Environment | Opinion | Politics

Gyasi Ross: Faith Spotted Eagle discusses Keystone XL battle

"Winona LaDuke &Faith Spotted Eagle Make a Stand" by John Isaiah Pepion, 2014, pepionledgerart.com

Gyasi Ross interviews activist Faith Spotted Eagle about the battle to stop the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline:
Why are you so dead-set against the Keystone XL Pipeline? Is it just this one, or is it other pipelines as well?

As a grandmother and Chair of the Ihanktonwan Treaty Council I am deeply opposed to the intrusion into our land of the Ft. Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868. The supremacy clause of the US Constitution states that treaties are the supreme law of the land. And Mother Earth’s Laws are stronger! Without water there is no life. These pipelines, fracking and uranium development are polluting the Mni Wiconi—the water of life, the Missouri River and her tributaries. The Ogallala Aquifer is also being threatened by pollution. The Oceti Sakowin depends on these water sources for the lives of our families. We also speak for the “wamakanskan” or the animal and plant nation who cannot speak for themselves. WE will not stand by and watch the potential destruction of endangered species who are indeed our relatives such as: the Whooping and Sandhill Cranes, the Swift Fox, the Burying Dung Beetle, certain species of bats and the Pallid Sturgeon and Piping Plover. Our children are just as endangered as these species and we will not allow human beings to appoint themselves as organizers of ecosystems that are thousands of years old.

Not to ask obvious questions, but is the Senate's approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline—thus leaving it up to President Obama to veto—a big blow to the movement?

The soap opera that is being played out in the congressional halls of DC is a peek into the power of big oil lobbyists upon legislators who have completely lost touch with their constituencies. We are encouraged that several Democratic legislators are coming to their senses due to the outrageous behaviors of the Republican party. We believe that the spirit of our prayers is still moving and will continue into the generations to come, just as we stand on the prayers of our ancestors. The spirit is moving and we will continue to prevail in our fight to defend Mother Earth. This defense of Mother Earth has brought together unprecedented alliances of parties that we never dreamed would be on the same side.

We continue to send prayers, letters, emails and phone calls to encourage President Obama to stand strong with his veto power.

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Native Grandmothers Defend Mother Earth: Faith Spotted Eagle Kicks SERIOUS Knowledge About Keystone XL (Indian Country Today 2/12)

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