Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cowboy & Indian Alliance Sends Obama Huge #noKXL Message from the Heartland

In Neligh, Nebrasks, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance has created a crop art image, the size of 80 football fields, to send President Obama a message to protect the Heartland by rejecting the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline. Tribes, farmers and ranchers are now headed to Washington, DC, for a weeklong series of actions called Reject and Protect.

The crop art was created by artist John Quigley and was inspired by tribal artist Richard Vollaire of the Tongva Nation.

The crop art is directly on the proposed path of Keystone XL, which also crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears. Landowner Art Tanderup said, "This land has been in our family for over 100 years. We have always been stewards of the land. The soil is very sandy here, any leak would leach into the Ogallala Aquifer, contaminating our water without any concrete plan to clean up the pollution. With this crop art we are literally drawing a line in the sand and asking President Obama to stand with our families.”

The massive crop design of a cowboy and Indian warrior includes key images of water and a hashtag made of arrows. A sun with seven rays depicts the tribal tradition of protecting seven generations and the renewable energy that farmers, ranchers and tribes want to see on their land rather than a tarsands pipeline that risks their water. The aerial image was taken over Art and Helen Tanderup's land in a crop duster plane from 3,000 feet. Art Tanderup dug the image lines with his tractor following the direction of flags planted by volunteers and artistic on-the-ground direction of John Quigley.

“Americans always go big when they’re pushed to their limits. This image, which may well be the largest crop art ever, sends the message that the good people of the Heartland have the courage to stand up for their rights to clean water. They reject the bullying of TransCanada and will defend their land,” said artist John Quigley.

The Keystone XL route crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears without a proper cultural analysis from the state of Nebraska or the US State Department. Aldo Seoane with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said, “The United States and TransCanada have consistently and intentionally disregarded the concerns of tribal nations and concerned citizens. We as tribal people have been here since the beginning of time and we have seen the best and worst of what people can create. This pipeline is certainly the worst thing that can happen to our land, our water and our people.”

The series of actions called Reject and Protect will take place April 22-27 in Washington, DC. Landowners and tribes share a common goal of protecting the land and water from risky projects like the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline. Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska put the action into context, "President Obama has deep family roots in the Heartland and was adopted into a tribal family. It's too easy in Washington to only think about politics. Our families may not contribute millions to candidates, but we do put food on America's table and can only do that with clean water that is tarsands-free."

“President Obama and Secretary Kerry have a chance to stand with Americans concerned about their livelihoods and their futures. They can choose to listen to these voices and reject Keystone XL or they can choose to bow to the pressures of Big Oil bent on jamming this pipeline through our nation’s Heartland,” said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Opens Spirit Camp Against KXL

Around two weeks ago the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota established the Spirit Camp “Iyuksan” near the town of Ideal in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. The camp is being occupied by members of the Tribe and other allies. It hosts a number of visitors each day from surrounding tribes and some from as far away as Canada. 

"Iyuksan” means “the turn,” a reference to one of the many turns the pipeline would make inside the 1868 boundaries of the Great Sioux Nation. As Rosebud Sioux Tribal Councilman Russell Eagle Bear said, “We aim to turn the pipeline around here.” 

The camp occupants have firmly established that they are ready, willing and capable of sustaining the camp for “the long haul,” as Eagle Bear mentioned in the opening ceremonies.

Several Lower Brule Sioux Tribal members have visited the camp with intentions of finding out how it is run and how to initiate their own.

The camp has received multiple donations from local community members and tribal departments and programs making the camp sustainable for a long time. There are two semi-trailers being used to house the supplies needed to sustain the tribal members living in the camp. The tipis’ heating systems have been upgraded from fire pits to portable wood stoves, making it easier for the camp occupants to heat the tipis during the recent snow storms. The tribal flags have been removed due to the extreme winds, since they are not inclement weather flags. There are plans to begin cultural classes at the campsite for local youth and tribal members.

