Arrowhead Energy is wanting to drill in the Lake Thunderbird floodplain. From what we hear, it is a horizontal drill (which most likely means FRACKING).
Current city ordinances prohibit oil & gas drilling in the Stream Planning Corridors (high-flow streams that feed our water supply). Arrowhead doesn't want to follow the rules.
Please come to Wednesday's Board of Adjustment meeting here in Norman. Tell the members of the BOA to REJECT Arrowhead's request for an exemption.
No drilling in Norman's watersheds! Keep the drinking water clean!
This is also just 1500 feet from Little Axe school sports complex in the Absentee Shawnee Nation.
Meeting is this Wednesday Dec. 6 at 4:30PM
Building A, Conference Room D
Norman Municipal Complex, 201 W. Gray St.
Arrowhead Energy is wanting to drill in the Lake Thunderbird floodplain. From what we hear, it is a horizontal drill (which most likely means FRACKING).
Thursday Nov 3 to Sunday Nov 26
Protectors of Water and Land are excited to lead a volunteer trip to Good Hearted People Camp (formerly Oka Lawa) in Central Oklahoma on Kickapoo land.
We will be offering assistance in construction of tiny houses for this indigenous ecovillage created in the wake of Standing Rock to fight the Diamond Pipeline.
Message us if you want to donate supplies, money, or yourself for the trip!
Cash donations for lumber, food, travel expenses. We will buy construction supplies locally.
Non Cash Donations: Food, Camping Supplies
Volunteers: Building Experience Not Required! Also will want help with cooking for a large groups!
This will be our second trip. In June, 2017 we visited and learned that 90-94% of Oklahoma’s waters are federally impaired, fracking-caused earthquakes occur almost daily, and soils are poisoned statewide due to the profound impact of the fossil fuels industry in this state, which was established as a kind of concentration camp to contain over 50 tribal nations initiated with the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
We see it as vital for native and non-native allies who live in the states like Missouri, where the original people forced to Oklahoma once resided, to actively support the healing of intergenerational trauma within these Oklahoma communities through indigenous-led initiatives like Good Hearted People’s Camp.
We were deeply inspired by the camp founders’ vision to build a community to promote healing for native people across the region and to model ecological sustainability and resilience, and stand in prayerful resistance to the many violations of Mother Earth across the region by the fossil fuels extraction industry.
We also have a special relationship with the camp because PWL founder Maya (Perry) Bigsoldier’s former partner, daughter and grandchildren are some of the founders of the original and current camp.
From their page:
The Good Hearted People camp is a spiritual, prayerful, peaceful camp for water protectors, land defenders, and our allies from across the land. Our purpose is to educate our relatives about the histories that brought us to where we are today, to decolonize and indigenize, to exchange stories and knowledge with other nations, to walk in prayer with those who come to visit, and to heal our people from the historic traumas resulting from colonization. This camp is meant for those who want to unite in a peaceful and non-violent way to build a better future for Oklahoman generations to come.
Mark your calendars and request the time to come join us for our grand opening at Good Hearted People Camp. We will have traditional activities, great speakers, teach ins, workshops and healing. Keep checking back as we confirm speakers and activities we will be creating an itinerary and schedule...
Oilfield Prayer Day Protest
Please join fellow Oklahomans outside the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) on Friday, October 13th at 9 am for a peaceful rally & demonstration to protest Governor Mary Fallin’s declaration of Oilfield Prayer Day and to join together to stand for Oklahoma’s water, land, air, people & future.
What is Oilfield Prayer Day?
*Last year in 2016, Governor Mary Fallin declared October 13th, “Oilfield Prayer Day,” asking the citizens of Oklahoma to “pray for the oil.” Meanwhile, 90% of our water sources are contaminated by resource extraction, oil, gas, & other unnatural causes, we are home to “Pipeline Crossroads of the World,” we experience more earthquakes than anywhere else in the nation because of fracking & wastewater injection, our legislature passes laws protecting Big Oil and attacking Oklahoman’s First Amendment Rights (HB1123 & HB2123) while our teachers are panhandling for school supplies and our bridges are collapsing in major metropolitan areas, projects are not required to complete environmental impact statements (EIS), and our state makes it so oil & gas projects do not have to carry insurance on their projects or even consult with the communities their projects will impact. It is clear that Big Oil reigns supreme in Oklahoma - at the cost of the water, land, air, and people. Enough is enough!
