May 16, 2015 - Idle No More ~ From the Arctic to the Salish Sea

Press Statement
For Immediate Release May 14, 2015
Contact: Sweetwater Nannauck
(206) 245-5621

Idle No More ~ From the Arctic to the Salish Sea

SEATTLE, WA – On Saturday May 16, 2015 Idle No More Washington is organizing a Native American Canoe Paddle blockade and rally In a nonviolent, Native-led, peaceful resistance to the proposed Shell rigs that wish to occupy the Seattle Port Terminal #5. This is an open-invitation to all, a family-friendly event that will begin with a traditional Northwest Coastal canoes in addition to a kayak flotilla that will leave the Seacrest Marina Park, 1660 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle at 11:00am.

If the Royal Dutch Shell rig, ’The Polar Pioneer’, makes it to Seattle we will gather in peaceful water blockade around the rig. We then will board a nearby barge that we are working in collaboration with local allies for an inter-tribal Coastal Jam Session, music, and speakers.

At 1:00pm we will then paddle to Jack Block Park, 2130 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle where we will have a traditional canoe landing protocol led by the Duwamish Tribe, Welcoming, Blessing Song, and Opening Prayer. Around 2:00pm the Duwamish Tribal Chairwoman, Cecile Hansen, will be first to express her concerns regarding the Shell oil rigs insistence on occupying the traditional Duwamish homeland and the Port of Seattle Terminal #5.

There will be front-line Native American environmental ‘Protectors’ such as Faith Gemmill-Fredson (Neets’aii Gwich’in, Pit River and Wintu) of Arctic Village, Alaska who is the founder and current Executive Director of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction On Indigenous Lands); Mae R. Hank (Inupiat) from Point Hope (AKA – Tikigaq), Alaska. Mae previously served as a Native Village of Point Hope Tribal Council member for ten years; Sweetwater Nannauck (Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian) the Director of Idle No More Washington; Nahaan (Tlingit, Inupiaq, Paiute) dance leader and spokesperson for the Naakw Dancers (Medicine Dancers); Che Sehyun of the Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees, and Communities of Color; Edgar Franx of Community to Community; elder George Edwardson (Inupiat) from Barrow, Alaska; Nataanii Means (Oglala Lakota, Omaha, and Diné) from Chinle, AZ on the Navajo Nation; Mc Rhetorik (Kewa) from Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM and Yaz like Jaws (Blackfeet/Navajo) from Browning, Montana.

The Arctic and Salish Sea has sustained sacred life for millennium. Natives and non-natives are unified honoring the original indigenous stewards, and seeking spiritual guidance to bring a peaceful resolution to protect the Arctic and Salish Sea. This is much bigger than Royal Dutch Shell to use the Port of Seattle Terminal #5 for their drilling rigs, and stopping the drilling in the Arctic. We must ask how can we support Alaska Natives in finding other sources of revenue and work that is not devastating to their traditional way of life, contribute to climate change, and rising sea levels. How can we seek other alternative energy sources beside the proposed coal and oil terminals, the transport of them through the State of Washington? It will take all of us working together to make this a world in which we can be proud of, and making a difference for our children. You are invited to join us and be Idle No More!

Last Real Indians