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.
SANTIAGO, Oct 13 — Chilean police fired tear gas and water cannon yesterday to break up thousands of indigenous protesters demanding land rights and condemning Columbus Day, after masked demonstrators began throwing stones. The march in Santiago began festively, with demonstrators decked out in colorful clothing and playing traditional indigenous music from around the country. But some protesters turned violent, throwing stones at police, who responded by firing water cannon and tear gas. That broke up the demonstrators, who police said numbered about 6,000.
Columbus and his successors were not coming into an empty wilderness, but into a world which in some places was as densely populated as Europe itself, where the culture was complex, where human relations were more egalitarian than in Europe, and where the relations among men, women, children, and nature were more beautifully worked out than perhaps any place in the world. They were people without a written language, but with their own laws, their poetry, their history kept in memory and passed on, in an oral vocabulary more complex than Europe’s, accompanied by song, dance, and ceremonial drama. They paid careful attention to the development of personality, intensity of will, independence and flexibility, passion and potency, to their partnership with one another and with nature. John Collier, an American scholar who lived among Indians in the 1920s and 1930s in the American Southwest, said of their spirit: “Could we make it our own, there would be an eternally inexhaustible earth and a forever lasting peace.”
As the Customary Chief of Mitchikanibikok Inik (Algonquins of Barriere Lake) for almost 20 years altogether, I was also under constant attack by the federal and Quebec governments. I had a target on my back because I fought with everything I had against the Quebec and federal governments to protect our ancestral lands from over exploitation and our Algonquin Anishinabe way of life for future generations. In the 1980s, our traditional territory, located about 3 hours north of Ottawa in Quebec, was being devastated by clear-cuts. Under my leadership we camped out on Victoria Island for weeks and blockaded logging roads for months to get the governments’ attention and let them know they were on Algonquin territory and that we never gave up our jurisdiction to the land.
The second Monday in October has historically served as Columbus Day in the United States. However, several states don’t honor this holiday, including Washington State. While so many celebrate Christopher Columbus, the era of colonization and the genocidal actions of Christopher Columbus have also led to historical trauma within various cultures and people, namely Coast Salish populations. Additionally, research has shown that Coast Salish Tribes, including the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation, have lived, worked and played in Bellingham since time immemorial. Thus, the goal of this proposal is to establish Coast Salish Day on the second Monday in October, a day other parts of the country still celebrate Columbus Day. Now is a time where we can start to help set historical records straight, and create a holiday that celebrates both the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation.
“One victory for us is a victory for all people,” Pua Case, Hawaiian activist and traditional practitioner, announced on the telephone, one day after activists convinced funders and scientists to abandon a groundbreaking ceremony for a copy.4 billion, football field sized, Thirty Meter Telescope. On Tuesday, October 7, at the base of Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain, close to 200 activists joined in prayer, to preserve Hawai’i’ s most sacred place. The groundbreaking ceremony came to a dead halt when Joshua Lanakila Mangauil, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner, and other supporters made their way to the top of the mountain. Mangauil, who can be seen in the video below, stormed the ceremony unexpectedly and denounced the actions taking place. Mangauil’s impassioned pleas, among others, halted the events.
EDMONTON – The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved the $3-billion Grand Rapids oil pipeline with 26 conditions.The pipeline is designed to ship up to 900,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day from near Fort McMurray, Alta., to the Edmonton area. Several of the conditions deal with the pipeline’s route and others deal with enhanced environmental monitoring and mitigation to better protect wildlife and wetlands. The approval follows two weeks of hearings this summer. The hearings were boycotted by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, an aboriginal group that lives in Alberta’s oilsands region. The First Nation criticized the process as too rushed and skewed in favour of the oil industry. Landowners along the proposed route raised similar concerns.