Open Letter to Senator Heidi Heitkamp

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Sep 282018
 

Senator Heitkamp,

As a North Dakota constituent, I am very concerned by your silence during these Senate hearings concerning Judge Kavanaugh. I, along with many North Dakotans, am disturbed by the inappropriate disruptions by protestors and discourteous, insulting behavior of Democratic senators on the committee.

I am wondering how you would feel if you were in honorable Judge Kavanaugh’s position, or how you would feel if the shoe were on the other foot as a committee member having to endure this level of rudeness.

I am wondering why you haven’t made a statement calling for civility and respect.  Do Democrats want the developing chasm between Americans to continue to widen? Or do you, Senator Heitkamp, value unity and respectful dialogue?

This is a very important question for me, personally.   I will be attending hearings as a member of your Congressional Commission – the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children over the next couple years.  Having attended contentious hearings in the past with my husband, I am very aware of the potential for angry, insulting behavior directed at me during these hearings – especially if I ask a question someone might not like.  I remember an angry, packed, out-of-control hearing in Billings that frightened even my husband so much that he decided against openly testifying. He handed his written testimony to a staff person and we left. My husband was afraid of being physically hurt at that hearing – and that was in the late 90’s or so when things were a lot more civil than they are today.

I am a human being. I get hurt, I bleed, just like everyone else.  Courteous behavior in the public square used to be normal and anticipated.  I want to know that manners and civility are not only expected but insisted upon at public hearings of any type, anywhere in this country.  I want to know – I NEED to know – that I will be physically SAFE at the meetings I attend.

If you are refusing to stand up for civility and safety at a hearing inside a Congressional building in DC – at the hearing for a Supreme Court Justice no less – how can I expect you to stand up for my safety at hearings across the country?  Will you stand up for my safety?

Despite your campaign claim that you value all voices and prioritize standing up “for North Dakotans and making sure that their voices are heard in the halls of Congress” and that you “make it a point to meet with, listen to, and fight for North Dakotans every day” – this is not how I have ever been received by your staff.  Despite several attempts to schedule direct meetings with you over the years, I have yet to have even one meeting with you.
In late 2013, I actually felt ridiculed by your DC staff when attempting to meet with an aide.

Watching you sit silently now while Judge Kavanaugh’s children are escorted out of the hearing for their safety – I have no confidence you will be a voice of protection for me, one of your constituents, at the hearings I will be attending as member of your commission.

Senator Heitkamp – please show your mettle and take a stand for what is right.  Please show us that you value all voices as you say you do – and make a statement against the out-of-control behavior currently exhibited during the Kavanaugh hearings.  Please make it clear that respectful, considerate behavior – including from members of the committees – is expected at any and all government hearings.

It is impossible for our nation to come together and reach any kind of consensus without it.

Elizabeth Sharon (Lisa) Morris
Chairwoman
Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW)

Silence About Conditions at Pine Ridge Reservation

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Jun 122017
 

by Thomas F. Sullivan

For generations, the residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation have lived with unemployment and poverty rates that have never been seen in the majority community even during the Great Depression.

According to an MSNBC Report on Pine Ridge on May 29, 2014, “Roughly four out of five residents are unemployed and well over half live in deep poverty…… Life expectancy is just 48 years old for men and 52 for women….. About 70 percent of the students will drop out of school before they graduate.”

That last statistic is especially troubling and is inconsistent with the claim frequently stated by tribal leaders that “Our children are sacred”.

According to that same MSNBC Report, “In a startling new draft report, issued in April 2014 by the Bureau of Indian Education which oversees 183 schools on 64 reservations in 23 states, focuses attention on BIE’s inability to deliver a quality education to its students. BIE schools are chronically failing. BIE operates ‘one of the lowest-performing set of schools in the country.’ During the 2012 – 2013 school year, only one out of four BIE-funded schools met state-defined proficiency standards and one out of three were under restructuring due to chronic academic failure…. BIE students performed lower on national assessment tests than students in all but one other major urban school district.”

Given these conditions which have persisted for generations as well as the almost total absence of any economic activity on the reservation, it is not surprising that there is a high level of dysfunction as well. This dysfunction is exemplified by the following health and social welfare measures:

* The infant mortality rate at Pine Ridge is one of the highest in the nation at 3 times the national average;
* The incidence of diabetes is 8 times the national average;
* Eight out of every ten people at Pine Ridge are alcoholics. Given this fact it is highly likely that most newborns on this reservation are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a severe developmental delay. Care of children with FASD requires an extended time commitment, great patience and resilience, none of which is in abundant supply in most reservation homes:
* Drug use and abuse, both prescription and illegal, is rampant;
* The teenage suicide rate is 150 percent of the national average. In the first 8 months of 2015. There were 19 completions by youth between the ages of 9 and 24 and more than 100 attempts by children from the same age group. Within the last week, a 12-year-old girl hanged herself on a tree behind the Sue Anne Big Crow Youth Center. Shortly before a 14-year-old boy recently completed, he was being counseled by one of his teachers. She told him that Lakota tradition teaches that a spirit set free by suicide is doomed to wander the earth in lonely darkness. “You don’t want that, do you?” His response was chilling, “Anything is better than here”.
* The level of domestic violence is at epidemic levels. In CY 2014 the Tribal Department of Public Safety prosecuted 470 cases of domestic violence. During the same period one of the Tribe’s domestic shelters reported they had responded to more than 1,300 cases of domestic violence:
* In CY 2016 there were 17 homicides on Pine Ridge, a rate 4 times the current homicide rate in the city of Chicago:
* For the last several years, the Pine Ridge reservation child protection staff has been investigating, relying on rigorous standards, every case of reported child sexual abuse and confirming, on average, 2 ½ cases per week for every week during each of those years. Considering that most estimates are that 10 percent or less of such abuse is ever reported, the seriousness of this level of child sexual abuse cannot be overstated.
* Research data are clear, children who are sexually abused are 2½ times more likely to attempt and/or complete suicide than children who have not been sexually abused.

