Archive for June 4th, 2010

by jhwygirl

Just try and tell me it doesn’t exist…or that it’s nothing to worry about.

WE have a problem and it’s time WE face up to it. It isn’t a top-down punishment-oriented solution. It’s a bottoms-up education-oriented solution too.

Otherwise, all we’re doing is pushing the costs on the taxpayers in law enforcement and jailing.

Education is far less expensive. Time’s a wastin’, legislators – get after it, OK?

by jhwygirl

Journalist extraordinaire Jodi Rave – who covers Native issues and the issues that affect Native peoples not just here in Montana, but worldwide – announced her new blog Buffalo’s Fire a few weeks back, kicked off for me with a post announcing that one of the most amazing social activists evah, Winona LaDuke, was coming to Montana to speak about environmental justice and to participate in a two-day event that would also bring the Indigo Girls.

The first day of the two-day event is tonight with a buffalo feast that will honor Elouise Cobell for her work towards seeking a settlement in the long and hard fought Cobell v. Salazar lawsuit.

Saturday presents an extraordinary opportunity for Montanans to hear Winona LaDuke moderate a panel that includes an amazing set of speakers Eriel Deranger from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations of Canada, speaking on the impacts of tar sands oil development; Gail Small of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation will talk about her community’s ongoing struggle to stop coal development; Francis Auld, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes cultural preservation officer will address sacred sites; Rich Janssen, acting director of the CSKT Natural Resource Department will address environmental concerns of the Flathead Reservation.

Yes – this all ties in with the Exxon/Imperial Oil/MDOT/Schweitzer plan to transport Korean built oversized loads up along the historic and scenic Lochsa River, down along Lolo Creek, through Missoula and on up adjacent to the historic and scenic Blackfoot River. From there it’ll be over Rodger Pass (yep, they’re doing this in winter, folks), and on up through Great Falls to Canada’s tar sands.

It’s “jobs, jobs, jobs,” as Governor Brian Schweitzer put it – but what it really is is jobs for N. Koreans and Canadians…and one-time only highway flag-waving jobs for Montanans. Yipee!!

I saw Winona LaDuke once. She left me breathless with her impact as a speaker. I was moved for days. Still am when I think about it.

Winona and the panel discussion begins tomorrow at 1:30 in Pablo at Johnny Arlee/Victor Charlo Theatre at the Salish Kootenai College. Click on that link above for more information.

The Kearl Transport Exxon/Imperial Oil modules have many ramifications. Widening of roads for turnouts – roads that are adjacent to important fisheries like the Lochsa, Lolo Creek and the Blackfoot River. Widenings that will increase turbidity discharge into these important waters. Travel of these oversized loads represent jobs lost to Americans and Canadians – and support of N. Korea. North Korea.

Those tar sands? It’s some of the filthiest stuff and the nastiest process on earth. Massive large-scale destruction of boreal forests to scoop up the stuff for processing. It ruins watersheds, and it destroys water tables. The Athabasca Chipewyan native peoples suffer from the air poisoned by its toxins, and die from the rare cancers it has brought to the region.

Then there’s the larger scale impact of the use and reliance on oil.

Here are a couple links to the health issues that processing these tar sands brings:
An Interview with Mike Mercredi, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations
Pollution flows downstream
Why is Cancer Sweeping Tiny Fort Chipewyan?

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