Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 20, 2014

Livestream Indigenous Women defending our Climate

NOW! Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, New York time 5 pm (2 pm Pacific time)

This event features activists Shelley A. YoungKandi MossetElle Maija Tailfeathers, and Ellen Gabriel who will discuss high-profile media campaigns by indigenous groups in Canada and the United States that protest the oil and fracking industries and the ongoing governmental violations of Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. 


Co-organized by the School of Media Studies and Idle No More in collaboration withFrack Action, a leading New York-based organization working for a statewide ban on fracking as a part of Climate Action Week at The New School.

Participants will include:

Ellen Gabriel (Mohawk) Human rights activist from Kanehsatà:ke, Ellen has spent years fighting for Indigenous rights well-known to the public when she was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 “Oka” Crisis; to protect the Pines from the expansion of a 9 hole golf course in “Oka” and the removal of Kanien’kehá:ka ancestors from their burial ground.  She is now a leading voice in fighting the Energy East and Line 9 tar sands pipelines. Kanehsatà:ke territory is right in the path of the proposed Enbridge #Line9 and Trans-Canada Energy East tar sands pipelines and Ellen has emerged as a key voice in the fight to stop tar sands expansion through organizing in solidarity with First Nations in Alberta and the 185 First Nations in the right of way of the controversial project.

Shelley A. Young is a Mi'kmaq leader from Eskasoni First Nation who engaged in a high-profile hunger strike to push Indian Act leadership in Mi'kma'ki to stop negotiating the Treaties with the provincial and federal government by stepping away from tripartite/self-government agreements and to bring awareness that they have been doing so, for the past 10 years, without any consultation with our communities. Shelley has been heavily involved in Elsipogtog and been on the front lines of the anti-fracking fight since the beginning, organizing numerous campaigns, sitting on panels, and conducting workshops at nearly every major university in the East Cfoast, along with high schools, to bring water protection and Aboriginal Rights awareness. Shelley also raised over $20,000 to help the Elsipogtog warriors legal costs and protest camp site.

Elle-Maija Tailfeathers is a Blood and Saami organizer and member of the Blood Indian Tribe in Southern Alberta, Canada. She was part of an Indigenous women-led action to stop two thirds of their lands from being leased to Murphy Oil for fracking, including the drilling of the deepest frack (2.1 km deep) in the history of the sector. She and four other women were arrested and detained for intimidation because of their peaceful non-violent action.

Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) Native Energy & Climate Campaign Organizer was born in North Dakota and grew up in an area known today as the Fort Berthold Reservation. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota (UND) in Natural Resource and Park Management. After working in the Park Service for 3 years she went on to earn a Masters of Environmental Management within UND’s Earth Systems Science and Policy Program. She began working for the Indigenous Environmental Network as the Tribal Campus Climate Challenge (TCCC) Organizer in February 2007, engaging over 30 tribal colleges and working on projects ranging from initiating recycling programs and community tree plantings to small-scale community solar panel installations and community gardens. Her work has since expanded to the international arena, within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in an effort to create more awareness about international decision-making and its effect at the local level. Kandi continues to work primarily at the grassroots level bridging generational gaps in tribal communities while connecting the local to the national and the national to the international in an effort to raise aware- ness about sustainability and continue the fight towards just climate and energy solutions. Her current focus is on creating awareness about the environmentally and socially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing due to severely limited regulations and protections, particularly on Tribal lands.

Banner Image:  Artwork: Fanny Aishaa, Portrait of Amanda Polshies, Original Photograph credit: Ossie Michelin (APTN)


September 20, 2014 at 5pm - 7pm


The Auditorium at Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall
66 W 12th St
New York, NY 10011
United States
Google map and directions

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