On May 1, 2015, in the New York Times Ron Cornelius, the Great Plains Director of the Indian Health Service is quoted as saying, that “the recent suicides were an incredibly sad situation that IHS was committed to working with the tribe to address this heartbreaking problem.” It is not clear to me from the public record available to me just what the IHS has done to fulfill this commitment. At that time I was the ACF Regional Administrator in Denver and heard from friends on and around Pine Ridge, “There are a lot of ‘suits’ traveling to Pine Ridge. They are not meeting with anyone from the Reservation. They spend all of their time in a conference room talking with each other. They seem to make it a point to avoid any tribal members.”

However, former Pine Ridge Tribal Judge Saunie Wilson, in a power point presentation to a west coast conference on youth suicides in early 2017, described the 20 professionals sent to Pine Ridge by IHS to “solve” the reservation suicide epidemic in the following terms, “They had, No background checks, No licenses to work in South Dakota and No knowledge of reservation culture, mores or society.” Unfortunately, this is the same inept approach IHS used when there was a comparable burst of youth suicides on Montana’s Fort Peck Reservation several years earlier. I was invited by the Tribal Chair to sit in on the IHS meetings with Tribal staff as an impartial observer for the Tribe. As a result, I could observe what IHS was doing in response to the youth suicide burst on that Reservation. They were clearly not effective then. How could they believe they would be effective several years later?

On April 5, 2017, at a meeting of the Pine Ridge Tribal Law and Order Committee, the following statement was made by Richard Little Whiteman, a Council member and Chair of this Committee, “I haven’t seen this level of violence since the 1970s”. The Committee also heard reports that the number of law enforcement officers, once numbering more than 100 sworn officers, now was little more than 20, had the impossible task of policing a geographic area comparable in size to the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined 7 days a week, 24 hours every day.

What is especially puzzling is the deafening silence from both the media, those who by their titles and their government positions have direct responsibility to correct such problems and those who claim they are advocates working on behalf of the welfare of women and children.

For example, if either the city of Cambridge, MA or Berkeley, CA, each with a total population of approximately 100,000, had the same level of youth suicide completions as Pine Ridge, the following would be occurring:

1. There would be youth suicide completions just about daily in each of these communities.
2. There would not be enough curb space to park all of the media trucks providing a direct link to the community for their viewers. After all the media had ignored multiple detailed, factual reports about the dysfunction in these communities and predictions about what would follow from that dysfunction. Recognizing their prior error in not covering all of the dysfunction, media outlets were competing to provide the most offensive coverage. They characterized their coverage as “presenting the facts.”
3. Members of Congress would be convening hearings in these communities in an attempt to elicit some hints as to the cause of such dysfunction even though they had never mentioned these communities until the funerals began to be held when the dysfunction in these communities could no longer be ignored. Based on past experience the best that the local congressional delegation will be able to do is to appoint a study committee charged with reporting back on the cause of all the suicides within three years. No action would have to be taken to assist these communities until the study report was produced.
4. Advocates would be elbowing their way to get in front of any operating TV camera to push their unique solutions to such dysfunction even though they had not only known about the extreme dysfunction in these communities but they had also been silent about it until the funerals began.
5. State, county, and local officials would point at each other, claiming they had little or no responsibility to correct these problems. It was the responsibility of that “other guy” (whoever that unidentified person was) until federal funds were made available. Then the competition would be cut-throat. Each would cite their “expertise” on matters of this kind even though each had just established an extensive written record claiming they knew nothing about such matters in their efforts to avoid any responsibility (political punishment for refusing to deal with the dysfunction in their communities until the funerals began) for what was happening in these communities.
6. Federal officials whose organizations had been widely praised for formally adopting mission statements claiming they were responsible for the well-being of every citizen in their service area would initially deny any responsibility for such dysfunction, pointing at state, county or local officials as the parties responsible for addressing and correcting such behavior. When and if Congress appropriates funds to address and correct these problems, these same federal officials will distribute those funds without first establishing performance measures to determine the effectiveness of how these funds are spent. If the past is any guide, it will be several years before performance measures will be put in place.

If this is the response to the massive dysfunction and resulting epidemic of youthful suicides in communities like Cambridge or Berkeley, can anything better be expected at Pine Ridge?

Pine Ridge is a small, Isolated, rural community with little political power. They have been ignored and will continue to be ignored.

The sexual abuse of American Indian children should have resulted in a high-level commitment to stop the abuse once it had been uncovered years ago.

During the last two Administrations, I brought the twin epidemics of child sexual abuse and child/youthful suicides in Indian Country to the attention of the political leadership of the Administration for Children and Families and the Department of Health and Human Services with multiple, detailed, factual, written presentations. These presentations detailed the pervasive extent of the abuse, the long-term impact on the abused individuals, their families and the community at large and the substantial public cost of such abuse. They had no effect. It was as if they had never been read.

