World’s Largest Petroleum Companies Call Youth’s Landmark Climate Lawsuit “a Direct Threat to [Their] Businesses”

2015 Federal Lawsuit

21 young people from across the United States have filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Also acting as a Plaintiff is world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and his granddaughter. The Complaint asserts that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

The Complaint alleges the Federal Government is violating the youth’s constitutional rights by promoting the development and use of fossil fuels. These young Plaintiffs are challenging the federal government’s national fossil fuel programs, as well as the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay, OR. Plaintiffs seek to hold President Obama and various federal agencies responsible for continued fossil fuel exploitation. The Federal Government has known for decades that fossil fuels are destroying the climate system. No less important than in the Civil Rights cases, Plaintiffs seek a court order requiring the President to immediately implement a national plan to decrease atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) to a safe level: 350 ppm by the year 2100.

Meet the Youth Plaintiffs!
Click here for a summary of the complaint.

Dr. James Hansen, guardian for Future Generations, with his granddaughter and Youth Plaintiff, Sophie.

Legal Updates:

November 12, 2015

World’s Largest Petroleum Companies Call Youth’s Landmark Climate Lawsuit “a Direct Threat to [Their] Businesses”

Motion to Intervene Aligns Fossil Fuel Industry with President Obama and the U.S. Government Ahead of Paris Climate Talks

Youth’s landmark climate lawsuit against the Federal Government just got the attention of the powerful Fossil Fuel Industry. Today, nearly every oil and gas company in the world asked for permission to oppose the landmark climate lawsuit brought against President Obama and the federal government by America’s youth and Dr. James E. Hansen — as guardian for future generations. In an unusual step, the immense fossil fuel industry trade groups all filed pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon seeking to join the lawsuit side by side with President Obama to protect their companies’ interests.

The proposed interveners constitute a veritable who’s who of major corporate polluters, including the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (representing members Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Koch Industries, and virtually all other U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers), the American Petroleum Institute (representing 625 oil and natural gas companies), and the National Association of Manufacturers.

“Big Oil is starting to lose control of our political system.” declared Alex Loznak, a youth plaintiff in the case from Oregon. “Last week, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, and New York State began to investigate Exxon’s cover-up of climate science. The intervention of fossil fuel companies in our lawsuit against the Federal Government makes it clear that the industry is scared. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” The fight has begun, and we will win.”

“Seeing giant fossil fuel corporations inject themselves into this case, which is about our future, really demonstrates the problem we are trying to fix,” stated Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez of Earth Guardians, a youth plaintiff in the case from Colorado. “The Federal government has been making decisions in the best interest of multinational corporations and their profits, but not in the best interest of my generation and those to come. Instead of changing their business model to meet the scientific reality of climate change, these companies are demanding we adapt to an uninhabitable world that supports their profits. When you compare the two, I think it’s clear that our right to clean air and a healthy atmosphere, is more important than their “need” to make money off destroying our future.”

Read the press release.

August 12, 2015, International Youth Day

America’s Youth File Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against U.S. Government and President

Read the press release.
Read Youth Plaintiffs’ complaint.
Read Exhibit A to the complaint: an expert declaration from world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen.

Read Dr. James Hansen’s and other leading scientists’ articles that were attached to Dr. Hansen’s expert declaration:

The True Story Of Thanksgiving

The Massacre of the Pequot People on Thanksgiving 1637


Courtesy of Huffington Post
Posted: 11/25/2010

The idea of the American Thanksgiving feast is a fairly recent fiction. The idyllic partnership of 17th Century European Pilgrims and New England Indians sharing a celebratory meal appears to be less than 120 years-old. And it was only after the First World War that a version of such a Puritan-Indian partnership took hold in elementary schools across the American landscape. We can thank the invention of textbooks and their mass purchase by public schools for embedding this “Thanksgiving” image in our modern minds. It was, of course, a complete invention, a cleverly created slice of cultural propaganda, just another in a long line of inspired nationalistic myths.

The first Thanksgiving Day did occur in the year 1637, but it was nothing like our Thanksgiving today. On that day the Massachusetts Colony Governor, John Winthrop, proclaimed such a “Thanksgiving” to celebrate the safe return of a band of heavily armed hunters, all colonial volunteers. They had just returned from their journey to what is now Mystic, Connecticut where they massacred 700 Pequot Indians. Seven hundred Indians – men, women and children – all murdered.

This day is still remembered today, 373 years later. No, it’s been long forgotten by white people, by European Christians. But it is still fresh in the mind of many Indians. A group calling themselves the United American Indians of New England meet each year at Plymouth Rock on Cole’s Hill for what they say is a Day of Mourning. They gather at the feet of a stature of Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag to remember the long gone Pequot. They do not call it Thanksgiving. There is no football game afterward.

How then did our modern, festive Thanksgiving come to be? It began with the greatest of misunderstandings, a true clash of cultural values and fundamental principles. What are we thankful for if not – being here, living on this land, surviving and prospering? But in our thankfulness might we have overlooked something? Look what happened to the original residents who lived in the area of New York we have come to call Brooklyn. A group of them called Canarsees obligingly, perhaps even eagerly, accepted various pieces of pretty colored junk from the Dutchman Peter Minuet in 1626. These trinkets have long since been estimated to be worth no more than 60 Dutch guilders at the time – $24 dollars in modern American money. In exchange, the Canarsees “gave” Peter Minuet the island of Manhattan. What did they care? They were living in Brooklyn.

Of course, all things – especially commercial transactions – need to be viewed in perspective. The nearly two-dozen tribes of Native Americans living in the New York area in those days had a distinctly non-European concept of territorial rights. They were strangers to the idea of “real property.” It was common for one tribe to grant permission to another to hunt and fish nearby themselves on a regular basis. Fences, real and imagined, were not a part of their culture. Naturally, it was polite to ask before setting up operations too close to where others lived, but refusal in matters of this sort was considered rude. As a sign of gratitude, small trinkets were usually offered by the tribe seeking temporary admission and cheerfully accepted by those already there. It was clearly understood to be a sort of short-term rental arrangement. Sad to say, the unfortunate Canarsees apparently had no idea the Dutch meant to settle in. Worse yet for them, it must have been unthinkable that they would also be unwelcome in Manhattan after their deal. One thing we can be sure of. Their equivalent of today’s buyer’s remorse brought the Canarsees nothing but grief, humiliation and violence.

