sacred land

I haven’t seen one single post about this. None of the national news is covering it either. There is a complete media blackout.

In summary: There’s a huge oil pipeline being built in North Dakota, and it’s heading straight through sacred Native American land. Already, four thousand people are camped out there, arrests are being made, and they’ve had water taken from them in order to try and get them to disperse.

“Growing in number and spirit, the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is swiftly gaining strength ahead of a federal hearing on the controversial project. Support has spreadacross the country, and thousands have descended on the peaceful “prayer camps” in recent days, prompting state officials on Monday to remove the demonstrators’ drinking water supply.
“People are getting overheated now already,” said Johnelle Leingang, the tribe’s emergency response coordinator, as temperatures hovered around 90º F on Monday. “

North Dakota homeland security director Greg Wilz ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the protest encampment, despite the sweltering heat. This is because, according to law enforcement officers, the protestors were threatening them with firearms and pipe bombs. 

Kirchmeier said the protest had become “unlawful” as his officers reported incidents of shots being fired, pipe bombs, vandalism and assaults on private security personnel. Construction on the pipeline near Cannon Ball has been “discontinued for the time being,” Kirchmeier said.

However, protesters denied those allegations. “Firearms and weapons are not allowed at the Sacred Stone Camp and our security has done an exemplary job at maintaining safety amongst the crowd,” according to a statement released by Sacred Stone Camp protesters with the groups Honor the Earth and the Indigenous Environmental Network. “As our camp was established on an act of prayer, we are committed to nonviolence.”

“The only thing we are armed with is with our prayers.”

The pipeline threat is real; there have been 11 pipeline accidents since 2000 on lines carrying oil or gasoline across the Dakotas. One of those pipeline accidents resulted in roughly 865,000 gallons of oil spilling beneath a farm in North Dakota in 2013. 

The Dakota Access Pipeline’s planned route crosses the Missouri River which serves as the entire water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) approved 200 water crossings by the pipeline in spite of requests by the Sioux to deny construction permits. The ACOE, however, reviewed and rejected an alternate pipeline route crossing the Missouri River near Bismarck as it was deemed a threat to the municipal water supply. This looks like outright racism on the face of it; the pipeline is a threat to 92% white Bismarck, but not a sovereign Native American tribe?

The Standing Rock Sioux are challenging Army Corps of Engineers permits issued for the pipeline that tribe members say violate the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

The Army Corps of Engineers gave DAPL permission to build in late July, despite pending lawsuits and active local resistance.

An hour south of Bismarck, protesters have gathered since April near Cannon Ball, N.D., where Dakota Access plans to lay pipe under the Missouri River. In recent weeks, the ranks of protests swelled from several dozen to more than 800.

The heavily-policed scene has not been without incident. More than 20 people have been arrested in the last few weeks, and a roadblock guarded by state police established on Highway 1806, which leads to the protest site and the Standing Rock reservation. So not only can protestors not get things like a water supply to the protest site, but the four thousand people who are already there may be stuck.

The court hearing is on August 24, where it will be decided whether to halt the construction or not. This pipeline, if it breaks, could destroy so many people’s lives, as well as decimate the environment and wildlife around them.

A petition has been started by a youth member of the Standing Rock Sioux, you can sign it here. It already has over 200,000 signatures.

Another petition to stop the pipeline is here.

Please help to save our water. 

Sources:

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buzzfeed.com
Amazing Photos Show Standoff Between Lakota Native Americans And Police
A proposed oil pipeline is set to begin construction on tribal lands in North Dakota. Members of various Native American reservations gathered Monday to try to stop it.
By Kate Bubacz, dzalcman

Riders from the Standing Rock, Rosebud, and Lower Brule Lakota reservations came together on horseback to push back a police line that had formed between a group of protesters and the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.

Last week, the federal government gave final approval to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will run for 1,172 miles to transport crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfields to Patoka, Illinois.

Hundreds of protesters, primarily Lakota and Dakota from Native American reservations within a several-hundred-mile radius, convened over the weekend at the edge of the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to voice their anger.

The pipeline would travel through lands sacred to the Lakota people, and cross under the Missouri, Mississippi, and Big Sioux rivers.

A possible spill, which can occur with pipelines, would mean contaminating farmland and drinking water for millions.

After a series of tense interactions with North Dakota state police on Monday, the protesters succeeded in temporarily halting the beginning stages of construction.

Protesters stand at the front barricades of the protest zone, holding signs that read “Water is sacred” and “Mni Wiconi” (“Water is life” in Lakota).