Until one is prepared to focus on and widely and continuously publicize the hypocrisy of those who know the facts and who deny or ignore them, thereby allying themselves with those who abuse children, nothing will be done to correct this barbaric situation. Until those who have chosen silence in the face of widespread child sexual abuse are publicly identified and shamed in all major media outlets for their alliance with sexual predators, attempting to stop the barbarism is a fool’s errand.

Thomas F. Sullivan is a former Regional Administrator for the Administration of Children and Families under the federal HHS.  He was forced out of his job in May, 2016, after defying his DC superiors by repeatedly reporting on child abuse on several reservations. 

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From Elizabeth Morris, Chair of CAICW:

Watch this 20-minute video for more information concerning the ramifications of Native American heritage on Constitutional protections:

Standing Rock Chair Archambault Gives Surprising Answers in Interview:

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Jan 062017
 
NoDAPL, Standing Rock

“…Then I saw it just turn to where it’s ugly, where people are fabricating lies and doing whatever they can, and they’re driven by the wrong thing.”  

“I don’t want that pipeline to go through. I just don’t …want any kids to get abused, I don’t want any elders to get abused, I don’t want any rapes to happen. They don’t want any authority down there. What do you do then? Do I have to close it down with force?”

Q&A: David Archambault II, chairman of Standing Rock Reservation

by Christopher Trotchie”—From the Daily Emerald, January 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm

With the protest at Standing Rock entering its eighth month of resistance, a lot can be said about the resolve of the water protectors and their mission. They have gained international media attention, defied corporate interests and are now weathering a harsh winter. With the support of outsiders and each other, and as long as Dakota Access Pipeline construction lights shine down from the surrounding hills, water protectors believe they have a reason to be there. In this interview, I sat down with David Archambault II, the chairman of Standing Rock Indian Reservation, to discuss what his role is and how people in Eugene can support their cause.

Standing Rock Indian Reservation—

Christopher Trotchie: What is the best way for people in Eugene to help?

Dave Archambault II: I get that question asked all the time, “What can I do?” and I don’t think there is one answer. Whenever they come and they ask, there is so much that can be done. … What we try to do is just put the information on what the tribe is doing because there’s so many different interest groups, and we have a website called Standwithstandingrock.net. And if it’s something like divest from banks that are funding this, or if it’s writing a letter to Congress, or writing a letter to the administration, or writing requests or asks to the company or whoever, we have some templates on there. When it comes to donations ⎼ the tribe didn’t ask for funds ⎼ but people want to give to the tribe, and we’re thankful for that. So we have a tab on the website where you can donate on there, or if you want to give to whoever, there’s 5,500 different GoFundMe accounts. You could fund whatever you want. What I tell people is, it’s up to you whatever you want to do; follow your heart. And that usually takes you in that direction that you need to go.

T: What do you think the general condition of the camp is right now?

DA: Well I haven’t gone down there lately, because when the first storm came, I asked everybody to leave. And the second I made that statement somebody else from Standing Rock made the statement “don’t leave.” And then there’s been a lot of criticism on me saying that I sold out, and that I have a house in Florida, and that I have another house in Bismarck, and that I received money. And none of that’s true, but it’s just how everybody has turned on me. So it makes me curious about [what people’s intention are]. What are they here for? When we had the decision made by the Corps of Engineers not to give an easement, and to do an [Environmental Impact Statement] and to consider rerouting ⎼ those were the three things that we’ve been asking for the last two years. … So the purpose of the camp was fulfilled, and we got what we wanted. I understand that it’s not over. This new administration can flip it, so what we’re doing now is trying to do everything we can to make sure that that decision stays, but even then it’s not guaranteed. Right now it’s dangerous ⎼ tomorrow we’re going to get 15 inches of snow, 55 mile an hour wind. It’s not safe at the camp. And from what people are telling me, there’s a lot of empty tents all over and a lot of trash, and if we don’t clean up, when the flood waters rise all that stuff is going to be in the river. So we’re going to, at some time, get down there and clean up.

T: What is the biggest misconception about you currently?

DA:  Just the perception that I’m not here for the fight is false and it’s wrong, and that’s kind of disturbing to hear all the fabricated lies about me when people don’t know me. People really don’t know who I am. And when somebody says something, and it’s believed and it’s passed on, it’s sad because we we’re the ones who started this whole thing. This tribe is the one who stepped up and filed the suit when we knew that we didn’t have a chance. We knew that the federal laws that are in place are stacked against us. They’re in favor of projects like [the pipeline], but we had to do it.

T: What is the impact of the protest on the tribe as a whole?

