Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 19, 2018

Lisa DeVille at Women's March 'Walk for our Sisters, Solidarity for all Indigenous Women'

Walk for Our Sisters, Solidarity for all Indigenous Women

Remember the Tears of Our Women
Hosted by Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

Talk by Lisa DeVille
Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
Censored News
My name is Lisa DeVille.  I lived my whole life in Mandaree.  My husband Walter and I have five children and three grandchildren.  My Native American name is Accomplishes Everything!  I have received all my college education from NHSC.

I am president of the grassroots group Fort Berthold Protectors of water and earth rights, I am a board member for Dakota Resource Council, Western Organization Resource Council, and of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council in Washington DC.

My grandmother use to tell me of this oil that was coming.  She would say get your education because when the oil people come to have you sign you will understand what your signing, our ancestors did not know what they were signing when the white mans' government took it from us.

Protecting the Mother Earth has always been important to me.  When my advocacy began I started to ask questions about the flaring and it led me to having to educate myself about the dangers of bringing things up from under the earth. 

My advocacy is not about me (I don't have a facebook because I know I would be arguing with people.) It is not about money either. It's about protecting the only land we have left, for my grandchildren, for all future generations so that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean soil to grow food.  My work has been all volunteer.

I am not against the oil. I'm for responsible oil development, holding industry accountable for their environmental infractions that affect our health, land, air, and water.  We need environmental justice, stricter laws and enforcement of those laws.  We need studies and research to better understand and educate how to remediate the environmental and health impacts. 

Environmental racism is a word that's used every day. Most people don't believe it's a reality. Look around you. You do not see as many oil well flares off reservation. I've traveled to other reservations that have been impacted by extraction longer than we have, their people are sick. Their water is contaminated. Why? Because people's lives in those communities are not valued as much as those in wealthier communities.

Big industries lie, if they cannot get their hands on your minerals in your community they will throw more money in the mix and cause division. This is how they operate. They divide to conquer. But we must stand together and remember our culture and how our ancestors died to give us the freedom we have today.

We are sick with diabetes, drug addiction because Mother Earth is sick. We rely on westernized civilization to provide us with food that isn't nourishing, on medicine that makes us sicker, and on a capitalistic system that leaves the poorest people at the bottom of the pile. Don't let anything hold you back from moving forward and fighting for what you believe in, not even other's jealousy, or the haters that think you want to disrupt their flow of oil money. The lord will take care of that.

The creator put you on your path for a purpose/reason.

Women are sacred because we carry life. That life we carry is in water so water is life.  We hold our families together.

I write reaction articles and letters to the editor and submit press releases because it is my constitutional right, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press to tell these stories. I feel that these stories need to be told. Stories of injustice, greed, and corruption.These things shouldn't stay in the dark.

We are role models for our children.  I ask my children what will be their legacy?  Are you going to let things happen to you or will you act on protecting the only land we have left.   We live the now not thinking of our future.

What I and Ft. Berthold POWER do today is to make sure our future generations have a clean environment to live in.  Its morals, its common sense, it is how my grandmother raised me to protect mother earth who provides us all we need survive. Trump is rescinding the protection.

I don't do what I do for fame, for money, like I said my work has been volunteer.  I do what I do because this is the path I chose to make sure our future generations have a sustainable future.  Like my son says who is spiritually connected it is like the beat of a heart, a beat of a drum because your in harmony with yourself and purpose and it feels right.

Believe me that there are challenges. The positive aspect of challenges is that they offer an excellent chance to cleanse the senses and strengthen the soul.  Being persistent, determined, and believing, then change will come.

We need more women to run for office whether its tribal, state, federal or county government to help our people move forward. We need to have our own representation for our issues. We can do it, not because we are women, but because we will always persist, we have for over 500 years.

In addition our group the Ft. Berthold POWER has filed lawsuit with other conservative groups opposing the rescinding of Trumps administration, Bureau of Land Management  Methane Rule and Hydraulic Fracking Rule.
Trump and his administration are attacking NEPA to extract from the national parks.  NEPA protects tribal nations, the endangered species act and our water ways.  We are in the process of researching.

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