Street #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.

 

 

Canadian Pipeline News

Hereditary First Nation chiefs issue eviction notice to Coastal GasLink contractors

A hereditary chief with the Wet’suwet’en Nation said a work site for the Coastal GasLink pipeline near Houston, B.C., has been vacated after he and other hereditary chiefs issued an eviction notice.

“We’ve tried the avenues available,” said Na’Moks, who also goes by John Ridsdale.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/wet-suwet-en-coastal-gaslink-na-moks-1.5415586

bc-lng-pipeline-camp-20190203

A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist’ot’en camp on a remote logging road near Houston, B.C., on Jan. 17, 2019. In a statement, Coastal GasLink said staff discovered felled trees near the work site on Sunday, making the road impassable. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

 

Coastal GasLink gives pipeline opponents 72-hour notice to clear way to worksite

Coastal GasLink has posted an injunction order giving opponents to its pipeline project 72 hours to clear the way to its work site in northern B.C.

The order, stamped Tuesday by the B.C. Supreme Court registry, addresses members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and supporters who say the project has no authority without consent from the five hereditary clan chiefs.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/lng-company-posts-notice-to-clear-way-1.5419257

 

Supporters of Wet’suwet’en First Nation erect camp near road to pipeline work site

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/video-supporters-of-wetsuweten-first-nation-erect-camp-near-road-to/

 

‘What cost are human rights worth?’ UN calls for immediate RCMP withdrawal in Wet’suwet’en standoff

 

Experts say the world is watching to see if Canada heeds a call from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to immediately suspend work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the Trans Mountain pipeline and the Site C dam until ‘free, prior and informed consent’ is obtained from Indigenous peoples

 

https://thenarwhal.ca/what-cost-are-human-rights-worth-un-calls-for-immediate-rcmp-withdrawal-in-wetsuweten-standoff/

Standing Rock Nation 2020

I hope your holiday season has been filled with love, family, and all the comforts of home. As mentioned a couple times over the past few weeks, we’re grateful to bring these human necessities to children in our new foster home on Standing Rock Nation very soon. As we enter 2020, we’re equipping their new house so they can enjoy it for years to come.

Lakota Law

This is about far more than mere shelter. As Madonna Thunder Hawk says in our video, we Lakota don’t call it foster care; we call it kinship care because keeping Lakota kids with Native guardians means the preservation of families, culture, and tradition. Only with all of these elements together do our children have the best possible foundation for their future.

As 2019 draws to a close, we wanted to offer you a final chance to help us build that critical foundation this calendar year. We have purchased and started renovating the home, but additional funding will help us fully equip it with insurance, computer workstations, beds and linens, dressers, and kitchenware. Your contribution will also help cover utility and move-in costs and a reliable vehicle to transport the children. Your support now can make a difference that lasts a lifetime!

Located on the South Dakota side of Standing Rock, the home is almost ready. We’ve recruited our first tribal foster parent, and we expect to have children in the home early in the New Year.

Standing Rock’s tribal leaders support this effort, and in time we hope to aid them and other tribal nations in creating additional foster homes for more kids in need. There are far too many. According to the ACLU, American Indians comprise less than nine percent of South Dakota’s population, but 52 percent of the children in its foster care system are Native. Our children are 11 times more likely to be placed in foster care than a white child.

That’s why your support is so important. Together, we can put some of Standing Rock’s most vulnerable kids on solid footing for the coming year.

Wopila tanka — I can’t thank you enough for supporting our next generation!

Chase Iron Eyes
Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project

Congress considers Lumbee recognition bill

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/congress-considers-lumbee-recognition-bill-3HVFsL6AN0y-Fkajc0pgIQ/

https _images.saymedia-content.com_.image_MTY4ODAxNTEzMDY4NjM1MzMz_golden-hour---us-capitol-tree-2019

 

This week on Capitol Hill, Dec. 2 to 6

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye and Kolby KickingWoman

Lumbee Recognition Act

Why are we here?

In 1885, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina received state recognition. Three years later, the tribe petitioned Congress for full recognition but the request was referred to the Department of the Interior which denied full recognition saying the tribe was too large and there was not enough money to provide services.