Horses and riders from the Rosebud reservation arrive to support the Standing Rock community. The horses are in traditional Lakota regalia.

Protesters congregate next to a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday morning, as a crew arrives with machinery and materials to begin cutting a work road into the hillside. The flag in the foreground belongs to the American Indian Movement.

North Dakota state police form a line between the protesters and the entrance to the construction site as a tank truck turns into the property.

A protester is arrested for standing on the outer layer of barricades that separate the protest site from the police line and construction zone on Monday morning.

A protester is arrested for standing on the outer layer of barricades that separate the protest site from the police line and construction zone on Monday morning.

Two young Lakota boys watch as construction machinery drives onto the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site, just over a mile from the banks of the Missouri River

After the protesters disrupted the construction site and shut down work for the day, a group marched up to the main gates.

Children play in the Missouri River, a mile from the proposed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Petition: Stop The North Dakota Pipeline From Being Built In Native Americans Sacred Lands!

Last week, the federal government gave final approval to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will run for 1,172 miles to transport crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfields to Patoka, Illinois.

Hundreds of protesters, primarily Lakota and Dakota from Native American reservations within a several-hundred-mile radius, convened against police over the weekend at the edge of the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to voice their anger

The pipeline would travel through lands sacred to the Lakota people, and cross under the Missouri, Mississippi, and Big Sioux rivers.

A possible spill, which can occur with pipelines, would mean contaminating farmland and drinking water for millions.

After a series of tense interactions with North Dakota state police on Monday, the protesters succeeded in temporarily halting the beginning stages of construction.

We need your help to make sure this doesn’t happen!

Sign this petition now!

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El Santuario de Chimayo - Chimayo, New Mexico

The El Santuario de Chimayo is considered the most important pilgrimage site in the United States. Its popularity owes to the curative powers of the “Tierra Bendita” or “holy dirt” found in a small hole in a precept off the main altar. For nearly 200 years, the dirt is believed by many to have miraculous healing powers over a wide variety of ailments and afflictions.

One of the most visited tourist attractions in New Mexico, the Santuario hosts over 300,000 visitors a year. During Holy Week alone, over 30,000 people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Chimayo. The local tradition is to walk, and people walk to Chimayo from all over the state of New Mexico, some traversing over 100 miles. Some people make the journey barefoot or on their hands and knees, and others carry enormous wooden crosses or put cactus needles in their shoes in order to demonstrate their devotion.

Continue your pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo on Atlas Obscura…

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the sacred headwaters is a remote region in northern british columbia that is the shared birthplace of three salmon rivers: the stikine, skeena and nass. it supports an incredible ecosystem of large mammals and is the traditional territory of the tahltan first nation. but it is also rich in minerals and gas, which has left the tahltan fighting for the protection of their land. 

the sacred headwaters is also home to todagin mountain – a grassy plateau that is home to what is thought to be the largest herd of stone’s sheep in the world. nearly the entire plateau was opened to mineral exploration, and an open pit gold and copper mine is proposed. should the plateau be lost to mining, the herd could be forced from the mountain and the tahltan would lose the economic benefit of hunters who travel there from around the world.

photos by paul colangelo

wpr.org
Ojibwe Tribes Want Madeline Island Registered As Historic Site
Island Is Sacred Home For Bad River, Red Cliff Tribes

Two Ojibwe tribes are seeking to nominate an island on Lake Superior for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, a move that may affect how construction or expansion projects move forward there.

Madeline Island is a sacred homeland for the Red Cliff and Bad River bands of Lake Superior Chippewa. The tribes’ migration story says they were told to travel west until they reached the place where food grows on water.

Army Corps of Engineers Archaeologist Brad Johnson said the island won’t receive any cut and dried protections if it’s eligible for listing.

“It means Madeline Island would receive additional consideration as an historic property during our permit evaluations,” he said.

Red Cliff Tribal Chairman Bryan Bainbridge said the tribes want to preserve their history.

“It’s not to make anybody’s life hard to get a project done, but out of respect to what the culture was there and still is there,” said Bainbridge.

Johnson said the Army Corps and the state need to agree on whether Madeline Island is eligible for listing on the National Register.

rawstory.com
GOP congressman furious after sacred Apache land in Arizona is designated a historic place
An Arizona congressman is angry that sacred Apache land will continue to remain listed in the National Register of Historic Places, according to Tucson Weekly.

According to the New York Times, it would have been the first time in history Native American lands would have been handed over to a foreign company by Congress. The site has long been used for Apache coming-of-age ceremonies, particularly for girls.

