Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

Features

Over the past few years there has been a major investment boom in Africa, with a heavy push for oil and gas pipelines and other energy and infrastructure projects. In the rush for economic development, however, there has been little consideration of the negative environmental and human impacts of these large scale projects. African leaders support the recommended scaling up of infrastructure development and have called for the creation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) as the blueprint for the continent.
Clayton Thomas-Müller is one of the most well known faces of Indigenous resistance to extractive industries and climate change both in Canada and across the world. Many know him from his pointed vlogs on social media, his participation at direct actions, frequent speaking engagements across Canada and the U.S., or his participation and leadership of Indigenous delegations to lobby United Nations bodies for Indigenous rights and environmental and economic justice.
Nestled among the glaciers and plentiful freshwater systems of the Himalayas, Nepal is a rich source of alternative energy. Recently, the government of Nepal has introduced a host of ambitious projects to tap its vast hydropower potential. In February 2016, the government endorsed the National Energy Crisis Reduction and Electricity Development Decade Plan, which aims to produce 10,000 megawatts of energy. Currently, as many as 70 hydroelectricity generating plants (ranging in capacity from 6 to 750 megawatts) are in operation across the country.
The land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is a place of power; rolling hills juxtaposed with the wide open sky, revealing the quiet and beautiful strength of both. Through this land flows the Missouri River, the longest river in the northern part of Turtle Island, whose waters provide drinking water and life to the Tribe in a region with little other surface or groundwater available. Both the Tribe and the River have a long history of colonial impact.
“National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans should be developed by incorporating the different trends, proposals, ideas, and thoughts of Indigenous Peoples.” — Bribri elder Alejandro Swaby
“We will preserve and enhance our traditional values by living and teaching the inherent principles of respect, honor and integrity as embodied in our language and life-ways.” — Spokane Tribe mission statement
One year ago in February, our families on Standing Rock started organizing with urgency and a new community action collective, Chante Tin’sa Kinanzi Po (People, Stand with a Strong Heart), emerged. The Dakota Access Pipeline was coming, despite more than two years of objections raised directly to the company, Energy Transfer Partners, and years of successive Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council resolutions passed in opposition to pipeline construction within the boundaries of our treaty lands.
Last fall, Indigenous Peoples from around the world came to stand with Standing Rock on the banks of the Cannonball River in North Dakota to protect water through the power of prayer, occupation, and protest. Standing Rock has become a much bigger symbol for the ongoing disregard of Indigenous rights to traditional territories and ways of life.
On January 21, 2017, a half million people, predominantly women, took to the streets in almost every major U.S. city, and several more around the globe, for the historic Women’s March. They came to protest the new Trump administration and its war on women’s rights, the environment, racial and ethnic minorities, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, to name but a few.