North Dakota Expansion Approved ~:(

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you with some unfortunate news: on Wednesday, the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the expansion of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) in a 3-0 vote. If the pipeline’s operators get the same approval in Iowa and Illinois, DAPL’s capacity will double to carry over a million barrels of oil per day.

Lakota Law
The North Dakota Public Service Commission has allowed an expansion doubling the oil flow through the Dakota Access pipeline. In our video from the original hearing, you can watch oil industry engineers dissembling about the impacts.

Once again, my people and homelands are intentionally ignored in the interest of increasing profits for the fossil fuel industry. As Standing Rock citizens, my relatives and I will be forced to bear the threat DAPL poses to our water and land. And every human being will now face the danger of increased oil production as our climate warms.

We were at the hearing on DAPL expansion in Linton, North Dakota last November. We helped the tribe muster opposition. And we watched as gas and oil employees and their attorneys lied about the risks. You can watch our video showing those lies here. We know the truth: more oil = more risk.

North Dakota’s PSC claimed in its announcement yesterday that expansion was in the best interest of the state’s citizens, but this of course ignores the valid concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the increased threat of surging. And when the Tribe requested more information from Dakota Access about the risks that doubling oil flow could hold for tribal water supplies, the PSC denied the request, citing bureaucratic procedure.

All pipelines leak. In the 15 years before DAPL began operations, 60 leaks spilled more than 42,000 barrels of toxic crude oil in North Dakota alone. This was the reason we stood in prayerful resistance to stop DAPL. It is why we faced rubber bullets, attack dogs, and water cannons. We are facing down a threat to our water, and now that threat is heightened.

We will, however, press on. With Keystone XL on the horizon, we’re readying for another battle for our water, and this time we intend to win. We’re also planning major initiatives on voting in Indian Country during this critical election cycle, and we’re breaking ground on a major festival and teach-in later this year at Standing Rock that will bring musicians, activists, and scientists together to confront the climate crisis.

We hope you stay with us in the fight against the madness of continued dependence on fossil fuels. Time is short. To protect all life on earth we need to act immediately.

Sincerely,

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

Action Needed in Canada!

 

All eyes on Wet’suwet’en
Mon, Feb 10, 2020 12:01 pm
Cherri Foytlin (leauestlaviecamp@gmail.com)To:you Details
Greetings Water Protector Family,

We are writing to pass along some urgent updates from our Wet’suwet’en relatives whose unceded territories are currently being invaded by Canada’s national police, known as the RCMP. Over the past four days the RCMP has been laying siege upon indigenous land defenders and acting as a military escort for TC Energy (which is TransCanada’s new name) as they attempt to build their Coastal Gas Link pipeline. The information below comes directly from the front lines and we strongly encourage everyone to take action and stand in solidarity with the land defenders of the Unist’ot’en camp. Please follow the links below.

EXCERPT FROM UNIST’OT’EN PRESS RELEASE
Unist’ot’en demands the RCMP will not evict the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre. The RCMP has no jurisdiction to enter the Healing Centre without our Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Even under colonial law, the RCMP cannot enter or search our Healing Centre without a warrant.

International public support is called for to ensure the safety of the Healing Centre. People living and receiving treatment there are not in violation of CGL’s injunction, nor is the Healing Centre itself in violation of the injunction. The Healing Centre exists to support the self-determination and healing of our people and is unrelated to CGL’s work and the injunction.

Unist’ot’en is outraged over the use of excessive force by the RCMP, including the unnecessary use of heavily armed tactical teams deployed by helicopters to surround Gidimt’en camp at 44 km, use of snipers, and deployment of K9 units. We know that in January 2019, RCMP were authorized to use genocidal lethal force, arrest children and grandparents, and apprehend Wet’suwet’en children in response to our peaceful presence on our lands.

Throughout the enforcement of CGL’s injunction, media and legal observers were illegally corralled and threatened with detention and arrest for doing their jobs. Freedom of the press is protected under Canadian law but journalists were prevented from documenting the RCMP militarized raids on Gidimt’en territories. The RCMP attempted to evict residents from Chief Woos’s cabin. The RCMP and Coastal GasLink also partially dismantled Gidimt’en camp infrastructure and property. This property belongs to the Gidimt’en Clan and the RCMP has no legal authority to destroy it.

On February 8, the exclusion zone was illegally expanded from the 27 KM to the 4 KM mark, and now encompasses the majority of Gidimt’en territory. As a result, eleven people including legal observers were illegally arrested from the 27 km cabin. The exclusion zone has been created by the RCMP to force Wet’suwet’en land defenders off ourland. It is a colonial and criminalizing tool to illegally and arbitrarily extend RCMP authority onto our lands. The massive exclusion zone, completely under RCMP authoritarian discretion, falls outside the injunction area. Chiefs and Wet’suwet’en people are illegally being denied access to their own territories.

