PICKSTOWN, SD – A conference is planned for August 16 & 17, 2013 at the Fort Randall Casino on the Yankton Sioux Reservation to promote awareness of the man camps that are part of the proposed TransCanada Corp oil pipeline that will run from Canada, North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, and Nebraska to go to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. The Conference is the Protect the Sacred II Campaign to oppose the KXL development in treaty territories. A previous successful gathering in January of 2013, resulted in a historic International Treaty to Protect the Sacred against KXL and Tar Sands Development.
The conference ‘Protect the Women & Families from KXL Violence’ includes panelists and speakers on the impact of development on Native families in Bakken Range in North Dakota; crises assault statistics on Native women in Indian country; Department of Justice representative regarding vulnerable populations; relationship of murdered and missing women in Canada to industrial predation in Indigenous communities; forums from Native women’s societies and men’s societies and speakers from law enforcement in jurisdictional issues regarding assaults and predation and tribal elected leadership, Treaty Councils and First Nations representatives from Canada.
Winona LaDuke, an environmentalist and economist of Anishinaabe descent, will be one of the keynote speaking on ‘Predator Economics’ and a site visit is planned to the KXL corridor and to either Milk’s Camp area or Colome, SD near where the man camp is proposed.
Three of these proposed man camps from the pipeline are being planned near Yankton, Rosebud and Cheyenne River reservations. Man camps are temporary housing for oil pipeline workers which brings an influx of population growth of which the majority are men.
Faith Spotted Eagle, an Ihanktonwan Dakota elder from the Brave Heart Society and the Ihanktonwan Treaty Council and one of the organizers of the conference, said the information from this conference can mobilize communities to fight what the money and oil brings and promote safety to women, children and community. Tribal leadership need be educated on what the man camps can be like, she said.
In reference to man camps in North Dakota oil country, Linda Thompson, director of First Nations Women’s Alliance of North Dakota, emphasized how the camps influx in to the area population brought a huge amount of men that came into the communities, sexual assault with male sexual assaults have been increased, sex trafficking increased, increased sex offenders, concealed weapon permits have gone up, extreme stress on law enforcement, influx of money and drugs and women who are using and being hurt while using and she added people who are vulnerable are going to be more vulnerable. Shelters have an overflow not only from victims but from victims from families following the pipeline and it puts a lot of stress on advocates. She said sometimes it is too much to think about in leadership roles but it is important education for the safety of communities where the proposed pipeline will be. Tribal leaders recently walked out of a meeting with Department of State Officials, citing improper Nation to Nation consultation.
For more information on the conference, ‘A Protect the Sacred Conference II: Protect the Women and Families from KXL Violence and Say No to Man Camps in Sakowin Territory’ contact Faith Spotted Eagle at (605) 481-0416; John Wright, 605 491- 2827.