Many Indians lived on Long Island in those days. Another Dutchman, Adrian Block, was the first European to come upon them in 1619. Block was also eager to introduce European commercialism and the Christian concept of “real estate” to these unfortunate innocents. Without exception, these Indians too came out on the short end in their dealings with the Dutch.

The market savvy unleashed by the Europeans upon the Indians constituted the first land use policies in the New World. In the 17th Century it was not urban but rather rural renewal. The result was of course the same. People of color with no money to speak of got booted out and the neighborhood which was subsequently gentrified and overrun by white people.

Not far from Manhattan, one tribe of about 10,000 Indians lived peacefully in a lovely spot on a peninsula directly along the ocean. There they fished in the open sea and inland bay. They hunted across the pristine shoreline and they were quite happy until they met a man – another Dutchman – named Willem Kieft. He was the Governor of New Netherland in 1639. These poor bastards were called the Rechaweygh (pronounced Rockaway). Soon after meeting Governor Kieft, they became the very first of New York’s homeless.

The people of New Netherland had a lot in common with the people of Plymouth Colony. At least it appears so from the way both of these groups of displaced and dissatisfied Europeans interacted with the local Indians. The Pilgrims in Plymouth had a hard time for the first couple of years. While nature was no friend, their troubles were mostly their own doing. Poor planning was their downfall. These mostly city dwelling Europeans failed to include among them persons with the skills needed in settling the North American wilderness. Having reached the forests and fields of Massachusetts they turned out to be pathetic hunters and incompetent butchers. With game everywhere, they went hungry. First, they couldn’t catch and kill it. Then they couldn’t cut it up, prepare it, preserve it and create a storehouse for those days when fresh supplies would run low. To compensate for their shortage of essential protein they turned to their European ways and their Christian culture. They instituted a series of religious observances. They could not hunt or farm well, but they seemed skilled at praying.

They developed a taste for something both religious and useful. They called it a Day of Fasting. Without food it seemed like a good idea. From necessity, that single Day became multiple Days. As food supplies dwindled the Days of Fasting came in bunches. Each of these episodes was eventually and thankfully followed by a meal. Appropriately enough, the Puritans credited God for this good fortune. They referred to the fact they were allowed to eat again as a “Thanksgiving.” And they wrote it down. Thus, the first mention of the word – “Thanksgiving.” Let there be no mistake here. On that first Thanksgiving there was no turkey, no corn, no cranberries, no stuffing. And no dessert. Those fortunate Pilgrims were lucky to get a piece of fish and a potato. All things considered, it was a Thanksgiving feast.

Did the Pilgrims share their Thanksgiving meal with the local Indians, the Wampanoag and Pequot? No. That never happened. That is, until its inclusion in the “Thanksgiving Story” in 1890.

Let the Wampanoag be a lesson to us especially in these troubled economic times. These particular Indians, with a bent for colorful jewelry, had their tribal name altered slightly by the Dutch, who then used it as a reference for all Indian payments. Hence, wampum. Contrary to what we’ve been shown in our Western movies, this word – wampum – and its economic meaning never made it out of New England.

Unlike wampum, Thanksgiving Day has indeed spread across the continent. It would serve us well to remember that it wasn’t until the victorious colonial militia returned from their slaughter of the Pequot that the New Americans began their now time-honored and cherished Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your turkey.

Of the 600-700 mostly women and children in the fort, seven survived


Cooking the History Books: The Thanksgiving Massacre, Is All That Turkey and Stuffing a Celebration of Genocide?

November 22, 2009 by

By Laura Elliff, Vice President, Native American Student Association

Thanksgiving is a holiday where families gather to share stories, football games are watched on television and a big feast is served. It is also the time of the month when people talk about Native Americans. But does one ever wonder why we celebrate this national holiday? Why does everyone give thanks?

History is never simple. The standard history of Thanksgiving tells us that the “Pilgrims and Indians” feasted for three days, right? Most Americans believe that there was some magnificent bountiful harvest. In the Thanksgiving story, are the “Indians” even acknowledged by a tribe? No, because everyone assumes “Indians” are the same. So, who were these Indians in 1621?

In 1620, Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower naming the land Plymouth Rock. One fact that is always hidden is that the village was already named Patuxet and the Wampanoag Indians lived there for thousands of years. To many Americans, Plymouth Rock is a symbol. Sad but true many people assume, “It is the rock on which our nation began.” In 1621, Pilgrims did have a feast but it was not repeated years thereafter. So, it wasn’t the beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition nor did Pilgrims call it a Thanksgiving feast. Pilgrims perceived Indians in relation to the Devil and the only reason why they were invited to that feast was for the purpose of negotiating a treaty that would secure the lands for the Pilgrims. The reason why we have so many myths about Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It is based more on fiction than fact.

So, what truth ought to be taught? In 1637, the official Thanksgiving holiday we know today came into existence. (Some people argue it formally came into existence during the Civil War, in 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed it, which also was the same year he had 38 Sioux hung on Christmas Eve.) William Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chair of the anthropology department of the University of Connecticut, claims that the first Thanksgiving was not “a festive gathering of Indians and Pilgrims, but rather a celebration of the massacre of 700 Pequot men, women and children.” In 1637, the Pequot tribe of Connecticut gathered for the annual Green Corn Dance ceremony. Mercenaries of the English and Dutch attacked and surrounded the village; burning down everything and shooting whomever try to escape. The next day, Newell notes, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony declared: “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.” Most Americans believe Thanksgiving was this wonderful dinner and harvest celebration. The truth is the “Thanksgiving dinner” was invented both to instill a false pride in Americans and to cover up the massacre.

Was Thanksgiving really a massacre of 700 “Indians”? The present Thanksgiving may be a mixture of the 1621 three-day feast and the “Thanksgiving” proclaimed after the 1637 Pequot massacre. So next time you see the annual “Pilgrim and Indian display” in a shopping window or history about other massacres of Native Americans, think of the hurt and disrespect Native Americans feel. Thanksgiving is observed as a day of sorrow rather than a celebration. This year at Thanksgiving dinner, ponder why you are giving thanks.

