Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 21, 2014

Cowboy Indian Alliance in DC: Reject and Protect fighting Keystone tarsands pipeline

Photo by Farhad

Cowboy and Indian Alliance tipis up and ready for action on the National Mall in DC!

Lakota Joye Braun halting megaload.

Lakotas van in accident enroute: 

Joye Braun and others from Cheyenne River in South Dakota found out their bus wouldn't make it to the Reject and Protect action in DC. 
They headed out in their van and hit a deer. They made it back home safely in the busted van this weekend. 
Hopefully, non-profits or others can fly the group to DC! 
Joye said a second vehicle from Cheyenne River, with Robin LeBeau and grassroots Lakotas, is on its way.  Joye recently halted an oilfield megaload on Cheyenne River Lakota land all by herself. -- Contact Joye at:
Censored News,

By Brenda Norrell
Photo by Farhad

WASHINGTON DC -- Native Americans, farmers and ranchers united with grassroots and environmental groups and pitched their tipis on the National Mall today, sending a spiritual message to President Obama to say, “No!” to the Keystone XL pipeline. The coalition is in DC as a voice to protect sacred water and land for future generations.
In the "Reject and Protect" campaign, there's a week of actions against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, in Washington and in local communities, from April 22-27, 2014.
The Cowboy and Indian Alliance and allies invite folks from across the country to visit the tipi camp on the National Mall and participate in the actions.
“We need all hands on deck to bear witness all week. Join us in showing the strength of our communities. We call upon President Obama to take this historic step in rejecting Keystone XL in order to protect our land, water and climate,” organizers said.
If you can only make one event during the week, the most important day is Saturday, April 26, when thousands will be gathering at the Camp for a tipi presentation ceremony and procession.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader among the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota people, said, “Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of mankind.  Do you think that the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of danger? Know that you are essential to this world. The biggest cancer spreading upon Mother Earth is the tar sands.”
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, blessed the tarsands resistance spiritual camp on Cheyenne River in South Dakota. A second Spiritual Camp is set up on Rosebud Lakota land in South Dakota to protect the water and land from the threat of the Keystone XL pipeline.
United in struggle, Chief Reuben George, Tsleil-Waututh, said, “One thing I can say right off the bat is that we are winning. When we come together like this, we become stronger. There is no price for our water and lands. The lessons we receive from Mother Earth is to become better human beings.  We give back to the earth and the land. The pipelines do not do that. We are going to win!”

General Schedule — all events will be at the tipi camp, located between 9th and 12th Streets on the National Mall, unless otherwise noted.
April 22, Tuesday
Opening Ceremony – US Capitol Reflecting Pool, 11am-2pm
Painting of Obama tipi, 4-6pm
Music and sharing stories, 6-8pm
Documentary showing, 8pm: Pipe Dreams, “Across the heartland of America, farmers and landowners are fighting to protect their land, their water, and their livelihood in what has become the most controversial environmental battle in the U.S. today: The Keystone XL Pipeline.”Director: Leslie Iwerks
April 23, Wednesday
Water ceremony, 9-10am
Walk to various federal agencies for meetings/actions, 10-11am
Meetings/actions with federal agencies, 11-1pm
Painting of Obama tipi, 4-6pm
Music and sharing stories, 6-8pm
Documentary showing, 8 PM: Tipping Point — Through the story of a people forced to the brink and the revelation of what ‘dirty oil’ will do to our environment, this immensely powerful documentary helps us to really understand the trade-offs we make for our energy as we approach the end of the age of oil. Introduction by and Q and A with Francois Paulette
April 24, Thursday
Water ceremony, 9-10am
Meetings with allied groups 11am-1pm
Painting of Obama tipi, 4-6pm
Music and sharing stories, 6-8pm
#sosEPAnoKXL, 8pm: Giant light projection action to tell the EPA to intervene and say no to Keystone XL — hosted by the Other 98%. RSVP here
April 25, Friday
Water ceremony, 9-10am
Prayer and song at Sec. Kerry home, 11am-noon
Painting of Obama tipi, 4-6pm
Music and sharing stories, 6-8pm
Award-winning photographer Garth Lenz presents slides of the tarsands, joined by Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation, 8-9pm
April 26, Saturday
Water ceremony, 9-10am
Painting of tipi canvass liner with general public’s thumbprints, 9:00 am-10:30 am
Group ceremony and procession with tipi, 11am-2pm
Music and sharing stories at tipi camp, 6-8pm
Documentary, 8 PM: H2Oil “H2Oil follows a voyage of discovery, heartbreak and politicization in the stories of those attempting to defend water in Alberta against tarsands expansion.” Director: Shannon Walsh, courtesy of Loaded Pictures / Dark Hollow Films
April 27, Sunday
Water ceremony, 9-10am
Interfaith prayer ceremony – Lafayette Park, 10-11am
Closing ceremony – Lafayette Park 11am-noon

