Center for World Indigenous Studies
A Think Tank of Activist Scholars
Donate Amazon Smile

Great White Hopes

Published: August 21, 2019, Author: JayTaber
Great White Hopes

On July 22, Lummi Nation sent a letter requesting a meeting with the Canadian Government saying Trans Mountain will result in unacceptable harm to its territorial waters that overlap the Canada-US boundary.  The letter states that Canada’s actions are, “a violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Looking at the Lummi Nation Sacred Sea home page, STAND and Greenpeace Canada are listed as organizations opposing Trans Mountain. STAND International Program Director, Tzeporah Berman, has a history of hijacking environmental negotiations–posing as a friend of indigenous peoples–while selling them out to the oil companies that funded her career through the TIDES money laundry.

As part of the oil industry-funded Tar Sands Coalition that sold out the indigenous peoples of the Athabaska River, Berman–formerly of Greenpeace–is noted for closing big deals as an ‘environmental advocate’. Two of her big deals were the Tar Sands and the Great Bear Rainforest, which are indigenous-occupied territories crucial to the future of international climate accords.

Berman’s role is akin to the ‘good cop’ routine, where the oil and timber industries claim the right to destroy 100% of the environment, and she boldly negotiates spectacular big deals. In the Tar Sands, the big deal (supported by the oil companies) was a 50% increase in Tar Sands mining. In the Rainforest, the timber companies get to log 70%. As her celebrated victories illustrate, her value to industry is in smothering indigenous resistance to industrial genocide. To maintain her cover, she is now playing the environmental martyr.

Another threat to Lummi Nation in the Trans Mountain conflict is Whatcom Business Alliance president Tony Larson, who on August 6 made it through the primary in the Whatcom County Executive race. WBA–an adjunct of BP Cherry Point–is the primary advocate for Tar Sands oil export at Cherry Point, and works closely with the Whatcom Tea Party, now operating under the alias Common Threads Northwest.

Indeed, the husband-and-wife team of James (executive director of Common Threads Northwest) and Laura McKinney (operations director of Whatcom Business Alliance) are what you might call the ‘first family’ of organized bigotry in Whatcom County. Larson, meanwhile, represents the great white hope in the BP war against treaty rights.

I leave you with an excerpt from Players Program, Part 6 of Anti-Indian Movement:

In response to the Totem Pole Journey – a sacred act of diplomacy by Lummi Nation in 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Association held a national conference of support in Portland, Oregon. This holy Public Witness, however, has not been accompanied by any ‘right action’ from the Earth Ministry interfaith alliance in Seattle, of which they are a participating religious body.

To date, none of the progressive churches in the Pacific Northwest has confronted the “portentous movements intent on promoting interracial discord and a growing politics of fear” targeting the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. None of these institutionalized religions have opposed the ongoing, anti-Indian, hate radio programs, or any other forms of mainstream media racism.

If people of faith want to help defeat White Power on the Salish Sea, they need to call out the promoters of this interracial discord. Otherwise, they become yet another instance of white people assuaging their guilt over the institutionalized mistreatment of Native Americans by indulging in the consumption of Indian acts of spiritual generosity, without committing themselves to acts of reciprocity.

As Lummi elder Jewell Praying Wolf James remarked at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Portland, “Talk’s good, but action’s better”.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

access here