#IdleNoMore Wisconsin Sovereign Nations! for Mashkiziibii (Medicine Water) PROTECT & SERVE MOTHER EARTH - CLEAN LAND+AIR+WATER = LIFE ... STOP THE MINES ...
MISSION The, "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water." The movement wants to "stop the government from passing more laws and legislation that will further erode treaty and indigenous rights and the rights of all Indigenous people globally." - We are in Solidarity with Canada, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin to Idle No More, Protect our Lands and Water.
~ Disclaimer ~
WE ARE NOT AN ORGANIZATION ... WE ARE GRASSROOTS TRIBAL INDIVIDUALS WORKING TOGETHER TO INITIATE #IDLENOMORE WISCONSIN IN SOLIDARITY WITH CANADA, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES.
#IDLE NO MORE WISCONSIN - A Peaceful Movement of Integrity and Honor with a concrete focus to protect our lands, water and the trust and agreement inclusions of sovereignty rights for a quality of life for our future generations. - "It's been said that "The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history" and the current mining bills before the Wisconsin state legislature would perpetuate a long, tragic, and shameful history of U.S. treaty violations with Indigenous Peoples. -- The 7th Generation has begun."
#IDLE NO MORE WISCONSIN - Grateful for the support and dedication of the Overpass Light Brigade illuminating #IdleNoMore with beautiful messages bringing the community together as ONE FIRE.
Sisters and Brothers leading Idle No More Wisconsin is:
* Rachel Byington, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
* Arvina Marin, Ho Chunk Nation Diana Miller, Menominee Nation
* Sarah LittlerRedfeather, decent of the Anishinaabe, MN Chippewa Band - White Earth
* Sanford LittleEagle, Ho Chunk Nation
* Chuck Davis, Sr.
* We are in FULL Solidarity and active with IdleNoMore Milwaukee.
* One Tribe One Nation One Fire Honoring Chief Theresa Spence, and the women who started the IdleNoMore Movement.
* VAWA Indigenous Women Issues Our congress refuses to sign the VAWA Law that has the protections and rights to prosecute non-natives who abuse our Women on Tribal Lands and more, this is important. Global awareness, to Stop the Violence Against Women, Sexual Assault, lack of support for justice departments from leaders of disappearing indigenous women, and children murdered and / or sold into human trafficking.
* NO MINE IN THE PENOKEE HILLS Bad River is under attack under Mining Special Interests in Legislature, the Treaties that Protects and Preserves our Cultural Environment, Lands and the Water, honor them.
* Stop the ma'iingan (Wolf) Hunt - Wolf Hunt Desecrates Anishinaabe Creation
* Colonialism changing to Cultural Awareness and Pride - Educate and collaborate to end stereotyping, and racism in our communities; creating a support system to create confidence and positive living in our communities.
Native peoples are encouraged to simply use #ProudToBe and their own word choice on their sign. Non-Native participants are encouraged to use #ProudToBe Standing With #NotYourMascot to show their support of the movement and to identify themselves as an ally of our community. Send any questions toProudToBe@ncai.org
THIS VIDEO DOES NOT REPRESENT CHANGE THE MASCOT OR NATIONAL CONGRESS OF NATIONAL AMERICAN INDIANS. THIS VIDEO AND COLLECTIONS WERE DONE INDEPENDENTLY.
PHOTO CREDITS: RACHEL BYINGTON, AND SARAH (LITTLEREDFEATHER DESIGN) of IdleNoMore Wisconsin. * Wisconsin Nations participated: Mike Wiggsins, Jr., Rachel Byington, Tim Fish, Barb Munson, Chris Munson, Christopher Kilgour, Curtis Tindall, Tara Snowball-Tindall, Carrie Bohman, Barbara Blackdeer-Mackenzie, Sarah LittleRedfeather, William Brown, Jr. and Tim Campeau. Musicians featured is Kelly Jackson, and UNPLUGGED (Shayne and Maureen Stegila)
"The fact that the land that Cliven Bundy was grazing his cattle on was possibly on disputed Ruby Valley Treaty land that had been stolen from the Western Shoshone is more than ironic."
Millionaire Mormon Ranchers Always Get Their Way, Indians Get Off Of Your Land!
In the news in the last week has been the story of a downtrodden millionaire rancher who has refused to pay the Bureau of Land Management grazing fees for 20 years. Cliven Bundy refused to pay grazing fees on federal land and invited 1000 of his militia Nazi buddies who were heavily armed to release his confiscated cattle. The Federal government backed down yesterday to a bunch of Neo nazi shit kickers. Add to this menagerie of assholes is that Bundy is claiming his right to continue bilking us out of our money the fact that “my Mormon faith teaches me I have a right to this land”. What a load of shit!
White Millionaire Rancher Cliven Bundy who refuses to pay for grazing on public land. Government Backs Down After Heavily Armed Militia Nazis Show up to protest.
