Grammy Award-winning Indigo Girls and acclaimed Native activist Winona LaDuke appear with local and regional artists and activists to raise awareness for a clean energy future
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are teaming up with Native activist Winona LaDuke and members of the Women Donors Network to host free community events on the Blackfeet and Flathead reservations June 4 and 5.
A buffalo feast and community cultural exchange will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 4 at Browning High School in Browning, Mont. The Blackfeet Confederacy drum group will kick off the night’s activities, followed by Blackfeet’s own Jack Gladstone and the Indigo Girls. LaDuke will also speak on environmental justice issues. Additionally, a special honoring is planned for Elouise Cobell in recognition of her courage in working towards a settlement of the 14-year-long Cobell v. Salazar lawsuit.
LaDuke and the Indigo Girls leave Blackfeet and continue the environmental justice tour on the Flathead Reservation. A panel entitled “Environmental Justice in Montana: Protecting the Land for Future Generations” will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 at the Johnny Arlee/Victor Charlo Theatre at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Mont. LaDuke will moderate the panel, which includes four dynamic speakers: Eriel Deranger from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations of Canada, speaking on the impacts of tar sands oil development; Gail Small of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation will talk about her community’s ongoing struggle to stop coal development; Francis Auld, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes cultural preservation officer will address sacred sites; Rich Janssen, acting director of the CSKT Natural Resource Department will address environmental concerns of the Flathead Reservation.
Montana is at the center of the climate debate calling attention to energy and environmental justice issues. Tar sands oil pipelines are in the works for Montana as well as plans to move massive tar sands equipment through the western half of the state in fall 2010. Furthermore, new coal mining initiatives are being proposed for Montana’s reservation lands leaving Native peoples to face a disproportionate impact from fossil fuel development. Meanwhile, reservations like Blackfeet have some of the best wind potential in the country. Honor the Earth events call for increased resistance to fossil fuels and full investment in clean energy across Indian Country and the United States.
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HONOR THE EARTH AND WOMEN DONORS NETWORK COMMUNITY EVENTS
Friday, June 4
Buffalo Feast and Cultural Exchange
With Blackfeet Confederacy drum group, Jack Gladstone, Indigo Girls & Winona LaDuke
Browning High School,
105 U.S. 89
Browning, Mont. 59417
Saturday, June 5
Environmental Justice Panel
With Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations of Northern Alberta, Rainforest Action Network’s Freedom From Oil Campaigner;
Gail Small, Native Action, Executive Director;
Francis Auld, CSKT cultural preservation;
Rich Janssen, CSKT Acting Director of Natural Resources.
Topics: Alberta tar sands oil, transportation of oil, coal extraction, coal bed methane and the connection between natural resources exploitation and poverty.
Moderated by Winona LaDuke
Short performance by Indigo Girls
Johnny Arlee/Victor Charlo Theatre
Salish Kootenai College
58138 U.S. Highway 93 (theater first turn on right as you enter campus from south)
Pablo, Mont. 59855
Events are free and open to the public!