The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline won a reprieve Wednesday when an appeals court canceled a lower court order mandating the pipeline be shut down and emptied of oil while a full environmental impact statement is completed.
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The lead insurer of Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline has dropped out.
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By Dwanna L. McKay
Some Oklahomans are expressing trepidation about the Supreme Court's recent ruling that much of the eastern part of the state belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. They wonder whether they must now pay taxes to or be governed by the Muscogee.
‘Indian Country’<p>As both an <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/dept/raceethnicitymigration/people/profile.html?person=mckay_dwanna_lynn" target="_blank">educator</a> and <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=9h85fD8AAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">scholar</a>, I work to correct the erasure of Indigenous histories through my research and teaching.</p><p>North America was not a vast, unpopulated wilderness when white colonizers arrived in 1620. Up to <a href="https://www.amazon.com/American-Indian-Holocaust-Survival-Civilization/dp/080612220X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=9780806120744&linkCode=qs&qid=1594487258&s=books&sr=1-1" target="_blank">100 million people</a> of more than 1,000 sovereign Indigenous nations occupied the area that would become the United States. At the time, fewer than 80 million people lived in Europe.</p><p>America's Indigenous nations were incredibly advanced, with extensive trade networks and economic centers, superior agricultural cultivation, well developed metalwork, pottery and weaving practices, as historian <a href="http://www.beacon.org/An-Indigenous-Peoples-History-of-the-United-States-P1164.aspx" target="_blank">Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz</a> has comprehensively detailed.</p><p>Unlike Europe, with its periodic epidemics, North America had little disease, Dunbar-Ortiz says. People used herbal medicines, dentistry, surgery and daily hygienic bathing to salubrious effect.</p><p>Historically, Indigenous nations <a href="https://theconversation.com/indigenous-people-invented-the-so-called-american-dream-85351" target="_blank">emphasized equity</a>, consensus and community. Though individualism would come to define the United States, my <a href="https://doi.org/10.17953/aicr.37.4.g0rj7q5jp961q581" target="_blank">research</a> finds that Native Americans retain these values today, along with our guiding principles of respect, responsibility and reciprocity.</p>
The US has violated every treaty it has made with Indian Tribes. Public.Resource.Org
Broken Promises and Stolen Lands<p>European and American colonizers <a href="http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/becomingamer/peoples/text3/indianscolonists.pdf" target="_blank">did not hold these same values</a>. From 1492 to 1900, they pushed inexorably westward across the North American continent, <a href="http://www.beacon.org/An-Indigenous-Peoples-History-of-the-United-States-P1164.aspx" target="_blank">burning Native villages, destroying crops</a>, <a href="https://open.mitchellhamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1157&context=facsch" target="_blank">committing sexual assaults</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Indians-Tribal-Deborah-Miranda/dp/1597142018" target="_blank">enslaving people</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/sand/learn/historyculture/index.htm" target="_blank">perpetrating massacres</a>. The government did not punish these atrocities against Indigenous Nations and their citizens.</p><p>Citing the so-called "<a href="https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579815.001.0001/acprof-9780199579815" target="_blank">Doctrine of Discovery</a>" and <a href="https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1373&context=wvlr" target="_blank">Manifest Destiny</a>, U.S. policymakers argued that the federal government had a divine duty to fully develop the region. <a href="https://time.com/5851864/institutional-racism-america/" target="_blank">Racist in language and logic</a>, they contended that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649218821450" target="_blank">"Indians" did not know how to work or to care for the land</a> because they were inferior to whites.</p><p>Oklahoma was born of this <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=TXjNDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=normalcy+of+legitimized+racism&source=bl&ots=CUXMMH5VZ4&sig=ACfU3U37fr_T2Ie4oh0qrhyW3BlnLqo_4Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiz14Ljz8rqAhUhgK0KHeAGCggQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=normalcy%20of%20legitimized%20racism&f=false" target="_blank">institutionalized racism</a>.</p><p>Under the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations – known as the Five Tribes – were forced from their ancestral homelands in the southeast and relocated to "Indian Territory," as Oklahoma was then designated. Half of the Muscogee and Cherokee populations died from brutal and inhumane treatment as they were forcibly marched 2,200 miles across nine states to their new homelands in what most Americans call the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/trte/index.htm" target="_blank">Trail of Tears</a>.</p>
Respect, Responsibility and Reciprocity<p>Despite all the brutality and broken promises, the Five Tribes have contributed socially, culturally and economically to Oklahoma far beyond the shrinking bounds of their territories, in ways that benefit all residents.</p><p>The public school system created by the Choctaws shortly after their arrival became the model for Oklahoma schools that exists today. Last year, <a href="https://oklahoman.com/article/5653531/caught-in-the-middle-130-million-in-education-funding-embroiled-in-tribal-gaming-clash" target="_blank">Oklahoma tribes</a> contributed over US$130 million to Oklahoma public schools.</p><p>Oklahoma tribes also <a href="https://www.tribalselfgov.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Alltribe-2019-Impact-Report.pdf" target="_blank">enrich</a> Oklahoma's economy, employing over 96,000 people – most of them non-Native – and attracting tourists with their cultural events. In 2017, Oklahoma tribes produced almost $13 billion in goods and services and paid out $4.6 billion in wages and benefits.</p><p>The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, in particular, <a href="http://www.mcnimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/MCN_Impact_Report_June-26-2019.pdf" target="_blank">invests heavily</a> in the state, creating businesses, building roads and providing jobs, health care and social services in 11 Oklahoma counties.</p>
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The Washington Redskins will retire their controversial name and logo, the National Football League (NFL) team announced Monday.
