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.”

Oil Spill

https://www.lakotalaw.org/our-actions/no-dapl-expansion

Take Action! Say NO to DAPL expansion

Breaking news: Yesterday, the Keystone pipeline spilled again. This highlights the need to thank those of you who recently wrote to the North Dakota Public Service Commission requesting a public hearing on the potential doubling of oil carried by the Dakota Access pipeline. I am very happy to say that, along with the Standing Rock Tribe’s official intervention, your voice helped compel the Commission to schedule that hearing. It’s coming up next week — on Wednesday, November 13th at 9 a.m. at Emmons County Courthouse in Linton, right across the river from Standing Rock.

Now, particularly in light of yet another pipeline spill, I ask you to join four Great Sioux Nation tribal chairmen and our allies around the world in telling the Commission to VOTE NO on this dangerous DAPL expansion. Even if you can’t make it to North Dakota, you can still be heard! Use this form to send an email to the PSC, show your solidarity, and make sure the commission knows it must not further imperil our sacred lands and water. Please stand again with Standing Rock — wherever you are.

Lakota Law
Clockwise from top left: Charles Walker, Standing Rock Tribal Council; Phyllis Young, Lakota Law organizer; Harold Frazier, Cheyenne River Tribal Chairman; Ladonna Allard, Sacred Stone Camp founder.

Even without the needed further study of environmental impact, we already know several reasons the PSC should deny this expansion. One, DAPL’s leak detection system is sub-par; doubling the current oil flow could allow as much as 11,000 barrels to despoil our water before detection. Two, government regulators say they don’t have data to prove that increasing capacity is safe. And three, DAPL will carry tar sands oil from Canada — some of the dirtiest and most corrosive oil in the world — thereby posing an even greater threat of leakage.

This expansion would be a reckless act of greed. As you’ll see in our video, leaders from the Oglala, Rosebud, and Cheyenne River Nations stand with us against this new danger to our people and Mother Earth. We must not be silenced. We must be strong and united in our message to the PSC: all due diligence should be conducted; the tribes, and allies like you, should be heard; the Earth should be respected.

Wopila tanka and mni wiconi — Thank you. Water is life.

Charles Walker
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council
Via the Lakota People’s Law Project

Alaska Lawsuit

Alaska Supreme Court hears oral arguments in kids’ climate change lawsuit

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/alaska-supreme-court-hears-oral-arguments-in-kids-climate-change-lawsuit-MM76DmFR5EeRS-swil-y-w/

https _images.saymedia-content.com_.image_MTY3NTIxNzM0OTUyNDk0OTkw_img_4131

Several of the plaintiffs and their attorneys spoke at a press conference held outside the courthouse after oral arguments. Back row (left to right): Kaytlyn Kelly, 19, Palmer; Sebastian Kurland, 20, Juneau; Andrew Welle, attorney; Front row (left to right): Lila S, 7, Homer; Cecily S, 9, Homer; Lexine D., Gwitch’in, 10, Fairbanks; Summer Sagoonik, Inupiaq, 18, Unalakleet; Esau Sinnok, Inupiaq, 21, Shishmaref; Brad De Noble, attorney.(Photo by Joaqlin Estus)

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

 

“We Will Stand Up”

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/n%C3%AEpawistam%C3%A2sowin-we-will-stand-up-is-an-emotional-award-winning-film-ke3Z5fj33keTGk6-VdlwpA/

‘nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up’ is an emotional award-winning film

https _images.saymedia-content.com_.image_MTY2ODE5MjE5MjMxNDgzMDAx_debbie-and-jade

“Colten Boushie was a young Native man, who decided to trade his life for an effort to create more understanding, more exposure for the unjust world of the legal system and unfair perception of Indigenous people.”

By Vincent Schilling