Monday, June 27 marked 15 days since the beginning of the national strike in Ecuador against the right-wing government of President Guillermo Lasso and his neoliberal economic policies. Since June 13, hundreds of thousands of people have been organizing protests and roadblocks across the country with a set of 10 demands that support the working class in the face of rising inflation and cost of living. On Monday, under the banner of “There are 10 demands, not 10 cents”, members of various peasant, Indigenous and Afro-descendant organizations held a massive march in capital Quito to mark 15 days of the national strike and reinforce their social demands. The demands include: reduction and freeze of fuel prices; employment opportunities and labor guarantees...
Chiang Mai, Thailand – Fifty representatives of the residents of Omkoi filed a lawsuit at the Chiang Mai Administrative Court against the Expert Committee on EIA Consideration in the mining and extracting industry as the first defendant, and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning as the second defendant. The lawsuit aims to ensure that the flawed environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Omkoi coal mine project developed by the 99 Thuwanon Company is revoked. If implemented, the coal mine project will cause long-term health impacts and loss of livelihoods of the Omkoi residents. The lawsuit specifically challenges the coal mine’s EIA and aims to ensure that the flawed EIA is revoked, and a new assessment is conducted in a transparent manner and with meaningful participation from the affected communities.
Minneapolis, Minnesota - The American Indian Movement’s Grand Governing Council (AIMGGC) announced on Tuesday that it’s organizing a freedom walk for Leonard Peltier later this year, from September 1 through November 14, 2022. “Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice” will start in Minneapolis and end in Washington, D.C., where organizers plan to meet with government officials to demand the release of Peltier from the U.S. federal prison system. “The vision and prayer for this walk—Leonard Peltier’s Walk to Justice—began almost two years ago through dreams,” said American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky Chapter Director Rachel Thunder to Native News Online. “We, AIMGGC, knew we had to move in a big way to see Elder Leonard Peltier released.”
One month ago today, the RCMP violently raided unceded Gidimt’en territory (November 18-19, 2021), removing Indigenous people from their land at gunpoint on behalf of TC Energy’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en enforced our standing eviction of CGL by closing roads into the territory November 14-17. Following the raids, arrestees received cruel and violent treatment in prison. The conditions set forth by the court are human rights violations to Indigenous peoples. We’re still here. We’re still throwing down. We are more determined than ever to protect our traditional territories for future generations. In September 2021, Gidimt’en Checkpoint reoccupied Lhudis Bin territory, building a clan cabin on the drill pad site where Coastal GasLink pipeline wants to drill underneath our sacred headwaters, Wedzin Kwa.
The Ontario-based Aamjiwnaang nation is surrounded on all sides by petrochemical facilities, and members had long suspected that the facilities in “Chemical Valley” had exposed them to potentially dangerous chemicals. The data, which had been held secret for many years, was disclosed by the environment ministry following questions from Global News. The Aamjiwnaang people, situated along the Michigan border, think that the government of Ontario has been disrespectful by withholding the data from them. “This is just the continuation of the Canadian legacy of putting Indigenous people, people of color, at a lower place,” Janelle Nahmabin, also known as Red Cloud Woman and chair of Aamjiwnaang’s environment committee, told Global News.
When Christopher Columbus landed on Turtle Island, which we now call North America, he brought with him a goal of making profit — of taking from the land and people to create commerce. Today, approximately 526 years later, that same pillaging continues to drive our planet further into the climate crisis and lead us into ecological collapse. Instead of honoring the violent colonization Columbus represents, we should use this day to call for truth and reconciliation — and honor the Indigenous communities at the forefront of efforts to heal the long-lasting environmental harm Columbus and his ilk have wrought. Settler colonialism has exacerbated climate change and made Indigenous communities sacrifice zones to this crisis. As we honor the truth of how this country was founded and continues to exploit Indigenous lands and territories, we must also recognize that climate change disproportionately impacts the Indigenous and Native peoples who are least responsible for this crisis.
For four months, Indigenous and local communities in Mexico have managed to blockade and shut down the Bonafont plant in Cuanala in Puebla state. Bonafont is a bottled water brand owned by Danone, a Paris-based food corporation. With large rocks blocking the main entrance, as well as tents, a cooking station and more, the communities have used their permanent blockade as a space to hold workshops, forums and cultural events. But on Sunday, August 1, they decided it was time to take over the plant and put it to better use. They called a public meeting with state authorities and Bonafont owners for Sunday, August 8. No officials showed up. After putting the government and corporations on trial, with members of each community testifying to the abuse of land and water in their area, the 21 communities then entered the huge water-bottling plant and took it over on Sunday.