Why the OCC?
*The OCC is Oklahoma’s largest regulatory agency that oversees projects and decisions related to oil and gas, including fracking. With the increasing uptick of man-made earthquakes due to fracking and wastewater injection the time to stand up against corporate overreach, greed, and resource extraction is NOW. Whereas before 2009 earthquakes in Oklahoma were incredibly rare, we now experience an average of one earthquake per day, with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) only predicting MORE earthquakes with HIGHER intensity if fracking does not stop - this is directly correlated to the increase in fracking & wastewater injection. The OCC has the capacity, ability, and the understanding to intervene on behalf of the Oklahomans they are entrusted to serve and protect - their own website serves as a wealth of information regarding the links between fracking & earthquakes. Unfortunately, the large hold Big Oil has over the state of Oklahoma prevents many agencies from effectively and ethically doing their jobs so it is up to us - the PEOPLE of Oklahoma - to stand together and demand long-lasting and real change for the betterment of ALL Oklahomans.
We invite all communities and individuals affected by fracking & frackquakes to join us at the OCC to show the collective power of the people and to demand a new future for Oklahoma - one that involves clean water, clean air, clean land, and a care for the people. We will no longer tolerate being considered throw away people in a flyover state - we will no longer drink water poisoned by fracking and other oil & gas projects - we will no longer allow these companies to destroy our homes and communities - we will no longer allow Big Oil to pump their propaganda through our public school systems - we will no longer allow Big Oil to run rampant throughout our state. Please join us & share widely!
We extend a special invitation to all singers, drummers, and tribal leaders.
Please stay tuned for an updated list of speakers and a program for the day’s events. We look forward to seeing you there as we work TOGETHER for an Oklahoma WE the PEOPLE can be proud of!
We will march/walk on Couch Drive over to City Hall on 200 N. Walker, where we will ask speakers, singers and musicians to take part in bringing a message of celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day in OKC. Oklahoma City is the ONLY major urban center in the state that has not recognized Indigenous People's Day; the City Council has voted two years in a row NOT to recognize the 2nd Monday in October as a tribute to Native Americans.
Wear native dress and/or regalia to show your native pride. We invite all parties who wish to bring drums,flutes, or other types of musical instruments to bring them, lets dance, sing and show our indigenous pride!
Please let us know if you are interested in speaking, singing, or performing at this event so we can plan accordingly. CONTACTS/ORGANIZERS: Brenda S. Golden (Mvskoke) | S.P.I.R.I.T./Wealaka Camp, and Ashley Nicole (AST/Oglala Lakota) | Stop the Plains All American Pipeline.
Confirmed as of September 29, 2017:
-->>Sydne Gray (Mvskoke youth) | Indigenize OU
-->>Alecia Onzahwah (AST/PBP/Kickapoo) | Indigenize, Inc./Good Hearted People Camp land owner
-->>Olivia Ramirez (Osage/Mvskoke youth) | Arkansas Rising
-->>Jonathan (Black Wolf) Cusher (Chahta youth) | Oka Lawa/Good Hearted People Camp
-->>Jacob Wind (Mvskoke) l Wealaka Camp
-->>Quese IMC (Pawnee/Seminole) | Culture Shock Camp/Pawnee Camp - Standing Rock
-->>Johnnie Jae (Otoe-Missouria/Chahta) | Indigenerd
-->>Josephine Gilmore (Chahta youth) | Oka Lawa/Good Hearted People Camp - will lead Chahta social dances
We invite all parties who wish to bring drums,flutes, or other types of musical instruments to bring them, lets dance, sing and show our indigenous pride! We will stop on the steps of Oklahoma City Hall, where the City Council has twice failed to pass a resolution for Indigenous People's Day. Lawton, Tulsa, Anadarko and other towns have done this in Oklahoma. Denver, Phoenix, Spokane, LA, Seattle, Charleston, and many other major cities have embraced Indigenous Peoples Day.