William Bradford, in his famous History of the Plymouth Plantation, celebrated the Pequot massacre:

“Those that scraped the fire were slaine with the sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escapted. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fyer, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stincke and sente there of, but the victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to inclose their enemise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enimie.”

The Pequot massacre came after the colonists, angry at the murder of an English trader suspected by the Pequots of kidnapping children, sought revenge. rather than fighting the dangerous Pequot warriors, John Mason and John Underhill led a group of colonists and Native allies to the Indian fort in Mystic, and killed the old men, women, and children who were there. Those who escaped were later hunted down. The Pequot tribe numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had brought their numbers down to 1,500 by 1637. The Pequot “War” killed all but a handful of remaining members of the tribe.

Proud of their accomplishments, Underhill wrote a book (above) depicted the burning of the village, and even made an illustration (below) showing how they surrounded the village to kill all within it.

– John K. Wilson

Note: In the article above, there wasn’t a book by Underhill or an illustration showing how the villages were surrounded.

Thanksgiving: A National Day of Mourning for Indians

Published Nov 24, 2008 9:19 PM

Following are excerpts from a statement written by Mahtowin Munro (Lakota) and Moonanum James (Wampanoag), co-leaders of United American Indians of New England. Read the entire statement at

Mahtowin Munro

Every year since 1970, United American Indians of New England have organized the National Day of Mourning observance in Plymouth at noon on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, hundreds of Native people and our supporters from all four directions join us. Every year, including this year, Native people from throughout the Americas will speak the truth about our history and about current issues and struggles we are involved in.

Why do hundreds of people stand out in the cold rather than sit home eating turkey and watching football? Do we have something against a harvest festival?

Moonanum James

Of course not. But Thanksgiving in this country—and in particular in Plymouth—is much more than a harvest home festival. It is a celebration of pilgrim mythology.

According to this mythology, the pilgrims arrived, the Native people fed them and welcomed them, the Indians promptly faded into the background, and everyone lived happily ever after.

The pilgrims are glorified and mythologized because the circumstances of the first English-speaking colony in Jamestown were frankly too ugly (for example, they turned to cannibalism to survive) to hold up as an effective national myth.

The pilgrims did not find an empty land any more than Columbus “discovered” anything. Every inch of this land is Indian land. The pilgrims (who did not even call themselves pilgrims) did not come here seeking religious freedom; they already had that in Holland.

Leonard Peltier

They came here as part of a commercial venture. They introduced sexism, racism, anti-lesbian and -gay bigotry, jails and the class system to these shores. One of the very first things they did when they arrived on Cape Cod—before they even made it to Plymouth—was to rob Wampanoag graves at Corn Hill and steal as much of the Indians’ winter provisions of corn and beans as they were able to carry.

They were no better than any other group of Europeans when it came to their treatment of the Indigenous peoples here. And, no, they did not even land at that sacred shrine called Plymouth Rock, a monument to racism and oppression which we are proud to say we buried in 1995.

The first official “Day of Thanksgiving” was proclaimed in 1637 by Governor Winthrop. He did so to celebrate the safe return of men from the Massachusetts Bay Colony who had gone to Mystic, Conn., to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot women, children and men.

About the only true thing in the whole mythology is that these pitiful European strangers would not have survived their first several years in “New England” were it not for the aid of Wampanoag people. What Native people got in return for this help was genocide, theft of our lands and never-ending repression. We are either treated as quaint relics from the past or are, to most people, virtually invisible.

When we dare to stand up for our rights, we are considered unreasonable. When we speak the truth about the history of the European invasion, we are often told to “go back where we came from.” Our roots are right here. They do not extend across any ocean.

National Day of Mourning began in 1970 when a Wampanoag man, Wamsutta Frank James, was asked to speak at a state dinner celebrating the 350th anniversary of the pilgrim landing. He refused to speak false words in praise of the white man for bringing civilization to us poor heathens. Native people from throughout the Americas came to Plymouth where they mourned their forebears who had been sold into slavery, burned alive, massacred, cheated and mistreated since the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620.

But the commemoration of National Day of Mourning goes far beyond the circumstances of 1970.

Can we give thanks as we remember Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier, who was framed up by the FBI and has been falsely imprisoned since 1976? Despite mountains of evidence exonerating Peltier and the proven misconduct of federal prosecutors and the FBI, Peltier has been denied a new trial.

To Native people, the case of Peltier is one more ordeal in a litany of wrongdoings committed by the U.S. government against us. While the media in New England present images of the “Pequot miracle” in Connecticut, the vast majority of Native people continue to live in the most abysmal poverty.

Can we give thanks for the fact that, on many reservations, unemployment rates surpass 50 percent? Our life expectancies are much lower, our infant mortality and teen suicide rates much higher than those of white Americans. Racist stereotypes of Native people, such as those perpetuated by the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves and countless local and national sports teams, persist. Every single one of the more than 350 treaties that Native nations signed has been broken by the U.S. government. The bipartisan budget cuts have severely reduced educational opportunities for Native youth and the development of new housing on reservations, and have caused cause deadly cutbacks in healthcare and other necessary services.

Are we to give thanks for being treated as unwelcome in our own country?

When the descendants of the Aztec, Maya and Inca flee to the U.S., the descendants of the wash-ashore pilgrims term them “illegal aliens” and hunt them down.

We object to the “Pilgrim Progress” parade and to what goes on in Plymouth because they are making millions of tourist dollars every year from the false pilgrim mythology. That money is being made off the backs of our slaughtered Indigenous ancestors.

Increasing numbers of people are seeking alternatives to such holidays as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. They are coming to the conclusion that if we are ever to achieve some sense of community, we must first face the truth about the history of this country and the toll that history has taken on the lives of millions of Indigenous, Black, Latin@, Asian, and poor and working-class white people.

The myth of Thanksgiving, served up with dollops of European superiority and manifest destiny, just does not work for many people in this country. As Malcolm X once said about the African-American experience in America, “We did not land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.” Exactly.

First-ever World Indigenous Games held in Brazil 2015

I World Indigenous Games Brazil 2015

The first World Indigenous Games got off to a rocky start on Friday as the opening ceremony’s colourful parade of indigenous peoples was marred by technical hitches and a noisy protest against the Brazilian government.
The ceremony was orchestrated by a producer who is helping to plan the opening ceremony for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and included a parade of people in native dress ranging from tropical-friendly straw skirts and feathers to Artic furs.

