Cree leaders in Quebec are taking to social media to drum up support for their campaign against uranium development in their territory. The community leaders say they may be far from urban centres — anywhere from an eight to 18-hour drive north of Montreal — but almost everyone has access to high speed internet and 3G cell service. They want to make sure Crees show up and voice their concerns when the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) province-wide hearings into the uranium industry come to northern Quebec next month. They’re also using Twitter to spread the word and gain support outside of Cree territory. “We are encouraging the Cree Nation to participate in this important public process and to tell the BAPE what the Crees are thinking about uranium development in Eeyou Istchee,” said Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come. The Cree government has launched a website and social media campaign, #StandAgainstUranium. They are asking people to take selfies with the Stand Against Uranium sign.
The Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest are the traditional canoe pullers. They are the cedar people. The salmon nation. Their nearly 60,000 people have lived along the coasts of Oregon and Washington State, and in British Columbia, Canada for more than 10,000 years. They are united by language, culture and the Salish Sea. And now, in addition, they are united in their opposition to oil giant Kinder Morgan’s proposed $5.4 billion expansion of its existing Trans Mountain tar sands oil pipeline, which links the Alberta oil sands fields to a shipping terminal in Burnaby, near Vancouver, B.C. The new pipeline would nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000, increasing by sevenfold the number of tankers carrying diluted tar sands bitumen through the Salish Sea in Washington and Canada.
For the past five months, activists from the Utah Tar Sands Resistance have camped out on the sage-swept, high plateau lands known as PR Springs in eastern Utah. From the site—where the first tar sands mine in the United States is planned, and preliminary clearing work is already underway—you can’t miss the majestic Book Cliffs that tumble from the East Tavaputs Plateau and the canyons full of tall conifers. Book Cliffs is an area cherished by sportsmen and sportswomen—the public lands a place where Rocky Mountain Elk roam free, a place beloved by hunters and anglers and campers and backpackers. Book Cliffs is also an area presently threatened by oil, gas, and tar sands development. Activists with Peaceful Uprising and the Utah Tar Sands Resistance are working to stop the tar sands projects in their tracks.
With an eagle soaring overhead, American and Canadian Coast Salish people gathered on the banks of the Fraser River in Chilliwack, B.C. to do prayers in advance of their presentations to oppose the $5.4-billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at the National Energy Board hearings. “We can’t sustain the continued destruction,” said American Deborah Parker, a councilwoman of the Tulalip tribe from the U.S. state of Washington on Wednesday. “This is heaven! Right here. This is heaven. And if we take care of that heaven. Then she will take care of us.” Texas-headquartered Kinder Morgan is proposing to triple the flow of Alberta oilsands bitumen to B.C’s coast, by crossing rivers and territories considered sacred to indigenous people on both sides of the 49th parallel.
Chevron’s repeated refusal to clean up its toxic contamination of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest constitutes an “attack” on civilian populations and should be investigated by the International Criminal Court in the Hague, impacted indigenous and farming communities charged this week in a formal complaint (pdf) to the global body. “In the context of international criminal law, the decisions made by Chevron’s CEO, John Watson, have deliberately maintained—and contributed to—the polluted environment in which the people of the Oriente region of Ecuador live and die every day,” states the complaint, which was submitted to the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Thursday on behalf of approximately 80 affected communities, totaling tens of thousands of people.
The fate of my country rests in your hands: that was the message which Ian Fry, representing Tuvalu gave at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen five years ago. This is also the message that the Pacific Climate Warriors have come to Australia to bring. We have come here, representatives of 12 different Pacific island nations, which are home to 10 million people, to ask the people of Australia to reject plans to double Australia’s exports of coal and to become the biggest exporter of gas in the world. We want Australia (and other industrialised countries which also rely on the burning and extraction of fossil fuels) to understand that for every kilo of coal which they dig, or every gas well they make, there is someone in the islands who is losing their home.
