Why Indigenous Matter for the Environment and Human Rights

All indigenous people worldwide are on the frontline against the environmental crisis, Water Protectors and Land Defenders are classed as “terrorists” by governments in thrall to corporate giants determined to grab what they can in full knowledge of what they’re doing to the planet! We need to support them for our own sakes as well as there’s. But it’s not just exploitative capitalism we need to deal with, indigenous people are driven from their homes for wildlife conservation areas when they know more about conservation than WWF will ever learn!

Indigenous women in Canada are twelves times more likely to be murdered or go missing than non-indigenous women. I don’t know what the statistics are for USA but last year Donald Trump set up a task force to investigate. I was sceptical about whether it would amount to more than a token gesture but the appointment of an indigenous woman, Deb Haaland, as Secretary of the Interior gives me more hope.

A coal mine in Australia is displacing indigenous people on two continents. That’s because the coal is going to fuel a power station in India to provide electricity to Bangladesh! As usual, the local people suffer the consequences without any benefit.

Human Rights Lawyer Steven Donziger just spent his 60th birthday facing 6mths imprisonment after an unprecedented 770 days under house arrest in a travesty of justice. His crime? He took corporate giant Chevron to court in support of indigenous people in the Amazon and won! Instead of paying a fine that constituted a minuscule of what they’ve made from their crimes, they hired a judge and prosecutor to convict him of contempt of court in a case that the federal prosecutor refused to have anything to do with!

The Ongoing Persecution of Steven Donziger https://www.thenation.com/article/world/donziger-chevron-house-arrest/

Indigenous people from around the world supported the Lakota at standing rock and there’s a video of Chase Ironeyes, lead attorney for Lakota People’s Law Project, at a Black Lives Matter Rally. His daughter welcomed welcomed Greta Thunberg to Standing Rock – two young women of the same age but different cultures sharing a vision!

Greta Thunberg and Takota Iron Eyes at Standing Rock https://youtu.be/qvmCjCEZB_g via @YouTube

I have a lot more detail on Twitter, but I’m open to questions.

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