Native American youths run across U.S. to defend sacred water

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Native Peoples rush to defend sacred water, sacred land

 

By Brenda Norrell

Top photo by Victoria Humphreys

 

Native American youth runners from Standing Rock Nation in North Dakota ran across the country to DC to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline and defend sacred water. Back home, the Standing Rock Nation filed for a temporary restraining order to halt the pipeline construction, which is an immediate threat to the Missouri River.

Dakota and Lakota youth runners will in D.C. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, and invite the public to join them at Lafayette Square at 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, back home, the Sacred Stone resistance camp continues in Cannonball, North Dakota.

As the Native youths ran into DC, Native people blockaded the Mount Polley mine site in British Columbia yesterday. One land defender was injured during the blockade, held on the second anniversary of a toxic disaster at Imperial Metal Mines.

“On August 4, 2016, the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Societies and Allies, including Ancestral Pride gathered in front of the Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine to mark the second year anniversary of British Columbia’s largest catastrophic industrial disaster devastating one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems, home to the world’s second largest sockeye salmon run,” the land defenders said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in the far north, the Gwich’in Nation renewed their urgent call to Congress and the President to permanently protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Wilderness for the caribou and the Gwich’in way of life.

“Under the midnight sun, the opening ceremony of the Gwich’in Gathering began with the lighting of a sacred fire to mark that we are still here as Gwich’in people — still living off the land, still upholding our spiritual relationship to the caribou, and practicing our way of life,” writes Bernadette Demientieff and Sarah James.

“The Gwich’in Nation of Alaska and Canada kept sacred fire going for three days while addressing urgent threats of both oil development on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge and impacts of record climate change. Chiefs, elders, and community members remain united for permanent protection of the birthplace and nursing grounds of the Porcupine Caribou and the Gwich’in culture.”

Western Shoshone continue their fight to protect their aboriginal territory of Yucca Mountain from nuclear storage, pointing out there is no safe way to store nuclear waste.

In the west, the United States has failed to protect the salmon.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe filed a lawsuit against the federal government for violations of Endangered Species Act regarding its management actions on the Klamath River, California's second largest river system.

"The harm caused by the Bureau of Reclamation's  and National Marine Fisheries Service's failure to protect the Coho is driving this federally protected fish and our Tribe to extinction," said Chairman Ryan Jackson. "These fish have been essential to our culture, religion and economy since time immemorial.”

As Native Peoples rush to defend the water and land, in the northwest, the Nisqually Canoe Journey celebrates the culture.

Photographer Lloyd Vivola celebrates the beauty in photos. More photos at Censored News.

(Photo copyright Lloyd Vivola.)

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.