Billed as the indigenous peoples’ answer to the Olympics, the nine-day World Indigenous Games has drawn around 2,000 native people from dozens of Brazilian tribes and nearly 20 countries to Brazil.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who attended the ceremony in Palmas, was initially greeted by boos and hisses. Several groups of indigenous spectators unfurled protest banners and broke into anti-government chants.
Rousseff, who has seen her popularity ratings plummet to single digits amid a tanking economy and unfurling corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras, has long had frosty relations with Brazil’s indigenous communities. They regard her as too friendly with big agriculture and slow to designate indigenous territories.

The Wings (Native American Music)

Heyo Everyone! Welcome back the Bird Clans and the Rainbow Tribe to the Earthly realms, let’s spread our wings and fly – it’s time. Have a magical week! {~A~}

Join us…

EarthKeeper Call-to-Action: Will Amazon Fire Wipe Out Indigenous Tribes? TheLipTV

Note: Calling EarthKeepers to connect with the Light Grid to send love, protection, sustenance and dowsing rains to the Awa`-Guaja` tribe and the Guajajara community in the Brazilian Amazon. Also, visualize using any means necessary to “block, cancel and prevent more destruction by corporate loggers to the forest, and to protect ALL indigenous community’s from more devastation.

The very existence of these ancient community’s are threatened by suspicious forest fires which have burned for over two months, destroying vast area’s of tropical forest they depend on for survival. More below.

Mahalo for answering the call.

Peace, Annette


A massive Amazon fire that has been burning for nearly two months is destroying forests in Brazil and is now threatening to wipe out the Guajajara indigenous communities of 12,000 people and the 80-member Awá-Guajá uncontacted tribe. The local government has declared a state of emergency as more than 250 firefighters battle the blaze, which is suspected to have been started by illegal loggers invading the territory, according to Greenpeace. Will illegal loggers destroy Amazon indigenous lands once and for all? Watch it on the Lip News with Margaret Howell and Nik Zecevic.…

Newest Lip News playlist:…

BUZZSAW interview clips –…

CRIME TIME clips playlist –…

BYOD (Bring Your Own Doc) Highlight Videos-…

MEDIA MAYHEM short videos playlist –…

Obama Admin Sends DEA to Destroy Licensed Hemp Crop After Legalization on Tribal Land

“I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our tribe”

by Mikael Thalen | | October 23, 2015

A licensed industrial hemp crop was destroyed by federal agents Friday on the land of the Menominee Indian Tribe in Wisconsin.

After legalizing the plant for research purposes last May, tribal leaders say they were targeted by the Obama administration for allegedly violating the 2014 Farm Bill.

Speaking with Fox 11 News, FBI agents confirmed they were assisting the DEA in removing the crop.

In a statement to the media, Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw accused the federal government of violating both the tribe’s sovereignty and its right to research the non-psychotropic plant.

“In May 2015, the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Tribe legalized the growing of low THC non-psychotropic industrial hemp by Tribal licensees on its lands,” Besaw said. “Notice of this change in Tribal law was provided to the United States Attorney Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.”

“Today, Federal Agents improperly and unnecessarily entered the sovereign lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and destroyed the Tribe’s industrial hemp crop.”

Besaw placed the blame squarely at the feet of the Obama administration for refusing to challenge the issue civilly in court.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe…” Besaw added. “Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado.”

“I just wish the President would explain to tribes why we can’t grow industrial hemp like the states, and even more importantly, why we don’t deserve an opportunity to make our argument to a federal judge rather than having our community raided by the DEA?”

According to Besaw, the federal government’s actions greatly harm the economic outlook for the already-struggling tribe.

“What makes the actions taken today even more difficult to understand is that the federal government is very aware of the great unmet needs of Menominee,” Besaw said. “Menominee County ranks at the bottom of the state in poverty and health statistics.”

UPDATE: DEA refutes tribe’s claim, stating plants were actually “high-grade marijuana.”

Email: (PGP Key)

Navajo Midwives in New Mexico Plan First-Ever Native American Birth Center

Changing Women Initiative founders Nicolle Gonzales (l) and Brittany Simplicio
Photo: Courtesy of Nicolle Gonzales
Tue, Sep 29, 2015

Nicolle Gonzales is a 35-year-old certified nurse midwife (CNM) with three kids ages 9 to 14. She’s Navajo (or Diné, as Navajo people refer to themselves), from Waterflow, New Mexico, and has embarked on a journey to create the nation’s first Native American birth center. “I’d like to see a nice building with pictures of our grandmothers, cedar welcoming you into the door, and moccasins for babies instead of blankets,” says Gonzales. “I want a place where women and families feel welcome.”

Gonzales is among only 14 other Native American CNMs in the United States. She and Brittany Simplicio, another midwife who is Navajo/Zuni, began raising money for a nonprofit that will run the center, Changing Woman Initiative (CWI), last year.

“There is this huge disconnect between the cultural teachings and our bodies as women. [I want] to advocate for taking back our teachings about our bodies that our ancestors knew before the boarding schools or Indian Health Services came,” says Gonzales. “I’ve worked at Indian Health Services. I was not happy with the care that the Native women were receiving there. I needed to do something to step up and support Native women.”

Indian Health Services (IHS), a program funded through the U.S. federal government, provides the majority of health care for Native people. Gonzales says it is routinely underfunded, and she points to her stint at the Santa Fe Indian Health Services. The facility was forced to shut down its labor and delivery ward in 2008 due to underfunding. Native women can get prenatal care there, but have to then apply for Medicaid and transfer to another hospital for the actual delivery. This interaction between IHS and Medicaid creates confusion, as some in the community don’t realize they are eligible for both. “I had one couple [whose baby died] and the nurses said it was because the doctor wasn’t available to do a C-section,” says Gonzales. “This couple came back [to IHS] a year later because they didn’t feel like they could go anywhere else.”

