Extreme Extraction

"We're not stakeholders, we're rights holders; there's a big damn difference." 

In our Anishinaabe prophecies this is called the time of the Seventh Fire. This is a time when our people will have two roads ahead of us- one miikina or path which is well worn, but scorched and another path which is green. It will be our choice upon which path to embark. That is where we are. We have seen the rise of a highly inefficient American industrial society on our lands. The largest mining companies in the world began in the heart of Anishinaabe territory- the Keewenaw Bay and the Mesabe Iron range, and then traveled the world. The society which has been created is highly extractive and highly inefficient, where today material resources and water become wasted and toxic, and we waste 60% or more of the energy between point of origin and point of consumption. This highly destructive economy has reached material limits, and is now resorting to extreme extraction. Whether the removal of 500 mountain tops in Appalachia (largely for foreign coal contracts), extreme mining proposals in the Great Lakes region, to Fracking and tar sands extraction, we are clearly on a scorched path.

In our opposition to the most extreme forms of extraction, we focus now on:

An Economics for the Seventh Generation

extreme.jpgHonor the Earth is interested in the transition from this destructive economy and way of life, back towards a land-based economics. In this land based economics, we see that intergenerational and inter-species equity are valued, that cyclical systems are reaffirmed , that not all “natural resources” are up for extraction, and that we behave responsibly.  We recognize the wealth of a land-based economy because we have lived it, and we will continue to work to keep these waters for wild rice, these trees for maple syrup, our lakes for fish, and our land and aquifers present for all relatives.

Native people are in a pivotal position in this time and region. It is essential that we affirm principled and culturally driven agency. That is to say, that tribal communities - often conflicted over extraction - as a result of a historic set of decisions forced upon us, are able to be essential agents of change in this time. Honor the Earth will work in the next two years, with first nations, Indigenous communities, and tribal governments to  oppose extraction, support tribal regulatory push for  environmental regulation,  strengthen renewable energy and food systems work in our region, and create a curriculum and learning tool for tribal youth in Indigenous Economics. 

Further Reading:

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Documentary Earth Speaks, fracking on tribal land - The Blackfeet Nation, Montana

There are many ways to look at the destruction fracking is causing. Often we focus on the science concerning public health, the impacts of air pollution and water contamination.

Synopsis: Native Americans speak about the Earth as our Mother and the impacts of oil and gas drilling on tribal lands in the United States, particularly on The Blackfeet Nation in North Central Montana. Outside entities target territories where unemployment hovers at 70%, promising wealth and prosperity, and offering little in return. The exploitation of people, land, and resources is not new to the Native American. How do people, even within the tribe, see the Earth? Is it with a “spiritual eye” or more pragmatic? How are these views affecting the industry on tribal lands, and what alternative is there for a world dependent on fossil fuels?

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