JOIN US in marking the first celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day in Oklahoma City. We don't need their permission to party!
Wealaka Camp is holding a potluck and prayer ceremony to mark the Fall Equinox. Bring a dish and/or drinks and join us for an informal get together to mark the change of seasons.
The Autumnal equinox—also called the September equinox—is the astronomical start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The word equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).
During the equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator” (just imagine the line that marks the equator on Earth extending up into the sky) from north to south. Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the Sun’s rays about equally. The Sun is overhead at noon as seen from the equator. At this point, the amount of nighttime and daytime (sunlight) are roughly equal to each other. Another definition of fall is nights of below-freezing temperatures combined with days of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights.
It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.
–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Come get trained on water protecting. Build the credentials, skills and network to be an effective Water Protector. We have many waters in Oklahoma that need to be protected. Healthy streams are vitally important. Without clean drinking water and healthy ecosystems the cost of providing water increases and enjoyment decreases. Blue Thumb works to educate the public about protecting our streams through hands on educational experiences, presentations and water quality monitoring. Join us in protecting Oklahoma's natural resources.
Blue Thumb training sessions take place in various locations throughout Oklahoma. Training sessions introduce participants to stream ecology, with the presenters covering pollutants, watersheds, water chemistry, monitoring, field collections, stewardship, environmental education, volunteer responsibilities, and many additional topics. Participants who complete the training sessions have the option of receiving a Blue Thumb test kit and working with us to monitor a stream and to educate local people about stream protection.
A training session will be held in July 24-25th located in Idabel, Ok. We will keep you updated on any change or updates.
Wealaka Camp is having a day of Prayer and Ceremony to re-commit and re-align ourselves with the Creator.
We will have a Sunrise Ceremony, Lighting of the Sacred Fire, and an Inipi Ceremony.
Bring a dish for the POTLUCK, so we can share in the feeding of our bodies and spirits together.
By Invitation Only
The Indian Territory Indigenous Confederacy Summit is an inaugural event towards formalizing an Indigenous Confederacy in 2018 by the 39 Indigenous Nations.
We are in a time where we need to stand vigilant on all fronts in the areas of politics, environmeht and racism. We can be a positive and powerful force for our people if we can become united to organize and network among our nations.
We need to be prepared to stand in defense of our sovereighty and our environment for our future generations, as well as our non-Native allies.
Through this event:
-we want to establish grassroots contacts/representation from each of the Indigenous Nations, to work and recruit in their community.
-we'll identify the key issues and produce resolutions on what we can do about them.
-we'll establish a communications network and a website to keep us updated on what is happening, including calls to action
-we can set up various activist training workshops to enhance our skills.
We'll open and close with ceremony:
Friday Night (June 23rd):
Introduction and Welcome by hosts, possible screening of "AWAKE, A dream From Standing Rock"
Saturday (June 24th):
Present historical background to a confederacy and consensus making process, presenters on important issues, and then break off into workgroups to developresolutions. reading and voting on resolutions, discussions can be held after evening meal and reading and voting can carry over to the next morning.
Sunday morning (June 25th) will be to wrap up unfinished business by noon and announcements of upcoming activities.. This is a tentative outline, a formal agenda will be shared later.
Oka Lawa is a primitive site camp, come prepared to be self-sustaining, and bring water in bulk as opposed to individual water bottles to reduce waste and use of petroleum products. NO DRUGS, ALCOHOL OR FIREARMS in camp. There is no electricity of running water and cell phone coverage has only worked sporadically with Verizon.
Donations are accepted contact Oka Lawa Camp or Ben Carnes.
We also have crowdsourcing account that we ask everyone to share: https://www.gofundme.com/eaglemanz
Your Earth, Our Future Rally with the People's Climate March!!
Our youngest are ready to stand up and make their voices heard for the environment!
