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Submitted by marc on July 2, 2007 - 4:46pm.
Tom Goldtooth moderated the Friday nite plenary session Indigenous Voices: From the Heart of Mother Earth. He stressed the importance of environmental issues. Patty Grant-Long from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians began the discussion with an analysis of the Cherokee's loss of land.
Carrie Dann from the Western Shoshone then described their long struggle for land rights. She noted that no documents exist that record their land being taken away, and therefore it still rightfully belongs to them.
Ikaiki Hussey from the Aloha Anina Society spoke about the militarization of Hawaii, and made a passionate call for support for Indigenous and demilitarization struggles as part of a larger struggle against imperialism. The US used its military bases in the Pacific as a launching pad for attacks on Iraq.
Faith Gemmill, REDOIL Network, spoke to the history of exploitation of petroleum resources in Alaska. The United States wants to terminate 229 tribes in Alaska, and she cautioned that the government plans to come south to the continental US and do the same. Gemmill finished with a call to speak out against the Bush administration and its energy regime.
Enei Begaye from the Black Mesa Water Coalition also condemned a history of resource mining. Water is a sacred element, water is life. Begaye called for people to stand together to battle climate change. Mother Earth is not for sale.