Now contrast this with the treatment of Western Shoshone Tribal members Carrie and Mary Dann in 1998 after grazing cattle on land that was rightfully theirs since 1973 the US government ordered them off of their own land. In 2003 Federal agents with back up from local cowboys swept onto the Dann sisters traditional grazing lands in helicopters, on ATVs, and on horseback they confiscated 504 horses that belonged to the Dann sisters. at one point elder Clifford Dann doused himself with gasoline to stop federal agents to no avail. In the end the Federal government hung a 3 million dollar bill around the Dann sisters necks and kept their horses. Mary Dann passed on in 2005 at the age of 82. Carrie is still with us. The Western Shoshone land claim was upheld by the United Nations. The United States refuses to acknowledge the treaty.
Carrie and Mary Dann Ordered by the BLM to remove livestock they owned from contested Shoshone tribal lands. Forced to comply.
So here we are in 2014 and white ranchers are still using their faith to steal our land and Indigenous people who have a real and spiritual claim to the land are still being herded, harassed, and intimidated into giving it up. Had Cliven Bundy been an Indian we would be talking about a dead Indian. White millionaires just have an amazing ability to get whatever they want.
Personally, I believe that Indian people should follow Cliven Bundy’s lead and forcibly seize treaty land back. If all a millionaire Mormon rancher has to do to refuse to pay his taxes and invite a few friends with M-16s over to the house and wave the guns at federal agents then I guess that is what Indian Country should do. The last time I checked when people did things like this the government was accusing them of ‘acts of terrorism”. I guess not. I guess this means it’s open season for anyone who wants to steal from the government.
The absurdity of the BLM to back down in this situation is staggering. Because he claimed that according to his Mormon faith he doesn’t have to pay for grazing fees? Really? The legal ramifications of this will resound all over the country if the US government refuses to hold this “cowboy” accountable to the same standards that a person of color, a poor person, or anyone else for that matter. The head of the BLM is either in on the gag or is a yellow chickenshit wimp.
The memory of the proud Dann sisters standing up to demand that the Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863 be upheld. In 1979, the Us government offered the Western Shoshone miniscule amount of money to abandon their claims to the land. 80% of the Western Shoshone people voted against the settlement and the tribe, the nation, demanded the treaty be upheld. It has never been upheld. This situation is extremely troubling. The fact that the land that Cliven Bundy was grazing his cattle on was possibly on disputed Ruby Valley Treaty land that had been stolen from the Western Shoshone is more than ironic.
If the feds refuse to hold Cliven Bundy accountable for his tax liens then I say they can hold no one accountable. None of us should pay this sham government a penny until it has honored all treaties with the indigenous people of this land. What right do they have to round up some poor indigenous folks livestock for non payment of BLM grazing fees on THEIR OWN LAND and then walk away when some redneck millionaire screams “I’m a Mormon this land is mine”. All of this happens on a backdrop of a government that stole a trillion dollars from the tribes that was then paid back 10 cents on the dollar in the Cobell Settlement. The BLM, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the entire US government to blame. Troubling, troubling indeed.
Bundy is breaking the law which are in place for a reason … unnatural grazing causes many natural disruptions anyway to an area that has depleting water supply. Ranchers like Bundy, same folks in a movement who despise our treaty rights, doesn’t want tribes grazing Buffalo and sovereign nations refusal to put up immigration fencing on their lands so what’s good for the gander of equality.
"Something’s wrong with this picture..…. The U.S. ended a stand-off with white ranchers and armed militias protesters in Nevada calling off the government roundup of cattle it says were illegally grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) U.S. federal land. The U.S. government also gave back to the rancher about 300 cattle it rounded up. The government said the situation created a safety issue.
The situation reminded me of the Dann sisters, who are members of the Western Shoshone indigenous Nation. In September of 2002, U.S. BLM Rangers and other federal agents rounded up and took away 232 head of cattle owned by Carrie and Mary Dann. The herd was sold at a big discount. And, in February of 2003, Rangers and federal agents forcibly took away 504 horses belonging to the Dann sisters. In both situations, there was a national call-out for action with letter writing and peaceful demonstrations demanding the U.S. government back down and return the livestock belonging to the Dann sisters. But the U.S. did not do so. The U.S. did not even blink an eye in 2002 and 2003. What would have happened if armed Native warriors were called in to protect the rights of the Dann sisters, the rights of the Western Shoshone Nation and the Treaty of Ruby Valley?
I don’t think the U.S. government would have backed down, because of “safety issues”.
The situation with the Dann sisters started as far back as 1973, when Mary Dann (has since passed away) was served with her first notice of criminal trespass for walking out on her family’s land, just as her people have done for thousands of years. In 1974, the U.S. government sued the Danns for trespass, accusing them of grazing cattle on U.S. public land without a permit. The Danns responded that they were using Western Shoshone land in accordance with the Treaty of Ruby Valley.
