Indigenous Environmental Network
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others. IEN convenes local, regional and national meetings on environmental and economic justice issues, and provides support, resources and referral to Indigenous communities and youth throughout primarily North America – and in recent years – globally.
Protect the Sacred
Indigenous Nations from across the United States and Canada and their Allies converged at the Yankton Sioux Reservation, South Dakota for a historical event, “Gathering to Protect the Sacred From the Tar Sands and Keystone XL.” This took place January 23rd-25th, 2013, and was held at the Ft. Randall Hotel and Casino. You can learn more about the International Treaty including seeing a video of the Signing Ceremony here.
Those attending signed an International Treaty to effectively block the Keystone XL TransCanada Pipeline. Representatives of Indigenous Nations and their Allies including farmers and ranchers, business and environmental leaders, leading treaty and environmental lawyers, news media, and other concerned citizens gathered for unprecedented unified action.
This International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands and Keystone XL builds upon the Save the Fraser River Declaration, the Rights of Mother Earth Accord, Indigenous Leaders Spiritual Declaration, the Earth Charter, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This International Treaty between Indigenous Nations is grounded in the January 23rd, 1863 Pawnee Nation and Ihanktonwan Dakota / Nakota Peace Treaty. Witnessed by representatives of the Ponca Nation and the United States government this was the first written Peace Treaty between Indian Nations in history.
Statement from Pte Ospye Camp
Making allies, friendships, and reconnecting with our sister tribes across the country and our reuniting with the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota bands, has been exciting, and something that TransCanada never expected to happen.Yet it is the strength of this unity through our diversity, that will help defeat the Zuzeca Sapa.
Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp is located just a couple miles from where Keystone XL plans to drill under the ever changing Cheyenne River, and according to our elders go directly through Si Tanka’s camp before he moved his people to Wounded Knee where they were massacred. Everyone has heard of Wound Knee, what people don’t understand is those were our people, our relatives, our grandparents that were murdered along that creek. To have this Corporation try and send this evil snake through that camp, is a big a slap in the face to all Native peoples, and so symbolic of how money can corrupt people and skew their ideas of the world around them.
Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp, stands in solidarity with our sister tribes, their camps, their planting of their Sacred Corn, their prayers, and we stand with all the farmers and ranchers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. We are the people of the land. We are the ones who walk the land, pray on this land, grow your food, and beef and buffalo, we are the ones who know what evil will happen if this pipeline is built. Why listen to corporate liaisons who do not walk this land? Why listen to officials are disconnected to this land and sacred water? They don’t care about you or your resources. Listen to the people who care for the land and water on a daily basis. Come and join us, walk the land with us, learn and be moved by its beauty. I guarantee you will leave changed.
We are joining together with all our neighbors and relatives. One elder said at meeting we just had, “This Zuzeca Sapa (Black Snake), will cause a lot of destruction to the land, but it is also causing a lot of healing and bringing together of people that would not have had a chance to meet. We are gathering together in unity against this threat to our land and water, and in doing that we are healing old wounds and building friendships.”
Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp mission is stand in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the social evils that come with BIg Oil producers to educate the people about the KXL Pipeline, Fracking, and Big Oil Producers and the pollution that occurs with oil production. Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp is located just outside of the Bridger Community on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and 2.2 miles from where the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline proposes to go through. It is a hugely historic area known for centuries as a crossroads for Natives Peoples to travel through on their way to the Black Hills. It is ground zero for the Lakota people fighting this pipeline as it would have to pass through this area first to try and get to the other camps and Nebraska.
Pte Ospaye strives to educate about the KXL pipeline fracking and tar sands. We use non violent direct action, witness documentation, and encourage strengthening of the Lakota Culture through cultural activities, history, and prayer. We encourage ally building and welcome all people to our camp. We will stay at the camp until the decision to approve or not approve the KXL pipeline occurs then we will make a decision as to what is the best strategy at that time.
Statement from Wiconi Un Tipi
Our encampment consists of grassroots people. we stand in unity and solidarity with everyone protecting unci maka-mother earth. Our main goal is to stop the kxl pipeline and many other atrocities happening to unci maka. Our encampment is also focused on uniting our oyate-people against the oppression they have been through for 30 something years. We the grassroots oyate are standing against our own tribal council. We are hoping to change their minds and they’ll overturn the resolution on establishing a working relationship with transcanada kxl pipeline. We want to educate the oyate on the Pipeline and other atrocities done to mother earth. We are hoping to get everyone within our nations to come stand with us in solidarity. Also to stop the Transmission Lines that will be powering the pump stations and the man camps throughout our lands. We are people of our nation that believe in our oyate. When we were told of this Zuzeca sapa coming in ceremony. The devastation and death it will bring not just to our oyate but all oyates of every race/ethnicity. We made our stand thereafter and we are still standing with all our allies and supporters. We maybe a few here but we are here for long haul on stopping these atrocities done to unci maka. We want to live, drink fresh water, and to protect all living things. In the words of kevin wright, “the only water we will be drinking is our own tears!” If we allow this pipeline to go through.