DA: On Standing Rock, we have eight districts. We have 12 communities. We have highways. We have our schools. We have ambulance services. And now because people choose to stay at the camp, we have to make sure that they’re out of harm’s way. So when the storms happen, we’re going to have a shelter here in Cannon Ball, and people are going to come. And they’re going to expect food, and they’re going to expect heat, and they’re going to expect blankets. So we provide that because it’s an emergency shelter. And then when the danger is gone, they stay there. They don’t leave. And the community says, “We want our gymnasium back.” … There’s really nothing going on. There’s no drilling going on. But they want to be there, and I think it’s because there was a good feeling when it first started. When we came together, tribal nations came together, and we prayed together, and we shared our songs, we shared our ceremonies. And it was a good strong feeling, but nobody wants to let that go. Nobody wants to move on. Those things that we learned from that lesson are things that we can take home to our communities and apply. We come from communities that are dysfunctional. We fight our own family, we fight each other’s families in the community, but what happened here was we were able to live without violence and without drugs or alcohol, without weapons. And we were able to do it with prayer and coming together. That lesson right there is something that we need to take back to our communities, but we don’t want to now. There are people down there that don’t want to leave. They think it is the greatest thing. But when you ask me ‘what’s the status,’ the things that I hear if I go down there, I don’t hear the good things anymore. I hear ‘this person did this,’ ‘they took this,’ and now I’m getting accused of doing that. So what we’re doing is bringing that dysfunction into something that was beautiful, and we’re letting the lessons slip through our hands. And we’re not learning. We’re hanging on to something that’s not there anymore. And so, I know that there’s a chance that this pipeline has to go through, but it’s not the end. It’s not the end of everything. We have to take the things that we learned, and accept it as a win. We have to take the processes, the policies, the regulations, the rules that are going to change because of what happened here, and take it as a win. Whether that pipeline goes through or not, I think we won.

T: How do you feel about the example that Standing Rock has set for other land struggles in the United States?

DA:This isn’t the first pipeline that anyone’s stood up to. This isn’t the first infrastructure project anyone’s stood up to, and I don’t think it is going to be the last. But it is something that we have to be mindful about though: if we’re going to take on the oil industry, it’s not going to be at the pipelines. We have to change our behavior, and we have to demand alternatives, and we have to start doing things different, and we have to stop depending on the government. This country is so dependent on oil. The whole nation is dependent on oil. If we want to fight these things, it’s not going to be where it’s being transported. It’s going to be at the source, and it’s going to be with the government.

T: Who is responsible for the camps?

DA:There’s never been anybody that was responsible. It was forever evolving from day one. The way it started was there were kids who said, ‘We don’t want this pipeline to go here.’ We don’t want oil in our water. So they ran from Wakpala to Mobridge over the Missouri River. They did it with prayer. Then the second thing that happened was a group of people got together in April and said we need to set up a spirit camp. So the first spirit camp was set up with prayer and then there was a ceremony, and in the ceremony individuals were identified to help with this. So when we had our first meeting, [there were] 200 people from Pine Ridge and 300 from Cheyenne River coming the next day. Where are they going to go? Where the spirit camp was set up was already bursting at the seams. … I brought the different groups together and I said, “We need to coordinate. We need to know what each other are doing.” Then they said I was colonizing them, and that I was trying to control them, trying to dictate to them because I was IRA government. It seemed like every time the Standing Rock Sioux tribe tried to help, we got bit. So you ask me who is running the camp down there? It’s whoever the people want to listen to and there is always someone who doesn’t want to listen. That is the disfunction. The good thing about the tribal government is [even] if the people don’t want to listen to me, it’s a role that everyone accepts. Down there, if someone does not accept it, [the leadership] will change. That is how it has been going. It’s been forever evolving from the first time we set up until today. Even now if I go down there, they’re not going to want to have anything to do with me because I asked them to leave.

T: Do you genuinely want people to leave the camps?     

DA: Yeah. There is no purpose for it. What’s the purpose?

T: There seems to be some concerns for safety in the camps; how should these concerns be addressed?

DA: I don’t want that pipeline to go through. I just don’t want anyone to get hurt, I don’t want anyone to die, I don’t want any kids to get abused, I don’t want any elders to get abused, I don’t want any rapes to happen. They don’t want any authority down there. What do you do then? Do I have to close it down with force?

T: I don’t know… Do you?

DA: No, I’m not going to do that.

T: Why not?

DA: I don’t want that. I don’t want Wounded Knee. I don’t want to fight my own people.

I tell you what, when I say stuff and when I do stuff, it feels like no one is behind me. And I feel like I’m the only one that thinks like this. I feel like I’m the only one that really understands, and it makes me question whether or not I’m Indian.

Am I Indian enough? How come I don’t want to be there? And how come I don’t want to put people’s lives on the line? How come I don’t want to think it’s okay for them to die? I must not be Indian. I must not be Indian enough.

What I saw happen was something that was beautiful. Then I saw it just turn to where it’s ugly, where people are fabricating lies and doing whatever they can, and they’re driven by the wrong thing. What purpose does it have to have this camp down there? There are donations coming, so the purpose is the very same purpose for this pipeline; it’s money. The things that we learn from this camp — the things that were good, that people are doing whatever they can to hold onto — are slipping through their hands at this moment. And I feel like no matter what I say or what I do now, because it flipped and it turned, I have to be really careful; because they will say that I’m trying to facilitate this pipeline. That’s the last thing that I want and I’ve always said that. … We were offered money; I don’t want money. We were offered that land; I don’t want that land. I don’t want anything. I just don’t want that pipeline. It’s symbolic if I can stay with that course. We are so close, but there is a chance that it could go through. If it goes through, I’ll be the worst chairman ever, and if doesn’t go through, I’m the worst chairman ever. So there is no win for me. I don’t want a win; I don’t want anything from this. What I see is something that is so symbolic it could change… We have a chance to change the outcome for once: the outcome of who we are as people. There is a real opportunity here, and that is what I want. That is what I’m hoping for, is that we take these lessons that we are learning and change the outcome of who we are and what we are about and the future of our people.

