As I enjoy the last day of summer break, before I return back to school, I have been thinking about the recent media publicity that my tribal community has received regarding the Keystone XL pipeline [tar sands megaloads].
As an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe and a mother to three beautiful children, a couple weeks ago, our community, the Nimiipuu (aka the Real People) stood in solidarity with our First Nations brothers and sisters in Canada who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline [and tar sands mining expansion].
Although regional media has highlighted the Nez Perce tribal council arrests and members of our community for their Indigenous activism, what media has failed to see is that our community has been protesting the megaloads for well over two years. It just happens that we held our first town hall meeting in March 2011, when Winona La Duke shared information on the negative effects of the Keystone XL [and Alberta tar sands exploitation] and the importance of protest.
In collaboration with the grassroots organizations Friends of the Clearwater and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (who have worked tirelessly on this environmental issue), our tribal council made an informed decision with the intention of making it known that the Nimiipuu oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and the transportation of megaloads through our ancestral homelands.
Read more: Megaloads, Keystone XL are a Global Climate Issue
(By Renee Holt, Nez Perce tribal member)
I was there on one of those nights of megaload protests with the Nimiipuu Tribal Council, am one of the members of WIRT, and will support this effort and Nimiipuu tribal sovereignty in any way that I can. I thank you for your activism in fighting this assault on our shared Earth and on your tribal homeland. May those of us who know the beauty of this land, even we whose ancestors took it, now fight with you to save it. There is nothing more precious – “they” have no idea what they do.
Although true that this activism to protest megaloads began some time ago, and a number of people have worked on this for a long time, it does seem to take either a big protest group or a direct action to get media attention. I have had many arguments on social media with people who see no point in either these protests or in stopping megaloads, yet I think that these recent protests have made a difference. What else can we do, those of us who are not lawyers or politicians, but just moms and workers? When we can work together, indigenous people and those coming lately, for the good of the Earth, I have to believe it is for the better of all our children.
As you go back to school, please accept this salute from another mom. I hope that we can hold fast.
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