This is a grass roots effort youth rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol organized by Oklahoma's youth and their families. The march gives our youth a way to make their voices heard about Enviromental issues that may face them in the future.
More TBA. We will be cordinating efforts with People's Climate March
This event is now comprised of more than 20 organizations and growing (such as Your Earth--Our Future/ BOLD Oklahoma/ Turtle Rock Farm/ Black Lives Matter OKC/ Interfaith Power and Light/ OK Sierra Club/ Peace House-- just to name a few, ful llist posted soon) and we will have a tabling event, followed by guest speakers on the environment, followed by a march and a water ceremony-- please join us! Final location unveiled Friday, March 17th, but likely to be held at Harkins Plaza in Bricktown.
April 29th is the date of the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma City will host a sister march right here in OKC! When we will come together in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of people to reject the attack on our climate and push forward with our vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. We believe that in this moment of division, turmoil, and fear, it’s important to put forward an alternative vision that inspires and connects — of an economy built on environmental justice and powered by clean, renewable energy.
Weekly meetings are currently underway, and we are looking for as many diverse partner organizations as possible-- please email email@example.com if you are interested in being involved.
“To change everything, we need everyone.”
The Flood never came to Standing Rock, so let's bring the Flood to the United Nations.
From April 24th to May 5th the United Nations in New York City is holding the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, also known as PFII. Typically, these forums lack Native American representation, and often have Non-Natives speaking on behalf of Natives and their issues. This ends now.
For two weeks, we need to show New York, The UN, and the world that Indigenous People are here, and can speak for themselves.
The world will not forget what happened at Standing Rock. The world will no longer ignore the conditions on reservations, and the issues effecting indigenous people around the globe. 3/4 of the world's population are indigenous, and it's time they stop forgetting that.
There are multiple levels of events within this forum, some more exclusive than others. We want to come out in full force at every level. From top to bottom. From panels at the UN headquarters to flash mob round dances in Time Square, we are going to Flood New York City.
Whether you are registered for the forum or not, we are asking for all indigenous people and allies to come to New York City and show your support. As the strongest of warriors take the United Nations to speak, they will have the support of their brothers and sisters outside, praying, singing, marching and standing in solidarity.
Thousands came to Standing Rock. Thousands came to DC. And we can do the same in New York City.
We are planning a plethora of events, from demonstrations, to speaking engagements, to gatherings and dances and celebrations. For two weeks, let's make New York City our new home.
More details to come as this develops and grows.
If you would like to register your own group for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) in New York City. http://bit.ly/PFIIRegistration
Deadline March 30th 2017
Inexpensive Bus resources :
Please join #OkaLawaCamp for our grand opening weekend. We still have a lot of work to do, but we invite all WATER PROTECTORS & ALLIES to visit camp, see what we are about, and join together in unity to learn more about the issues the indigenous people of Oklahoma - specifically the Chahta people of the Choctaw Nation - are experiencing. We have several events planned throughout the weekend, so please bring a tent and plan to spend your weekend with Oklahoma water protectors and land defenders! Come heal with us!
Friday: Opening prayer/ceremony, Facilitated discussion about historical trauma, speakers
Saturday: WildCraft Walk, Youth Concert, Performers, Speakers, Live Art
Sunday: Youth SpeakOut, Closing prayer
Rain or Shine! Powwow style - BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair)!
*Please do not attend if you are here to cause trouble or are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. We are peaceful, so please no illegal weapons. We have the right to ask those who do not abide by these rules to leave the property.
According to AOE the Diamond Pipeline is 15% from being completed. It has been stated the Diamond pipeline is closer to 10% from completion in Oklahoma alone. Approximately less than one year remains depending upon the findings of artifacts or burial sites within it's pathway.
Camps are beginning to set up and others preparing to begin here in Oklahoma. We found out other pipelines are preparing to begin.
Oklahoma has a huge problem with earthquakes destroying property within communities from the destruction caused by these pipelines and fracking. What is fracking? It is a process in which fractures in rocks below the earth's surface are opened and widened by injecting chemicals and liquids at high pressure: used especially to extract natural gas or oil.
Speakers: (more info to come)
Wicahpi Wetu Win
Ernesto Burbank (if able to be here)
Wes Mekaci Hornick
Camp locations see below information and contact. This is for the protection of our camps.
As past rallies for Standing Rock, we will be collecting donated items for upcoming camps and camps that have began. To be distributed among them.
Items we will be collected:
*Non perishable bulk food such as beans, rice, oats, flour, can goods and drink mixes
*Cooking pots and utensils
*Reusable plastic plates, Old pie tins, and cups (that can be washed and reused)
*Silverware (that can be washed and reused)
*Coffee, creamer, sugar
*Paper items: toilet tissue
*Ice chests preferred large
*Large water coolers
*Two to eight man tents, cabin and dome tents
*Tarps large sizes
*Ropes and Bungee Cords
*Paint (Red, White, Yellow, Black, and Green)
*Porta Potties (online purchase at Walmart.com)
*Biodegradable soap and dish soap
*Flashlights with extra batteries
*Lanterns and oil
*5 Gal buckets with lids can be purchased at Walmart
*Ponchos all sizes
*Solar Phones and chargers
*Chain saws, fuel for such
*Seeds for growing Vegetation
*Generators needed immediately
*Blankets needed Immediately
*Storage containers/bins with lids (all sizes but larger needed more)
*Water Buffalo's and Tanks - to store water for camp use, if you know a farmer or tribe that will help.
*Tipis and poles
*Hygienic items especially items to care for elders
As we did with Standing Rock,
Cash donations and gift cards will be collected at the rally from Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Bass Pro, Costco, Academy, Warehouse Market, Reasors and Kmart (Any place that may carry items needed above)
PLEASE WATCH FOR MORE DETAILS TO COME
March 13 (Yes there was a date change from this coming Saturday to tomorrow)
WILL OPEN TOMORROW!!!
for more camp information regarding Diamond Pipeline coming soon contact on fb:
Mahenwa Em-penkvlahkekos for more details regarding Weakak Camp ONLY
PLEASE CONTINUE TO WATCH FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING OPENING DAYS OF NEW CAMPS AND ITEMS NEEDED.
OKA LAWA camp opens tomorrow. This is AIMs camp and all willing to help in the movement against the Diamond Pipeline. More information regarding items needed for donations and location will be available soon. You can find out more information by contacting Mike Casteel directly on fb.
The Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club, Oklahoma's oldest Native American Intertribal heritage organization, is sponsoring a PEACEFUL #NODAPLmarch in Oklahoma City. We want this to be the largest Native American protest march ever held in the United States.
Speaker 1: A Standing Rock Tribal Council representative.
Speaker 2: Wallace Coffey - Former 6 term 25 year Chairman of the Comanche.
More as we get them confirmed.
The march is planned to be through the center of downtown Oklahoma City. The current plan is to meet on Robinson Ave, South of the intersection with Sheridan Avenue and North of the entrance to the Cox Convention Center Parking Garage beginning at 9:30 am on Saturday March 11th. At 10 am, will will march North on the Northbound lane (only) of Robinson Ave from Sheridan Ave. Once we pass the Colcord Hotel, we will then take up both lanes. At Park Avenue, we will then turn West to Bicentennial Park, where will have speakers lined up to speak to you from the steps of the Civic Center. This march will be peaceful. We will not make any environmental impact to Oklahoma City by leaving any trash, anywhere, at anytime. We will be courteous to our host city, Oklahoma City at all times. These are the plans as of right now. We will update immediately you if there any changes to this plan. Additional speaker confirmed - Casey Camp Horinek - Ponca Tribal Council
#ArkansasRising Community Volunteers are working cooperatively to organize Water Protectors in Memphhis, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to the Native Nations March on Washington DC March 10th . We will leave Muskogee Creek Nation Transit with a Prayer in Oklahoma on March 9th, 2017 around 10-11am. This three day Prayer will then stop in Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Memphis before arriving in DC around 9am, March 10th. We will be returning that evening leaving around 10pm March 10th and returning the same route arrived, ending the prayer in Oklahoma around noon, March 11th.