“This fraudulent action is the latest in a long list of egregious bureaucratic abuses of power by the Obama Administration. I will continue to fight this overreach,” Gosar wrote in his statement.

In response to the proposed sale of the publicly-held ancestral grounds, the Apache people had been occupying the land, according to the Times. About 300 people marched 44 miles from tribal headquarters to occupy the site, beginning on February 9.

“Why is this place sacred?” Wendsler Nosie Sr., former chairman of the San Carlos Apache, told Cronkite News. “No difference to Mount Sinai. How the holy spirit came to be.”

Scientists for the Society for American Archaeology corroborate this, and testified before Congress that archaeological evidence of Apache occupation and use of the site go back before recorded history.

The talk of “abuses of power by the Obama Administration” shows that Gosar doesn’t understand how the National Register or US historic preservation laws work.

But the site is not safe, yet:

Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. John McCain had joined forces with Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in an effort to sell off the ancestral Native American land, known as Oak Flat or Chi’chil Bildagoteel to the Apache community, to mining firm Resolution Copper, owned by an Australian-British corporation.

The designation of Oak Flat as a National Historic Place could hamper the plan to construct a copper mine on the land. But ultimately nothing “guarantees that a historic property cannot be modified or even destroyed,” said Stephanie Toothman, the National Register’s keeper, in a letter to the two lawmakers.

That is why it is important to bring pressure on the government to actually protect the site. Learn more here.

huffingtonpost.com
Defense Bill Passes, Giving Sacred Native American Sites To Mining Company
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate passed a measure authorizing the nation’s defense programs Friday, and along with it managed to give lands sacred to Native Americans to a foreign company that owns a uranium mine with Iran.

December, 2014

Native Americans, particularly the Apache tribe in the area, say digging a massive mine under their ancestral lands will destroy sacred ceremonial and burial grounds.

In this case, the addition of the Arizona swap and the other land measures were never discussed in public, and were added during secret negotiations between the House and Senate Armed Services Committee. the deal was never publicly revealed until the House started work on passing the entire defense bill last week.

This is disgusting. Imperialist assault on Native Americans is NOT a thing of the past. It continues on to this day. 

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“This is sacred—this Indian land. And it is sacred not just for First Nations, it is sacred for everybody. We are all here, we all share this. We all share in the responsibility.

“Keep using your voices. Keep standing strong.”

Audrey Siegel, Musqueam leader

Hundreds of protestors are gathering to rally against Kinder Morgan’s controversial pipeline survey work on Burnaby Mountain, despite a court injunction and $5.5 million lawsuit. This isn’t just about land exploitation. It’s about intimidation tactics, oil money and undemocratic government. More than anything, it’s about the power of the people to defend our land and our future.

We will not be divided. We will not be defeated.
#BurnabyMountain

Photos by Jackie Dives

LA TIERRA NO SE VENDE, SE AMA Y SE PROTEGE. NUTRE Y SE AGRADECE

WIRIKUTA, TIERRA SAGRADA, NO SE VENDE,  AMA, PROTEGE, NUTRE Y SE AGRADECE. 

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THE LAND IS NOT FOR SALE. IT´S FOR LOVE AND PROTECT. NOURISH AND BE GRATEFUL.

WIRIKUTA, SACRED LAND IS NOT FOR SALE. IT´S FOR LOVE AND PROTECT. IT NOURISH US, IS WISE, ALWAYS IS TALKING TO HELP US TO FIND OR CENTER, TO BE AWAKE AND BE GRATEFUL.

thinkprogress.org
Citing Religious Freedom, Native Americans Fight To Take Back Sacred Land From Mining Companies
“It’s the same thing as a church. We protect these temples, why can’t we do the same for our sacred land?”

For generations, members of the Apache Native American tribe have viewed Oak Flat as a holy, sacred place. Located about an hour due east of Phoenix, Arizona, the land has long served as a site for traditional acorn gatherings, burial services, and rite of passage ceremonies for young women. The flat is tucked inside Arizona’s Tonto National Forest, and has historically been protected by the federal government.

Carrie Sage Curley: “It’s our sacred land — it’s where we come to pray.”

For Indians, land was given as a gift from the Creator. The people belong to the land as do the plants and animals. The people are stewards of the land and are responsible for its preservation, management, and productivity to support future generations. The land is complete with sacred teachings, marked by tribal history, and places of interrelations to the powerful beings of the nature-spirit world.
—  Duane Champagne, in Protecting Native American Sacred Sites, published in Indian Country yesterday.