The Oyate Wahacanka Woecun project, which was sanctioned by the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council, can receive donations here.  Any donations that are received will go toward fueling the generators at the site, maintaining the runs for local firewood, and purchasing tools, cooking utensils and cooking fuel, among other things. 

The camp is open to daytime and also overnight visitors, who should bring their own tents and cold weather sleeping gear in case no tipis are available.
Oyate Wahacanka Woecun is a project authorized and established by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe by Tribal council resolution. It was created to make known the will of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in opposing the social and environmental impacts of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Project.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Join Us in One Last Push Against Keystone XL

The hour is approaching when Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama will make a decision about the Keystone XL pipeline. Join us in a last push against its approval.

1. Attend the "Reject and Protect" Rally to be led by the new Cowboy and Indian Alliance (CIA) in Washington, DC, on April 27. Ranchers, farmers, tribal people and their allies will ride horseback into DC on the 22nd to begin five days of actions. The big rally will be on the 27th. Sign up to participate! Spread the word! (A growing list of partner organizations for this event includes the Oceti Sakowin, Bold Nebraska,, CREDO, The Sierra Club, Energy Action Coalition, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Labor Network for Sustainability, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International....)

2. If you can't attend the DC rally, send a donation to help send 91 Nebraska landowners and tribal people who live in the pipeline's path, to symbolize the 91 leaks that are expected to occur during the pipeline's lifetime. Donate online or send your check today to Bold Nebraska, 208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325, Hastings, NE 68901.

3. SPECIAL APPEAL: Make a contribution to support the opposition of tribal people in South Dakota to this pipeline and other threats to Mother Earth. Native efforts are wide-ranging, including training for direct actions, legal challenges and more. Fast for the Earth leadership hopes to raise at least $1000 for our tribal allies by April 15, 2014. Send us your check, payable to Fast for the Earth, 712 6th St., Brookings, SD 57006.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fasting for Fukushima on 3rd Anniversary

Fasting can be a way of mourning, of cleansing, of meditation, of focus. On Tuesday, March 11, the third anniversary of the beginning of the disaster at Fukushima, you're invited to abstain from food from dawn to dusk in response to that crisis, which continues to threaten life on Earth.

At Fukushima: three melt-downs, four explosions, scattered fuel rods and a continual gusher of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean....

To learn more about what's going on at Fukushima, watch these recent PBS investigative specials by Miles O'Brien and and read Harvey Wasserman's commentary on them:

(Image from Fukushima Central Television)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Can a Tipi Stop a Pipeline?

The Lakota and their allies are rising in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline with several carefully calculated actions, one of which is to organize and erect spiritual tipi camps to stop progress along the pipeline right-of-way.
They need our help.

They need financial assistance for food, medical attention, fuel, communication support, transportation, security services, care for participating families, and more.

They need us to help spread the word about the tipi camps to friends, social networks, media contacts, political representatives and anyone else who can help.

Learn more about this effort at Shield the People.

Note: If you can't see the viewer above, click here to watch the video.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Submit One Last Comment Against Keystone XL

We are now in the final comment period before a final decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The release of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) at the end of last month started a crucial three-month sprint in this fight, including this 30-day public comment period.

This is your last opportunity to officially weigh in on the decision. 
The Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute and pro-tar sands front groups are pulling out all the stops, including sending misleading robo-calls to citizens in pipeline states to manufacture comments in support of the project.

Please submit a comment right now to send the message that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in our national interest, or in the interest of Mother Earth.
If John Kerry and President Obama are serious about fighting climate change, as they say they are, they cannot approve Keystone XL. Let them know we expect right action!

Last year the environmental community submitted more than 1.2 million comments on the draft environmental analysis opposing Keystone XL. If ever there was a time to go even bigger, this is it.

Submit your comment before the deadline: Keystone XL is not in our national interest.

Kerry Calls Climate Change "Weapon of Mass Destruction"

In light of this statement, we call upon Secretary of State John Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, which will significantly impact climate change.