It appears to me, non-Native ranchers in Nevada, have more rights than the Dann sisters and more rights than other Indigenous peoples. Another incident happened in 2002 where the BLM seized trespassing cattle in Nevada where about 150 animals that the Te-Moak Band Western Shoshone tribe was grazing south of Elko.
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill - and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.
"To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."
The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.
They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released.
The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal - and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?”
The eagles are not bred in captivity, but taken from nests at a young age. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size - a large adult might be as heavy as seven kilos, with a wingspan of over 230cm. After years of service, on a spring morning, a hunter releases his mature eagle a final time, leaving a butchered sheep on the mountain as a farewell present. “That’s how the Kazakh eagle hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own strong newborns, for the sake of future generations”, Svidensky says.
He describes Ashol-Pan as a smiling, sweet and shy girl. His photographs of her engaging in what has been a male activity for around 2,000 years say something about Mongolia in the 21st Century.
"The generation that will decide what will happen with every tradition that Mongolia contains is this generation," says Svidensky, who showed Ashol-Pan’s family the photographs on his laptop. "Everything there is going to change and is going to be redefined - and the possibilities are amazing."
Please tell the Department of Natural Resources to stop the Penokee Hills mine from going forward and end harassment of activists opposing it.
There are currently 5,961 signatures. NEW goal - We need 7,500 signatures!
Scott Walker is allowing a 22 mile-long, 1000 foot-deep strip mine to proceed in Northern Wisconsin’s Penokee Hills region, which contains the headwaters of the Bad River and Lake Superior. The mine could cause asbestos dust and sulfuric acid leeching that would destroy the Bad River reservation, as well as many other downstream ecosystems. The mining company isn’t earning our trust either - they’ve used private paramilitary groups for security, and Walker’s DNR has pressured an educational camp be criminally prosecuted for studying the mine. We have a cabin nearby and grew up taking our kids to this beautiful, special, and sacred place. Please help us save it. —Betsy Bacon, Cornucopia, WI
CURRENT PETITION SIGNERS
5961. Lorraine Baker from Verona„ WI signed this petition on Apr 14, 2014.
The damage that would be done to the environment and ground water would be irreparable.
5960. Judy Von Bergen from Madison, WI signed this petition on Apr 13, 2014.
5959. Betty VonGunten from Hartford„ WI signed this petition on Apr 11, 2014.
Stop the Penokee Hill mine!!! We must protect our beautiful natural resources!
5958. Janine DeAtley from Mount Horeb, WI signed this petition on Apr 11, 2014.
5957. Kathy Price from Lake Mills, WI signed this petition on Apr 11, 2014.
Please make decisions that promote long-term stewardship of our land.
5956. Gillian Lechmaier from Middleton, WI signed this petition on Apr 11, 2014.
5955. Andy kosseff from Madison, WI signed this petition on Apr 8, 2014.
5954. Timothy Lechmaier from Middleton, WI signed this petition on Apr 8, 2014.
The company pursuing this mine has a terrible environmental record in Europe pursuing mining endeavors. The mine itself is a bad idea. A disreputable company pursuing it makes it a potential disaster for generations.
5953. Amy L. Kurtz from Franklin, WI signed this petition on Apr 8, 2014.
5952. Yvonne LaValliere from Green Bay„ WI signed this petition on Apr 8, 2014.
Short term goals have Long Term Consequences!!! We deserve better………
This is Minnesota’s watershed moment, literally and figuratively.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announcement came just two weeks before public comments were due for PolyMet’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet Mine is the first in a long line of sulfide mining projects aimed at turning Minnesota’s Superior National Forest, the lake country of the Arrowhead, into a sulfide-mining district — a district that would impact both the Lake Superior and Rainy River watersheds, arguably in perpetuity.
The announcement? The MPCA had decided overnight not to release its recommendation to maintain or to change the 10mg/L sulfate standard for wild rice waters. Results from the MPCA wild rice study, released earlier,looked promising that the sulfate standard would be upheld. The timing of the agency’s postponement was too coincidental, too sudden, and it just plain reeked. Now we know the stench was real. Investigative digging by the Star Tribune’s Josephine Marcotty uncovered its source: “Iron Range rebellion halted wild rice initiative.”
In 2010, when the MPCA finally decided to start enforcing the sulfate standard, the howls of protest from Iron Range legislators, sulfide mining lobbyists, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce could be heard echoing throughout the state Capitol. The Chamber of Commerce sued and lost. Unfortunately Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature initiated an unnecessary $1.5 million (taxpayer funded) wild-rice study; and now when the study did indeed indicate the current sulfate standard is reasonable and defensible, Dayton and MPCA Commissioner John Stine are again running for cover. Whatever happened to backing up your scientists instead of caving to political and corporate interests?
Whatever happened to putting the health of the public front and center? The people of northeastern Minnesota have been corporate victims for far too long. And saying so is not denigrating the Iron Range heritage, much as certain Range politicians ratchet up inflammatory rhetoric.
