Carbon Corridor Conflict
The Salish Sea – where bomb trains and pipelines meet Coast Salish tribes – evokes core religious motivations in progressive churches and tribal longhouses to protect endangered species and the indigenous cultures that revere them. Determined to stop fossil fuel export in their traditional territories, First Nations from British Columbia and Northwest Indians from Washington and Montana have forged ties with Earth Ministry.
On the other side in this battle are the export terminal developers like SSA Marine (Pacific International Terminals), oil companies like Shell and BP, pipeline companies like Kinder Morgan, public relations giants like Edelman, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF).
A third player in this cultural conflict is the Far Right milieu, exemplified by Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), Eagle Forum, and the Tea Party. Converging with these mainstream white supremacists around the fossil fuel export war are Christian Patriots and militia members experienced at intimidation and malicious harassment. With funding from SSA and BNSF, Tea Party PACs and PR fronts like Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports seek to “strike a most devastating psychological blow to Northwest tribes’ pride and their sense of well-being”.
Christian White Supremacy
The driving force of the anti-Indian movement in the United States is Christian Identity doctrine–nurtured by Christian Right resources, and enacted by Christian Patriot violence. As implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples becomes a significant basis for the exercise of jurisdiction by First Nations in Canada and the US, the most virulent opposition will come from the true believers of Christian Identity. Understanding this milieu, and how it relates to other sectors of the anti-Indian movement, is essential to effective indigenous human rights organizing and the future of democracy.
You can read more about American fascism and the anti-Indian movement here.
Our friends at IREHR report on the confrontation between CERA and Red Line Salish Sea in Sedro-Wooley, Washington on May 20.
As Dena Jensen reports, William Honea, Skagit County senior deputy prosecuting attorney –in justifying the CAPR anti-Indian workshop in Sedro-Wooley on May 20–falsely attributed an incendiary quote to Swinomish tribal chairman Brian Cladoosby. Given that Mr. Honea–like CERA celebrity Elaine Willman–was given a platform on KGMI radio to promote racist resentment, it is perhaps a good time for human rights activists and moral authorities to pursue having Saturday Morning Live removed from its programming. After four years of hosting anti-Indian racists on her show, it’s time for KGMI to pull the plug on Tea Party leader Kris Halterman.
As reported at Noisy Waters Northwest, CERA–the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian country”–made an appearance in Skagit County yesterday, four years after the CERA anti-Indian conference in Whatcom County. The 2013 CERA gathering targeted Lummi Nation, while the 2017 CAPR workshop targeted Swinomish Tribal Community.
The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians–Lummi and Swinomish included–oppose fossil fuel export on the Salish Sea, providing an opportunity for promoters of interracial discord to cash in on the carbon corridor conflict.
Read more on the anti-Indian movement revival in the Salish Sea region here.
As the Indian Law and Policy Center reports, termination of Indian tribes as sovereign political entities is endemic in the current presidential administration. Taken as a whole, the agenda of key cabinet appointees and advisors is to finalize assimilation of tribes into the American system of corporate institutional dominance.
In essence, this agenda’s goal is the de facto abrogation of treaties made between tribes and the United States. Indeed, remarks made by Interior Secretary Zinke come right out of the CERA Anti-Indian playbook.
As I characterized the Cherry Point coal fracas, that was round one–a preliminary event prior to the main bout. Round two is the update and revision of land use policies at Cherry Point, consistent with the State of Washington Growth Management Act. As reported at RESources, round three includes many battles in the fossil fuel export war at Cherry Point, that pits Coast Salish tribes against Wall Street.
Former Washington Governor Mike Lowry, “a true friend of the tribes,” passed away May 1. Northwest Treaty Tribes recall Governor Lowry, who supported the Centennial Accord, which acknowledged the tribes as co-managers of natural resources that sustain the indigenous cultures of the Salish Sea. The 1989 accord, designed in part by former National Congress of American Indians president Joe DeLaCruz–chair of public policy at CWIS–became a model for Native Americans.