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Native News Briefs: ‘Stop Trump pipelines’ coalition responds to Biden’s UN remarks

Navajo Times file photo
A filmmaker’s drone flies over the protest site called “Ground Zero” by water protectors opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota in 2016.


During his first address to the U.N. Tuesday, President Joe Biden attempted to separate his administration from Trump’s failures on climate action by speaking at length about the need to tackle the climate crisis.

President Biden declared to the General Assembly that “we will lead on all the greatest challenges of our time from COVID to climate change” and noting that inaction would mean “we will all suffer the consequences of our failure.”

Biden’s remarks come shortly after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed Biden has taken “every step he can take within his control, to move the climate agenda forward.”

The Indigenous Environmental Network reports that while major steps are happening, as demonstrated by stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, the president has yet to act to stop just as risky pipelines that were rubber-stamped by the Trump administration.

These include Line 3 and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“These fossil fuel pipelines would threaten Americans’ land, clean water, property rights, and tribal sovereignty while accelerating the climate crisis,” the network said.

For months, Indigenous, environmental, and allied activists have been calling on the administration to live up to its climate and justice commitments and cancel these and other Trump pipelines, the network said, climate action that is well within the administration’s authority and Congress does not need to act.

In response, Joye Braun, the National Pipelines Organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network, released the following statement on behalf of the Stop Trump Pipelines coalition.

“President Biden is attempting to turn the page from the Trump administration, but until he uses his authority to stop all Trump-era fossil fuel projects, our communities will continue to raise the red flag,” Braun said.

“Want to lead the way in responding to the climate crisis? Stop Trump pipelines,” she said. “Want to fulfill our moral obligation to frontline communities and future generations? Stop Trump pipelines. Want to turn the page from Trump? Stop Trump pipelines. Want to lead the world on climate action? Stop Trump pipelines.”

Settlement reached with college over sacred tribal land

LONG BEACH, Calif. – A settlement was reached in a lawsuit against California State University-Long Beach, which provides protection for the Puvungna, a listed historical and cultural site on the college’s campus.

The site is sacred to southern California tribal groups.

The lawsuit was filed by the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation-Belardes and the California Cultural Resources Preservation Alliance Inc.

The settlement requires the university to record a declaration document that prohibits the university from developing or damaging the land and allows tribal groups to continue using it for traditional activities.

The document “runs with the land,” meaning that it binds the university and any future owners of the land to follow its restrictions.

The settlement also requires CSU to establish a conservation easement over the site, which would shift care of the land to a manager agreed upon by the settlement parties.

Matias Belardes, chairman of the Juaneñi Band, said, “This agreement honors the land and it honors the people who have been fighting to protect Puvungna for 30 years.”

The settlement closes a decades-long conflict between the college and tribal groups. The plaintiffs argued that the university acted improperly in the fall of 2019 when it dumped 6,400 cubic yards of construction dirt and debris on Puvungna.

The 22-acre parcel is the most significant remaining undeveloped parcel of sacred land for tribal groups in southern California.

Joyce Stanfield Perry, tribal manager and cultural resource director, said, “Puvungna holds the graves of our ancestors and serves as a place of worship and celebration for the tribal groups across southern California.

“We look forward to working with the university,” she said, “to restore Puvungna and protect this land for future generations.”

12 tribes to get access to national crime info

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Justice selected an additional 12 federally recognized tribes to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information.

The U.S. DOJ reports that the program provides tribes with access to national crime information systems, including those maintained by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division and the states.

The 12 tribes are: Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa, Havasupai Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Menominee Tribe, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Muckleshoot Tribe, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, “Timely access to federal criminal information can help protect domestic violence victims, place foster children in safe conditions, solve crimes and apprehend fugitives on tribal land, among other important uses.”

TAP has been an important resource for the department’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative and the Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, known as Operation Lady Justice.

10 tribes receive economic opportunity grants

WASHINGTON – On Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Indian Affairs announced that the Native American Business Development Institute awarded business development grants totaling $500,000 to 10 tribes.

The funds will help to identify and evaluate economic opportunities for tribal communities.

The tribes are:

• Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, awarded $44,500 for a convenience store/gas station feasibility study.
• Nulato Tribal Council, awarded $45,000 for a tribally owned airline feasibility study.
• Delaware Nation, awarded $37,500 for an orchard and apiary products company feasibility study.
• Oglala Sioux Tribe, awarded $65,000 for a feasibility study for businesses for the Crazy Horse scenic byway.
• Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, awarded $48,000 for an aquaculture/aquaponics feasibility study.
• Oneida Nation, awarded $65,000 for a beef and buffalo production plant feasibility study.
• Rappahannock Tribe of Virginia, awarded $40,000 for an economic development through tribal enterprises feasibility study.
• Walker River Paiute Tribe, awarded $65,000 for a food sovereignty economic development feasibility study.
• Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, awarded $45,000 for an economic development recovery feasibility study.
• Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, awarded $45,000 for an economic feasibility and business plan.

Bryan Newland, assistant secretary-Indian Affairs, said, “Tribes will use these grants to explore opportunities to further economic self-sufficiency and tribal self-determination.”

Grants are awarded on the basis of a proposal’s potential to create jobs for tribal members and stimulate economies in Native American communities.


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