Better Conservation Methods

https://thenarwhal.ca/how-a-resurgence-in-indigenous-governance-is-leading-to-better-conservation/

Far from the old mentality of ‘fortress conservation’ that deemed only empty landscapes as adequately protected, a new era of Indigenous-led conservation is not only better at protecting wild places but embraces the communities and cultures that have stewarded these lands since time immemorial

 

Heiltsuk-Coastal-Guardian-Watchmen-2200x1467.jpg

Members of the Coastal Guardian Watchmen inspect their crab traps near Bella Bella, B.C. Photo: Louise Whitehouse / The Narwhal

RE: North Dakota Public Service Commission

Mon, Nov 25, 2019 12:46 pm
Phyllis Young, Lakota Law (info@lakotalaw.org)

Thanks again to all of you who sent letters to the North Dakota Public Service Commission over the past weeks. First, nearly 20,000 of you put the pressure on to hold a public hearing about doubling Dakota Access pipeline oil. On Wednesday, November 13, before a packed house, the Commission held that hearing. Having received another 15,000 letters from you backing Standing Rock’s call to deny the expansion, and after 15 hours of public testimony, the Commission is now deliberating.

Lakota Law

Of course, the pipeline’s operators came prepared with a team of five bigshot attorneys and two engineers, all of whom did their best to obfuscate the implications of doubling oil flow through the pipeline. These Big Oil advocates spent hours talking around the obvious fact that driving twice the amount of oil through DAPL will increase the potential fallout from a spill. Please watch and share our new video, which clearly shows these obstructionist efforts to hide the truth.

After our team combined with tribal leaders and Sacred Stone Camp to organize the grassroots, more than 150 water protectors attended the hearing. Many Standing Rock tribal leaders — including Chairman Mike Faith and several council members — were in the room as well, and most stayed until everything had wrapped at 12:30 a.m.

The tribe put forward three expert witnesses who punched logical holes in Dakota Access’s effort to make expanding DAPL seem safe. Now, it’s up to the Commission to see through the nonsense and make the right decision.

Please stay tuned over the coming weeks. Our sources tell us that the PSC will take its time before making its call. If they understand their duty, they will do effective research and form a proper analysis. We will, of course, keep our ears to the ground and stay in touch with you about the decision and next steps in the fights against DAPL and Keystone XL.

Wopila tanka — thank you for helping us battle Big Oil!

Phyllis Young
Standing Rock Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project

 

Lakota People's Law Project

Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th Street #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.

 

 

Thanksgiving Day 2019

I am fasting today in support of the Extinction Rebellion hunger strikers. Extinction Rebellion is global. Find out more here: https://rebellion.global/

Extinction Rebellion is a leaderless, decentralised, international and apolitical network using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

We have the following three demands in most of our territories:

  1. Tell The Truth
    Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Act Now
    Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Beyond Politics
    Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

**************************************************************************************

‘There should be no medals for massacres’

 

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/there-should-be-no-medals-for-massacres-9Ft7OEHwkkODfKv-0bFYrg/

Wounded Knee

Remove the Stain Act to be considered by Senate too; House has a version as well

Presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, released the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act. (**Note: is Warren doing this to clean up her act after not supporting the water protectors at Standing Rock even as she claimed to be a Native?)

Rep. Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo and D-New Mexico, and Rep. Denny Heck, D-Washington, introduced the House with the Remove Stain Act in June.

Both bills strip for the Congressional Medals of Honor that was awarded to the 20 men in the U.S. 7th Cavalry. The soldiers murdered defenseless and unarmed Lakota men, women and children on December 29, 1890. Also known as the Wounded Knee Massacre.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3467/text

 

H. R. 3467

 

To rescind each Medal of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 25, 2019

Mr. Heck (for himself, Mr. Cook, Ms. Haaland, Ms. Davids of Kansas, Mr. Kildee, and Mr. Luján) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


A BILL

To rescind each Medal of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Remove the Stain Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds as follows:

(1) The Medal of Honor is the highest military award of the United States.

(2) Congress found that to earn the Medal of Honor “the deed of the person … must be so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes his gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery”.

(3) The actions of Medal of Honor recipients inspire bravery in those currently serving in the Armed Forces and those who will come to serve in the future.

(4) Those listed on the Medal of Honor Roll have come to exemplify the best traits of members of the Armed Forces, a long and proud lineage of those who went beyond the call of service to the United States of America.

(5) To date the Medal of Honor has been awarded only 3,522 times, including only 145 times for the Korean War, 126 times in World War I, 23 times during the Global War on Terror, and 20 times for the massacre at Wounded Knee.

(6) The Medal of Honor is awarded in the name of Congress.

(7) As found in Senate Concurring Resolution 153 of the 101st Congress, on December 29, 1890 the 7th Cavalry of the United States engaged a tribal community “resulting in the tragic death and injury of approximately 350–375 Indian men, women, and children” led by Lakota Chief Spotted Elk of the Miniconjou band at “Cankpe’ Opi Wakpa” or “Wounded Knee Creek”.

(8) This engagement became known as the “Wounded Knee Massacre”, and took place between unarmed Native Americans and soldiers, heavily armed with standard issue army rifles as well as four “Hotchkiss guns” with five 37 mm barrels capable of firing 43 rounds per minute.

(9) Nearly two-thirds of the Native Americans killed during the Massacre were unarmed women and children who were participating in a ceremony to restore their traditional homelands prior to the arrival of European settlers.

(10) Poor tactical emplacement of the soldiers meant that most of the casualties suffered by the United States troops were inflicted by friendly fire.

(11) On January 1st, 1891, Major General Nelson A. Miles, Commander of the Division of Missouri, telegraphed Major General John M. Schofield, Commander-in-Chief of the Army notifying him that “[I]t is stated that the disposition of four hundred soldiers and four pieces of artillery was fatally defective and large number of soldiers were killed and wounded by the fire from their own ranks and a very large number of women and children were killed in addition to the Indian men”.

(12) The United States awarded 20 Medals of Honor to soldiers of the U.S. 7th Cavalry following their participation in the Wounded Knee Massacre.

(13) In 2001, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a member Tribe of the Great Sioux Nation, upon information provided by Lakota elders and by veterans, passed Tribal Council Resolution No. 132–01, requesting that the Federal Government revoke the Medals of Honor from the soldiers of the United States Army, 7th Cavalry issued following the massacre of unarmed men, women, children, and elderly of the Great Sioux Nation on December 29, 1890, on Tribal Lands near Wounded Knee Creek.

(14) The National Congress of American Indians requested in a 2007 Resolution that the Congress “renounce the issuance of said medals, and/or to proclaim that the medals are null and void, given the atrocities committed upon unarmed men, women, children and elderly of the Great Sioux Nation”.

(15) General Miles contemporaneously stated that a “[w]holesale massacre occurred and I have never heard of a more brutal, cold-blooded massacre than that at Wounded Knee”.

(16) Allowing any Medal of Honor, the United States highest and most prestigious military decoration, to recognize a member of the Armed Forces for distinguished service for participating in the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Native Americans is a disservice to the integrity of the United States and its citizens, and impinges on the integrity of the award and those who have earned the Medal since.

SEC. 3. Rescission of Medals of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890.

(a) In general.—Each Medal of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded Knee Creek, Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890, is rescinded.

(b) Medal of Honor Roll.—The Secretary concerned shall remove the name of each individual awarded a Medal of Honor for acts described in subsection (a) from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard Medal of Honor Roll maintained under section 1134a of title 10, United States Code.

(c) Return of medal not required.—No person may be required to return to the Federal Government a Medal of Honor rescinded under subsection (a).

(d) No denial of benefits.—This Act shall not be construed to deny any individual any benefit from the Federal Government.

 

 

***Note: my personal opinion – the medals should be returned and any benefits cut. Too bad these men are not alive today- they should have faced trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Oil Pipeline Leaks

My home, the Ft. Berthold Reservation, is a web of oil and gas pipelines. Here’s why I oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/opinion/my-home-the-ft-berthold-reservation-is-a-web-of-oil-and-gas-pipelines-here-s-why-i-oppose-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-UpMu1yg8WEy7b1mJpOWv-g/

 

lisa-deville-headshot

 

“At least 18 pipelines cross under Lake Sakakawea. I strongly oppose Keystone XL pipeline because I have seen up close and personal what pipelines can do when they malfunction.”

Almost four years after my visit to Standing Rock…

Keystone: ‘This is what pipelines do: They spill’

 

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/keystone-this-is-what-pipelines-do-they-spill-ug3E1mp7EUOjqjvRWjr-Mw/

pipline leak

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019 photo provided by the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality shows affected land from a Keystone oil pipeline leak near Edinburg, North Dakota. Regulators said TC Energy’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons of oil in northeastern North Dakota, though the cause was still under investigation. (North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality/Taylor DeVries)

Here is the news about the pipeline leaking once again four years after I went to Standing Rock to protest the building of the pipeline, four years after I brought a banner from my school to present to the elders.

No one listens to the people.

No one cares about the land.

Greed and corruption rule the land.