From www.dailyemerald.com/2017/01/05/2468239/

———–

Our Note: Chairman Archambault: We understand the difficulty, angst, rejection, self-doubt and pain that can come with positions of higher office. Most leaders understand these feelings. Unfortunately, leaders are often required to make necessary decisions to lead people to the most beneficial and healthy outcome for the community. That is what the leader is there for. Leaders need to be men of strength and courage, who set aside the taunts of others and plow forward with wisdom and justice.  SO – – If you KNOW it has gotten ugly, and you KNOW children, elders and the community in general are being hurt by the protesters – SEND THEM HOME.

Org Digs up Proof that Buffet is Funding Anti-Pipeline Protests?

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Nov 232016
 

Big Green campaigns kill jobs and enrich Buffett 

Billionaire bankrolls anti-pipeline agenda and gets richer through secretive foundations

(THIS ARTICLE IS QUOTED FROM: http://www.cfactcampus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/SandPiper_Resource_Sources.pdf)

“Opponents of the Sandpiper Pipeline Project across Minnesota have portrayed themselves as simply
being a home-spun coalition of family, student, hiker, and Native American grassroots activists.
It’s a nice fable. But it’s false.

In truth, according to new research conducted by CFACT policy analysts Ron Arnold and Paul Driessen, the anti-Sandpiper campaign is being funded and coordinated by a number of shadowy out-of-state
foundations and financiers – including the Tides Foundation and billionaire railroad tycoon Warren
Buffett. 1

Arnold and Driessen note that while some small local and state groups – such as Friends of the
Headwaters and Occupy Minnesota – are involved in this debate, these organizations have little money
or clout.

The true leader of the campaign against Sandpiper is in fact Honor the Earth, a Native American group
that wants “No more mines. No more pipelines.”4 It’s not incorporated and files no income tax reports of
its own.3 Instead, Honor the Earth is a “project” of the Tides Foundation 2, which also serves as its fiscal sponsor.

99% of Honor the Earth’s money – nearly $1.5 million – was funneled to it by out-of-state donors. 5
Honor the Earth is also sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), another Native
group. However, Minnesota corporate records show no incorporation entry for the anti-pipeline IEN.
And only $120,000 of the IEN’s $2.2 million in tax-exempt foundation money came from inside
Minnesota. 6

In fact, behind these “grassroots” groups is a formidable $25 billion in foundation investment
portfolios.7

“That’s the real power behind the scenes: Out-of-state donor puppeteers who pull the activists’ strings,”
said Driessen.

The Tides Foundation is one of the biggest environmentalist donors. It is a massive, secretive San
Francisco operation created to hide the names of donors who want to block development.8
Our researchers also uncovered that Tides has given over $700,000 to Honor the Earth to oppose
development, particularly pipelines – first Keystone XL and now Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline, both of
which are potential competitors for oil-by-rail companies.9

Tides also gave over $670,000 to the Indigenous Environmental Network to oppose pipelines. 10

Amazingly, the Tides Foundation’s biggest donor is multi-billionaire Warren Buffett and his family.
Mr. Buffett is one of President Obama’s most important friends, advisors, and major campaign
contributors. At Buffett’s urging, and because of constant pressure from environmental and climate
activists, Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline and is blocking other pipelines.

Warren Buffett’s interest in blocking pipelines like Sandpiper is likely financially motivated.
Most oil that isn’t shipped by pipeline is shipped by rail cars – like the BNSF Railway and Union Tank Car
Company, both of which are owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

So it appears Minnesota’s anti-pipeline activists are, perhaps unknowingly, helping Warren Buffett
maintain his railroad’s oil transport operations, using their activism to help strangle competition from
Sandpiper and other pipelines.

“No wonder $30.5 million in Buffett money went to the Tides Foundation – which funds dozens of antipipeline
activist groups. His $30.5 million investment is generating billions in oil-by-rail revenues,”11
commented Arnold.

In an ironic twist, the Greens, by stopping the pipeline construction, may in fact be placing the
environment more at risk. This is because railroad tanker cars all too frequently have accidents, like the
horrible spill in Lac Magantic, Quebec, which caused huge fires that destroyed much of the town and
killed 54 people.12

These allegedly grassroots groups are actually part of a tightly orchestrated, generously funded antipipeline
campaign to help the vested interests of the oil-transporting BNSF Railway, its parent company
Berkshire Hathaway, and CEO billionaire Warren Buffett. It’s the Attack of Buffett’s Puppets.

“It may be a game for them, but they’re playing with lives, livelihoods, and living standards,”
commented Driessen. “They’re getting rich on the backs of poor and middle class families whose energy
costs are skyrocketing and whose families and communities are put at risk when companies are forced
to ship oil by less safe tanker trucks and rail tanker cars, instead of by modern pipelines,” he added.

Journalists, citizens, and political leaders who care about honesty and transparency need to ask:

• Why did “No more pipelines” Honor the Earth get over $700,000 from a San Francisco money-funnel
for Warren Buffet’s oil-by-rail fortune?
• Why are the anti-pipeline groups so secretive about their money and ties? What else are they
hiding?
• Why aren’t Minnesota’s news media, legislature, governor, and attorney general digging into this?
• Why aren’t they investigating the dangers of truck and rail oil transport, compared to pipelines?

Protesters who are ranting about Sandpiper, Keystone, and other pipelines must be asked:

• Didn’t anyone tell you you’re actually campaigning on behalf of the interests of Warren Buffett and
the Tides Foundation?
• Do you know who is really bankrolling and calling the shots in this anti-Sandpiper campaign?
• Are you happy to be working for pennies for oil-by-rail billionaires, helping them get even richer?
• Did you know you might be endangering American lives along these oil-by-rail lines through cities?

