Winona LaDuke: It is late August in the North Country, the wild rice is ripening on lakes; the colors have changed from green towards brown, the kernels fill out in the rice heads, from milky to solid. You can smell the rice.
Winona LaDuke: Does it make perfect sense that a First Nation, or coalition of First nations, should assume Canada’s debt and liability on a mega project which will wreak environmental and economic havoc?
Winona LaDuke: A cyclone blizzard filled with dust picked up in Texas—possibly top soil from glyphosate or fracked oil fields—hit northern Minnesota. The snow where it struck was left colored yellow and orange. We are related.
Winona LaDuke: I used to think of the Amazon, the lungs of Mother Earth, but a Google search engine will first take me shopping.
Winona LaDuke: Indeed, support for the Green New Deal is showing signs of becoming a litmus test among lawmakers who may run for president
Winona LaDuke: Laws recognizing the rights of nature thus change the status of natural communities and ecosystems to being recognized as rights-bearing entities with rights that can be enforced by people, governments, and communities.”
Winona LaDuke: The river was once alive, the 3,000-square mile delta spanning that invisible line called a border. The size of Rhode Island, the Colorado Delta is one of the largest desert estuaries in the world.
Winona LaDuke: Minnesota law enforcement will have a bottomless tab open with a Canadian multinational corporation to cover any costs related to quelling resistance to the pipeline.
Winona LaDuke: The Keystone Pipeline, which is not even fully operational, just showed us that it can’t operate safely. The mid-November spill in South Dakota was not supposed to happen—neither were the last five oil spills.
Winona LaDuke: An Environmental Protection Agency-led investigation determined 40,000 pounds of Rozol poison had been illegally distributed across more than 5,400 acres on both the Cannonball and the Wilder ranches.
Winona LaDuke: As the bulldozers and emboldened Morton County march forward, water protectors are forced to remove, as thousands of our ancestors before. We have been here before, it is the American way from Sandy Lake to Big Mountain.
Winona LaDuke: I feel like I am looking at Honduras or El Salvador. Troops sweep in, batons take aim at hands and heads, tear gas is poured on people, and Morton County feels the need to strip and cavity search individuals facing misdemeanor charges.
Winona LaDuke: And, there are a lot of people at Standing Rock today who remember their history and the long standoff at Wounded Knee in 1973, In fact, some of those in Standing Rock today were there in 1973 at Wounded Knee, a different, but similar battle for dignity and the future of a nation.