IHS also has a complicated reputation among Native women because of widespread sterilizations performed there in the 1970s. In a chapter for an upcoming book, Gonzales explains further: “As part of the government’s efforts to assimilate and disempower [N]ative women, in the 1970s, the Indian Health Service oversaw the nonconsensual sterilization of approximately 40 percent of women of childbearing age. It is events like this that still resonate strongly for American Indian women, and contribute to the historical trauma they have experienced over the centuries.”

Along with providing a pregnancy care alternative to IHS, Gonzales says the CWI birthing center project will also address the significant health disparities faced by Native women in the Southwest region. In the center’s strategic plan she and Simplicio attribute the disparities to the destruction of indigenous knowledge systems by colonization and to “cultural disparities” created by poverty, discrimination, geography and racism. “Among the 23 government-recognized tribes in New Mexico, these disparities manifest as higher rates of gestational diabetes, increased rates of postpartum depression, and higher rates of preterm birth and low birth weights,” they write.

For the birthing center to work, Gonzalez says there needs to be a culture shift in how midwifery is perceived in her community as something “white.” “Even as I applied [to midwifery school] and I went back to my community, they asked why I wanted to be a hippy midwife. In fact we’ve always Native American midwives in our tribes. They see it as a white women thing.”

This stands in contrast to the history of Native midwives that Gonzales outlines in her book chapter: “Before [W]estern ideological influences converged with the Native traditional ways of birthing, [i]ndigenous tribes had traditional midwives or family members who attended to births in their own communities. In the Navajo culture, these women were called ‘baby medicine women’ or ‘umbilical cord cutter.’” Before the emergence of hospitals, births primarily took place in homes called ‘Hogans.’”

Seventy percent of births at IHS nationally are attended by CNMs, but the vast majority of those are non-Native providers. Recent research from aboriginal communities in Australia show that outcomes improve when indigenous women are served by indigenous providers.

Gonzales and Simplicio plan to use IHS funds to run their center, but they will also seek funds from foundations and other agencies. They haven’t yet decided if they will locate their center on tribal land. “We would have to find a tribal community that has a stable enough government that would be safe to build a birth center on,” Gonzales says. “You have to go back to that conversation about [whether] tribes value their health. The tribes here are focused on water rights and land rights. Health care is not one of their priorities.” There are also benefits to being placed on non-tribal land, Gonzales says, like higher reimbursement rates from Medicaid for ameliorating rural provider shortages.

Gozales notes that there are three birthing centers in aboriginal communities in Canada, and CWI is planning to visit them to learn about their models. They’ve launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for this research.

CWI has been in development for five years and its founders are at least three years away from seeing the birth center open. In the meantime, Gonzales says she is focusing on supporting other Native American midwifery students and building with indigenous midwives across North America. Toward the end of our conversation she describes attending the National Council of Aboriginal Midwives gathering in 2011. “I just balled my eyes out because these women looked like me,” she says. “They understood what it was about—it was about healing their communities. It’s a spiritual path.”

Na‘i Aupuni (Native Hawaiian Convention): What it Is and What it’s Not

An interview of Dr. Keanu Sai by Kale Gumapac, host of the show The Kanaka Express. The interview focuses on Na‘i Aupuni or the Native Hawaiian Convention from a political science, historical and academic standpoint.

Michael Tellinger’s Brilliant Presentation In Groningen (Sept 2015)

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10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society


By Wisdom Pills /

Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles EastmanBlack Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent spread of the European pioneers. Raised in the traditions of his people until the age of eleven, he was then educated at the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School of Pennsylvania, where he learned the english language and way of life. (Though a National Historical Landmark, Carlisle remains a place of controversy in Native circles.)

Like his above mentioned contemporaries, however, his native roots were deep, leaving him in the unique position of being a conduit between cultures. Though his movement through the white man’s world was not without “success” — he had numerous movie roles in Hollywood — his enduring legacy was the protection of the way of life of his people.By the time of his death he had published 4 books and had become a leader at the forefront of the progressive movement aimed at preserving Native American heritage and sovereignty, coming to be known as a strong voice in the education of the white man as to the Native American way of life. Here, then, are 10 quotes from the great Sioux Indian Chief known as Standing Bear that will be sure to disturb much of what you think you know about “modern” culture.

1) Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner.

2) Children were taught that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than in words. They were never allowed to pass between the fire and the older person or a visitor, to speak while others were speaking, or to make fun of a crippled or disfigured person. If a child thoughtlessly tried to do so, a parent, in a quiet voice, immediately set him right.

3) Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that ‘thought comes before speech.’…and in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of the notable and great, silence was the mark of respect… strict observance of this tenet of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being given the false characterization by the white man of being a stoic. He has been judged to be dumb, stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling.

4) We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’. Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was it ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.

5) With all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.

6) This concept of life and its relations was humanizing and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.

7) It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth… the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.

8) Everything was possessed of personality, only differing from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.

9) …the old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too. So he kept his children close to nature’s softening influence.

10) Civilization has been thrust upon me… and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity.

Zimbabwe’s New Wave Of Farm Invasions

A new wave of farm invasions is underway in Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe’s loyalists try to force the remaining white farmers from the land. In the past 8 months 80 have been evicted by force. Sky’s Emma Hurd reports.

Support Native American Treaty Awareness Walkers ~ GoFundMe Drive

We will be bringing awareness to Congress about how our Treaties and many other Native American Tribes treaties are constantly being violated. We will be having a camp out in Rexton, Michigan on our Treaty of 1836 tribal land which the state has made nearly official for the Graymont Mining Company to purchase from right underneath us.
To bring awareness to the entire country and congress we will walk 900 miles to Washington D.C. and address congress of the wrong doings that are happening with our treaties. We do need help w getting supplies for events, lawyers, and we need to be mobile at a moments notice.
Please help us so we can help others. Chi Miigwetch


Columbus Statue in Venezuela replaced with one of indigenous leader who led resistance against Spanish colonialism

Published: October 14, 2015
Kratom For Cheap -

Source: Telesur

Guaicaipuro statue was unveiled in a ceremony held the morning of Monday.

The statue was unveiled in a ceremony headed by President Nicolas Maduro and top officials of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Venezuela’s government erected a statue, in central Caracas, in honor to Guaicaipuro, the Indigenous chief who led the resistance against the Spanish colonialism 500 years ago.

