Wow,what a beautiful tumblr. Thanks for making it,there aren't many about native americans :( I'm amazed and obsessed with all native american culture and stuff,wish I was one,really bad. Envy you in a good way,you beautiful soul xxxx
In August 2013 the Nimi’ipuu People of the Nez Perce Tribal Nation banned mega-loads destined for the Alberta tar sands from their treaty territory, which extends through north central Idaho, southeastern Washington, and northeastern Oregon. Over 4 days of protest during August 2013, a total of 29 Nez Perce tribal members were arrested, including women, children, elders, spiritual leaders, and 8 Tribal Council members. Nez Perce Tribal Councilman Brooklyn Baptiste says that their ancestors such as Chief Joseph and Looking Glass were present for the blockade. In fact when the mega-load blockade happened, a drum group was singing the same song Nimi’ipuu warriors sang when they arrived at the 1855 Treaty Commission.
In 1855 then-Idaho Governor Isaac Stevens was trying to push through a land-theft proposal. However, in only 2 days the Nimi’ipuu leader Looking Glass rode from Buffalo Country Montana to Walla Walla, Washington, rallying more than 1,000 warriors along the way. As present-day Nimi’ipuu people halted tar sands expansion with the August 2013 blockade, the arrival of warriors at Walla Walla in 1855 suspended the Treaty Commission for more deliberation.
“Our relatives had to be there, our ancestors to empower us,” said Baptiste. “The Nez Perce, the Nimi’ipuu, the People, we came together that night, made a stand, and did something that everyone else said could not be done. We stopped billion dollar companies from coming in and just blowing over a little tribe. Now they no longer consider this a viable passageway because of the things that transpired that night with our people, their sacrifices, and us being able to honor and lead them into that sacrifice was huge.”
The forethought Nimi’ipuu ancestors put into the language of the 1855 Treaty, also known as the Stevens Treaty, is ultimately why the Nez Perce Tribal Council was able to get an injunction to permanently stop mega-loads from passing through their territory. “If we’re leaders, elected or not, somewhere along the line we’re a reflection of our ancestors, our ancestors like Chief Joseph and Looking Glass,” said Baptiste. “We’re nothing like them, but if we are to be a reflection of them in some small manner, we had to go beyond our desk and go jail.”
The majority of arrests happened on Sunday August 4, 2013 when Omega-Morgan, armed with last-minute permits issued by the State of Idaho, sought to sneak a megaload shipment through the heart of Nez Perce territory along Scenic Byway 12, which is a federally-protected and runs past some of the best tribal fisheries in the nation and the Nimi’ipuu sacred site known as the Heart of the Monster. In 2011 Exxon/Mobil, the parent company of Omega-Morgan, attempted to push through a mega-load proposal. Exxon/Mobil did a test-run of a mega-load on Highway 12 that blocked traffic on both sides lanes of traffic, scraped the sides of cliffs in some places, and took out some power lines that caused an entire community to lose power. The Nez Perce were able to get an injunction against Exxon/Mobil in 2011, but in 2013 Omega-Morgan began its invasion.
The State of Idaho issued permits too late on Friday August 2, 2013 for the Nez Perce to file an injunction before Omega-Morgan’s shipment scheduled for Sunday night, but the Nez Perce stood strong during the blockade. Hundreds of people turned out, and 29 Nimi’ipuu people were arrested for defending treaty rights. According to Nez Perce Tribal Chaplain Leotis McCormack, the heart of the direct action was to protect the Nimi’ipuu way of life for future generations. “We have a responsibility that we feel is beyond just a work responsibility is to protect our way of life for our young ones, our children, our children’s children,” said McCormack. “So this was just another one of those components that came into it was this is an opportunity for us to exemplify what we believe in so much, not just wanting a position on Council but to protect our people. That’s what they put us here to do is protect them.”
Despite the blockade by tribal members, the first Omega-Morgan shipment was able to get by. However, the second mega-load was stuck at the port of Lewiston, Idaho after a federal judge upheld the Nez Perce injunction. Lewiston is the easternmost port of the Colombia River, and the remaining mega-load had nowhere else to go, besides back downriver. The injunction blocked a proposal to send 200 mega-loads through Nez Perce territory. Currently there are more than 2,000 mega-loads waiting on the West Coast, which have been imported from Korea in preparation for the tar sands expansion. General Electric, Exxon/Mobil, Conoco/Phillips, and subsidiaries like Omega-Morgan are running out of options. Initially, oil representatives apologized and pleaded with the Nez Perce to lift the injunction, but the Tribal Council held that the land was more valuable than any settlement. “Sorry didn’t keep me from going to jail! I didn’t go to jail just to sell-out now, and the rest of the Council said there can’t be a selling point,” said Baptiste. “That was the line. When we made the decision to go to jail as elected leaders, we knew this could mean our jobs.” The Nimi’ipuu people belong to the land, and that is the heart of why Nez Perce Tribal Council risked their jobs and got arrested.
Now Omega-Morgan is working to invade territory of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indians. In December 2013, the Port of Umatilla on the Colombia River became a target for the heavy haul. “So what’s difficult is that doesn’t stop those loads from going through other tribal nations, and I think that’s the message we’d like to get out,” said McCormack. “We all have a responsibility to be stewards over our land. That’s kind of what we were created to do. We’re the gatekeepers of our own territory.” As they did in Lewiston, Omega-Morgan hired police to arrest the blockaders on Sunday December 2, 2013. Bail was set at $150,000 for the 3 people arrested at the blockade in Umatilla, Oregon. 84-year-old Umatilla Cathy Sampson-Kruse was among those arrested, and she is a relative of Brooklyn Baptiste.
Is it appropriation for me to burn sage? I consider myself a spiritual person and I have heard about the healing properties of sage. However, I would never want to disrespect the Native American tradition. Thanks!
Personally, I don’t think so. Sage burning isn’t strictly a “Native American thing”. Lots of different cultures all over the world have done it for thousands of years.