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First Nations Women Arrested For Protesting Hydraulic Fracking On Their Land, Charged with “Intimidation”

2011/09/12

lle-Máijá Apiniskim Tailfeathers, one of the women arrested this weekend for peacefully protesting the plan to “frack” on Blood Reserve land, released this statement yesterday:

On September 9, 2011, we gathered peacefully on the road leading to a newly built Murphy Oil well on the Blood Reserve.  After nearly a year of doing everything in our power to stop hydraulic fracturing from occurring on our land, we felt that time was no longer on our side.  With the imminent threat of hydraulic fracturing about to begin on Blood Tribe land, we decided that we had to act immediately. Over the last year, we have written letters and created petitions, we have tried to raise awareness both within our community and beyond including founding Kainai Earth Watch and the Protect Blood Land website, we have repeatedly contacted the Blood Tribe Chief and Council, Kainai Resources Incorporated, the gas and oil companies, the media, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, and various levels of government including Indian and Northern Affairs Canada but still our rights were violated. Countless times, we were told that this was a matter between members of the Blood Tribe and the Blood Tribe Chief and Council. But as members of the Blood Tribe, we were never asked whether or not we wanted these wells built in the first place.

…I do not feel as though what we did was heroic.  We were a handful of people, including a couple of children, who gathered for a common purpose; to prevent any further desecration of the land.  For us, this place is more than just land; it is the place that has given life to our people since time immemorial. Our culture, our language, our identity comes from the land and it is to the land that we owe our very existence…How can we look our children and grandchildren in the eye and say that we have let such a thing happen? We are nothing without this place

…I want to believe, more than anything, that those behind our arrest knew in their hearts that treating the earth this way is wrong.  And I want to believe, more than anything, that their actions were motivated by fear; which may explain our criminal charges of “intimidation”.  I look back on the last year and am still in disbelief that it came to this point.  From the actual signing of the gas and oil agreement on the Blood Reserve to the arrest and imprisonment of three unarmed Blood Tribe women.  It feels much like a bad dream but somehow this is our current reality.

To read the full press release, click here.

Their court date has been set for September 19, 2011 at 10 am at the Provincial Court Building in Cardston, Alberta.

For donations, please contact:

Ingrid Hess, Barrister
ingrid.hess@shaw.ca
More links:
Censored News: Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
5 Comments leave one →
  1. 2011/09/12 3:18 pm

    If You’re interested about why fracking isn’t a good idea please consider this:

    Fracking the Future

    Unconventional gas drilling is emerging as one of the most controversial energy & environmental issues in the United States and around the world today.

    Advancements in extraction technologies, particularly horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking), have enabled drillers to reach previously inaccessible gas in geological formations underlying several areas of the U.S.

    Increasing public awareness of the threats posed by America’s dependence on foreign oil and dirty coal to public health and the global climate have led many – including some environmental organizations and progressive politicians – to embrace gas as a “bridge fuel” to help America kick its dirty energy addiction.

    But recent revelations about the dangers that unconventional gas drilling poses to drinking water supplies, public health and the global climate are raising important questions about how “clean” this gas really is.

    More … http://desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/

    PDF … http://desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/desmog-fracking-the-future.pdf

  2. Debbie permalink
    2011/09/13 11:20 pm

    The power of the universe be with you in your efforts for the Earth. I thank you.

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/09/14 9:11 am

      Thanks for the encouragement, Debbie! I just read this quote yesterday “A hero is a person who is doing everything they can”. I like that! That’s all any of us can do, but it’s up to us to make sure we are doing at least that much.

  3. 2011/09/14 6:38 pm

    Recent information suggests that, because of methane release during drilling, using natural gas to replace coal, for instance, doesn’t start to show carbon reduction benefits until after 2050. Until then it actually increases emissions. Add in the additional environmental dangers of fracking, and natural gas stops being a rational option at all. The world simply can’t afford fossil fuel exploitation of any sort.

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/09/14 10:54 pm

      Absolutely! I hope you’re watching the “Climate Reality” project livestreaming right now. Mark Ruffalo made exactly that point – natural gas IS NOT the answer!

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