What’s preventing a hard look at the industry?
It is long past time to take a hard look at the mining industry in Minnesota, an industry that still does not meet state water- and/or air-quality standards at any of its currently operating taconite mines. Why not?
Take your pick: lack of enforcement by agency heads; political blackmail by entrenched Iron Range legislators under the guise of jobs; familiar threats by mining corporations to close their doors and leave; or the machinations by the Chamber of Commerce, paying for its own crazed wild-rice report stating that sulfate standards are unnecessary or could be set at 1600 mg/L., with PolyMet Mining, US Steel Corp., Xcel Energy, and the Koch Brothers (Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC.) represented on its board of directors.
Minnesotans continue to be told we should welcome foreign mining corporations with reprehensible records who will magically be able to do a perfect job with sulfide mining, an even more toxic mining process for our waters than taconite. We are told to believe that the decisionmakers at state agencies will suddenly start demanding adherence, insist on writing and enforcing strong water quality standards, never bowing to political pressure. We might as well believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Again, as in 2007, no one involved in responding to the wild-rice study is thinking foremost about the health of the people, in this case especially the health of our children.
Whoa, someone will say. This is about wild rice, not about people.
Really? Those same sulfates that ultimately lead to damage of wild rice also ultimately lead to damage of our children through conversion of inorganic mercury to methyl mercury. [“Methyl mercury is particularly damaging to developing embryos, which are five to ten times more sensitive than adults.” (USGS)] In 2011, the MDH released its study, “Mercury in Newborns in the Lake Superior Basin.” In Minnesota, 10 percent of tested newborns were above “safe” levels for methyl mercury.
It is not just the fish we eat that we need to be concerned about either. Studies in California have shown that wild-rice plants apparently have the capability to uptake methyl mercury to the seeds. Yet the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce was adamant that methyl mercury could not be discussed during the wild-rice/sulfate standard study.
To past and present Chamber of Commerce executives, attorneys, and board members; corporate lobbyists; power and mining industry executives; Iron Range legislators; Minnesota governors; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources commissioners, Land and Minerals Division directors; MDH commissioners; and the MPCA commissioners and directors who initiated the use of variances and consent decrees, who just a year ago abruptly walked away from a million dollar four-year project (TMDL) designed to identify sources of mercury pollution in the St. Louis River: Ask yourselves how many people have died or been physically or neurologically damaged by your actions or inactions.
How many have died from mesothelioma or from other mining-related health issues, deaths that may have been prevented? How many lives have been shortened? How many children have been brain damaged? It is time we talk about accountability and responsibility.
How many children have been neurologically damaged by toxic levels of manganese from the LTV/PolyMet site; or damaged by nickel (Dunka Mine), a carcinogen and a mutagen? What about autism; now linked to mercury, manganese, and nickel in air pollution? (2013 Harvard University Study). How many newborns have lost IQ points proportional to the amount of mercury above “safe” levels in their blood? How does this affect their success in school? When these children reach adulthood how many jobs are denied them as a result? What is the cost for the loss of possibilities in a life?
What is the cost of a life?
This is Minnesota’s watershed moment, literally and figuratively. For the St. Louis River Watershed and Lake Superior, for the Rainy River Watershed and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, for the Mississippi River Watershed, and for ourselves. Will we protect our water, and in so doing protect our health? Protect our children?
Will we speak? Or will we be silent? Silence is complicity.
FORT ST. JAMES, B.C. – A group of First Nations with territory covering a quarter of the route for the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline met with federal representatives Friday to officially reject the project.
Officials with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the National Energy Board and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans met with the four clans of the Yinka Dene in Fort St. James, and listened as dozens of elders, hereditary and elected chiefs said “No.”
“We do not, we will not, allow this pipeline,” Peter Erickson, a hereditary chief of the Nak’azdli First Nation, told the six federal bureaucrats.
“We’re going to send the message today to the federal government and to the company itself: their pipeline is dead. Under no circumstances will that proposal be allowed.
“Their pipeline is now a pipe dream.”
Karen Ogan, chief of the Wet’suwet’en, thanked the Crown representatives for listening. During the often emotional meeting, Ogan touched on the country’s checkered past with First Nations and its role in the dispute.
“Some people may come from an anger perspective because we’ve been bulldozed, we’ve been run over all through history, through colonization and today we want our voice to be heard,” Ogan told the six bureaucrats during the day-long meeting.
The bands said the project is now banned from Yinka Dene territories, under their traditional laws.
Members young and old of the Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli, Saik’uz, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en and Wet’suwet’en communities were unanimous. They said the decision by the four clans marks the end of negotiations.
The pipeline project faces a major hurdle in getting First Nations on board but behind the scenes negotiations have continued talking with many groups. The company has also signed several benefits agreements with First Nations, though few of them admit publicly to the deals.
The Yinka Dene has spearheaded a petition against the pipeline that has been signed by 160 First Nations groups in B.C. — most not located near the proposed pipeline route.
Last month, the company announced that it asked former conservative minister of Indian affairs Jim Prentice to try and mediate deals with First Nations opposed to the project.
The $6-billion, nearly 1,200-kilometre pipeline would deliver 525,000 barrels of petroleum a day from Edmonton to a tanker terminal in Kitimat, on the north coast.
The federal government claims Canada is losing billions of dollars a year because western Canadian oil is not reaching markets overseas. Enbridge (TSX:ENB) has said Northern Gateway is expected to grow the Canadian GDP by more than $300 billion over 30 years.
But the pipeline became a lightning rod in the debate over global climate change and raised alarm over the possibility of an oil spill on land or off the coast of B.C.
A federal review panel recommended approval of the pipeline with 209 conditions. A final decision is expected from the federal government in June but several B.C. First Nations have filed appeals with the Federal Court seeking to overturn the panel recommendation.
The challenge for the company does not lie solely in First Nations communities. Several municipalities in northern B.C. have voted to oppose the project, Terrace, Prince Rupert and Smithers.
Council in Kitimat, the would-be terminus of the pipeline, is about to end its neutral stance on the project. Residents vote in a plebiscite Saturday that will decide the district’s position.
NEW: The list of Aboriginal communities and municipalities opposed to Northern Gateway grew, with the addition of Yika Dene Alliance for First Nations, from north central B.C.
Two hundred people from four Yinka Dene communities packed a gymnasium in north central B.C. on Friday to give an emotional presentation to the federal government and Enbridge that their alliance formally opposes the Northern Gateway oil pipeline.
“It was amazing to finally tell the feds – this is our decision,” Nak’azdli Hereditary Chief Pete Erickson, told the Vancouver Observer Saturday.
“It was amazing – just the amount of interest — it was a very formal gesture among all the clans.”
The Yinka Alliiance’s decision to end negotiations is clearly a big blow for the project. Critically, the communities’ ancestral territories represent one quarter of the pipeline’s 1,177km length.
Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX: T.ENB) has long said it will continue to engage with First Nations that oppose its project. Enbridge did not respond to requests for comment. The Harper government will make the final say on the project before June.
The company is battling also battling a critical plebiscite vote in Kitimat on Saturday.
Yinka Dene elders and dancers – Wallace Studios
One by one, Elders, children and band members gave presentations at the gathering near Fort Saint James, B.C. Their reasons for opposing the oilsands pipeline range from earthquake concerns to aquatic impacts.
“I had the opportunity to talk to my son,” said an emotional Saik’uz Chief Stan Thomas to the Friday crowd. “I want to make a difference for him.”
Chief Erickson added, “We examined that with that fact that our fish are running about two to three percent of historic average, and it makes up a huge part of our diet.”
“There was some economic interests expressed by the company – we looked at all of that, and just believed it can not be done in a manner that would be sustainable long-term for our community,” said Erickson.
Yinka Dene youth presenting reasons for rejecting Northern Gateway – Wallace Studio
Fault line risks to pipeline
One of the main concerns was how an offshoot of the San Andreas fault line could rupture Alberta oil into the communities rivers and lakes.
“[An oil spill] would be disastrous — you can not bring salmon back. It would end our ability to sustain ourselves. And we don’t move — we don’t have a place to go.”
“When the last earthquake hit Haida Gwaii – we felt it very, very strong here in Fort Saint James.”
“We have a fault line that runs right beside our community, alongside Stuart Lake. And we asked several questions, and never got really good answers from Enbridge or the government about the safety of the pipeline in our country.”
Attending the gathering were federal government managers from the fisheries and oceans department, as well as the National Energy Board.
Elected officials with the Harper government were invited, but did not attend.
The ballot count from Saturday’s vote was 1,793 opposed versus 1,278 who supported the multi-billion dollar project — a margin of 58.4 per cent to 41.6 per cent.
The $6.5-billion project would see two pipelines, one carrying oilsands’ bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat’s port, and a second carrying condensate — a form of natural gas used to dilute the bitumen — from Kitimat back to Alberta.
Kitimat would also be the site of a proposed two-berth marine terminal and tank farm to store the thick Alberta crude before it’s loaded onto tankers for shipment to Asia.
Until this vote, Kitimat had remained neutral in its opinion on the controversial project. It didn’t take part in the joint-review process, which heard from hundreds of people before a federal panel approved the project with 209 conditions.
The federal cabinet is expected to release its decision on Northern Gateway by June.
This is a breaking news update. Our earlier story follows…
KITIMAT, B.C. — It was unclear if frantic campaigning had any effect on voters in this northwest BC community who cast ballots Saturday in a plebiscite over the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project.
“All the hoopla didn’t change our minds, we already knew how we were going to vote,” Donna Crist, a local resident said.