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 2014 (IPS) – Climate Change Warriors from 12 Pacific Island nations paddled canoes into the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia, Friday to bring attention to their grave fears about the consequences of climate change on their home countries. The 30 warriors joined a flotilla of hundreds of Australians in kayaks and on surfboards to delay eight of the 12 shipsscheduled to pass through the port during the nine-hour blockade, which was organised with support from the U.S.-based environmental group 350.org. “Fifteen years ago, when I was going to school, you could walk in a straight line. Now you have to walk in a crooked line because the beach has eroded away.” — Mikaele Maiava
For me, this story began at Lake Superior, a place that is sacred to the Anishinaabeg, the source of a fifth of the world’s fresh water. I rode my horse with my family, my community and our allies, from that place, Rice Lake Refuge, to Rice Lake, on my own reservation. Those two lakes are the mother lode of the world’s wild rice. Those two lakes—in fact, the entire region—are threatened by a newly proposed pipeline of fracked oil from what is known as the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota, from the homeland of those Arikara people. The pipeline proposed is called the Sandpiper. We rode, but we did not stop. Driven to go to the source, we traveled to North Dakota. That is this story. Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara territory lies along the northern Missouri River, a land of gentle rolling hills, immense prairie diversity and the memory of 50 million buffalo.
Declaring themselves “Pacific Climate Warriors,” representatives from a dozen Pacific Island nations—sitting atop traditional outrigger canoes, kayaks, and other small boats—staged a full-day blockade of the Newcastle Coal Port in Australia on Friday as they sent a message to the government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the world that they will not sit idly by as the activities of the fossil fuel industry and its backers continue to threaten the existence of their low-lying homes. “The coal which leaves this port has a direct impact on our culture and our islands. It is clear to us that this is the kind of action which we must take in order to survive. Climate change is an issue which affects everyone and coal companies may expect further actions like this in future.” —Pacific Climate
CROSS LAKE, Man. – Protesters from a northern Manitoba First Nation are occupying the grounds around a generating station and have issued an eviction notice to Manitoba Hydro for what they say is a violation of their treaty rights. More than 100 protesters from the Cross Lake First Nation north of Lake Winnipeg marched to the hydro dam Wednesday and some have refused to leave the grounds. In a letter to Hydro president Scott Thomson, Chief Catherine Merrick said the First Nation is taking control of its traditional territory and evicting the Crown corporation. “You do not respect our rights,” she wrote in the letter dated Oct. 6. “You do not even respect or acknowledge who we are as people. Money and profit — that which you make off our traditional territory and people — is apparently all you care about.”
Lasqueti Island – In response to the announcement of the approval of permits for the shipment of US thermal coal through Greater Vancouver, the Fraser River, and up the Salish Sea to Texada Island, citizens in the region protested by Occupying the Sabine Channel on Saturday, October 4, 2014. More than 150 people, primarily from Lasqueti Island’s 426 population, came out in boats and on the shoreline to object to the Salish Sea being the staging ground for the export of dirty Thermal coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia. Several boats were also there from Texada and Thetis islands. Disallowed by US ports to date, this polluting and dirty coal will come by train across the border to the Fraser/Surrey docks (up to 2 trains per day, each train up to 1km long.)
This year Seattle and Minneapolis proclaimed the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day. They are the latest U.S. cities to join the trend that began in Berkeley in 1992 to supplant Columbus Day with a formal recognition of the people who have survived over five centuries of genocide, war, dislocation, discrimination, and social exclusion in the nations that were subsequently developed in the Americas. Multinational corporations have replaced kingdoms, empires and the Catholic Church as the prime agents of devastation and wealth extraction, but the exploitative dynamic remains fundamentally the same 522 years after Christopher Columbus first dropped anchor in the Caribbean.
With much discussion with Elders Councils and around Sacred fires and ceremonies the Secwepemc Ts’ka7 Warriors have acted out their collective responsibility and jurisdiction to and in the Ts’ka7 area by deactivating the Imperial Metals Ruddock Creek mine road. Imperial Metals Corporation never asked for or received free, prior and informed consent to operate in Secwepemc Territory. The Imperial Metals Mount Polley mine disaster, in the area known as Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe, the absolute destruction and devastation of our Territory has never been answered for. No reparations have been made.