August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hopi file lawsuit over recycled wastewater on San Francisco Peaks

Hopi File Lawsuit over Sewage Effluent Contract

August 22, 2011
By Hopi Tribe
French translation:
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=375

The Hopi Tribe Initiates Litigation against the City of Flagstaff to Enjoin the Illegal Contract for the Sale of Reclaimed Wastewater to the Snowbowl

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. – On Friday, August 19, 2011, the Hopi Tribe filed a lawsuit against the City of Flagstaff in Arizona Superior Court in Coconino County challenging the City’s decision in September 2010 not to amend or cancel the contract for the sale of reclaimed wastewater to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort (“Snowbowl”) for snowmaking.

The lawsuit states that the City’s contract to sell 1.5 million gallons of reclaimed wastewater per day to Snowbowl is illegal because it violates several Arizona laws that govern the proper use of reclaimed wastewater. The contract provides for the use of reclaimed wastewater in a mountain setting where runoff and overspray cannot be prevented, as Arizona law requires. Additionally, restrictions on limiting human contact with wastewater cannot be met, and harm to the unique alpine environment in the area, including rare animals and plants, cannot be prevented.

The contract is also illegal under Arizona law because it will result in unreasonable environmental degradation and will further deplete limited drinking water resources. As stated in the complaint, the use of reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking will unreasonably harm the environment, create a public nuisance, and infringe upon the public’s, including the Hopi Tribe’s, use and enjoyment of the area around Snowbowl as well as infringe on the Hopi Tribe’s reserved water rights.

The City’s sale of reclaimed wastewater to the Snowbowl will cover a portion of the San Francisco Peaks with artificial snow made from reclaimed wastewater. The San Francisco Peaks, and in particular Snowbowl, is ecologically unique and contains rare types of habitat and species. The City’s illegal contract allows wastewater to run off and spray into wilderness areas specifically used by the Hopi Tribe and others, impeding and infringing on the use and enjoyment of these areas by the Hopi Tribe and others.

Reclaimed wastewater is water that has been used and processed through the City’s wastewater system. Snowmelt from artificial snow made from reclaimed wastewater will be environmentally harmful because it contains chemicals including endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with natural hormone levels and processes in humans and animals. Negative impacts of endocrine disrupters include aberrant sexual development, behavioral and reproductive problems. Key species in the San Francisco Peaks ecosystem, such as frogs, are particularly susceptible to these harmful effects.

The Hopi Tribe will show that the illegal contract for the sale and use of reclaimed wastewater at Snowbowl will result in a very large net economic loss for the San Francisco Peaks community. The small increase in profits anticipated by the Snowbowl and minimal economic benefits to the area are far outweighed by much higher costs, including environmental damage, for the San Francisco Peaks’ community, including the Hopi Tribe.

The effects of the reclaimed wastewater cannot be confined to the ski area and, therefore, users of the Peaks in the vital and accessible areas around Snowbowl will be harmed if the illegal contract is allowed to stand. The Hopi Tribe seeks a judicial order prohibiting performance on this contract to sell reclaimed wastewater to Snowbowl, as the contract is for an illegal purpose and contrary to public policy.

The Hopi Tribe Chairman Leroy Shingoitewa stressed the importance of the case to the Hopi Tribe. "The health and safety of the Hopi people is indistinguishable from the health and safety of the environment -- protection of the environment on the San Francisco Peaks is central to the Tribe’s existence. The use of reclaimed sewage on the San Francisco Peaks as planned by the City of Flagstaff and Snowbowl will have a direct negative impact on the Hopi Tribe’s frequent and vital uses of the Peaks.”

For more information, contact (928) 734-3107.

VIDEO: Tantoo Cardinal readies for Tar Sands arrest



VIDEO: With Montana Women For, Tantoo Cardinal speaks out against the tar sands as she prepares to be arrested tomorrow.

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

Tar Sands Action said on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011:
"The sit-in at the White House will continue tomorrow morning with 50 more Americans and Canadians risking arrest to protect their air, water, and climate. Over 2,000 people have registered to take part in the sit-in, which will continue every day until September 3.
Among those planning on being arrested tomorrow are film-star Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in four Superman movies, and actress Tantoo Cardinal, an iconic Cree actress who appeared in Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall, Smoke Signals and more. Cardinal, who was born in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, the capitol of the tar sands, was made made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2009."
Follow the adventures of the four MWF members going to Washington DC
Montana Women For -- at the tar sands action
We have started a blog to fill everyone in on what we are doing.
Four of us (Joan Kresich, Margie Kidder, Margarita McLarty and Linda Kenoyer) are traveling to Washington DC this Sunday to take part in the wave of sit-ins at the White House to put pressure on the President to deny TransCanada a permit to build the massive, dangerous Keystone XL Pipeline to move tar sands oil from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Here is the link for the blog: http://mwftarsandsaction.blogspot.com/
Also watch on YouTube: Bill McKibben's release from jail today:
http://www.youtube.com/user/StopKeystoneXL#p/a/u/2/EBEhYUWCe0E

A.I.M. of Michigan Annual River Crossing

Groups of canoes crossing towards Windsor, Ontario, Canada despite freighters.