SOURCES:

  • Ron Arnold and Paul Driessen; Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money
    machine. Washington, DC: Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (2014).
  • William Walter Kay, “The American Environmental Movement – The American Counter-Movement
    Perspective,” April 2015, http://ecofascism.com/review38.html
  • Cory Morningstar, “Keystone XL: The art of NGO discourse – Buffet acquires the Non-Profit Industrial
    Complex,” [Part IV of The Keystone XL: Art of NGO Discourse series. See also Part l, Part ll, Part lll],
    http://theartofannihilation.com/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse-part-1v-buffett-acquires-the-nonprofit-industrial-complex/
  • and http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngodiscourse-3/

Original research by Ron Arnold, Paul Driessen and the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

1 Warren Buffett funds Tides and its foundation and center and other entities through his family’s Novo
Foundation, of which he is the sole donor.
2 http://www.tides.org/impact/stories/show/story/single/title/honor-the-earth/.
3 Page 5 of a 12-page document titled “Tides Fiscal Sponsorship Services” explains the relationship
between Honor the Earth and Tides. http://www.tides.org/fileadmin/user/pdf/Tides-Fiscal-SponsorshipServices.pdf
4 http://www.honorearth.org/ 5 The proprietary database Foundation Search shows the following, which includes only the top 4 donors
(full list of 17 foundations and amounts available on request):

Search Criteria: Recipient name matches “HONOR THE EARTH”

buffet-and-pipelines

Grant Total: $1,423,568 # Grants: 55 # Foundations : 17
TIDES FOUNDATION SAN FRANCISCO California 24 $716,068
THE POSS FAMILY
FOUNDATION BROOKLINE Massachusetts 4 $230,000
THE FRANCES FUND INC NORTHAMPTON Massachusetts 4 $122,000
SURDNA FOUNDATION
INC NEW YORK New York 2 $100,000

Two grants totaling $20,000 came from Minnesota donors.

6 The proprietary database Foundation Search shows the following, which includes only the top 5 donors
(full list of 23 foundations and amounts available on request):

Search Criteria: Recipient name matches “Indigenous Environmental Network “
Grant Total: $2,183,750 # Grants: 65 # Foundations : 23

TIDES FOUNDATION SAN FRANCISCO California 24 $670,388
TRUE NORTH FOUNDATION GRASS VALLEY California 2 $363,000
JESSIE SMITH NOYES FOUNDATION INC NEW YORK New York 8 $250,000
ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION PRINCETON New Jersey 2 $182,950
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA FOUNDATION ST. PAUL Minnesota 3 $150,000

Three grants totaling $120,000 came from Minnesota donors.

7 ANTI-PIPELINE DONOR TOTAL ASSETS LIST.

BEN & JERRY’S FOUNDATION $4,926,500;
BRAINERD FOUNDATION $24,811,595;
CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS FOUNDATION INC $23,825,791;
COMMON STREAM INC $27,254,779;
COMPTON FOUNDATION INC $63,939,751;
DOLPHIN FOUNDATION INC $296,136;
DRT FUND $1,353,499;
EARTH ISLAND INSTITUTE INC $11,017,260;
FORD FOUNDATION $12,259,961,589;
HILL SNOWDON FOUNDATION $33,074,672;
JESSIE SMITH NOYES FOUNDATION INC $51,117,046;
KAPOR CENTER FOR SOCIAL IMPACT (MITCHELL KAPOR FOUNDATION) $39,930,915;
LANNAN FOUNDATION $223,074,452;
MARISLA FOUNDATION $49,580,734;
MAX & ANNA LEVINSON FOUNDATION $15,768,418;
NATHAN CUMMINGS FOUNDATION $444,987,710;
NEEDMOR FUND $26,800,943;
NORMAN FOUNDATION $26,290,573;
PANTA RHEA FOUNDATION INC $2,667,971;
PUBLIC WELFARE FOUNDATION INC $488,153,146;
ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION $10,173,403,442;
SCHERMAN FOUNDATION INC $121,038,255;
SILVER TIE FUND INC $1,518,649;
SURDNA FOUNDATION INC $929,596,379:
SWIFT FOUNDATION $58,156,067;
THE FRANCES FUND INC $18,166,203;
THE POSS FAMILY FOUNDATION $14,284,395;
THE SUSAN A. & DONALD P. BABSON CHARITABLE FOUNDATION $5,363,697;
TIDES FOUNDATION $150,545,700;
TITCOMB FOUNDATION $2,204,558.
TRUE NORTH FOUNDATION $2,981,527.
TURNER FOUNDATION INC $12,200,379.

Total $25,268,361,816

PROOF DOCUMENTS: IRS FORM 990 REPORTS ASSET PAGE GATHERED IN SEPARATE FILE.

8 Tides Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tides_%28organization%29

9 The proprietary database Foundation Search shows the following for Honor the Earth:

Search Criteria: Foundation name matches “TIDES”
Grant Total: $716,068 # Grants: 24 # Foundations : 1
TIDES FOUNDATION SAN FRANCISCO California 24 $716,068

10 The proprietary database Foundation Search shows the following for Indigenous Environmental
Network:

Search Criteria: Foundation name matches “TIDES”
Grant Total: $670,388 # Grants: 24 # Foundations : 1
TIDES FOUNDATION SAN FRANCISCO California 24 $670,388

11 The proprietary database Foundation Search shows the following for Tides:

Search Criteria: Foundation name matches “NOVO FOUNDATION”
Grant Total: $30,551,973 # Grants: 39 # Foundations : 1
NOVO FOUNDATION NEW YORK New York 39 $30,551,973

12 Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster

DAPL: Is the Dakota Access Pipeline a threat to water quality and cultural resources?

