Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee extends support to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, their leadership, citizens and all allies who share in the fundamental hope that our basic life sustaining elements: Water, air and land are protected for all our children, now and into the future.
“This is a crossroads reality,” says Grand Council Chief Madahbee. “We need to be talking about what’s happening in Standing Rock as it could happen in our regions too. There are similar pipelines being constructed and proposed along routes that involve our treaty territories. There are many other developments that have little regard for our sacred sites and burial grounds on our doorsteps. The boil water advisories that our First Nation communities live under every day are a testament to the ongoing impact that private interests and unchecked development have on our lands and waterways in Ontario and beyond.
“The Anishinabek Nation calls on all levels of government to all take a moment and consider the absolute consequences of a Standing Rock in our backyards – what would we do? What are we doing? Whatever it is, we can do better and we must,” says the leader of 40 First Nations in Ontario. “What is happening in Standing Rock – to its people, and what occurred this past weekend where trained dogs were directed to attack men, women and children, is an image that will remain in my mind for all time. I am outraged that there is little regard for one another as human beings. The people of Standing Rock, and others’ efforts to protect land, water and sacred sites against destructive developments and disrespect, is a responsibility that falls within all our efforts.
“The Anishinabek Nation is known for our advocacy, collective support and care to our relatives. This care extends to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all other Nations that are demonstrating responsibility to our future generations. In this world we live in today – where it appears that more regard is afforded to industry than human beings – caring about one another is fundamental to sustaining life too. Standing Rock, we understand and we support your efforts.”
The Dakota Access pipeline, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, is planned to stretch 1,172 miles from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, before ending in Illinois.
The $3.8-billion project was begun in 2014 and is supposed to be completed by the end of the year. Once finished, the pipeline will carry a daily load of 570,000 barrels of oil extracted through hydraulic fracturing. It will cross 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries.
According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
“States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent…”
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 60,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.