August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, December 2, 2010

CANCUN: Indigenous Protest Canada's Dirty Tar Sands

Indigenous Peoples Protest Canada’s Tarsands Gigaproject on 2 December

CLIMATE CONNECTIONS: The Indigenous Environmental Network and allies protest the Tar Sands gigaproject scheme in front of the Moon Palace where UN climate negotiations are taking place. All photos by Orin Langelle/ GJEP-GFC (Top photo Clayton Thomas-Muller, Cree and Tar Sands Campaigner for IEN with Casey Camp-Horinek, Ponca from Oklahoma, now hosting IEN's live webcast Red Road Cancun .)
Wastepickers protest outside of UN Negotiations, 1 Dec
Photo 2: Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Global Alliance of Wastepickers and Allies (GAWA) stage protest in front of the entrance to the Exposition Center where the UN climate negotiations are taking place. All photos by Orin Langelle/ GJEP-GFC

Canadian First Nations Representatives Deploy Giant Human Banner Demanding End to Tar Sands Development “Tar Sands are Killing Our Communities!”
12.01.2010– Media Contacts: Indigenous Environmental Network
Clayton Thomas-Muller + 52 998 108 0758
Melina Laboucan-Massimo k +52 998 108 0748
CANCUN Mexico, Dec 2, 2010 -- Indigenous Peoples of Canada and their allies from around the world are in Cancun at the COP-16 climate summit demanding real action to reduce fossil fuel pollution. Over twenty people with color-coded T-shirts that spelled out the words “Shut Down the Tar Sands” in both English and Spanish gathered in front of the Maya building to directly deliver their message to UNFCCC delegates. Participants included Indigenous community representatives from fossil fuel impacted community across Canada and the U.S., many carrying personal banners linking tar sands with the destruction of their territories.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo of the Lubicon Cree comes from a community impacted by tar sands. “We have seen the destruction of our lands happen right before our eyes. Our water is being contaminated and we are seeing droughts throughout the region. My family used to be able to drink from our watershed, and now within my lifetime we can no longer do so. Young and old people alike have developed respiratory illnesses as neighboring plants emit noxious gases into the air. First Nations and farming communities have reported health effects to the wildlife and livestock. The area is drastically changing – I fear for the future of my homeland.”

The tar sands are the fastest growing source of GHG emissions in Canada. Unless Canada changes track emissions from the tar sands industry are set to triple to over 120 millions tonnes. Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network said, “Our communities demand real solutions to address the climate crisis and that means shutting down the tar sands and a moratorium on new fossil fuel development.”

Indigenous communities are not only being impacted in the tar sands region, but are feeling the effects of tar sands infrastructure spreading throughout North America such as the Keystone and pending Keystone XL pipelines. “Our traditional way of life has been devastated by oil refineries. There is already a web of pipelines under the ground, and now the Keystone has plowed through our territory bringing further spills,” explains Casey Camp-Horinek of the Oklahoma Ponca Nation. “No amount of money can replace the destruction of our land, water and air. The Keystone XL pipeline is not needed or wanted.”

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is a network of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire of our traditions. IEN has brought 17 indigenous leaders to Cancun as part of the Grassroots Climate Justice Solutions North America Delegation uniting representatives from fossil fuel impacted communities who are on the frontlines of solving the climate crisis. To book interviews or get background on North American climate justice organizing, contact the IEN Media Hotline: +52 998 108 0748.

President Evo Morales' updates from Cancun

El presidente del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, Evo Morales denunció hoy maniobras de los países industrializados tendientes a postergar decisiones en defensa de la Madre Tierra en la Cumbre sobre Cambio Climático, que sesionará en Cancún, México. La alerta del mandatario respondió a la aprobación de una agenda con reminiscencias de la fracasada cita acerca del tema realizada en Copenhague, Dinamarca, en diciembre de 2009, durante las reuniones preparatorias del evento programado a partir de la semana entrante.
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