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.
(By Renee Holt, Nez Perce tribal member)