#IndigenousRising in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Photo: Victoria Pickering
Environment | Opinion

Gyasi Ross: Native Nations assert authority as guardians of the earth





With President Donald Trump bragging about approving the Dakota Access Pipeline, withdrawing the United States from global climate change accords and promising to make it "easier" for tribes to exploit their resources, what can Native Nations do to protect the environment? Gyasi Ross, the editor at large for Indian Country Media Network, calls on tribes to enact stronger laws on their homelands:
Native Nations within the United States and Native people currently have an opportunity to assume our proper position as the authorities on the Earth. See, there is a strange confluence of circumstances happening right now that can show Native environmental brilliance but also Native Nations’ legal authority. The brilliance is always there but the legal authority is not. A little over a week ago, U.S. District Court Judge said that the Army Corps of Engineers did not do all of their homework before it approved permits to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. That’s positive. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago the idiot President Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The Agreement is an effort to curb global warming by reducing greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.

That is bad.

So while the “domestic, dependent Nations”—Native Nations—are fighting like hell to lower carbon emissions and global warming, the United States is opting to become an unabashed environmental scofflaw. Sure, the U.S. has always been kinda nasty and helped to create a lot of the greenhouse emission problem that we have now. However, in fairness many Americans did not know the long term effect that carbon emissions would have.

But now we know. And still the U.S. has doubled down on nasty behavior. By leaving the Paris Accords, the U.S. has become the person who throws trash down on the ground three feet from the garbage can and with a “No Littering” sign right in front of her/him.

Read More on the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Donius, Dakota Access Pipeline and The Paris Climate Accords: Ideas to Protect Our Homelands (Indian Country Media Network 7/3)