Umatilla Ceremony at Halted Tar Sands Megaload in Pendelton, Oregon


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Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and friends gathered on December 3, 2013, in Pendleton, Oregon, to a hold ceremony at the site where the Omega Morgan “megaload” remains.

The Oregon Department of Transportation confirmed that freezing weather and last night’s snow storm have prevented the load from moving.

Elders and many young leaders from CTUIR came out to speak from their hearts about how this haul will threaten the values and traditions that they hold so dearly in the Columbia River Plateau.

The end destination for this load is approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada, the site of Athabasca Oil Corporation’s Hangingstone tar sands mining project.

Omega Morgan, the shipping company, is attempting to move equipment along a rural highway in Oregon, in hopes to avoid the recent controversy it faced in Nez Perce territory.

Government-to-government consolation has not taken place with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation or the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon, as required by law, to grant a travel permit to Omega Morgan.

The ceremonies and resistance will continue, as Omega Morgan attempts to make it through snow and ice within tribal homelands.

(By Kayla Godowa-Tufti, Member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs)

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