Indianz.Com > News > Lisa DeVille: U.S. Supreme Court decision means disaster for Mother Earth
Lisa DeVille
Lisa DeVille, far right, addresses the Native Nations Rise rally in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
U.S. Supreme Court decision means disaster for Mother Earth
Wednesday, July 6, 2022

On June 30, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) handed down their West Virginia v EPA decision, limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. People worldwide understand what this SCOTUS doesn’t seem to: climate change is real and government agencies need fewer barriers in their work to reduce emissions that add to man made climate change.

As a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, and founding member of Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights, I’ve been fighting for stronger regulations to protect our land, air, and water for over a decade. I see the environmental harm due to failure of regulatory oversight.

We are forced to bear the burden of production when companies force us to breathe, eat, and drink their pollution. SCOTUS decided in favor of money and big business and against people – not only this generation but the generations to follow. Our world is on fire with climate change, this decision ignores that fact. Once again, Indigenous communities like mine are treated as a commodity to be extracted rather than human beings in a natural world, both deserving of respect and protection.

I am not against fossil fuel development. I am against development without concern for our environment and our health. There are ways to develop that are respectful to Mother Earth and all life. This decision is a disaster for my community, all who live near coal plants (like I and so many North Dakotans do,) and all who are and will suffer from the effects of climate change.

In other words, this decision will hurt us all. When will big business and the politicians in their pockets learn that, to paraphrase a Cree prophecy, “…you can’t eat money.”

Lisa DeVille, an environmental activist, is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation. She is a charter member of Fort Berthold POWER, a group formed to protect the land, water and air on the Fort Berthold Reservation, her home community. She is also a member of the Dakota Resource Council, whose mission is to promote sustainable use of North Dakota’s natural resources and agriculture. She resides on her reservation in Mandaree.

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