I came to New York to join 300, 000 people on the streets of Manhattan demanding climate justice. We came from White Earth, and our Anishinaabe Akiing, to repeat our messages: Love Water not Oil – no pipelines, tankers or fracking. Nothing should come to our Great Lakes, the heartland of North America, and the source of one-fifth of the world’s water. We know what it is that we are doing at home. We know that we are working hard to defeat the Enbridge Sandpiper proposal, and other proposals which would result in up to 4 million barrels of oil a day crossing our Anishinaabe Akiing, our northern Minnesota territory. We know that policy makers are here in New York City, and we know our allies are here. So we are as well.
My sons and I, along with other Anishinaabe people came to New York and walked with the 300, 000+ people that took to the streets yesterday. We joined with and listened to women from the Blackfeet reservation, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Territory, and Mic Mac territory in New Brunswick, Canada, tell the stories of fracking – or of the battle against fracking. It is heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking to see our Mother Earth become filled with over 600 toxic chemicals, and explosions under ground for extreme oil. It is heartbreaking to see our peoples’ rights signed away to corporations, and it is heart breaking to see 300 armed RCMP officers in Canada surround a Native woman opposing fracking, holding only an eagle feather, and kneeling on the ground.
We heard Ella Maja Tailfeathers’ story from the Blood Reserve in Canada, where half of their reserve was signed away to fracking by a corrupt and unaccountable first nation government. We heard her story of an arrest, by tribal police, lateral oppression, gender oppression and destruction of land. We heard and joined with Kandi Mossett from the Mandan, Arikara and Hidatsa Nation in North Dakota, to talk about the destruction of land and people, and the sex trafficking and radioactivity coming to that territory. We heard, and we vowed to continue our struggle with these people, and these communities. Our pipeline opposition is joined now with the opposition to fracking.
Honor the Earth’s work on the proposed Enbridge Sandpiper line is directly related to the front lines of the fracking struggles, as the oil proposed to move in the line is from the fracking zones. We went to North Dakota and Mandan territory last month to stand with the Hunkpapa Lakota people to create a moratorium and ban on proposed fracking in their territory, and we came to Ft. Berthold to begin laying the ground work for environmental research and remediation, as well as to change the balance of power in that community. Recent tribal elections have begun that change at a political level, and we will work on the ground with the people.
We came to New York to feel the power of a citizen’s movement, and to see Indigenous people joining together, flanked by celebrities, at the front of a 300,000 people climate march – leading a voice for climate action and climate justice. We know that our voices must be heard, in a national forum, an international forum, and in our own territories. We are thankful for the courage of all of our people, and we are thankful that we are here, and will continue our work. Miigwech (thank you) for your support.