 Comments Off on DAPL: Is the Dakota Access Pipeline a threat to water quality and cultural resources?
Oct 312016
 

If the reasons given for sustained protest don’t hold water, why are people flocking to Cannon Ball?

Fear of oil spills and cultural destruction is justified. On June 23rd of this year, 700 barrels of crude oil spilled from a pipeline near Ventura, California, threatening the Pacific Ocean. In July – an estimated 66,000 gallons of heavy oil, along with natural gas used to dilute it, spilled within 1,000 feet of the North Saskatchewan River in Canada, threatening the drinking water of several communities. And just this last Sunday, Oct 23, an oil spill in Oklahoma closed Seaway Pipeline for days. With this in mind, Standing Rock officials have a right to be concerned.

Unfortunately, America’s need for fossil fuels will not disappear overnight. Each of us uses fossil fuels in one form or another every day. Even on the Standing Rock reservation, families are filling their fuel tanks in preparation for winter. If there were suddenly no oil, many would suffer.

North Dakota’s oil industry also provides a living – feeding families – for untold men and women. Once obtained, that oil must get to the refineries one way or another. It will either be by truck, train, or by pipeline.  All three run risks of spillage – but pipelines run least risk, especially when laws are obeyed. Did Dakota Access Pipeline obtain permits legally?

All indications are they did. The ND Public Service Commission approved a siting permit in January, 2016 after doing a thorough survey. The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), after their own survey, issued the final Environmental Assessment on July 25th. All told, the surveys covered the entire length of pipeline in North and South Dakota, and much of Iowa and Illinois.  Yet, on July 27th, 2016, ‘Earthjustice’ and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Government sued the Corps.

After reviewing all the records, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg noted that “The plotted course almost exclusively tracked privately held lands” and “tracks both the Northern Border Gas Pipeline, which was placed into service in 1982, and an existing overhead utility line. In fact, where it crosses Lake Oahe, DAPL is 100% adjacent to, and within 22 to 300 feet from, the existing pipeline.  Dakota Access chose this route because these locations had already “been disturbed…making it less likely…to harm intact cultural or tribal features.” Additionally, not only had Dakota Access identified historic properties through the help of federal, state, and tribal entities, it even gerrymandered the pipeline to stay a safe distance away. (STANDING ROCK SIOUX TRIBE v. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. )

Judge Boasberg also noted, “…only 3% of the work needed to build the pipeline would ever require federal approval of any kind and only 1% of the pipeline was set to affect U.S. waterways….” and for several months, attempts to work with Standing Rock were either rebuffed or ignored. It wasn’t until Spring, 2016 that at least seven meetings were held between the Corp and Standing Rock officials.

At the request of tribal officials at these meetings, “the Corps committed to double-walled piping” which involved a pipe carrying oil inside another pipe with liquid between and valves that initiate a shutdown in the event of a leak. Getting the Corps to commit to double-walled piping was wise of Standing Rock officials, which should have already been part of DAPL’s plan.

In March, 2016, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault acknowledged that the Corps had made strides and indicated meetings were productive. “Yet, at the end of April, Chairman Archambault formally objected to a determination to proceed, stating, “To date, none of our request for consultation or Class III Cultural Surveys has been honored.”

After reviewing all the documentation, the Court denied the Plaintiff’s motion on September 9, 2016, concluding “the Court scrutinized the permitting process here with particular care. Having done so, the Court must nonetheless conclude that the Tribe has not demonstrated that an injunction is warranted here.”

Minutes later, despite documentation the Corps acting in good faith and court rulings, the Department of Justice, Department of Interior, and Department of the Army refused further construction on Corps land adjacent to Lake Oahe.

The current administration chose to ignore the law, and the tribal government and its supporters have chosen to obscure facts, escalate the tension, and destroy private property.

According to witnesses, the reports spread concerning private security forces with dogs attacking protesters were not true.  Protesters broke into a fenced off area, and one took a fence post and hit a dog on the side of the head with it. The blood on the dog’s mouth was its own, and was treated at a local veterinary hospital.

On October 9th, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled – again on the basis of documented good faith of Dakota Access, North Dakota officials and the Corps – to finish the pipeline up to Lake Oahe until the Obama Administration allows the final easement to proceed.

On Oct. 20, Congressman Kevin Cramer, Chairman Archambault, U.S. Corps of Engineers Commander Col. John Henderson, SRS Tribal Historic Preservation Officer John Eagle, other specialists walked the property to see and discuss the resources together. Two rock formations of concern to the tribe were partially covered with dirt and even though archaeologists disagreed on whether they were significant, the company agreed to secure those areas. Chairman Archambault believes there are burial sites in the area, but no one knows for certain and there are protocols if unknown artifacts are found.

Disagreement aside, the group respectfully listened to each other. Congressman Cramer later stated the site examination was “an invaluable relationship-building experience that helped us better understand North Dakota’s cultural landscape.  I believe those of us on all sides of the Dakota Access Pipeline issue benefited from walking together and sharing our expertise, experiences and expectations…And, I am certain…the Corps of Engineers will feel confident it has the adequate affirmation to issue the final easement…”

But if the two identified formations, significant or not, are out of the line of danger, and there is agreement to use double-walled piping – what is the continued purpose of the protests?  We don’t really know.

