Native Sun News: Lakota youth joins fight against coal mine in Australia

Joseph White Eyes, far left, displays the flag of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe during his trip to Australia. Photo by Joseph White Eyes

White Eyes in Australia to protest giant coal mine
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

SYDNEY, Australia –– Fresh from a 500-mile relay run to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline construction across Lakota Territory, Cheyenne River Sioux tribal youth Joseph White Eyes headed for the Land Down Under to speak out against a mammoth coal mine that threatens Aboriginal land and water.

Co-founder of the One Mind Youth Movement at Eagle Butte, White Eyes began his advocacy work at age 6 as a participant in the Cheyenne River Youth Project. He is now a student at Oglala Lakota College.

“Protecting the environment is something we all should be doing,” White Eyes said in media release linking his leadership in the Northern Great Plains oil pipeline conflict to his invitation to be a keynote speaker during an event organized by Australia’s first Indigenous youth-led climate collaborative.

White Eyes represented the Indigenous Environmental Network, or IEN, at the “Protect Country” Climate Justice Summit in Sydney, April 29-May 2. The summit culminated in an action against the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine in the Wangan and Jagalingou country of Central Queensland.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) representatives launched legal action in federal court in April, challenging the government’s issuance of mining leases to the multinational conglomerate Adani Group, headquartered in India, for the proposed $21.5-billion Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project.

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