We urge Canada to adhere to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) directives and to halt the Coastal Gaslink project, seek Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, withdraw RCMP from our territories and ensure that no lethal weapons or force be used to forcibly evict Wet’suwet’en people from our lands.

TODAYS UPDATES FROM THE FRONT LINES:8:40 am – RCMP on megaphone at #Unistoten bridge: “This is the RCMP. This airspace is now restricted. Do not operate any drone in this area. This restriction is approved by transport Canada.” Freda Huson: “This is not Canada! You are invaders! LEAVE!”

8:39 am – RCMP officers climbing snowbank

8:35 am – RCMP approaching bridge at 66km. 3 SUVs, one large van, line of trucks behind. Matriarchs are drumming and singing on the bridge, walking through the red dresses of their stolen sisters.

8:22 am – Unist’ot’en matriarchs drumming on bridge, as RCMP convoy advances.

8:16 am – RCMP and CGL convoy is now passing the 44 km mark on the way to Unist’ot’en (66km)

7:21 am – RCMP convoy is rolling up towards 66km now from 4km mark.

7:01 am – Convoy of 16 RCMP vehicles, mostly tactical stopped at 3km. 4 snowmobiles. Headed to Unist’ot’en.

6:50 am – Convoy of RCMP tactical vehicles just left the community hall in town and are headed down Hwy 16.

________________

Even if FB and Twitter feeds go down, this page on the website will still be updated: http://unistoten.camp/feb10

#WetsuwetenStrong #ReconciliationIsDead #alleyesonWetsuweten #waterislife #shutdowncanada #unistoten #gidimten #landback #thetimeisnow
Wet’suwet’en Supporter Toolkit: http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020

Unist’ot’en Legal Fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/unistoten2020legalfund

Call out for Solidarity Actions:
http://unistoten.camp/alleyesonwetsuweten/

Thank you for your support of indigenous resistance. Please continue to follow live updates as they come and please do what you can to organize an action in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en camp.

Hope to see you on the front lines,
Cherri Foytlin

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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.

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‘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.”

Revoke The Doctrine of Discovery

Lakota Law

 

Steve Newcomb

Steve Newcomb discusses the Doctrine of Discovery

As an Indigenous woman, I feel the heavy weight of history. At Standing Rock, the dual traumas of colonization and the exploitation of Grandmother Earth have collided in our battles against oil extraction and pipelines. I cannot thank you enough for your support—and I ask you to stay with us through November’s hearing on DAPL’s expansion and the planned construction of Keystone XL in 2020. Pipeline resistance must and will remain our top priority for the foreseeable future.

As Native activists, our work to reclaim our own history is also critical. That’s why we’re challenging the root legal argument behind the subjugation of so many Indigenous people, both here and around the world. The Doctrine of Discovery, a papal declaration from the 15th century, was used as a basis for Manifest Destiny and continues to haunt my people today. It was cited by a Supreme Court justice as recently as 2005.

In February of 2017 at Standing Rock, the Oceti Sakowin issued a declaration in defiance of the Doctrine’s objectives. And earlier this year, I helped the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe organize and host a Doctrine of Discovery Conference, where we brought in top experts to explore solutions. I encourage you to watch our new video, in which a world-recognized Shawnee and Lenape expert, Steve Newcomb, sits down with us to explore how the Doctrine of Discovery still allows the domination of Indigenous peoples to this day.

We also went straight to the source. In 2016, the support of friends like you helped us organize 35 organizations to submit letters to Pope Francis demanding that he overturn the Doctrine. We also met in Rome with Cardinal Peter Turkson, a progressive from Ghana who oversees social justice ministry for the Church. The Vatican knows the deeply problematic nature of the Doctrine of Discovery and is considering Indigenous communities’ desire to have it revoked.

So, we fight on many fronts. I invite you to stay tuned and reach out to our team with ideas and solutions. Together with you, we are empowered. My hope is that in 2020, we can use our collective strength to stem the tides of imperialism, colonization, environmental racism, and the climate crisis.

Wopila — thank you for your solidarity!

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

 

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

Autumn Peltier

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-indigenous-teen-autumn-peltier-urges-un-to-respect-clean-water/Indigenous Voices

Indigenous water activist Autumn Peltier addressed hundreds of international guests at UN headquarters in Manhattan Saturday.

The 15-year-old activist from Wiikwemkoong First Nation on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario urged the global community to respect the sacredness and importance of clean water.

“I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, we can’t eat money, or drink oil.”

‘This is our future’: Coast to coast portraits of students at the climate strike

Peltier spoke at the Global Landscapes Forum, a platform on sustainable land use founded by UN Environment and the World Bank that’s dedicated to achieving development and climate goals.

