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CHIEFS OF ONTARIO SUPPORT STANDING ROCK SIOUX NATION: ATROCITIES AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IS ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM SAYS ONTARIO REGIONAL CHIEF ISADORE DAY

Shared Territory of Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations (Toronto) --- Over the Labour Day long weekend, thousands of American Indians and First Nations from Canada gathered at Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota to protest the construction of a pipeline that will add another sad chapter to the long list of atrocities committed against our Peoples.

This past weekend, innocent men, women and children – peaceful protesters – were attacked with tear gas, pepper spray and dogs in order to allow bulldozers to destroy sacred land for another pipeline.

LaDonna Bravebull Allard of the Standing Rock Sioux perfectly summed up this latest atrocity: “The U.S. government is wiping out our most important cultural and spiritual areas. And as it erases our footprint from the world, it erases us as a people. These sites must be protected, or our world will end, it is that simple. Our young people have a right to know who they are. They have a right to language, to culture, to tradition. The way they learn these things is through connection to our lands and our history.”

Many countries face water crises, but few have the natural or financial resources of Canada and the U.S. We live in a democratic society where every person is entitled to safe drinking water without the threat of violence.

The United Nations General Assembly, on the Rights to Water: “entitles everyone, without discrimination, to have access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.”

The time for confrontation is over. We need to act now to save our planet for our children and for future generations.

I call on Prime Minister Trudeau, all Premiers and Territorial Leaders in Canada, and President Barrack Obama and State Governors in the U.S. to end the notion that we have the luxury of time to de-entrench gradually from a fossil fuel society – there is not a second longer to waste. We must abandon “oil centrism” and act now to reconfigure into a new North American energy program that will be aimed towards saving the lives of Our Children and improving the quality of life of all humanity.

Please attached Chiefs of Ontario Water Declaration or visit http://www.chiefs-of-ontario.org/sites/default/files/files/COO_water_declaration_poster.pdf

The Chiefs of Ontario is an advocacy forum, and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada.