Note: Clayton Thomas-Muller is on the Board of Directors of Global Justice Ecology Project.
–The GJEP Team
23 May 2013 Source: Canadian Dimension
Our Last Best Hope to Save our Water, Air and Earth
By Clayton Thomas-Muller
Years ago I was working for a well-known Indigenous environmental and economic justice organization known as the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). During my time with this organization I had the privilege of working with hundreds of Indigenous communities across the planet who had seen a sharp increase in the targeting of Native lands for mega-extractive and other toxic industries. The largest of these conflicts, of course, was the overrepresentation by big oil who work— often in cahoots with state, provincial First Nations, Tribal and federal governments both in the USA and Canada—to gain access to the valuable resources located in our territories. IEN hired me to work in a very abstract setting, under impossible conditions, with little or no resources to support Grassroots peoples fighting oil companies, who had become, in the era of free market economics, the most powerful and well-resourced entities of our time. My mission was to fight and protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from toxic contamination and corporate exploration, to support our Peoples to build sustainable local economies rooted in the sacred fire of our traditions.
My work took me to the Great Plains reservation, Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold to support a collective of mothers and grandmothers fighting a proposed oil refinery, which if built would process crude oil shipped in from a place called the tar sands in northern Canada. I spent time in Oklahoma working with Sac and Fox Tribal EPA under the tutelage of the late environmental justice warrior Jan Stevens, to learn about the legacy of 100 years of oil and gas on America’s Indian Country—Oklahoma being one of the end up points of the shameful indian relocation era. I joined grassroots on the Bay of Fundy, in an epic battle against the state of Maine and a liquidified natural gas (LNG) producer who wanted to build a massive LNG terminal on their community’s sacred site known as Split Rock. The plant, had it been built, would have provided natural gas to the City of New York for their power plants.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Water, Pollution, Tar Sands, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil, Idle No More
By Aaron Lakoff, May 1 2013. Source: Briarpatch Magazine
Illustration by Shantala Robinson
One year after the student strikes and Maple Spring that erupted in Quebec in 2012, the ongoing wave of social protests is having to recalibrate itself to meet a new set of challenges.
Former Liberal premier Jean Charest incited popular outrage with a proposed university tuition hike and broader austerity measures, but with last September’s election of Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Pauline Marois, many are finding that the neoliberal policies of the Charest government are only taking on slightly subtler forms. In late February, Marois held a two-day summit on post-secondary education and announced that her government would continue to increase tuition costs, much to the chagrin of the student movement.
Also continuing is the northern Quebec development project known as Plan Nord under the previous provincial government and recently rebranded Le Nord Pour Tous under Marois. According to its official website, Plan Nord is a 25-year project estimated to bring in $80 billion in investments and create 20,000 jobs in mining, forestry, and dam projects. On February 9, 36 people were arrested at protests outside a trade fair on natural resource industries in Montreal, where demonstrators chanted “Charest, Marois, même combat!” (“Charest, Marois, the same fight!”) and decried what they saw as the same colonial development plan with a new name. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Climate Justice, Water, False Solutions to Climate Change, Land Grabs, Green Economy, Political Repression, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Hydroelectric dams, Idle No More
By Erin Flegg, April 20, 2013. Source: Vancouver Observer
Photo: Erin Flegg
In the latest step toward opposing oil pipelines at every port in Canada, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation of Burrard Inlet signed on to the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred yesterday. The nation held a press conference at the Sheraton Wall Centre where newly elected Chief Maureen Thomas signed the document, witnessed by the president of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs Stewart Phillip and national chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo.
The West Coast Oil Pipeline Summit followed the signing. The theme of the event was urgency, with several leaders touching on the need to oppose development at a grassroots level.
Stewart Phillip told reporters and community members assembled that the First Nations of BC are committed to using the legal system to defend their constitutional rights, but that’s not the only strategy they’re using.
“More importantly, we have committed to standing shoulder to shoulder on the land itself.”
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Watch interviews every Thursday.
Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Earth Minute, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Tar Sands
April 11, 2013. Source: APTN News
Photo: AP/Jeff McIntosh
The chief of an Alberta First Nations battling a tar sands expansion on its territory says he is considering joining Idle No More’s call for a “Sovereignty Summer” campaign after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed its case.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation went to the Supreme Court with a section 35 Constitutional challenge in hopes of forcing a regulatory review board to rule on whether there had been adequate consultation on Shell’s bid to expand its Jackpine tarsands project.
The First Nation turned to the courts after having its challenge were turned down by the Alberta Court of Appeal.
As is its practice, the Supreme Court gave no reasons as to why it refused to hear the Athabasca Chipewyan’s case.
Chief Allan Adam said the ruling leaves his First Nation with little options. With plans for an Idle No More-Defenders of the Land Sovereignty Summer campaign of direct action in the works, Adam said it may be the route his First Nation will have to take.
By Aaron Lakoff, March 26 2013. Source: Free Speech Radio News
The Journey of the Nishiyuu arrives in Ottawa, March 25, 2013. Photo: Aaron Lakoff
In Canada, a group of Indigenous youth who walked more than 900 miles in sub-zero temperatures wrapped up a historic voyage yesterday. They’re drawing inspiration from the Idle No More movement and calling for aboriginal rights and land protection. FSRN’s Aaron Lakoff has the story.
Audio file here: http://fsrn.org/audio/canada-indigenous-youth-conclude-900-mile-march-aboriginal-rights/11766
March 20, 2013. Source: CBC
An alliance of First Nations leaders is preparing to fight proposed new pipelines both in the courts and through unspecified direct action.
Native leaders from both Canada and the United States were on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to underline their opposition to both the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines.
The first would tie the Alberta oilsands to the West Coast, while the second would send bitumen to refineries on the American Gulf Coast.
Some of the chiefs brushed off the federal government’s appointment this week of a special envoy to look at tensions between natives and the energy industry.
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project is in full solidarity with and support of Idle No More and all those who have signed onto this statement. Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign, is on the Board of Directors for GJEP.
-The GJEP Team
March 19, 2013. Source: Idle No More
Idle No More’s founders and its chapters across the country have issued a call to build mounting pressure, including through mass non-violent direct actions to be joined by non-natives, to challenge “the Harper government and the corporate agenda.”
The declaration, jointly released with Defenders of the Land, a network of Indigenous communities, leaders, and activists involved in high-profile struggles to defend their land rights, calls for a “Solidarity Spring” to precede a “Sovereignty Summer,” with actions on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, Earth Day on April 22, and through the summer.
“The Harper government’s agenda is clear: to weaken all collective rights and environmental protections, in order to turn Canada into an extraction state that gives corporations unchecked power to destroy our communities and environment for profit,” reads the statement.
“Harper is trying to extinguish Indigenous Peoples’ inherent, Aboriginal, and treaty rights to their territories because these rights are the best and last protection for all Canadians,” said Arthur Manuel, a spokesperson for Defenders of the Land.
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project stands in solidarity with the Mathias Colomb Cree in their fight against illegal mining activities on their territory. Resource colonialism must stop.
-The GJEP Team
March 17, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry
The sovereign Nation of Missinippi Nehethowak as represented by Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) has extensive Ancestral and Traditional Territory. Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Ltd (Hudbay) has proposed Lalor Lake mine project which is on unceded Missinippi Nehethowak Territory and has failed to obtain MCCN consent to operate on their territory and extract their resources.
Chief Dumas attended with his community members and Idle No More supporters to the Lalor site on January 28 and March 5, 2013 and served two Stop Work Orders to the Hudbay and the Province of Manitoba. Both site visits were peaceful gatherings where community members engaged in drumming, singing and cooking traditional foods. The RCMP attended at MCCN’s request to help enforce Cree law.
Chief Arlen Dumas said, “We are sovereign and asserting our laws and jurisdiction over our unceded ancestral traditional territory. We have never gave up our lands, waters and natural resources. We have a responsibility to manage their use and protection. MCCN expected the province of Manitoba to uphold the rule of law and assist in enforcing the orders.”
Hudbay never contacted Chief Dumas to address his concerns, nor did the province fulfill its legal obligations to enforce the Stop Work Orders. Instead, both Hudbay and the province of Manitoba issued very similar letters to Chief Dumas telling him that Manitoba fully supports Hudbay’s activities on MCCN territory.