On October 11 and October 12, Indigenous nations will gather for a two-day environmental symposium. This gathering is the first of its kind on Fort Peck. Water protectors, activists, environmentalists, and concerned tribal members will come together for two days of learning and discussion about protecting the environment, the people, and the sacred lands on which Fort Peck is located. After the violent and excessive response from government agencies to peaceful protestors at Standing Rock, the ACLU filed federal and state open records requests to learn if the government has any plans to obstruct the free speech rights of Indigenous protestors to the Keystone XL Pipeline. At the symposium, the ACLU will present a Know Your Rights workshop and lead a discussion about legal observing.

See agenda here.

Topics include:

  • Our Environment and Sacred Lands
  • Know your First Amendment Rights
  • Introduction to Legal Observing
  • Implications of the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • What We Learned From Standing Rock
  • Seven Sacred Rites Teachings
  • Drug/Human Trafficking and Community Response Plans All Meals Provided

WHEN: Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. each day

WHERE: Fort Peck Community College, Greet the Dawn Auditorium, 605 Indian Ave, Popular MT

WHO: Speakers include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Regina Brave: Oglala Lakota
  • Joye Braun: Cheyenne River Sioux; Water Protector, Community Organizer at Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Faith Spotted Eagle: Yankton Sioux; activist and politician
  • Kandi White: Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara; Native Energy & Climate Campaign Coordinator at Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Lynette Grey Bull: Arapaho; Founder and President of Not Our Native Daughters
  • Paula Antoine: Rosebud Sioux; Program Coordinator at Rosebud Sioux Tribe-Sicangu Oyate Land Office
  • Judith LeBlanc: Caddo; Director of the Native Organizers Alliance
  • Waniya Locke: Ahtna Dene, Dakota, Lakota, Anishanaabe; Water Protector
  • Mark Hefflinger: Digital and Communicators Director at the Bold Alliance, a network of groups in rural states working to protect land and water
  • Lisa DeVille: Three Affiliated Tribes; POWER
  • Dana Cross: First Lake First Nation, Canada
  • Jordan Robinson: Cold Lake First Nations, Canada
  • Tami Grant-Pease: Crow; Retired Social worker

The Environmental Symposium is sponsored by: The ACLU, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Office of Environmental Protection, Fort Peck Medicine Wheel, and BOLD Nebraska.

Quotes: “The impact that Keystone XL would have on our Oceti Sakowin territories would be devastating. Having this environmental symposium at Fort Peck is not only a powerful statement in unity with our sister tribes, but will provide real world insight into what is at stake for all our people and provide accurate information about the devasting impact big oil, man camps, and pipelines pose to our very existence. They say truth will set you free in this case truth is power and we invite our relatives to join us to learn and share in a unique learning opportunity.” - Joye Braun, Indigenous Environmental Network.

“As a Native American woman, I am the most stalked, raped, sexually assaulted, murdered and suffer domestic violence 50% higher than the national average, than any other race in the U.S.The raping, selling and exploitation of our women, children and land is not a new crises, this historical oppression we continue to fight as Indigenous people has been since the very first ship that arrived to the Americas in the colonial era. Indigenous women and children were offered to be raped and used at will for Columbus and the ongoing new settlers, as a demonstration of conquering not only of the land, but the Indigenous people. Today, we continue that fight and say, we are invisible no more, and we will rise up to protect our land from extraction. The same people who are raping our land are the same people raping our people. The oil industry violates our land, as human trafficking exploits our women. The root to this parallel battle we face is historical oppression, racism and undermining of Native American tribes and people. Our fight against inequality, is also a fight for environmental justice and for our Missing, Murdered and Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). These issues are not just another “native issue”, these are crimes against humanity, these are human rights issues” - Lynnette Grey Bull, founder of Not Our Native Daughters (NOND) and Vice President of Global Indigenous Council (GIC)

“Being sovereign means just that….No one should have the authority to approve passage of pipelines but the Treaty Tribes whose land and water they want to cross.” - Cedric Good House, Standing Rock Hunkpapa