Dooda Desert Rock Members Walk With The Longest Walk II to Washington, DC
By Elouise Brown
Arriving at Amarillo, Texas, members of Dooda Desert Rock continue their walk with the Longest Walk II, along the southern route across the United States to Washington D.C. The Longest Walk II began their trans-continental journey in San Francisco on February 11th. The walk marks the 30th anniversary of the original Longest Walk for environmental protection and Native American rights.
DDR joined the Longest Walk II as they crossed into New Mexico from Arizona. DDR president Elouise Brown reported that the weather has been unpredictable. Sometimes it has been warm and sunny, other times very windy and cold. In Taos, NM, the walkers encountered snow and wind, but they continued their sacred walk with the intent of carrying a strong message of protecting and improving the health of the environment for all people, and preserving the rights of indigenous peoples.
The mission of The Longest Walk II is to carry the message that All Life is Sacred, Save Mother Earth. We walk for the Seventh Generation, for our youth, for peace, for justice, for healing of Mother Earth, for the healing of our people suffering from diabetes, heart conditions, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other diseases. Through the elements of the seasons, we shall walk through the rain, snow, over mountains, high winds, through the heat and cold. Nothing shall deter us from completing our mission: All Life is Sacred, Protect Sacred Sites.
Let those who doubt, hear our pledge. Let those who believe, join our ranks. As we walk the final miles, by our side will be elders, families, children, people of all races, from many walks of life, from the old and the new America. All Life is Sacred, Clean Up Mother Earth.
As we walk, we support The Longest Walk II’s goal: The Clean Up America Campaign. This campaign is an effort to clean up our country’s highways and roads by collecting debris found along the Longest Walk’s route. This monumental task will engage Walkers at a grassroots level, in a global effort to promote harmony with our delicate environment. Longest Walk participants will carry specially marked trash bags to separate the collected refuse into trash bins and recycling bins. A rotating team of walkers will pick up trash along the way with trash pokers leaving a health trail of earth in their path.
The photo above shows a group of Dine (Navajo) representatives of Dooda Desert Rock walking with the Longest Walk II to Washington D.C. They need financial support while they represent the Dine people. Contributions can be sent to Dooda Desert Rock (DDR), P.O. Box 7838, Newcomb, NM 87455. All contributions are tax deductible and will help the DDR walkers continue to walk with the Longest Walk II until they arrive in Washington D.C. on July 11th.
Indigenous at UN plan Desert Rock/SITHE protest in New York
PRESS ADVISORYPRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED
WHO: Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and members of its Native grassroots delegation attending the 7th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
WHAT: Protest/Rally & Press Conference on Environmental Racism and Indigenous Peoples Rights
WHEN: Friday, April 25, 2008 at 9:30 am
WHERE: Sithe Global Power, LLC, 245 Park Avenue, New York City, NY
WHY: To demand immediate action to address fossil fuel expansion and climate chaos on Indigenous lands, and support Dooda Desert Rock (DDR), a Dine’ grassroots organization in calling out Sithe Global Power in it’s plan to build a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo reservation.
UNITED NATIONS, New York City, NY – A delegation of Indigenous Peoples from the United States and Canada are demanding immediate action to address climate chaos and crisis. Twenty two youth, women, elders and tribal chiefs have traveled to New York City to participate in the United Nations 7th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. One of the main issues the UN forum is addressing is climate issues. This delegation is profiling the disproportionate impacts their communities face as a result of the expansion of fossil fuel development in their homelands resulting in increased greenhouse gases, contamination and depletion of water and compounding climate change. In solidarity with delegation member, Elouise Brown, President of DDR Committee, the delegation and supporters will stage a protest/rally at Sithe Global Power, LLC at 245 Park Avenue at 9:30am. Sithe Global Power formed and partnered with Desert Rock Energy Company to build a destructive mine-mouth coal-fired power plant in the Four Corners Area of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. It would be the third coal-fired power plant in an area where the community is already suffering from respiratory and skin ailments and other health problems associated with the existing coal-burning power plants. Although there is an Environmental Impact Statement pending, it did not incorporate or address what the cumulative impacts of all three power plants and the existing uranium contamination in the area, would be. A press conference will take place immediately after the protest/rally and will feature various frontline Native community members impacted by fossil fuel expansion.
Speakers include: ·
Elouise Brown, (Dine [Navajo]) – As a President of Dooda Desert Rock, Elouise has been on the front line fighting a proposed coal fired power plant in her back yard near Crown Point, New Mexico. ·
Faith Gemmil, (Pit River, Wintu, and Neets'aii Gwich'in Athabascan) – As the REDOIL campaigner, runs an Alaska Native network opposing efforts of the U.S. Congress and the State of Alaska in their attempts to open the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and gas development. ·
Clayton Thomas-Muller, (Cree) – With the Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign, working with Cree, Dene and Metis First Nations from northern Alberta Canada speaking out on health, ecological and environmental damge to their Aboriginal lands from tar sands development. · Loren White Jr., (Hidatsa/Arikara/Mandan) – As a member of the Environmental Awareness Committee from Fort Berthold, North Dakota, is fighting a proposed oil refinery that is set to produce crude oil from the tar sands in Canada. ·
David Moses Bridges, (Passomaquaddy First Nation) – As a member of the local “We take care of the land” coalition in Maine, fighting the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in their attempts to site a massive liquefied natural gas terminal in their pristine Atlantic homeland. · Enei Begaye, (Dine and Tohono O’odham) – As Executive Director of Black Mesa Water Coalition, they are battling coal and water mining and are leading a Native movement for a Just Transition and Green Economy/Green Job Transition. For more information please contact:
Clayton Thomas-Muller, CITSC (218) 760-6632 (cell)Elouise Brown, DDR (505) 505-947-6159 (cell)
Jihan Gearon IEN (218) 760-1370 (cell)
The Permanent Forum is meeting from April 21 to May 2, 2008 at the UN in New York. This is its 7th session since starting in 2002. This year the forum was opened by Bolivian President Evo Morales.
For more information please see http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/index.html