The sculpture replaced a Christopher Columbus statue that stood there for over a century, until it was torn down in 2004 by a popular movement led by supporters of then President Hugo Chavez.

The statue was unveiled in a ceremony headed by President Nicolas Maduro and attended by top officials of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and dozens of Indigenous leaders.

Indigenous people represent about 1.5 percent of the total population of Venezuela, there are at least 26 nationalities, including the Ya¸nomamo, Pemon, Warao people, Baniwa people, Kali’na people, Motilone Bari, Ye’kuana, and Yaruro. In 2002, the South American nation began to celebrate October 12 as the Day of Indigenous Resistance.

Guaicaipuro is seen by Venezuelans as a symbol of the Indigenous resistance against the Spanish conquest, he is also well known because he formed a powerful coalition of different tribes which he led during part of the 16th Century against the Spanish troops in the central region of the country, specially in the Caracas valley.

Indigenous Peoples Day – A Message from Hereditary Chief and Elder Chief Phil Lane Jr.

Monday, October 12, previously recognized solely as Columbus Day, is now recognized by at least nine major US cities as Indigenous Peoples Day, in honor of the contributions and rich history of the country’s indigenous cultures. Today, on Indigenous Peoples Day 2015, Hereditary Chief and Elder Chief Phil Lane Jr., URI Global Council Trustee, gives an inspiring message.

“What I think we’ve been though the last 500 years is a 500-year sweat lodge. Because when you are faced with incredible challenges, you have a choice of giving up, or you have a choice of praying … really calling upon and developing the spiritual qualities of forgiveness, and patience, and passion, and acceptance.”

Learn more about Indigenous Peoples Day:…
Learn more about Chief Phil Lane Jr.:…

These 8 Cities Just Abolished Columbus Day

Dylan Sevett | October 8, 2015

Three more cities adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day in just the past 48 hours.

Following a growing trend, the city council of Albuquerque, New Mexico has voted six to three to recognize October 12th – typically known to most as “Columbus Day” within the USA– as Indigenous Peoples’ day in a new proclamation. Albuquerque has the highest concentration of Indigenous people in New Mexico.

In the past two months, eight cities got rid of Columbus Day in favor of adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Three of those cities adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day this week.

Albuquerque, New Mexico – The city’s formal declaration”encourages businesses, organizations and public entities to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, which shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that our Indigenous nations add to our City.”
Lawrence, KS – Since September, students from Haskell University in Lawrence, Kansas have been taking initiative and pushing for the city to honor their ancestors by declaring October 12th Indigenous Peoples’ day. Just this Wednesday, they won.
Portland, OR – Portland’s City Council declared Indigenous Peoples’ day on Tuesday, something tribal leaders have been seeking since 1954.
St. Paul, MN – In August, St. Paul followed Minneapolis by declaring Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Minneapolis passed its own resolution last year.
Bexar County, TX – The resolution was passed Tuesday, and local activists intend to press for the same thing in San Antonio.
Anadarko, OK – In September, Anadarko declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Anadarko Mayor Kyle Eastwood signed the proclamation while surrounded by tribal leaders from the Apache, Choctaw, Delaware, Wichita and others.
Olympia, WA – Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Jones presented Olympia’s proclamation at a rally in August. Nearly 150 people showed up to support the initiative.
Alpena, MI – In September, Mayor Matt Waligora declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The city says they desire “to develop a strong and productive relationship with all indigenous peoples, including the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, based on mutual respect and trust.”

These cities are following in the footsteps of Seattle and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City came close to passing it in September and will try to pass it again on October 13th, the day after the holiday.

City Council Member Rey Garduño wrote and proposed the proclamation, with guidance from local activists. The campaign was initiated last year during an “Abolish Columbus Day” demonstration at City Hall.

Although these changes have been quite recent, the struggle for the recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day has been going on since 1954, when the idea was first proposed in Portland, OR.

The Albuquerque Police Department have a notorious record of harassing and killing oppressed people. Their law enforcement divisions have shot 50 people resulting in 28 fatalities since 2010. In Albuquerque, Indigenous people compose 4.6 of the city’s population, but 13% of its consistently homeless population.

This name change is a fantastic trend that needs to grow fast, but it needs to be followed up by concrete action and legislation. Nationwide (and worldwide – particularly in Latin American countries that have suffered from US-backed coups), Indigenous people suffer from economic inequality, health problems, and human rights abuses. It’s time we celebrate their culture and tradition rather than their oppressors’, and it’s time we give back to those we’ve taken so much from.

Movement replacing Columbus Day with events honoring Native Americans gains steam around US


Travis Mazawaficuna of the Dakota Nation (Sioux) Native American tribe arrives with others to the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples outside the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, in this file photo taken August 9, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/Files


bout four miles from the world’s largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land.

The ceremony will begin the final day of a weekend “powwow” on Randall’s Island in New York’s East River, an event that features traditional dancing, story-telling and art.

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council’s powwow is both a celebration of Native American culture and an unmistakable counterpoint to the parade, which many detractors say honors a man who symbolizes centuries of oppression of aboriginal people by Europeans.

Organizers hope to call attention to issues of social and economic injustice that have dogged Native Americans since Christopher Columbus led his path-finding expedition to the “New World” in 1492.

The powwow has been held for the past 20 years but never on Columbus Day. It is part of a drive by Native Americans and their supporters throughout the country, who are trying to rebrand Columbus Day as a holiday that honors indigenous people, rather than their European conquerors. Their efforts have been successful in several U.S. cities this year.

“The fact that America would honor this man is preposterous,” said Cliff Matias, lead organizer of the powwow and a lifelong Brooklyn resident who claims blood ties with Latin America’s Taino and Kichwa nations. “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

But for many Italian Americans, who take pride in the explorer’s Italian roots, the holiday is a celebration of their heritage and role in building America. Many of them are among the strongest supporters of keeping the traditional holiday alive.

Berkeley, California, was the first city to drop Columbus Day, replacing it in 1992 with Indigenous Peoples Day. The trend has gradually picked up steam across the country.

Last year, Minneapolis and Seattle became the first major U.S. cities to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

This month, Portland, Oregon, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Bexar County, Texas, decided to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with the new holiday. Oklahoma City is set for a vote on a similar proposal later this month.

