News Wrap: Indigenous Environmental Victories, A Native Perspective on Bombing ISIS, Native American Superheros in Comics, and More!

Below are summaries and links to recent news items about recent indigenous environmental victories, a Native perspective on bombing ISIS, a publisher who is breaking stereotypes and raising up Native American superheros, and a failed effort at a symbolic gesture to mend wounds in North Dakota. Continue reading

Native Women Speak Up for Immigrants; ND Oil Production Down, So Why DAPL? and Native Nations Rise March on DC

News summary:

  • The group Indigenous Women Rise is making a strong statement in support of immigrants that the Trump administration is trying to keep out.
  • Once economically booming, the state of North Dakota is facing large revenue drops because of declining oil and agriculture revenue. It begs the question: If oil production is down, why build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)?
  • Today is the Native Nations Rise March in Washington D.C. What you can do.
  • U.N. Official: Trump administration retreating on Indian Rights

Keep reading for the details on these stories. Continue reading

Movement of Movements: Indigenous Rights, Immigration Reform, Environmental Justice Come Together

Indigenous peoples are standing with Muslims in opposing President Trump’s immigration restrictions.

Environmentalists are standing with indigenous peoples, supporting their efforts to recognize and remember missing and murdered indigenous women.

What might seem like unlikely allies on different issues actually is a sign of a greater understanding of how different issues are connected. The term coming into common usage is Movement of Movements. The article Awakening the Movement of Movements in Truthout gives the following description:

The “Movement of Movements” is a phrase used to describe the current profusion of social justice movements sweeping the national and global social-political landscape. Neither an umbrella nor a grand unification organization, it is rather a way of perceiving the threads of connection that link these social justice movements together.

Here are two quick examples of how the work of different movements intersect and support each other.

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DAPL’s Financial Risks Raise Red Flags on Wall Street; Banks Behind DAPL Hire Independent Human Rights Expert

(Credit: Wikimedia)
(Credit: Wikimedia)

We wrote Thursday about how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is engaged in shareholder advocacy around the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The ELCA is one of several religious organizations raising moral questions of corporate social responsibility regarding DAPL.

In a new turn of events, Wall Street, too, is raising red flags about DAPL. Financial markets are simply looking at the bottom line, apparently becoming skittish of companies investing in the pipeline because of unidentified financial risks. They are asking tough questions, according to Bloomberg, a business news service.

The following is an excerpt from a Dec. 1 Bloomberg story headlined: Investors Take Stand on Dakota Access Pipeline:

Investors concerned about the Dakota Access Pipeline have started submitting shareholder proposals to the energy companies building the pipeline as well as to the lenders behind it, urging the companies to better disclose the risks to their business from the controversial investment.

The third largest U.S. pension plan, the $178.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, is one of the investors leading the charge.

Click on the link above for the full story. It’s hard to know how optimistic to be about these reports, but we’ll take the good news where we can get it.

Meanwhile, companies providing credit for the pipeline seem concerned about potential risks, too. For more positive news, keep reading. Continue reading

ELCA Brings Shareholder Resolution on DAPL to Enbridge, a Major Pipeline Investor

This is the first in a series of blogs exploring how religious communities who are Standing with Standing Rock are reviewing their investments for ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Will their investments change?

ELCAThe Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has taken a formal position supporting the Standing Rock Nation and its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). It also is flexing its financial muscle, looking at how its investments are supporting DAPL and asking tough questions of Enbridge, a major DAPL investor.

There is a growing effort to get individuals and institutions to divest from companies tied to DAPL. Divesting is one option outside of the political arena where people can make a difference and vote their values with their money.

The ELCA is a large institutional investor, socking away money for retirement plans for its many employees. It’s the kind of big investor that can influence a corporation. As of the third quarter of 2016, the ELCA had $7.8 billion managed by Portico Benefit Services. (Of that, $6.4 billion was in retirement plans).

The ELCA’s  investments include Enbridge Inc. “whose U.S. vehicle, Enbridge Energy Partners, owns a 27.5% interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline project,” according to Rev. Jeff Thiemann, Portico’s President and CEO. According to a statement Rev. Thiemann made to Healing Minnesota Stories on Dec. 8:

Portico just this week, along with several other investors, submitted a shareholder resolution to Enbridge Inc. [regarding DAPL] … This resolution calls on Enbridge to prepare a report to shareholders detailing the due diligence process used by Enbridge, its affiliates, and subsidiaries to identify and address social and environmental risks, including Indigenous rights risks, when reviewing potential acquisitions.

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St. Paul’s Indigenous Day Parade; The Pope on Climate Change; Horse Ride to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline; and More

On Monday, October 10, St. Paul Public Schools is hosting an inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day Parade. In 2015, the City of Saint Paul declared Oct 10th, formerly recognized as Columbus Day, as Indigenous People’s Day. Parade organizers say this is the first year they had enough planning time to coordinate a public celebration.

The Parade will start at 11 a.m. at the American Indian Magnet School, 1075 East 3rd Street, St. Paul. It will end at Indian Mounds Park. In addition to the parade, there will be food, speakers and demonstrations. This year’s theme is “Water is Life.” Here is a link to the saint-paul-indigenous-peoples-day-parade-flyer.

For more information on the event, contact: Contact Danielle DeLong, danielle.delong@spps.org, 651-744-4018, http://www.spps.org/indianeducation.

The Minnesota History Center also is hosting an Indigenous Peoples Day event, 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 10, with precolonial foods prepared by the Sioux Chef. Speakers include State Representative Peggy Flanagan and Minneapolis City Council Member Alondra Cano. (There is a $25 admission fee.)

For more on climate change and efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, keep reading.

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