Tuesday, March 1, 2011

underreported struggles 47

Ahni at Intercontinental Cry has some very important underreported struggles this month.
The Innu Council of Pessamit filed a complaint with the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources after discovering that a mining company, Nevado Resources Corporation, was carrying out illegal drilling activities on the Pessamit Innu's territory. "We have never given Nevado permission to drill on our territory. We demand that it cease all activities immediately", stated Raphaël Picard, current chief of the Innu Council.
Various media reports this month suggest that more and more Indigenous Peoples are choosing a "green future". For instance, the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico are moving ahead with the first utility-scale solar plant on tribal lands, a project that could bring millions of dollars to the poverty-stricken Nation. Elsewhere, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Colombia agreed to develop a locally-owned wind farm; and in Saskatchewan, the Muskoday First Nation is continuing to develop their own, independent, organic food co-op. Green projects like these offer a sustainable way for Indigenous Nations to get out of the economic crisis imposed by Nation States.
The Evenk people in northern Russia spoke out against a new gas pipeline that threatens to degrade their hunting and fishing grounds. "We are not against progress or economic development, but we feel like we are the ones who will suffer from this," states an Evenk petition, which was signed by 213 people. "Our reindeer pastures and hunting sites are being seized, rivers are being poisoned and fish are disappearing." The Evenk are asking for the pipeline to be re-routed somewhere else.
A Judge in Ecuador found that Chevron must now pay $8.6 billion to help restore the Amazon. On February 14, Ecuador's Superior Court Judge Nicolas Zambrano ruled that Chevron is legally liable for the 18.5 billion gallons of oil that now sits in the Amazon raiforest, a toxic legacy that some refer to as the "Amazon Chernobyl." Unfortunately, the company wasted no time announcing that they will do everything in their power to have the ruling thrown out.
52-year-old Gwich'in and Yup'ik activist Desa Jacobsson started a fast in protest to "the comprehensive violation of subsistence rights and continued de-humanization" of Indigenous Peoples"in Alaska by State Governor Sean Parnell, the Calista Corporation, and the Federal Subsistence Board. Now on her 20th day with out food, Desa says that her fast will continue until all of her demands are met. Alaska’s Big Village Network and other entities in Alaska are preparing their own actions "meant to raise the call of change and equal rights."
The UK mining giant Vedanta is trying to overturn the August 2010 mining ban on the Dongria Kondh's Sacred Mountain in Orissa, India. According to Survival International, Vendata filed a petition with the Orissa high court, challenging the decision, "as well as an associated decision to restrict the growth of an alumina refinery also operated by Vedanta."

And many more - please visit Intercontinental Cry and read about these struggles.

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