Columbus Day became a U.S. federal holiday in 1937. The federal government and about half of U.S. states give public employees paid leave, according to the Council of State Governments. Schools and government offices are generally closed, but many private businesses remain open.

Support for Indigenous Peoples Day has steadily risen in recent years, paralleling the growing perception that the wave of European settlement in the Western Hemisphere was genocidal to native populations.

Gino Barichello, who attended Berkeley city council meetings in the 1990s that resulted in the establishment of Indigenous Peoples Day, said he viewed the trend with pride.

“To have a recognition and celebration of all the indigenous cultures of the U.S., and Berkeley being one of the catalysts leading that charge, is very exciting,” said Barichello, who says he is half Italian and half Muscogee, a Native American tribe based in Oklahoma.

New York City, with the country’s largest Italian American population at 1.9 million, attracts nearly 35,000 marchers and nearly 1 million spectators to its annual Columbus Day parade.

Read more


Note: IMHO it’s time American’s recognize the decimation of Indigenous Tribes and the crimes against humanity committed by Caucasians in the blood sacrifice of entire nations throughout the America’s. It’s time demonization, savagery and barbarism is reflected back upon the perpetrators, not upon the 100’s millions innocent victims of genocide.

Columbus Day and Thanksgiving keep the truth buried, obfuscated behind lies. Isn’t it time we cancel out these “holidays” and replace with time to reflect and memorialize those who needlessly suffered religious persecution under colonialism and the greed-lust that drove the plundering of lands, wealth and resources?

Over the last few years I’ve really irritated my family by declaring I no longer “celebrate” Thanksgiving weekend. Instead I spend a few quiet days in ceremony honoring Native American Memorial Weekend, asking forgiveness for my ancestors and those in the past who partook in the genocide, destruction and demonization of an entire nation of Consciousness Explorers and the keepers of Mother Earth.

“They know not what they do…”

Oh Great Spirit, may we ALL be forgiven for our involvement and tacit consent on all timelines and dimensions for our ignorance and compliance in all crimes against Indigenous peoples on the America’s, and around the world. And so it is….Mahalo

How Harper triggered a First Nations legal war over Northern Gateway

By Mychaylo Prystupa in News, Energy | October 1st 2015
#45 of 56 articles from the Special Report: Tar Sands Reporting Project
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Eight First Nations announce their federal legal challenge to the Northern Gateway pipeline at a Vancouver press conference. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.
Previous story

The Harper government’s already strained relationship with First Nations that oppose oil sands pipelines is being put on trial this week.

Eight B.C. First Nations are in federal court to launch a legal attack on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The coalition hopes to overturn Ottawa’s conditional approval of the project, which would deliver Alberta crude to B.C.’s north coast.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip pledged to go to jail if necessary to stop the pipeline, and said the federal Conservative government has “completely demonized and vilified Indigenous peoples of this country and has declared all of these [energy] projects in the national interest.”

“[It] has pitted the economy against the environment in a reckless and irresponsible fashion,” he said at a Vancouver press briefing today.
Expect more “Oka” conflicts

If a Harper government is re-elected, Grand Chief Phillip said to expect huge Indigenous clashes to continue and worsen over Northern Gateway— as well as over Trans Mountain expansion and Energy East pipelines.

“We are very quickly headed for another Oka type of conflict across this country,” he said, in reference to a 1990 showdown in Quebec, between Mohawk warriors and Canadian soldiers that caught the world’s attention.

Oka crisis Quebec Mohawk warrior Canadian soldier – CP

Quebec Mohawk warrior confronts a Canadian soldier in the Oka dispute 25 years ago. (CP image.)

Heiltsuk elected chief councilor Marilyn Slett knows about showdowns. She locked herself in a federal fisheries office earlier this year to force the federal government to negotiate regarding the commercial overfishing of herring off the central B.C. coast.

Fighting back tears, she said Thursday to expect more of that kind of drama should Northern Gateway go ahead.

“Whatever decision the court makes, the Heiltsuk are committed to protecting our land and our resources in whatever means necessary,” said Chief Slett.
So how did we get here? A Northern Gateway timeline

How have the actions of Conservatives and Enbridge led to such a sour state of affairs?


The saga began in May 2010, when Enbridge applied to the National Energy Board. The project was pitched as a “gateway” for getting Alberta oil to China. Its backers eventually included Chinese state-owned oil companies and giant Alberta oil sands producers such as Suncor.

But by December, the project had already lost favour with Alberta and B.C. First Nations, who signed the Save the Fraser Declaration. It stated the pipeline represented “grave” and unacceptable risks to ancestral lands and salmon watersheds. Many worried about pipelines bursting, and about how to clean up a catastrophic oil spill in B.C.’s remote far north, where rivers could swiftly carry away spilled toxic bitumen.


In late 2011, Stephen Harper got a disappointing phone call from Obama. The U.S. would delay approval of a different giant pipeline —TransCanada’s Keystone XL. Harper was reportedly furious, and convened a strategy session with cabinet where Enbridge’s Northern Gateway was seen as the “most imminent option” to get landlocked Alberta oil to market, Bloomberg reported.


Indigenous tensions intensified in January 2012 when the federal joint review panel hearings for the project began. But the process saw First Nations speak almost unanimously against it into government microphones —often briefly and with little effect, complained chiefs on Thursday.

“I spoke to my people for years about this project. And I was given 10 minutes [at the hearing]. And then arbitrarily cut off. So that was the extent of my input,” said hereditary Chief Tsodih (Pete Erickson) of Nak’azdli First Nation.
Yinka Dene Alliance chief – Wallace Studios, Vanderhoof, BC

Saik’uz First Nation chief Stanley Thomas with the Yinka Dene Alliance speaking against Northern Gateway. (Photo by Wallace Studios, Vanderhoof, BC)

“We constantly run up against a Canadian government who doesn’t listen to us —who is not interested in true consultation,” added councilor Cheryl Bear with Nadleh Whut’en First Nation. “We say the government acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally.”

Another chief chastised Enbridge officials for disrespectful gestures during community visits.

