ELSIPOGNOG, New Brunswick -- Support poured in for Mi’kmaq after police attacked First Nations women and elderly with heavily-armed snipers, tear gas and police dogs today. Natives were defending their land from a Houston fracking company, Southwestern Energy. The support came from every avenue, from the American Indian Movement and the Longest Walk to a Nez Perce council member and the Council of Canadians.
Anishinabe Terrance Nelson called for railroad blockades across Canada and urged warrior societies to take action in support of Mi’kmaq.
“I expect railway blockades to occur immediately across Canada and they will continue until the Federal Government of Canada comes to their senses. I expect to be arrested along with many others,” said Nelson, vice chairman of the American Indian Movement.
In Winnipeg, First Nations marched through the streets and in eastern Canada, Six Nations began a blockade in solidarity.
Nez Perce Council member Leotis McCormack, recently arrested protesting tarsands heavy hauls across sovereign Nez Perce land in Idaho, sent a message of support to Elsipognog. "My prayers and heart are with you all. We as council were arrested also three months ago standing against these corporations. Standing with you in solidarity."
Sharon Heta, Maori, walking across America on the Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz for Indigenous sovereignty and Native rights said the walkers, now in Colorado, were there in spirit, in solidarity.
“Sendings prayers and blessings to the Indigenous Peoples of the Elsipogtog First Nation, supporters and allies as they stand to resist and assert their Indigenous sovereignty to the care and protection of their lands and waters. The Longest Walk 4: Return to Alcatraz supports and walks in prayer in the struggle and defense of indigenous sovereignty.”
Alex White Plume, Lakota on Pine Ridge in South Dakota, shared this Honor Song "for our northern relatives making a stand for Unci Maka (Mother Earth.)"
First Nation Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Chief Bob Chamberlin released this statement.
"The UBCIC Executive and the UBCIC Chiefs Council stand in full support with Elsipogtog community and leadership in their defence against fracking and shale gas development within their territories.“This could easily happen in any First Nation community across Canada and in particular in British Columbia and today, we stand in complete solidarity with the Elsipogtog people to express our full support and continue our mutual fight against the devastating and destructive practices of resource exploration and extraction activities within our territories.
"This display of brute force is completely ugly, outrageous and harkens back to the Oka, Ipperwash and Caledonia conflicts,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC.The Elsipogtog First Nation has been protesting energy company SWN Resources outside Rexton, New Brunswick. In spite of best efforts of Elsipogtog Chief and Council to resolve this issue peacefully, the heavily armed RCMP aggressively moved in today to enforce an injunction.
“Canada cannot continue to viciously cast aside our Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights. In light of Dr. James Anaya’s, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, recent visit to Canada, this type of severe action by the RCMP reflects a government that continues to ignore Indigenous land rights – our human rights – to pretend it has a productive relationship with Indigenous peoples founded on reconciliation and respect” said Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the UBCIC.
We await the call from the Elsipogtog for all Indigenous Peoples to mobilize and organize solidarity actions across the country."
Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, who was recently in New Brunswick, said, “Watching the day’s events unfold online was shocking. I met with the Elsipogtog leaders not long ago and know they are committed to peaceful resistance to stop the destruction of their land and water and what they do is in all of our names. We stand in solidarity with the people fighting to protect the
water and the land.” Dene Nation in Yellowknife calls for Solidairty with the Elsipogtog: The Dene Nation stands in full support of the Elsipogtog community and leadership in their defence against fracking and shale gas development within their traditional territory.
“We stand in complete solidarity with the Elsipogtog people to express full support and continue their efforts for developing an energy plan for their territory” states Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus.
The Elsipogtog First Nation has been protesting the energy company SWN Resources outside Rexton, New Brunswick regarding fracking and shale gas development for the last month.
Fracking, also called hydro-fracking is a relatively new process of natural gas and oil extraction. Fracking is fundamentally different than traditional gas & oil extraction methods. Fracking wells go thousands of feet deeper than traditional natural wells. Fracking requires between two and five million gallons of local freshwater per well - up to 100 times more than traditional extraction methods. Fracking utilizes "fracking fluid," a mix of water, sand, and a cocktail of toxic chemicals. The amount of wastewate produced by fracked wells is much greater than traditional wells.
“We understand the local Chief Arron Sock is meeting with Premier David Alward later today on the issue. We are pleased with that. However, this is a nation to nation treaty issue and the crown has to be upfront and responsible” said Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. In addition, “the RCMP and security need to provide safety and security as they did at treaty time. They have to promote peace, order and good government”.
We await further information from the Elsipogtog Peoples to organize solidarity actions for their people.Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer, said, “To defend the rights of an American company, the RCMP came in with essentially para-military units including snipers, to remove the opposition. The New Brunswick government does not have the social license to allow fracking and the people will continue to fight for the future of their families, their province, and the environment.”
“Protesters in Rexton are standing up to a Texas company that wants to profit on the backs of New Brunswickers while placing the water and the environment at risk,” says Emma Lui, Water campaigner based in Ottawa.
“Indigenous communities like the Elsipogtog First Nation are on the frontlines of defending water and the land for everyone, and this should not be criminalized.”
The Council of Canadians has supported the blockade.
The photos that flashed across Twitter all day told the real story that the mainstream media was concealing. Below, snipers hover, women hold their drums in defense when faced with snipers rifles, tear gas and police dogs, Elsipognog Chief and council members are arrested, and a lone First Nations woman stands in defense of Mother Earth.
Below, a youth photographer looks directly at an armed sniper.
Elsipognog, New Brunswick, Canadá. El apoyo al pueblo mi’kmaq llegó después de que la policía atacó a mujeres y ancianos indígenas con francotiradores armados, gas lacrimógeno y perros policías el 18 de octubre. Los indígenas defienden sus tierras de la compañía gasera de fractura hidráulica Southwestern Energy, de Houston, Texas. El apoyo llegó de todas partes, desde el American Indian Movement (Movimiento Indígena Estadounidense), y el Longest Walk (Caminata Más Larga), hasta un miembro del consejo del pueblo nez perce y el Council of Canadians (Consejo de Canadienses).
El anishinabe Terrence Nelson llamó a realizar bloqueos ferroviarios en todo Canadá y suplicó a las sociedades de guerreros que organicen acciones en apoyo al pueblo mi’kmaq.
“La expectativa es que haya bloqueos ferroviarios de manera inmediata por todo Canadá, que continuarán hasta que el gobierno entre en razón. Seguramente me detedrán, junto a muchas otras personas”, declaró Nelson, vicepresidente del American Indian Movement.
En Winnipeg, miembros de los pueblos indígenas marcharon por las calles, y al este de Canadá, el pueblo Seis Naciones inició un bloqueo en solidaridad.
El miembro del consejo del pueblo nez perce, Leotis McCormack, quien fue detenido recientemente por protestar contra los transportes de carga pesada de arenas bituminosas por tierras soberanas de su pueblo, en el estado de Idaho, en Estados Unidos, envió un mensaje de apoyo a Elsipognog: “Mis oraciones y mi corazón están con todos ustedes. Nosotros, los del consejo, también fuimos detenidos hace tres meses por levantarnos en contra de estas corporaciones. Estamos de pie en solidaridad con ustedes”.
Sharon Heta, del pueblo maorí -quien atraviesa en estos momentos los Estados Unidos a pie como parte de la Cuarta Caminata Más Larga: el Regreso a Alcatraz, por la soberanía indígena y los derechos indígenas-, dijo que los espíritus de los caminantes están presentes en solidaridad con el pueblo mi’kmaq.
“Mandamos nuestras oraciones y bendiciones a los pueblos indígenas de la Primera Nación Elsipogtog, simpatizantes y aliados, mientras se levantan en resistencia y ejercen su soberanía indígena para el cuidado y la protección de sus tierras y aguas. La Cuarta Caminata Más Larga: el Regreso a Alcatraz, apoya y camina en oración en la lucha y defensa de la soberanía indígena”, señaló Heta.