Native Women Demand Banks Respect Indigenous Rights and Lands
By WECAN International
The Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation, and local and national organizations, took action outside of the Equator Principles (EP) Association annual member meeting in Washington D.C - to demand that the banks respect Indigenous rights and lands, and end their investments in dirty energy.
The Equator Principles Association includes 94 of the largest international banks, who have voluntarily signed-on to due diligence standards that should guide member banks away from supporting projects which endanger the Earth and communities. After human rights violations at Standing Rock, the EP Association promised to review and update the Equator Principles, however EP banks have continued to support dangerous extractive projects including ETP’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline, Enbridge’s Line 3, and TransCanada’s Keystone XL.
During the action, Indigenous women leaders and their allies spoke out with great strength to call on the EP banks to uphold Indigenous rights; align themselves with the scientific facts of accelerating climate change; and update their principles to firmly discourage members from investing in the fossil fuel industry and other extractive projects.
The rally was co-organized by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, Honor the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Market Forces, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace USA - and featured the voices of Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation members, Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young (Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer); Jessica Parfait (United Houma Nation, Graduate student at Louisiana State University exploring impacts of oil and gas on Houma tribal communities); Tara Houska (Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe, Tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders); Michelle Cook (Diné, Human rights lawyer, and Founder and Co-Director of the Divest, Invest, Protect campaign); and Leoyla Cowboy (Diné, member of The Red Nation, and community organizer for the Water Protector Legal Collective) - joined by Osprey Orielle Lake (Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network and Co-Director of the Divest, Invest, Protect campaign).
Watch the action live-stream: facebook.com/
Learn more about this action: bit.ly/2CQUyLR
Learn more about the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation: bit.ly/2yLGoan
Photos via Teena Pugliese