Opponents and supporters of the project tried to persuade voters on their respective points of view.
Northern Gateway’s campaign concentrated on the promise of 180 permanent, direct, local jobs worth $17 million and more spinoff jobs for contractors and suppliers.
The company emphasized its commitment to safety and the environment, saying that the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel, which held two years of hearings on the project, has made many of the company’s voluntary commitments a mandatory part of the conditions for approval.
The main opponent, the local environmental group Douglas Channel Watch, maintains the risk from either a tanker accident or pipeline breach is too high for the small number of jobs the pipeline would bring to the community.
Murray Minchin of Douglas Channel Watch released his groups’ advertising budget this week showing it spent $14,362.92 on ads, supplies and other campaign expenses. He challenged Enbridge to release its ad budget.
Ivan Giesbrecht, a spokesman for Northern Gateway, said in an email that the company “will discuss our advertising spending after (the plebiscite) is over this weekend.”
As locals continued to cast their ballots Saturday, the expressed mixed feelings about the vote.
” 1/8The plebiscite 3/8 is a waste of money because it’s non-binding — who cares?” said a man who would not give his name.
On the other hand, others were simply hoping for the town’s participation.
“I hope there’s a good turnout and everyone votes in good conscience,” Earl North said.
Warren Waycheshen, Kitimat’s Deputy Administrative Officer, says about 1,700 people have cast their vote today as of 5:15 p.m.
More than 900 people voted in advanced polls, much higher than the 470 early ballots cast before the 2011 municipal election, which had 4,200 registered voters.
Over 2,400 people cast ballots in the town’s last vote.
Other than to gauge the public temperature around the heated issue of the proposed oil pipeline, it’s unclear — even to Kitimat council — what approval or rejection of the non-binding vote will mean.
Kitimat is the end of the line for the pipeline, and it’s the site of a proposed two-berth marine terminal and tank farm to store the thick crude before it’s loaded onto tankers for shipment to Asia.
The $6.5-billion project would see two pipelines, one carrying oilsands’ bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat’s port, and a second carrying condensate — a form of natural gas used to dilute the bitumen — from Kitimat back to Alberta.
Until this vote, Kitimat has remained neutral in its opinion on the pipeline project. It didn’t take part in the joint-review process, which heard from hundreds of people before a federal panel approved the project with 209 conditions.
The federal cabinet is expected to release its decision on the project by June.
A key reason for holding the vote was to fulfil a 2011 promise made by all municipal election candidates in Kitimat to poll citizens on the pipeline project.
Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan has said the council will wait for the outcome before taking a stand.
But it was clear during a debate earlier last month that even Kitimat councillors were uncertain what the decision will mean.
Coun. Corinne Scott said during the March council meeting that it seems clear the community remains split, no matter what the outcome.
Coun. Phil Germuth said the vote is not on the project itself, but on the joint-review decision.
“We’re asking about 209 conditions that nobody understands fully. Even Enbridge doesn’t fully understand them.”
But Coun. Edwin Empinado said the results would give the district “more bargaining power” in the future to deal with the company and the federal government.
There has been much tension leading up to the vote.
Even the question, as chosen by the District of Kitimat council, was controversial, because it focused on the 209 conditions placed on the project by the Joint Review Panel: “Do you support the final report recommendations of the Joint Review Panel (JRP) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and National Energy Board, that the Enbridge Northern Gateway project be approved, subject to 209 conditions set out in Volume 2 of the JRP’s final report?”
The plebiscite has also raised tensions between the District of Kitimat and the nearby Haisla First Nation, which is adamantly opposed to Northern Gateway.
In a letter to local media, Haisla Chief Coun. Ellis Ross said that the decision to hold a vote at this late date was a “slap in the face” for all the work done by the Haisla on the project.
The Haisla Nation dedicated time and money toward testing Northern Gateway’s evidence and claims about safety and environmental protection, while the district stood by and did nothing, the letter stated.
“The review process for this project has already left town, with the district taking no position on the project. Still undecided on what its views are on the project, the district now proposes to conduct a poll, instead of examining the facts in the JRP process.”
UPDATED: VIDEO -You’re done Enbridge: Kitimat votes NO
KITIMAT, B.C. — The residents of Kitimat, B.C. have voted against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project in a non-binding plebiscite.
Honor the Earth, a native-led organization that supports the native environmental movement, is taking a stand against Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline.
The proposed route for the pipeline travels from North Dakota to Lake Superior, but Honor the Earth says this path is all risk and no reward for Minnesota. Frank Bibeau, a tribal attorney representing Honor the Earth, said, “All three of the greatest resources of freshwater for the North American continent are at risk with one pipeline.” He continues, “You’re talking about talking an environment that we live in and putting a ticking time bomb in it, and seeing how long we can continue to exist and flourish.”
