Native women’s societies join forces against man campsBy Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today Contributing Editor
nativesunnews.today RAPID CITY – Keystone XL Pipeline opponents joined forces on February 24 with advocates of justice for missing and murdered indigenous women. Launching the WHY Campaign here, they forged an alliance to rally against man camps on the proposed tar-sands crude-oil pipeline route through Lakota Territory. “We are going to partner with other organizations on the issue of man-camp awareness,” said Lily Mendoza, a leader in the Red Ribbon Dress Society of the Black Hills. She explained that the camps would be temporary settlements for thousands of transient male pipeline construction workers. If the pipeline permit application obtains federal approval, “native women and families will be directly impacted by three main camps, which are proposed to house 1,000 workers each,” she told a full-house at the Journey Museum event for the Why Campaign, which promotes gender equality in recognition of both victims and survivors of violent crime. Jim Yellowhawk’s original artwork, entitled “Why” took center stage, with t-shirts and earrings based on it for sale as fund raisers.
In addition to decrying the specter of boomtown social milieu, adversaries cite the pipeline route’s alleged violation of the U.S. Constitution and treaty law, the threat of water and soil contamination from spills, and the air pollution created by drilling and burning the fuel. With TransCanada’s most recent projection for construction startup still set for 2019, The Action Network now is coordinating pipeline rivals through a Promise to Protect Training Tour. The network is signing up people to “commit to traveling to the pipeline route to engage in peaceful, creative resistance to Keystone XL when the call is put out by frontline communities to help stop this Black Snake,” it says. To date, trainings are scheduled in Miami, Seattle and San Francisco to mobilize “nonviolent but resolute displays of our continued opposition to a project that endangers us all.” In pointing a finger at the man camps’ record elsewhere, Mendoza observed that Indian women “are already two times more likely to be sexually assaulted” than those of other races.
Contact Talli Nauman at firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright permission Native Sun News Today
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