In Major Win for Indigenous Rights, Supreme Court Rules Much of Eastern Oklahoma Is Still a Reservation
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
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By Elana Sulakshana
Rainforest Action Network recently uncovered a document that lists the 11 companies that are currently insuring the controversial Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada. These global insurance giants are providing more than USD$500 million in coverage for the massive risks of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, and they're also lined up to cover the expansion project.
Who’s insuring the pipeline? (2019-2020)<p>Here's the list of insurance companies that are providing coverage from August 2019 through August 2020:</p><ol><li>Zurich (Switzerland)</li><li>Lloyd's (UK) </li><li>Liberty Mutual (US)</li><li>Chubb (US)</li><li>AIG (US)</li><li>WR Berkley (US)</li><li>Starr (US)</li><li>Stewart Specialty Risk Underwriting (Canada)</li><li>Energy Insurance Mutual (US) </li><li>Temple Insurance (Germany), a Canadian member of the Munich Re group</li><li>HDI (Germany), which is owned by Talanx / Hannover Re</li></ol>
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How an Environmental Justice Documentary Is Building Solidarity in the Midst of the Racial and Health Crisis
By Tracy L. Barnett
A soon-to-be-released feature film exemplifies how independent media initiatives can be powerful tools for social and environmental justice organizing. Challenging the isolation and impotence that many are feeling in the face of the current health and racial crises, the internationally acclaimed documentary The Condor & The Eagle and its impact campaign "No More Sacrificed Communities" bring us together in these challenging times – reminding us of our deep interconnectedness with the Earth and one another.
A PROFOUND WORK OF CLIMATE JOURNALISM<p>Oscar-winning editor and producer Douglas Blush says: "This documentary takes the struggle for climate justice beyond the standard borders of separate nations using thrilling cinematography, deeply personal stories and the urgency of tomorrow's headlines. <em>The Condor & The Eagle</em> is both a profound work of climate journalism and an exhilarating, emotional adventure film."<br></p>
Casey Camp-Horinek, Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, left, with Melina Laboucan_Massimo, Lubicon Cree First Nation of Alberta, in the front row of the half-million-strong People's Climate March in New York, 2014. Screenshot / The Condor & The Eagle
IMPACT CAMPAIGN: "NO MORE SACRIFICED COMMUNITIES"<p>Indigenous leaders, environmental groups (including Amazon Watch, Sierra Club, Extinction Rebellion), divestment and interfaith coalitions (including Interfaith Power and Light, Unitarian Universalists) are <a href="https://thecondorandtheeagle.com/events/" target="_blank">hosting impressive online events</a>, presenting the film to large audiences along with a live-screen discussion with film and movement protagonists. In the weeks and months ahead, the film's impact campaign, "No More Sacrificed Communities," will explore how media highlighting the voices from impacted communities can compel a shift from witnessing environmental destruction to practical actions for sustainable, community-based initiatives.</p> <p>Each of more than a dozen online events is hosted by a different organization and offers the opportunity to raise funds for key environmental justice groups and impacted communities that are leading the charge against destructive fossil fuel projects.</p>
At the Red Nation International Film Festival. Left to right: Festival director Joanelle Romero, co-director Clement Guerra, film protagonist Bryan Parras, Executive Producer Jacqueline Garcia and Impact Partner Kat Lo, Eaton Workshop.
INTERNATIONAL FILM RELEASE<p>Since its premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival in October 2019, <em>The Condor & the Eagle</em> has been selected by more than 50 film festivals and has won 12 awards, most notably Best Environmental Documentary at the 2019 Red Nation International Film Festival in Beverly Hills, California.<br></p> <p>The film's international release date is set for Wednesday, July 1, and it will be available for rent on the <a href="https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the-condor-and-the-eagle/" target="_blank">Films For Action</a> website. That day also marks the film's Latin American premiere with "<a href="https://event.webinarjam.com/register/93/xyg1yuw9?fbclid=IwAR2pNe5jKZJ3jXlmHROc8ifD1JtxQkKNG1QB2xx41WST7XrL7knai_kGnHU" target="_blank">Defending the Defenders of the Mother Earth / Defendiendo las Defensoras de la Madre Tierra</a>," a bilingual screening event featuring Bertha "Bertita" Zúñiga Cáceres of Honduras, daughter of the environmental martyr Berta Cáceres, and the director, among others.</p>
A MESSAGE FROM THE FILMMAKERS<p>The film was directed and produced by Clement Guerra, a 37-year-old French international marketing manager, and his German wife Sophie. The couple left their comfortable careers in Europe and took their savings to live in a camper van and spend five years documenting the Indigenous-led climate justice movement.</p><p>"We don't want to be 'extractivist' filmmakers, but rather ones who work hand-in-hand with communities," Clement told The Esperanza Project in a recent interview, <a href="https://www.esperanzaproject.com/2020/native-american-culture/the-condor-the-eagle-takes-flight/" target="_blank"><em>The Condor & The Eagle' Takes Flight</em></a>. "On a personal level, this whole experience helped us face our own privilege, and we quickly realized that the pollution outside reflected the ego-toxicity we are carrying on the inside. We have been conditioned to believe that we are skin-encapsulated egos, that we are each an 'I' separate from every other 'I.' Thanks to our journey and the process of making this film, we came to realize that we all depend on each other; we are not separate."<br></p><p>You can support the team impact work <a href="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=W44L44WM4ELDW&source=url" target="_blank">HERE</a>.</p>
Frustrated and disgusted that it has taken so long for the Department of the Treasury to distribute Federal stimulus funds to Native American tribes, a federal judge ordered Secretary Steve Mnuchin to distribute the money immediately, according to HuffPost.
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Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline spilled as many as 190,000 liters (approximately 50,193 gallons) of crude oil in Abbotsford, British Columbia (BC) Saturday, reinforcing concerns about the safety of the pipeline's planned expansion.
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