Lead canoe with Mona Stonefish shows her Anishinaabe Courage to the Freighter named "American Courage"

Mona Stonefish versus the freighter named "American Courage" - we call the photo "Anishinaabek Courage"

Groups of canoes crossing towards Windsor, Ontario, Canada despite freighters.
A lone canoe finishes


Drummers shake hands after AIM song

Photos and article by Brita Brookes
Censored News

The American Indian Movement of Michigan held their Annual Detroit River Crossing on Friday May 19, 2011 on a perfect sunny day as a living demonstration of the 1794 Jay Treaty Border Crossing Rights Agreement.
The event which occurs every year began at Belle Isle Park, Michigan where canoes launched and paddled across the Detroit River to the Windsor, Ontario Peace Fountain docks and then back across to Belle Isle.
The careful planning by The A.I.M. chapter of Michigan with the US Coast Guard and local law enforcement enabled the canoes to cross safely without the hazard of speeding boat traffic on the river.
Almost all speedboats were stopped until the event was over but there were a few tense moments when a few monster great lakes freighters passed through the area while several canoe groups were still returning from a second crossing.
All canoe pairs completed the crossing and vowed to return again next year to actively demonstrate their inherent rights. There was good representation from both those who travelled from middle Michigan and those who drove in from all parts of Ontario to participate in the days crossing.
Drum group Weengushk (Sweetgrass) played the AIM song, prayed and reflected on those who have sadly ''walked on'' since the last Canoe Crossing in 2010. The weekend was topped off with the annual A.I.M. pow wow which occurred in Lincoln Park, Michigan." 

Article III of the Treaty states "It is agreed, that it shall at all times be free to His Majesty's subjects, and to the citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the said boundary line, freely to pass and repass, by land or inland navigation into the respective territories and countries of the two parties on the continent of America, ... and freely carry on trade and commerce with each other."

by Brita Brookes freelance reporter for Michigan

Mary Sojourner: San Francisco Peaks 'From Sacrilege to Sacredness'

From Sacrilege to Sacredness: What's the Big Deal About Snowmaking?

Monday 22 August 2011
by: Mary Sojourner, New Clear Vision | Op-Ed
Photo by Outta Your Backpack Media: Author Mary Sojourner being arrested as Klee Benally chained himself to an excavator on San Franicsco Peaks

This is not the first time I’ve traveled up this mountain. My once-lover Dark Cloud and I hiked, camped and made love in these old Ponderosa and Fir forests. My road buddy Everett and I crawled into a little cave in this mountain to drink water from an icy spring that tastes of volcanic rock. I’ve danced on the thick mat of pine needles under a New Moon and followed my son up Bear Jaw trail until I had no more breath.
http://www.truth-out.org/sacrilege-sacredness-whats-big-deal-about-snowmaking/1314041968

Tar Sands White House Day 3: 162 arrests



Photos Day 2 Tar Sands White House Arrests by Shadia Fayne Wood/Censored News

Another 52 Americans Arrested to Ask Obama to Stand Up to Big Oil

By Tar Sands Action
www.tarsandsaction.org
Monday, Aug. 22, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC — Another 52 Americans were arrested at the White House this morning for taking part in an ongoing sit-in to push President Obama to stand up to Big Oil and deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. (1) In total, 162 people have been arrested since the ongoing protest began on Saturday.
This morning’s demonstrators came to Washington, DC from across the country, willing to spend their vacation in handcuffs to send a message to the President that they feel has abandoned their values and his promises to take on climate change.
Lori Fischer, the co-director for Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition and a member of Nebraska Farmers Union, traveled with five other Nebraskans and was arrested this morning. She said before her arrest:
“If the government is going to refuse to step up to the responsibility to defend a livable future, I believe that creates a moral imperative for me and many others. This is a crucial issue for Nebraskans to speak up loudly about. Our land, water, and the future of our children are at stake. I feel our leaders need to take seriously their responsibility to pass on a healthy and just world to the next generation, I am going to Washington remind them.”
This morning, the New York Times editorial board reiterated its opposition to the pipeline, writing, “The State Department] should acknowledge the environmental risk of the pipeline and the larger damage caused by tar sands production and block the Keystone XL.” (2)
Many of the protest’s lead organizers remained in jail this morning after being arrested during Saturday morning’s first act of civil disobedience., including former White House official and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Gus Speth.
“We the prisoners being held in the Central Cell Block of the D.C. Jail need company and encourage the continuation of the protests against the tar sands pipeline,” said Speth. “I’ve held numerous positions and public office in Washington but my current position feels like one of the most important.”
The sit-in at the White House will continue tomorrow morning with 50 more Americans and Canadians risking arrest to protect their air, water, and climate. Over 2,000 people have registered to take part in the sit-in, which will continue every day until September 3.
Among those planning on being arrested tomorrow are film-star Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in four Superman movies, and actress Tantoo Cardinal, an iconic Cree actress who appeared in Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall, Smoke Signals and more. Cardinal, who was born in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, the capitol of the tar sands, was made made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2009.
Tomorrow, she will risk arrest to stop the destruction of her homeland and push President Obama to help shut down the tar sands by denying a permit for the Keystone XL.
Notes to the editor
(1) President Obama will decide later this year on TransCanada’s permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which will send 900,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil to US refineries, allowing further development of the Alberta tar sands. The pipeline would pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Mining oil from tar sands creates three times more carbon emissions than conventional oil extraction.

Also see: Did Obama order tar sands protesters jailed?