May 13, 2016 - “It’s in Our Hands” Indigenous Day of Action to Protect Mother Earth
On Saturday, May 14th there will be an Indigenous-led day of action to complete spiritual and cultural work to protect the Salish Sea, the lands and waters of our traditional territories, and Mother Nature. Climate change and environmental destruction continue to threaten our cultural way of life and the two refineries at March Point are a symbol of what needs to change within years, not decades.
The overall goal of Break Free PNW is to mobilize several thousand folks from around the NW region to converge at March Point for 3 days in order to demand that we truly initiate plans to break free from fossil fuels and accelerate the just transition to clean and sustainable energy, safeguarding workers, communities, and our climate.
The Break Free Indigenous Day of Action is going to be the most impactful part of Break Free as it will allow the message of our Indigenous people’s of this land to be heard by several thousand folks from around the region who need to learn more about Climate Justice, Equity, protecting Mother Earth, our Salish Sea, and the honoring of our treaties.
As our Indigenous grandmother Amy Marie George “Ta-ah” has urged us, “The time to take action is now. It’s time to Warrior up!”
Deborah Parker (Tulalip), Indigenous Coordinator Break-free PNW
“We will fight on behalf of Mother Earth!” Deborah Parker, Indigenous Coordinator Break-free PNW
Located at March Point, the Shell and Tesoro refineries are two of the largest polluters in the Northwest and located next to the Swinomish Indian reservation.
Shelly Vendiola (Swinomish) Climate Change Education & Awareness Group/Community Alliance & Peacemaking Project Co-founder”
“March Point is the ancestral territory of the Swinomish peoples. March Point was taken from the Swinomish in 1873 by President Ulysses Grant, in an Executive Order, that diminished the size of the Indian reservation. This action opened up the land to be occupied by settler colonists and later occupied by oil corporations. The Swinomish ancestors signed the 1855 Treaty that gave acquired right to access food at “usual and accustomed places.” Over time, the air, land and water became contaminated and we have not gathered food from this area for quite some time.” Shelly Vendiola, Swinomish Tribal Member & Climate Change Education & Awareness Group/Community Alliance & Peacemaking Project Co-founder”
10-11 am– Guests arrive around the region to the March Point Park & Ride, 8147 S. March Point Rd, Anacortes, WA. 98221.
11 am– Procession march starting from the park and ride along west side of March Point (3 miles).
12:30-2 pm– Indigenous speakers, drummers, musicians and honoring at NE of March Point
2 pm– Water Blessing Ceremony (worldwide). Bring water from your region to add to the ceremony.
2:30-3:30 pm- Honoring of Mother Earth continues with honor songs and dances.
3:30-4:30 pm- Shuttles leave and others walk back.
5:30 pm– Salmon Dinner at Transit Shed in Anacortes, WA. North end of town at the end of Commercial Ave.-Port of Anacortes.
6 pm– Programming continued
*There will be shuttles to staging area for elders and others who are unable to March.
For more information go to Indigenous Day of Action here
*Cover photo of March Point in Anacortes, WA
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle)
Matt Remle (Lakota) – green shirt – is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire. @wakiyan7