Emboldened by President Joe Biden’s action to rescind former President Donald Trump’s presidential permit to the Keystone XL pipeline project, leaders of four Sioux tribes are requesting Biden take action on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Leaders of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Standing Rock Tribe sent a letter to Biden on Tuesday requesting he take quick and decisive action on the Dakota Access Pipeline within the first 10 days of his administration. A copy of the four-page letter is posted on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Facebook page. The leaders want Biden to instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the flow of oil through the pipeline.
As many Trump supporters who stormed the nation’s Capitol appear poised to evade punishment, two young Native Americans from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota have been arrested and charged for peacefully protesting construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (KXL). Jasilyn Charger (24) and Oscar High Elk (30) were booked by law enforcement after independent protest actions. The two are among a group of tribal members who have formed a resistance encampment on their reservation, near where the long-disputed pipeline would pass, should it be completed. “At a time when white rioters are being let off the hook after raiding the nation’s Capitol and driving legislators into hiding, Native Americans and other people of color are still being dealt harsh criminal charges for...
I first heard this story when I was probably eight or nine years old—old enough to know what the Ku Klux Klan was and why it was so dangerous, but young enough to believe the story had clear heroes and villains. My family and I are members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, the largest Indian tribe east of the Mississippi, headquartered in the southeastern part of the state. I was born there, in Robeson County, but my parents raised me in Durham, where they taught at North Carolina Central University, one of the state's 12 historically-Black colleges and universities. Between my African-American elders at NCCU and my Lumbee elders at "home" in Pembroke, I grew up with several different versions of the Civil Rights struggle to inspire me.
When Dawn Goodwin went down to the bank of the upper Mississippi River on Dec. 4, she just wanted to spend some time honoring the traditions of her people. Goodwin was part of a small group of Mississippi Band Anishinaabe women visiting a traditional teaching lodge, or waaginoogan, near where Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 oil pipeline would cross under the river. Upon reaching the waaginoogan, she was distressed to see the stumps of clear-cut trees and other damage where Enbridge had cut a path for the pipeline. Gazing at the destruction, Goodwin felt moved to act. “I thought, I needed to pray here,” Goodwin said. “I wandered off toward one of the trees they had cut. I sat down to pray and visit with it.”
In the social science literature, there’s this sense that countries or states that rely on mining or oil for their revenues are doomed to some kind of pathology: they’re going to be authoritarian, or stuck in underdevelopment. There’s a related notion that resource politics are an elite affair: that what governs the global oil economy is corporations, or the members of OPEC, or oil ministers—and likewise for mining. What I learned doing ethnographic research in Ecuador is that resource politics is much more contested and interesting. Focusing on resource politics as this vibrant field of contention gives a different view of the stakes of...
Starting in 1452, under the guise of the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifex and later the 1493 Papal Bull Inter Cetera, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, European Christians began their efforts to expand colonial rule, and the Christian Empire, throughout the world. These Papal Bulls sanctioned European Christian Nations to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ, to put them into perpetual slavery, and to take all their possessions and property” and were authorized “to take possession of any lands discovered that were not under the dominion of any Christian rulers.”
Vancouver, BC - A group of Indigenous land defenders have taken over the intersection of East Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver, blocking one of the access routes to the Port of Vancouver. About 75 people first gathered at Grandview Park as part of a national week of action promoted by Indigenous leaders hoping to call attention to a number of issues including climate change and systemic racism. “This is what we have to do. We can’t sit back anymore and watch our Indigenous people being treated the way they’re being treated from coast to coast,” said Will George, of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
After nearly two decades, Indigenous Peoples win an agreement for the largest dam removal in the world. Four of the six dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon will be taken down, allowing the water to flow freely again and the salmon to spawn. This is a powerful story of how four tribes put aside their past conflicts to work together and environmental groups participated in an indigenous-led campaign that took on two of the wealthiest men in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And this is an example of why, if we want to succeed in restoring our relationship with the earth, Indigenous Peoples must be at the forefront.