ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: CPT to support nonviolence training for Lakota Nations as they prepare to resist XL pipeline

CPTnet
13 June 2013
ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: CPT to support nonviolence training for Lakota Nations as they prepare to resist XL pipeline

In response to a request from the Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way) International Justice Project, Christian Peacemaker Teams is renewing a relationship with Lakota communities by sending a pair of peacemakers to support a nonviolent direct action training on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota 14-16 June.

 
 posted by Debra White Plume
March 2013

Alberta-based TransCanada Corporation has proposed building the Keystone XL pipeline to carry tar sands bitumen from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf coast. The pipeline's proposed path crosses treaty lands of Lakota nations that have pronounced themselves solidly against the pipeline.  It also runs over the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world's largest, and crosses more than 1,700 other bodies of water. Pipeline ruptures often occur near water crossings since these lowest points subject pipes to the highest internal pressures.  Bitumen spills have poisoned portions of the Kalamazoo River (Michigan), Lake Conway (Arkansas), the Des Plaines River (Illinois) and many other waterways.

Tar sands bitumen, produced through a scorched-earth process, sinks in water and is impossible to clean up. The thick goo is diluted with benzene and other "proprietary" chemicals to allow it to flow through pipes. Those lighter volatile compounds go airborne after a spill, harming humans and animals. A pipeline proposal similar to Keystone XL through Vancouver, British Columbia, was rejected by Band and City Councils, which in turn forced the provincial government to nix the project on 31 May 2013.

Proposed tar sands development would cause major irreversible climate change.  

The Owe Aku web site notes

Owe Aku works to bring back our way of life, which includes humanity’s role in nature: we are a part of it, not outside of it, not having dominion over it…. To achieve this, Owe Aku works to stop mining that contaminates our water and land.  Owe Aku has reestablished programs that utilize the wisdom of our ancestors in combating the effects of inter-generational trauma caused by colonization and the intentional attempts for hundreds of years to destroy our culture.

In bringing back the way, we strive to offer alternatives, based on traditional knowledge, that respect the changing environmental conditions of Mother Earth, and which will ultimately benefit the peoples and ecosystems of the planet.  The environment, upon which we are all dependent, is no longer just an issue for Indigenous peoples.  On every continent, Indigenous cultures offer viable alternatives because we recognize the Earth, not as a commodity to be exploited, but as a relative that protects and preserves our very existence and the existence of future human generations.

CPT Reservist Duane Ediger and Director Carol Rose will participate in the training on the Cheyenne River Reservation.

CPT supported Lakota peacemakers at the Oceti Sakowin encampment at La Framboise Island in the late 1990s and at Mato Paha/ Bear Butte in 2006-7.