Quantcast

Indigenous Leaders Ask Presidential Candidates to Withdraw Support for Keystone XL Pipeline

Energy

Ride for Renewables

On Oct. 3, indigenous people and organizations from Colorado and across the U.S. came together to raise their voices in the presidential battleground state of Colorado on the eve of the first nationally televised presidential debate. Dissatisfied with President Obama’s and Governor Romney’s failure to address the many threats posed to clean water in Indian country, Tribal leaders and communities called on both candidates to withdraw their support for TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and to honor rights and territorial boundaries established by treaties.

Vice President Tom Poor Bear of the Oglala Lakota Nation shared words from his heart about the importance of the land to his people, the obligation of the U.S. to respect the territorial boundaries set forth by treaties, and the duty of the present generation to protect the land and water from toxic contamination by the Keystone XL pipeline.

“I look at this pipeline,” Poor Bear explained, “as an 1,800 mile snake that’s going to bore itself into Mother Earth and start spitting black venom at our water, which our future generations are going to drink someday. We have one mother, and that’s Mother Earth,” Poor Bear stated, reminding Americans that we are all in this together.

Local Native students Amanda Williams and Sky Roosevelt-Morris presented statements issued by Chief Oliver Red Cloud and the Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Treaties (S.P.I.R.I.T.), respectively. 

In his statement, Oglala Lakota hereditary Chief Oliver Red Cloud, great grandson of Chief Red Cloud—who signed the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty—cited specific provisions of that treaty which the U.S. would violate if it allowed the pipeline to be built.  “I hope that the candidates will hear my words and begin to understand what they have, so far, been overlooking. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not just an environmental issue. It is an issue of sustainability and survival for Native people. It is an issue of preserving and protecting what is sacred. And it is an issue of upholding the law by honoring the treaties.”

“The U.S. government has a long history of violating its own laws and policies when it comes to its treatment of Indian tribes," said Jennifer Baker, Oglala Lakota legal counsel. “As the proposed northern pipeline segment works its way through the administrative process, our next president will have an opportunity to redefine and restore the relationship of the United States with indigenous nations by finally living up to its legal obligations. Doing so requires adequately consulting affected tribes, understanding and enforcing the terms of the treaties, and rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.”

S.P.I.R.I.T. also issued a statement opposing the pipeline and pledged to “join with like-minded groups from this date forward to stop the pipeline.”

Renewable Rider Tom Weis, a strong ally of Native communities fighting the pipeline, closed the event with firm words and action, saying, the candidates “need to understand we’re not going to stand for this pipeline. They need to hear that message loud and clear, and we’re going to start delivering it today.”

Participants then accompanied Weis, in his bright yellow, human-powered “rocket trike,” in delivering copies of an Open Letter to the Denver Romney and Obama campaign offices calling on both candidates to defend America from this imminent economic, public health and national security threat.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less