On April 22nd, our alliance of pipeline fighters — ranchers, farmers, tribal communities, and their friends — called the Cowboy Indian Alliance will ride into Washington DC for the next, and perhaps final, chapter in the fight against Keystone XL.
On that day, we will set up camp nearby the White House, lighting our fire and burning our sage, and for 5 days, we will bear proud witness to President Obama’s final decision on Keystone XL, reminding him of the threat this tar sands pipeline poses to our climate, land, water and tribal rights. Throughout those 5 days, we will show the power of our communities with events ranging from prayers at Sec. Kerry’s home and an opening ceremony of tribes and ranchers on horseback in front of the White House.
On April 26th (note new date) we invite our friends and allies against the pipeline to join us as we conclude our camp and make our final, unmistakable message to President Obama. Our community of pipeline fighters just sent 2 million comments against the pipeline in just 30 days. We must follow this up with action in the streets on April 27th as we march with tribal leaders and individuals currently living with the risk tar sands to show all the beauty and power we represent. Everyone is needed and everyone is welcome. 
With his decision closer than ever, President Obama must know what is truly at stake, and see once more the power of the alliances that have turned Keystone XL into a turning point for our movements, and for our future. 
The Cowboy and Indian Alliance  (C.I.A) brings together tribal communities with ranchers and farmers living along the Keystone XL pipeline proposed route. Farmers and ranchers know the risk first-hand. They work the land every day. Tribes know the risk first-hand. They protect the sacred water, and defend sacred sites of their ancestors every day. They have united out of love and respect for the land and water on which we all depend.
This is not the first time Cowboys and Indians have come together to stop projects that risk our land and water. In the 80s, they came together to protect water and the Black Hills from uranium mining and risky munitions testing. In the American imagination, cowboys and Indians are still at odds. However, in reality, opposition to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has brought communities together like few causes in our history.  Tribes, farmers and ranchers are all people of the land, who consider it their duty as stewards to conserve the land and protect the water for future generations.
The C.I.A. asks President Obama a simple question: Is an export pipeline for dirty tar sands worth risking our sacred land and water for the next seven generations?
On June 25, 2013, President Obama said, “Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Anyone with common sense knows the Keystone XL pipeline would exacerbate the climate crisis: an 830,000 barrel per day pipeline filled with tar sands and chemicals like benzene will make it easier for tar sands companies to dig up and burn more of the world’s dirtiest oil than they could with any other feasible alternative.
Our actions next month will show President Obama that we are living up to his call to “be the change we wish to see,” and that we stand with him to say no to Big Oil. Together we will make a clear promise that if President Obama goes back on his word and approves the Keystone XL pipeline, he will be met with the fiercest resistance from our Alliance and our allies from all walks of life. Bryan Brewer, President of the Oglala Sioux, speaks for us when he says, “We are ready to fight the pipeline, and our horses are ready.”
Please join us this April to tell President Obama to Reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and protect our land, water, and climate. 
-The Cowboy Indian Alliance

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