You can purchase a ticket by donating exactly $198 per ticket and contacting Ernest or Brea ArkansasRising@gmail.com to confirm your ticket number.40 tickets will be available for sale and this will provide 15 free tickets for Indigenous folks in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Memphis. If you would like to Reserve a Ticket email Ernest ArkansasRising@gmail.com or call.
Three donors can can collectively donate exactly $67 (The Big Berner Donation) and provide a ticket for a Regional Water Protector of their choice, email us to learn more ArkansasRising@gmail.com or call Ernest 765-365-3452. Any other donations will help with food costs or to provide more free tickets for Water Protectors (giving priority to consensus and elders, women, children, and men). If the project is not completed, money will be returned, minus a 10% processing fee.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous grassroots leaders call on our allies across the United States and around the world to peacefully March on Washington DC. We ask that you rise in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of the world whose rights protect Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) for the future generations of all. Standing Rock and Native Nations will lead a march in prayer and action in Washington D.C. on March 10th 2017.
From March 7th — March 10th Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island (The United States) will hold a tipi camp near the Washington Monument and on March 10th thousands of Indigenous Peoples and their allies, including 350.org , will march through Washington D.C. to demand that Indigenous rights be respected, that tribal consent is given when any economic development happens on tribal land, and that President Trump meets with Tribal Leaders so he can take accountability for his actions.
#TakeTheMeeting // President Trump must meet with tribal leaders to hear why it’s critical that the US government respect tribal rights. This administration must work with us.
#ConsentNotConsultation // Tribal interests cannot continue to be marginalized in favor of the interests of corporations and other governments. Consultation is not enough– we must require consent.
#NativeNationsRise // The Standing Rock movement is bigger than one tribe. It has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment and future generations. We are asking our Native relatives from across Turtle Island to rise with us.
Calendar of Events
March 7 – 9// Native leaders and their allies will lobby in the halls of power in Washington DC on behalf of the protection of all Tribes.
March 10 // Native peoples + their allies – gathering in thousands – will gather for a March from the Mall to the White House beginning at 10am. After the march, we will gather for a rally at the Ellipse. It is here we will make our demands to the new administration.
The Organizers of this Kickstarter do not receive free tickets unless tickets are gifted in their name. Brea Clark and Ernest Rando thank you for your time and efforts. Updates will be daily, please call (765-365-3452) or email Ernest ArkansasRising@gmail.com if you have any questions.
Tuesday, February 2, 6:30-8:30 pm at Hardesty Regional Library, Pecan Room, 8316 E 93rd St.
Program: Stop Fracking Oklahoma!
Leader: Kim Bartlett, OK Chapter Sierra Club Conservation Chair
FED-UP with continuing earthquakes?
This meeting is for everyone interested in organizing a statewide group to take action to stop Horizontal Fracking in Oklahoma. This is our second meeting, the first was held in early January in Coyle, Oklahoma, the heart of many of the most damaging earthquakes.
Oklahoma Sierra Club wants to connect with a large group of members, citizens and activists from all over the state to make a plan of action that will bring an end to fracking and our manmade earthquakes.
FIGHT AGAINST DIAMOND PIPELINE SPANS THREE STATES
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27 - A coalition of environmental groups announced Friday they are expanding pipeline fights across three states. Members from several indigenous and environmental groups say they’re coming together to force state regulators to protect their water, respect tribal sovereignty, and halt construction on the new Diamond Pipeline.
The Diamond Pipeline will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to West Memphis, Tenessee, crossing several sensitive waterbodies in the affected states. Diamond Pipeline is a partnership between Plains All American LP and Valero Energy.
Several groups, including Bold Oklahoma, #NoPlainsPipeline, the American Indian Movement, and Oklahoma Sierra Club will hold a joint press conference at 2:00PM on Monday January 30th at the Oklahoma State Capitol announcing their campaign. They say they’re calling on residents throughout Oklahoma and Arkansas to help defend water as well as the many sacred Native American sites currently under threat by pipeline construction.