Mark Curwin, a senior director at Enbridge, says the company is very concerned about leaks. He said Enbridge does “everything that we can to ensure that nothing contaminates that water” and if there was an incident that they would be prepared to respond accordingly.
Now, the group is suggesting an alternate route that follows the 29-94 corridor that will avoid contaminating the headwaters of the Mississippi if a leak occurs. Bibeau said, “If you have it on a corridor like that it’s better for stationing your emergency response equipment… When you’re out in the middle of nowhere somewhere between Clearbrook and Park Rapids and there’s a pipe break, there’s no response.”
Curwin says the location of the leak has no impact on how Enbridge would respond to a situation. He insisted that the company “would respond as quickly and with all resources to any incident regardless of its location.”
Honor the Earth also says that even though the proposed route doesn’t pass through Indian Reservations, it still violates their treaty rights, which gave them jurisdiction over all lands above the boundary established in 1825.
“What’s happened is overtime as we’ve relinquished land and other people came in and cleared timber and bought that land,” Bibeau said. “They’re still allowed to own the land, but there’s other lands that are state lands, public lands, and federal lands that we have rights to exercise when we hunt, fish, and gather.
Bibeau also says the entire ecosystem, not just reservation lands, need to be preserved in order to support their right to hunt, fish, and gather.
Enbridge says that they recognize Honor the Earth’s right to be heard and they want everybody’s business to be heard in this process. Curwin said, “We’ve been successful in the past working with them through conversation, and we hope that we will be able to do that this time.”
An administrative law judge working for the Department of Commerce Public Utilities Commission will be the first to make a decision regarding whether the treaty rights will be upheld.
About the Author
Catherine Silver is a Reporter. She covers general news, education and arts. You can contact Catherine at email@example.com.
Artist John Quigley has partnered with the Cowboy and Indian Alliance to create the world’s largest crop art installation, on land in Neligh, Nebraska on the Ponca Trail of Tears that would be traversed by the Keystone XL pipeline. The crop art installation will send President Obama a direct #NoKXL message from the Cowboy and Indian Alliance.
Cowboy and Indian Alliance Sends President Obama Huge #nokxl Message from the Heartland Crop Art Size of 80 Football Fields Kicks-Off Reject and Protect Events
Neligh, Nebraska — The Cowboy and Indian Alliance created a crop art image, the size of 80 football fields, to send President Obama a message to protect the Heartland by rejecting the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline. Tribes, farmers and ranchers are now headed to Washington, DC for a week-long series of actions called Reject and Protect. The image was created by artist John Quigley and was inspired by tribal artist Richard Vollaire of the Tongva Nation.
The crop art is directly on the proposed path of Keystone XL, which also crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears. Landowner Art Tanderup said, “This land has been in our family for over 100 years. We have always been stewards of the land. The soil is very sandy here, any leak would leach into the Ogallala Aquifer contaminating our water without any concrete plan to clean up the pollution. With this crop art we are literally drawing a line in the sand and asking President Obama to stand with our families.”
The massive crop design of a cowboy and Indian warrior includes key images of water and a hashtag made of arrows. A sun with seven rays depicts the tribal tradition of protecting seven generations and the renewable energy farmers, ranchers and tribes want to see on their land rather than a tarsands pipeline that risks their water. The aerial image was taken over Art and Helen Tanderup’s land in a crop duster plane from 3,000 feet. Art Tanderup dug the image lines with his tractor following the direction of flags planted by volunteers and artistic on-the-ground direction of John Quigley.
“Americans always go big when they’re pushed to their limits. This image, which may well be the largest crop art ever, sends the message that the good people of the Heartland have the courage to stand up for their rights to clean water. They reject the bullying of TransCanada and will defend their land,” said artist John Quigley.
The Keystone XL route crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears without a proper cultural analysis from the state of Nebraska or the US State Department. Aldo Seoane with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said, “The United States and TransCanada have consistently and intentionally disregarded the concerns of tribal nations and concerned citizens. We as tribal people have been here since the beginning of time and we have seen the best and worst of what people can create. This pipeline is certainly the worst thing that can happen to our land, our water and our people.”
The series of actions called Reject and Protect will take place April 22-27 in Washington, DC. Landowners and tribes share a common goal of protecting the land and water from risky projects like the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline. Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska put the action into context, “President Obama has deep family roots in the Heartland and was adopted into a tribal family. It’s too easy in Washington to only think about politics. Our families may not contribute millions to candidates, but we do put food on America’s table and can only do that with clean water that is tarsands-free.”
“President Obama and Secretary Kerry have a chance to stand with Americans concerned about their livelihoods and their futures. They can choose to listen to these voices and reject Keystone XL or they can choose to bow to the pressures of Big Oil bent on jamming this pipeline through our nation’s Heartland,” said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.
