Archive | May, 2013

Cree + Tar Sands + Treaty Rights

27 May

“The Beaver Lake Cree Judgment: The Most Important Tar Sands Case You’ve Never Heard Of”

 “The Beaver Lake case will define the point where industrial development must be curtailed to preserve treaty rights” (from a Canadian Native Rights lawyer).

Although this case is from the Canadian Courts, it’s exactly what we at <> have been arguing –that our Treaty Rights to hunt, trap, fish, and gather on “ceded” territories are Constitutionally-based in both Canada and the United States, and “industrial development” (ie, fracking in Michigan) endangers the environment, and, therefore, our “usual privileges of occupancy” are also threatened (quote from the 1836 Treaty of Washington).


….Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising

26 May

“For a Future That Won’t Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising”

Rather comprehensive article on the “Global Indigenous Uprising” that <> strives to be part of.  Here’s a quote from the essay that sums it up rather well:  “Certain threads connect what might otherwise be isolated uprisings: They’re largely nonviolent, structurally decentralized, they seek common cause with non-natives, and they are deeply, spiritually rooted in the land.”      Idle No More

New Rules to Address Fracking on Indian Lands

26 May

Here’s an article from the Navajo Times.  Their take on fracking is very different from ours.  But, toward the end of the article is the key to our actions: “The rule also contains specific language that requires the industry to certify that operations on Indian land comply with tribal laws.”  It is our fervent hope that the CORA Tribes will “see the light” and enact “tribal laws” that actually “protect the resources” of the 1836 Ceded Territory as the 2007 Inland Consent Decree mandates.

International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects

20 May

This International Indigenous Treaty opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and “tar sands” extraction relies on the language of Article 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.  

See Article III:

We would love to see this level of commitment coming from Great Lakes Tribes and First Nations.

We are Idle No More

Native Americans Oppose Keystone XL

20 May

The Plains Tribes, in both the US and Canada, who are fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, are using many of the same arguments that is using in its fight against fracking and other environmental threats across the Upper Great Lakes.  

We are Idle No More.

Native American leaders storm out of Keystone XL talks

Fracking –Suburbia and Native People Contrasted

19 May

This article chronicles the movement of the frackers into white-middle-class suburbia (near Cleveland), and compares this suburban environmental destruction to that faced by poor folk and Native people across the continent.  

A refreshing acknowledgement of the extent of the fracking threat.

Fracking the Suburbs: An Explosive Combination?

Collective Rights v. Individual Rights

14 May

In this Canadian Supreme Court case, the Behn family was asserting individual rights to the land wherein they ran their trap line in British Columbia.  The Moulton logging company was given a permit by “the Crown” to log that area.  The Behr family set up their camp in such a way as to prevent the logging company from accessing the area to be logged.  The Canadian Supreme Court held that because the First Nation did not take action to halt the logging operation, or authorize the “blockade” set up by the Behn family, the “collective rights” of that First Nation were not violated.

As it’s reported by the Turtle Talk blog, this is a “cautionary tale” for those individuals who would engage in “civil disobedience” in defense of  “collective” rights.  The big difference between the Behn family action and my placing an Eagle Feather on the Beaver Creek well-head is simple –my right to engage in “individual” “historically traditional activities” is guaranteed under the Consent Decree.

Carbon Emissions Limits Upheld By Court

14 May

This article was published by the New York Times on June 26, 1012, but it’s still relevant today as prepares its lawsuit to force the State of Michigan to comply with the 2007 Inland Consent Decree.  That is, we will be asking the Court to “protect the resource” of Clean Air within the 1836 Treaty Ceded Territories by limiting the amount of carbon emissions from the Territory.  

In this case, we will be asking the Court to bar any further releases of carbon during the entire fracking process, which includes, most importantly, the burning of the fracked gases, releasing the “sequestered carbon” into the atmosphere.  

Better to just leave it where it is.

Court Backs E.P.A. Over Emissions Limits Intended to Reduce Global Warming

Michigan Groups Rally to Stop Fracking on Public Lands

12 May

Although this article doesn’t mention it, I did point out at the rally that 75% of the oil & gas leases sold at this auction are not on “public lands,” at all –those are Treaty Lands, as are all of the other 3.5 million acres the DNR calls “their own.”

Mention of and Idle No More:

Dune Sanctuary Update

11 May

This article is about the Ceremony that I and others conducted at the White Lake Township Critical Dune Sanctuary.  There is a “happy ending” to this attempt to destroy this Sanctuary by constructing a 1100-foot  “driveway” through the length of it –the Michigan DNR rejected the “driveway” application.  So, at least for now, the Sanctuary will remain intact.

American Indian activist hopes to ward off dune driveway by consecrating White River Township Barrier Dunes Sanctuary

Images can be found here: