Native Americans arrive in Paris: Climate solutions and Nature Tribunal
Kandi Mossett offeres prayers in Paris today.
Indigenous and women's delegations arrive in Paris for COP21, with solutions, prepared for their Rights of Nature Tribunal
By Brenda Norrell Censored News updated Nov. 30, 2015
Native Americans from the United States have joined Indigenous Peoples from around the world with their prayers, and message of peace, at COP21, the United Nations Climate Summit, in Paris.
They have brought another message: “Leave it in the ground.” Native Americans have had enough of being the victims of dirty coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, fracking and mineral mining. Kandi Mossett, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara from North Dakota, was among the first Native Americans in the Indigenous Environmental Network delegation to arrive. Mossett, shown above in photo, said, "On November 29th the Indigenous Environmental Network organized a healing ceremony in front of the Bataclan theater just before thousands gathered to participate in a human chain action in the streets of Paris. "It was a beautiful ceremony featuring Indigenous youth speakers from North America, the Arctic, and the Pacific Islands. Our delegations always see it as a necessity to have prayer before any large action. We offered kind words, song, and calls for climate justice and peace." While the words climate change, may be vague for many, for Native Americans who have been the victims of the United States policy of a slow and toxic genocide, climate change means dirty coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, fracking, toxic dumping, uranium mining, deforestation, poison rivers and exploitation.
On the Navajo Nation, Dine’ live with the strewn radioactive rocks from Cold War uranium mines, which their children play on. They breathe the dirty coal of Peabody’s Coal on Black Mesa, where Dine’ continue to resist relocation. They breathe the gases from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station, which lights up Phoenix and Tucson, and pollution from two other coal-fired power plants, while many Dine' live without running water and electricity. Now, Dine’ live with the US EPA’s toxic gold mine release poisoning the San Juan River. It means traditional farmers watch their crops die. In the nearby Pueblos, there is the same legacy of death from uranium mining, which has left its scars on the land and the people.
In North Dakota, the lands have been devastated by oil and gas drilling and fracking. Mossett is in Paris at COP21 to tell the story of her people. She is there for the children and future generations.
"This is COP21, how many more are you going to have?” asks Mossett, referring to the failure of the world’s leaders to make any substantial difference in the poisoning of the planet. She is among the frontline grassroots activists in the delegation from the Indigenous Environmental Network.
In South Dakota, Lakotas fight uranium mining and the poisoning of their scarce water. Throughout Indian country, Native Americans battle new schemes to steal their water, with backdoor political schemes known as “Indian water rights settlements.” Further, they battle the machinations of Arizona Sen. John McCain, who recently sneaked a land exchange into the defense bill which would turn sacred Apache land into a massive copper mine.
Now, women have risen to the forefront in climate justice.
In Paris, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is hosting a dynamic panel of Indigenous women speaking on climate change solutions in Paris on Sept. 7.
The International Rights of Nature Tribunal will meet in Paris December 4 --5. Hosted by the Global Alliance for the Right of Nature, the Tribunal is a citizen-created initiative that gives people from all around the world the opportunity to testify publicly on destruction of the Earth and their communities.
Back home, Indigenous People face violence in their homelands, as oil and gas and other temporary mine workers destabilize Native communities with drugs, sex crimes and violence. Meanwhile, globally -- from Guatemala and Peru to Brazil and throughout the Amazon -- mining companies continue to carry out assassinations, rapes and disappearances of Indigenous Peoples who oppose mining. These mining companies are primarily owned by Canadian and US corporations.
While global leaders with their bank accounts and posturing in Paris make the headlines, Indigenous Peoples are in Paris to tell the truth of the people.
Shannon Biggs said, "Movement Rights: So proud to announce the release of our new report for the Paris climate talks! Edited by Shannon Biggs and Tom BK Goldtooth, this report, "Rights of Nature & Mother Earth: Sowing seeds of resistance, love and change." is a collaboration between Movement Rights Indigenous Environmental Network and Global Exchange. Providing both a critique of the UNFCCC process and an alternative system of environmental protection, the report includes contributions by Dr. Vandana Shiva (India), Maude Barlow (Canada), Pablo Solon (Bolivia), Alberto Acosta (Ecuador), Cormac Cullinan (South Africa) and many other luminaries. Please share and download here:" http://www.movementrights.org/resourc…/RONME-SowingSeeds.pdf
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