She used the speech to draw attention to the lack of clean water in numerous Indigenous communities, which she says sparked her activism.

“All across these lands, we know somewhere were someone can’t drink the water. Why so many, and why have they gone without for so long?”

She said she’s been taught traditional knowledge from an early age about the sacredness of water, and that more should learn these lessons.

“Maybe we need to have more elders and youth together sitting at the decision table when people make decisions about our lands and waters.”

Peltier called for an end to plastic use as one step in restoring a more sustainable world.

Her speech comes a day after huge crowds took to the streets in Canada as part of a global climate strike.

The speech was her second at the UN headquarters, having urged the General Assembly to “warrior up” and take a stand for our planet last year.

Peltier, who is nominated for the 2019 International Children’s Peace Prize by the David Suzuki Foundation, has spread her message at hundreds of events around the world.

In 2015, Peltier attended the Children’s Climate Conference in Sweden, and a year later, confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his “broken promises” at a meeting of the Assembly of First Nations.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Greta Thunberg Visit to Standing Rock and Pine Ridge

https://www.facebook.com/LakotaPeoplesLawProject/?emci=e1613360-b3e7-e911-b5e9-2818784d6d68&emdi=ec502f73-c9e7-e911-b5e9-2818784d6d68&ceid=2659296

 

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg (L), Jamie Margolin (C), and me in Washington, D.C.

I’m excited to share with you that my friend, Greta Thunberg, is joining me for three events over the next three days in Lakota Country. More on that in a minute, but first, let me introduce myself. I’m Tokata Iron Eyes, daughter of Chase Iron Eyes, whom you have heard from many times in the past.

My father’s work on behalf of Native justice and environmental concerns is also my work. I will add that, as a young woman of color, I focus much of my energy on the issues of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the climate crisis, as they are particularly close to my heart. I may be a high school junior, but I have already traveled the world and made many appearances to speak on these critical topics, including at January’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

 

I met Greta on a later trip to the capital. We were both in town to speak at an Amnesty International event. Being both the same age and vocal climate warriors, we quickly found that we have much in common, even though our backgrounds may look different.

As you likely know, Greta comes from Sweden, where, at 15, she began protesting a lack of climate action in Parliament. From there, she quickly rose to worldwide prominence, organizing school climate strikes, giving a TED Talk, and appearing on the cover of Time magazine.

I felt it was important to invite her to come see my homelands, and I’m so happy she accepted my invitation. We’ll be speaking on my home campus of Red Cloud Indian School tomorrow at 5 p.m. MST, then hosting an event in Rapid City on Monday before heading to Standing Rock, where I spent most of my earlier years, on Tuesday at 10 a.m. CST.

Together, we want to share our mutual inspiration to take action on the climate with more kids — and with adults, too. Our struggles here against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines are the tip of the spear in a global effort to move away from fossil fuels and begin living more conscious lives together, in harmony with our Grandmother Earth.

I can’t wait to share more with you later in the week. In the meantime, you can catch a video stream of our talk at Red Cloud at the Lakota People’s Law Project Facebook page. Stay tuned!

Pilamaya — I appreciate your solidarity with our struggle!

Tokata Iron Eyes
The Lakota People’s Law Project

 

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

 

DAPL Action Update

DAPL expansion? No way!

Your voice is needed. For though the resistance at Standing Rock has been forcibly paused and oil now flows through the Dakota Access pipeline, the struggle to protect the health and safety of the tribe and people downstream isn’t over. Quickly and quietly, Energy Transfer Partners is planning to more than double the amount of oil DAPL carries, to more than a million barrels a day. And they’re doing this — once more — without the consent of the people.

It’s time to stand again with Standing Rock. We interviewed leaders from Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud — and together we’re demanding transparency and input through a public hearing. Will you take a moment now to join us? You can use our form to send an email telling North Dakota’s Public Service Commission that the people must be heard!

 

mail

 

Big Oil assures us that increasing oil flow through pipelines isn’t dangerous, but U.S. regulators say their information doesn’t back that claim. And tar sands crude — the type of oil DAPL carries — is a special threat: corrosive to infrastructure, it caused a million-gallon spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan not long ago. The United States suffers hundreds of liquid pipeline incidents every year. Why should we trust Big Oil’s word?

Between now and the deadline for input on Aug. 9, we will do everything we can to ensure a public hearing — the first step in stopping DAPL from becoming twice as dangerous. The Black Snake’s presence must not be allowed to fester and grow without pushback from every corner of Turtle Island. Will you stand with us once again to ensure the safety of our people and our sacred land and water?

Wopila Tanka — Thank you for making a difference! Mni Wiconi.

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