Coalition members say the Arkansas River and many other waterways are threatened by the Diamond project. They say Plains All American’s environmental record, combined with recent, high-intensity earthquakes marks a serious threat to drinking water in the region. The company’s history of major spills and pipeline ruptures has groups alarmed their water may be next.
The rise in powerful earthquakes centered near the nation’s largest oil hub in Cushing has locals and National security agencies concerned that a major environmental catastrophe is imminent.
Mekasi Horinek, a member of the Ponca Nation and director of Bold Oklahoma spent several months at Standing Rock working as a water protector, blocking construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Now back in Oklahoma, Horinek is bringing the fight home.
“The Salt Fork river near the White Eagle Ponca headquarters has experienced eight major fish kills in the past four years,” Horinek noted. With thousands oil & gas wells and disposal sites throughout the region, the fish kills are the likely result of toxic releases tied to fracking, injection wells, and other unchecked methods of wastewater disposal.
Horinek says state and federal regulatory agencies are failing to enforce laws designed to hold companies accountable for the violations. On the rash of recent fish kills, Horinek said, “The EPA and DEQ always tell us they can’t pinpoint where the contamination is coming from. We know that’s not true. It’s everywhere. They’re just not willing to prosecute responsible parties. There’s too many.”
The Diamond Pipeline is just the most recent project to gain approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers. Critics say the company failed to consult tribal governments and now refuses to disclose environmental impact assessments.
In late 2016, #NoPlainsPipeline along with members from Caddo Nation pointed out that Plains Pipeline failed to consult their tribal officers about the presence of religious and culturally significant sites along the Red River II pipeline route. Organizers are concerned the same violations are being repeated with the Diamond Pipeline.
#NoPlainsPipeline founder Ashley McCray said the company’s failure to consult the tribal governments is a violation of federal laws meant to protect ancestral sites. According to the beliefs and customs of many Native American tribes, disturbing the burial sites of ancestors is an act of extreme disrespect and is strictly forbidden.
“Thousands of indigenous peoples were forcibly removed and relocated to this so-called ‘Indian Territory’ and were killed & buried along the way,” McCray said. “More than that, there are 39 federally recognized tribes within the so-called borders of Oklahoma, each of whom continues the spiritual ways and traditions of their ancestors. We know for a fact that these ancestral lands and sacred sites could be desecrated.” she added. McCray says both the Diamond and Red River II projects have set a dangerous precedent; ignoring tribal sovereignty and condoning environmental racism.
Mike Casteel, director of American Indian Movement - Indian Territory provided documentation showing that the Diamond Pipeline will cross the historic Trail of Tears. He says hundreds of unmarked burial sites along the route could be disturbed by pipeline construction.
Casteel says there is undeniable proof that the Diamond Pipeline will be crossing the Trail of Tears. “We cannot sit idly by. Our ancestors died along this trail, and we have many unmarked graves there,” he said.
Casteel says AIM will stand with Indian people as well as the allies now occupying lands stolen through treaty violations. “We no longer accept poisoning-for-profit by any government or private corporation.”
Veronica Shaw Dicus, assistant director for AIM - Indian Territory added “we are fighting to protect life-sustaining water in hopes that our children and future generations won't have to. Water must be protected at all costs. Without it, there is no life."
“It is important the public fully understand the true nature of pipelines, and that they are far from a simple and safe means of transporting fossil fuels,” says Johnson Bridgwater, director of the Oklahoma Sierra Club. Since 2009, the annual number of significant oil and petroleum pipeline accidents has risen almost 60 percent. Bridgewater says the club’s official position is to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure in order to protect air and water quality, conserve natural resources, and mitigate climate disruption.
On January 30th at 2:00 PM, coalition members will give a press conference announcing the campaign to stop Plains All American’s Diamond Pipeline. Representative members from each organization will be available for individual interviews following the conference. The conference will be held on the 4th floor of the State Capitol in the Media Room.