On January 8, 2009 the world will witness an historic procession of First
Nations chiefs on horses at the National Mall in Washington DC. The chiefs will come from Canada to present their message to the American people and President-elect Obama, that they must be compensated for the oil being sold by Canada to the United States. It is actually the First Nations within the borders of Canada who are the largest provider of foreign oil to the U.S. but they are not receiving payment. The event will begin in the morning with a prayer ceremony (that is closed to the public),
followed by a procession with horses down the National Mall. The day will
culminate with a press conference at the National Press Club at 1:00 PM
I am sending you the attached press release because today’s government
policies are violating Native American peoples’ Religious Freedom. Sacred
sites are being mined, cleared, dumped on, contaminated, sold, stolen, and
desecrated. Indigenous peoples are having to leave their homelands or
alter their lifestyles due to present-day industry and government
encroachment. Oil imported from Canada comprising the largest foreign oil supply to the U.S, the U.S. border wall at Mexico, the coal that powers
much of the southwest U.S – these and hundreds of other massive projects
that serve the modern lifestyle and current power regime in America, are
disrupting the living historical legacy of the Native American religions.
We so-called westerners live the way that we do at the direct expense of
the indigenous peoples’ wellbeing.
A violation of religious freedom for anyone is a breach in security for
everyone. Native American spirituality is tied in with the land.
Separation from the land disables traditional cultural practices,
resulting in language extinction, poverty, and social challenges for
example. Just as the indigenous plant and animal species are disappearing
and at risk, the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere are also
struggling to survive.
The one-day event will provide an opportunity to highlight an historic
event leading into the inaugural celebration events, as well as news
angles to address the concerns of Canadian oil, human rights,
international trade, and homeland security. Special guests will act as
validators to the Treaty One Council and their “oil declaration.”
May 2009 be a year when religious freedom, peace and justice are restored.
I hope to hear back from you.
Thank you for your attention,
Contacts, for press only:
Noemi Perez, (703) 270-9254, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Glenn Hudson, (204) 223-4209
December 31, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canadian Indigenous Community to Deliver Message of Oil and Human Rights to President-Elect Obama
Delegation follows in centuries-long tradition of delegations of American Indians traveling to Washington, DC to meet the “Great White Father.”
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – In the tradition of delegations of American Indians traveling in the late 1800s to Washington, DC to meet the “Great White Father,” Chiefs from Canada’s First Nations will be traveling to the U.S. capitol to seek the support of President Elect Obama in their fight for Human Rights. On January 8, a First Nations delegation of Chiefs from across Canada will conduct a procession on horseback at the National Mall in Washington D.C. to deliver their message, followed by a Press Conference.
“We are hopeful that President-Elect Obama will embrace the attitude of respect, compassion and support by engaging in the accountability of equitable and fair trade between the United States, the Indian Nations and the Canadian Government,” stated Chief Glenn Hudson of Peguis First Nation, a spokesman for Treaty One. “Canada is the largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States,” added Chief Hudson. “America needs to purchase 14 million barrels of foreign oil every day, and maintaining a steady supply of oil is a national security issue for the U.S. So far, Canada pays little or no royalties to indigenous people for resources.”
Chiefs from the seven First Nations of Treaty One announced a decision to assemble the delegation of Chiefs to deliver a message of oil and human rights to President-Elect Obama. During the election campaign President-Elect Barack Obama talked of his concerns with “dirty oil” from Canada and made many of positive statements on a new relationship with Native America.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over eighty percent of all Canadian exports flow to the U.S. Canada remained the largest exporter to the U.S. of total petroleum in September, exporting 2.364 million barrels per day. The second largest petroleum exporter to the U.S. was Saudi Arabia with 1.431 million barrels per day.
Two major pipelines, the Enbridge Alberta Clipper and the TransCanada Keystone Project, being constructed through three provinces will carry an additional 1.9 million barrels of oil per day to the U.S. by 2012. The two pipelines are of grave importance to American energy needs given the increasing instability of other foreign sources of oil. Canada supplies the United States with 65% more oil per day than Saudi Arabia, yet the stability of oil supply from Canada has never been of concern to Americans. The oil that the U.S. is purchasing from Canada is stolen from indigenous lands, constituting a security breach for the United States, Canada, and the First Nations.
In September, two blockades by First Nations in the Province of Saskatchewan sent shockwaves through the industry as construction was halted for four and six days at two sites. Chief Barry Kennedy of Carry the Kettle First Nation (Treaty Four) and Chief Sheldon Wuttunee of Red Pheasant First Nation (Treaty Six) in Saskatchewan organized the blockades. The First Nations are currently in negotiations with the pipelines.
Treaty One will send invitations to Chiefs from all three prairie provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Invitations will also go to British Columbia where First Nations are fighting the proposed Gateway Pipeline. Gateway will pipe oil to the Pacific to be sent on Ocean Tankers to China and western United States. On the American side, invitations to speak in Washington will go to four tribes from North and South Dakota. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, the Rosebud Sioux, Santee Sioux and Yankton Sioux Tribes recently launched a U.S. lawsuit to stop the TransCanada pipeline.
The First Nations delegation of Chiefs seeks President-Elect Obama to apply international pressure on Canada – the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S. – to share resource wealth with the indigenous people of Canada, the original and rightful owners of the resources. An emergency resolution at the national Assembly of First Nations in the December 2008 Summit in Ottawa will debate the proposed Declaration on Oil. The AFN is the national political representative of 633 First Nations in Canada.
While the United States recognizes property in its Bill of Rights and recognizes Treaties as the “law of the land” in its constitution, Canada omits the Right to Property in its Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The United States and Canada both voted against the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights, an issue that will surely confront the newly elected President of the United States.
About Treaty One First Nations in Manitoba.
Treaty One territory is 16,700 square miles, (10 million acres) directly in the path of both Enbridge and TransCanada pipelines. The pipelines are currently being constructed through Treaty One territory without any prior approval by the indigenous people.