Picture Caption: A huge crop art image protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline covers an 80 acre corn field outside of Neligh, Nebraska on April 12, 2014. The image, which lies on the proposed pipeline route that crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears, was created by the farmers, ranchers and Native American tribes of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance in collaboration with artist John Quigley. Photo by Lou Dematteis
PHOTOS FROM THE CROP ART INSTALLATION:
(A huge crop art image protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline covers an 80 acre corn field outstide of Neligh, Nebraska on April 12, 2014. The image, which lies on the proposed pipeline route that crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears, was created by the farmers, ranchers and Native American tribes of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance in collaboration with artist John Quigley. Photo by Lou Dematteis / Spectral Q)
(Artist John Quigley and volunteers plot the #nokxl crop art design out in a corn field near Neligh, NE. Photo by Ben Gotschall)
(Tape and flags for the #nokxl crop art. One 200 x 1000 foot strip down, 9 more to go. Photo by Ben Gotschall)
(Wayne with the Rosebud Sioux and Gary with the Nez Perce helping out with #nokxl crop art. Photo by Jane Kleeb)
(Creating hashtags for #nokxl message to @BarackObama from Cowboy and Indian Alliance. Photo by Jane Kleeb)
(The “paintbrush” for the #nokxl cropart. Photo by Jane Kleeb)
Join us on April 13 at 2:00 p.m. for a Community BBQ and unveiling of the artwork — RSVP on the form below.
Along with the artwork unveiling, the BBQ will also serve as a “Bon Voyage” party for the caravan delivering tipis and Nebraska families’ well water from the Ogallala Aquifer to Washington, D.C. for the Reject + Protect event there April 22-27.
Please RSVP for the April 13 BBQ on the form below. Update: We have arranged a caterer for the main part of the BBQ, so our needs are limited to desserts and beverages other than water, if you’d like to bring something to share. Also recommended is a lawn chair or camping chair to sit on.
From Neligh: 8 miles north on HWY 14 to 857 RD, west 2/3 of a mile, then north up the lane
From the junction of HWY 20 and HWY 14: 7 miles south on HWY 14 to 857 RD, west 2/3 of a mile, then north up the lane
About artist John Quigley: John Quigley, the Founder of Spectral Q, is an internationally known Artist and Producer. His unique mix of human installation and aerial photography brings together communities to create large-scale messages for the common good. He has created more than 200 Aerial Art images involving over 200,000 people on 7 continents. Locations have ranged from the Amazon Rainforest, Antarctica, London, Geneva, Athens, Delhi, Johannesburg, Copenhagen, Bonn, Victoria, Toronto, Mexico City, Australia, Java, Bali, Chile, Belize, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Alaska, Vancouver, the Arctic, Los Angeles, cities across the United States, and the United Nations in New York. In 2008 he began the Icon Series with aerial portraits of Nelson Mandela (as part of the 90th Birthday celebrations in South Africa) and Martin Luther King Jr. on behalf of Amnesty International and The Elders. In 2011 his ‘Melting Vitruvian Man’ near the North Pole generated widespread global media attention.
About the Farm: Art and Helen Tanderup’s farm land is in Custer Township in Antelope County Nebraska. The land has been in Helen’s family for 100 years and they continue to honor the family’s ethic of good stewardship by not tilling the land and using sound water conservation and farming techniques. They hope to pass the farm on to their two children and grandchildren and fear that the KXL pipeline threatens their family legacy. Their land is directly on the Ponca Trail of Tears and the proposed route crosses this sacred site. Bold Nebraska, the Brave Heart Society along with families from the proposed route, the Ponca tribe and the Sioux tribe all gathered for a spiritual camp on this land to come together and pray for our common purpose–to protect the land and water.
About the Cowboy and Indian Alliance: Tribes and rural families are working together to protect what is sacred–our land and water. We call it the Cowboy and Indian Alliance. Farmers and ranchers know the risk first-hand. They work the land every day. Tribes know the risk first-hand. They protect the sacred water, and defend sacred sites of their ancestors every day. They have united out of love and respect for the land and water on which we all depend. This is not the first time Cowboys and Indians have come together to stop projects that risk our land and water. In the 80s, they came together to protect water and the Black Hills from uranium mining and risky munitions testing. In the American imagination, cowboys and Indians are still at odds. However, in reality, opposition to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has brought communities together like few causes in our history. Tribes, farmers and ranchers are all people of the land, who consider it their duty as stewards to conserve the land and protect the water for future generations.
Whistleblower and activist John Bolenbaugh exposes dirty tricks, lies and cover-up of oil and pipeline companies. Former Enbridge employee fought with Enbridge over the clean-up of a 40 mile oil spill in the Kalamazoo River. After many false claims by Enbridge pipeline over the clean state of the river, this year the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the cleanup of the river three years after the initial spill.
Heartbreaking and a must Watch! Urge President Obama to stop Lakota children state kidnapping by South Dakota. The time has come to empower the Lakota Sioux tribes to have their own Child and Family Service Programs.