“They did come, but when the hereditary chiefs were ready to speak, they left. And that left a real sour taste in our mouths,” said Gitxaala hereditary Chief Matt Hill. “There’s no way we can respect people that handle their business that way.”
Pro pipeline laws enacted

2012 was also the year the Harper government launched a wave of pro-pipeline laws and policies. The moves sped National Energy Board (NEB) pipeline hearings, stripped away protections for waterways and endangered species, enabled tax authorities to audit charities that oppose the oil sands, and pushed to identify pipeline opponents as extreme “radicals” and national security threats.
Mike Dufy and Stephen Harper

Senator Mike Duffy embracing Prime Minster Stephen Harper.

Even disgraced Senator Mike Duffy was apparently helping to push Enbridge in 2012 by exchanging notes with Prime Minister Harper about the company’s pipelines. He was also speaking often with two senior Enbridge executives, a National Observer investigation of Duffy’s redacted diary found. The Senator’s communications between the $57-billion pipeline giant and Stephen Harper’s government were never disclosed in the lobbying registry.

Senator Duffy’s black-marker smeared calendar also showed his frequent contact with North Vancouver blogger Vivian Krause, whose controversial theories on the U.S.-funding of anti-oil-sands groups became popular talking points for top Harperites.

Duffy introduced Krause to his speaking agent —who booked her at high-paid oil and mining convention speaking gigs. The senator also cross-examined her at a parliamentary committee hearing to popularize her views.
Spying for Enbridge?


In 2013, a Vancouver Observer investigation uncovered FOI documents showing the National Energy Board was coordinating the Canadian Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS) and the RCMP to keep tabs on First Nations groups and movements, such as Idle No More. [Vancouver Observer is a regional affiliate of National Observer.]

By the close of that year, the Joint Review Panel recommended the pipeline be approved. The Harper government then had six months to make a decision.


Enbridge spy scandal – Chuck Strahl, former head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), was discovered to be also lobbying for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. (CBC image.)

In the interim, a bombshell pipeline spy scandal broke. In January 2014, a further Vancouver Observer investigation found that former Conservative cabinet minister Chuck Strahl was chairing a body overseeing Canada’s spy agency, while also lobbying for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway. An uproar led to his resignation.

By March 2014, a surreal political campaign over a plebiscite began in Kitimat — the terminus community for the pipeline on B.C.’s northwest coast. Enbridge officials canvassed door to door, urging citizens to vote “yes” to the pipeline. Their opposition? Ordinary citizens with little money and hand-painted lawn signs. Finally in April, when the vote result was revealed to a Kitimat crowd. Residents and Haisla neighbours reacted ecstatically in a moment captured on video.

“I think Enbridge and the government really don’t understand what happened here tonight,” said former Haisla chief Gerald Amos to the crowd in a megaphone. “What we witnessed was a community-building exercise that should scare the shit out of them.”

By May, anti-Enbridge rallies in Vancouver heated up —and one was met by Sun TV’s Ezra Levant. The broadcaster and author of Ethical Oil walked right into the hornet’s nest of oil protesters with his cameraman to provoke passions for his now-defunct TV program. Sun TV was masterminded by the Prime Minister’s current Conservative campaign manager, Kory Teneycke.

Levant’s rants on Sun that year included tirades against rock star Neil Young whom Levant accused of spreading “lies” about the oil sands during his concert series in support of the Athabasca Chipewyan. The northern Alberta band is fighting to get government to “honour the treaties” that were supposed to protect their health and land from heavy oil sands development.

And in June, 300 scientists wrote a “Dear Prime Minister” letter stating that the federal review of Northern Gateway was deeply “flawed,” “biased” and excluded important science on oil impacts.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip Enbridge decision day June 2014 – Mychaylo Prystupa

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip Enbridge announces “the war is on” in Vancouver on the day federal government conditionally approved Northern Gateway on June 17, 2014. (Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.)

On June 17, 2014, the national media awaited a highly anticipated moment —a Harper cabinet member taking the podium to announce the government’s decision on the pipeline. The moment never came. A simple government press release was issued on one of the country’s biggest industrial decisions in generations. Northern Gateway was a go with 209 NEB conditions. Passions erupted in Vancouver where thousands protested and First Nations drummers took to the streets.

Many promised to “punish” Conservatives in B.C. in the next federal election. Grand Chief Phllip told a large downtown crowd, “The war is on.”


Enbridge attempted to meet the NEB’s 209 conditions, and those of B.C.’s government— which include a rapprochement with First Nations over the pipeline. But if the company’s silence has been any indication, negotiations have not gone very well.

In May 2015, the pipeline lost a major political supporter —an Alberta premier. A stunning provincial election replaced former Enbridge consultant Jim Prentice with Rachel Notely in an historic NDP routing of the 44-year-ruling Progressive Conservatives. Premier Notley said the pipeline stood little chance of gaining approval from First Nations.

The late Janet Holder, Enbridge’s vice president for Northern Gateway, at a Kitimat, B.C. pipeline forum in April 2014. (Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.)

And tragically, on Aug.31, Northern Gateway’s stalwart smiling spokesperson and vice president, Janet Holder, died of leukemia.
Enbridge speaks

Regarding Thursdays’s launch of the eight First Nations lawsuits, Enbridge’s manager of communications Ivan Giesbrecht said:

“Despite this litigation, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the applicant First Nations and would be very pleased to develop mutually beneficial solutions with them.”

“Our ongoing priority is to continue to build trust, engage in respectful dialogue, and build meaningful partnerships with First Nations and Metis communities. We know we have more work to do in this regard and we are committed to doing this work.”

“Northern Gateway accepts and recognizes the traditional land use rights and practices of First Nations and Metis peoples.”

“The project proponents believe First Nations and Metis communities should share in the ownership and benefits of Northern Gateway. Their input will make the project better and we are open to change.”

“The project proponents remain committed to Northern Gateway and building this critical Canadian infrastructure. We are continuing to work towards meeting the conditions set by the Joint Review Panel and the BC government.”

“As we’ve said many times, we remain confident in the rigor and thoroughness of the Joint Review Panel process. Its careful examination of the Northern Gateway project was one of the most exhaustive of its kind in our country’s history. Northern Gateway’s submission to the JRP was the most comprehensive application ever submitted: 30,000 pages, 180 days of hearings, and 80 expert witnesses including some of the foremost scientists and engineers in their respective fields from around the world.”


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