Kenténha (October) 17, 2013 – The Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke – People of the Longhouse – is horrified by the recent RCMP attack of indigenous protesters at the Mi’kmaq Nation at Elsipogtog near Rexton, New Brunswick. The protestors have been barricading Route 134 since September 30, to prevent the SWN Resources Canada from conducting exploratory research for potential shale hydrofracking in that area.
Since its introduction into our traditional territory, the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy has been opposed to hydrofracking. A statement issued by the Haudenosaunee Grand Council states:
“We have seen first-hand the impacts of hydrofracking; the vast industrialization of the landscape, the pollution of the air from hundreds of trucks, propane stripping stations, gas flares, and compression stations; the fragmentation of habitat and landscape by the incursions of roads and drill pads; the ruining of streams and drinking wells from drilling-related contamination; and most heartbreakingly, the permanent disruption of peoples homes, lives and communities. Even when things are done “right”, the impacts are devastating.”
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established human rights standards that directly relate to this matter. They include:
- Article 19. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
- Article 29. This article contains three important provisions relating to the rights to the conservation and protection of the environment of the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples.
- Article 37. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and constructive arrangement concluded with States and their successors.
The Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke understands that if the Mi’kmaq Nation at Elsipogtog did not take action against SWN Resources Canada, their exploration for shale gas would no doubt prove disastrous to the Mi’kmaq and the neighboring Canadian municipalities.(See reverse for details).
The Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke stands in support of the Mi’kmaq people of Elsipogtog and are prepared to offer whatever assistance they require.
In peace and friendship,
Atsenhaién:ton Kenneth Deer
Secretary – Kahnawà:ke Branch
Haudenosaunee Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy
Kahnawake Mohawk Territory – Kenténha (October) 18, 2013
For more than two weeks, a coalition of people including local Mi’kmaq residents of Elsipogtog near Rexton, New Brunswick and Anglophone and Acadian settlers, have blockaded the road leading to an equipment compound leased to South Western Energy or SWM in efforts to protect the waters from the consequences of fracking.
SWN is a Texas based energy company, that has been attempting to conduct natural gas exploration in the area’s shale formations. It is believed that if significant deposits of gas are found, SWN would then employ the controversial extraction method of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. But since this past summer, protests, direct actions and sabotage have thwarted their work, and have turned public opinion on the side of the protesters.
Throughout the summer, police arrested dozens of people conducting non-violent civil disobedience. But since the arrival of members of the Mi’kmaq warrior society, the police have not been as keen to come near protesters.
The blockade is preventing SWN from operating thumper trucks, massive vehicles that gather seismic data to determine the location of natural gas.
Fortunately, a partnership has been established, co-operation between natives and settlers, has kept this blockade fully stocked and operational. Food, wood, hot coffee, tents and other supplies keep streaming all the while SWN berates the police in the media for not arresting the protesters.
Today, several people named in a court injunction are due to appear before a judge. In the meantime supporters keep arriving, any support would be greatly appreciated.
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