Witnesses state that out-siders coming from other areas of the country are “very belligerent and threatening of local farmers and ranchers in the area.” One farmer asked police to accompany the school bus to pick up and drop off their children to and from school. Law enforcement officers are stretched to the max, and officers from other cities have volunteered to come help. According to the Morton Country Sheriff’s Public Information Officer, the protests cost $500,000 a day for the state and Morton county combined. Morton County has spent $3 million and the State has spent $7 million since the end of September. Further, 126 were arrested on Saturday. Of the 246 people arrested at the initial date of this writing – 223 were not from ND. Only 9% of those arrested are from ND.

Morton Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier stated local residents are  “Afraid to go places,” but “have to get their fall work done.” Cars going 65 mph on Hwy 1806 need to suddenly come to a stop when people decide to block the road. Even if people are on the sides of the road are frightening, as locals are uncertain whether someone will step out. People from out-of-state have walked around the area in what feels to locals is a threatening manner. Local ranchers feel intimidated. Teachers on their way to work have felt threatened by apparent road-rage of strangers.

On October 15, one horse and four cattle were found shot to death. On Oct 18, the North Dakota Congressional delegation came together and issued a bi-partisan press release denouncing the unlawful butchering of livestock near the protester camp. “U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp, John Hoeven, and Congressman Kevin Cramer today called for federal resources to support the efforts of Morton County law enforcement to keep tribes, ranchers, workers, and their property safe.”

UPDATE Nov 14, 2016: Standing Rock ranchers struggle to keep buffalo alive amid N.D. pipeline protests – Washington Times reports several Standing Rock members want the protesters to leave. 

Protesters then moved to private property east of Hwy 1806 and established a “no surrender line.” When Sheriff Laney asked them to move back to the main site, they refused. When told law enforcement must enforce the law, a man threatened, “there are young men willing to cause issues” and “This is what you are going to bring on by your actions.” dapl-burning-tires-pipeline-protest-oct-2016

On October 27, the police went in to remove the protesters, who were burning mounds of tires, sending noxious fumes into the air.  Before the protesters could be moved, they also set on fire several pieces of heavy machinery and one woman shot at police. The police did not return fire, but did what they had to do to move hundreds of unwilling protesters and arsonists. 141 people were arrested.

Apparently, the local ranchers and police aren’t the only ones who would like the protesters to stop.  Many members of Standing Rock feel the same way.  Some, in fact, just want the protesters to go away.  

So What is REALLY Going on?

Why – if all have agreed that no cultural resources appear in danger, double-piping is assured, and the pipeline is following an already “used” route through the area – are protests not only continuing, but are growing? With so many issues of corruption today, we have to ask if other things are going on.

The fact is, Standing Rock and other Reservations have been in the oil business for a long time. There is substantial evidence that income from oil and gas drilling is not new to the Standing Rock Reservation.

And contrary to the en-flamed rhetoric of Jesse Jackson, who claimed DAPL is “the ripest case of environmental racism” he has seen in a long time, and that the pipeline isn’t running through Bismarck, ND, because their “residents don’t want their water threatened” – pipelines already DO run through Bismarck, as well as most of the major cities in South Dakota. It has nothing to do with heritage. Not only do pipelines already cross major population hubs, but oil and gas pipelines cross the Missouri River numerous times as well.

Further, according to reporter Rob Port, “the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation have profited enormously from the oil boom in North Dakota.”  – to the tune of millions of dollars.

Port is right. In 2014, the Fort Berthold Reservation, about 120 miles north of the DAPL protest site, started building a “transload facility, the first part of the Three Affiliated Tribes’ Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc. refinery projects, which will transport Bakken crude to market,” according to their former Chairman, Tex Hall. In fact, the refinery is named Thunder Butte,”for one of the most sacred buttes on the Fort Berthold Reservation.”

Oil produced on Fort Berthold accounts for 20 percent of oil production in the Bakken, Hall said. The Mandaree area leads the way as the highest producing zone.

“There are 640 wellheads on the reservation.” and “wellhead numbers are projected to peak at about 3,000. About 150,000 barrels are produced on the reservation per day. That number is expected to reach 175,000 barrels per day,” according to Hall.  These fracking wells will use water from Lake Sakakawea (part of the Missouri river) for refinery, extraction and byproduct, and feed downstream to Lake Oahe.

Yet – neither the Standing Rock tribal government nor the “water protectors” protesting the DAPL have said a word against Fort Berthold’s oil industry. Even more interesting, Fort Berthold has recently signed on as supporters of NoDAPL as well.

With the disingenuous yet emotionally effective propaganda concerning this particular pipeline growing worldwide, it is getting increasingly difficult for some to speak against it, even when faced with real facts.

So who is pushing the propaganda?

It is hard to say. In 2011 it was estimated George Soros has given at least $3.5 million to the Tides Center, which currently supports the Standing Rock protests. Further, a 2014 Toronto Sun article written by Ezra Levant revealed the Tides Foundation had paid $55,000 to Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam to oppose the development of oil sands in Canada.

Both Soros and Warren Buffet appear to have invested heavily in derailing the Keystone pipeline, which would have by-passed their holdings in getting oil from Canada south to the refinery. Soros has invested in a Brazilian oil field, while Buffet owns the railroad that would transport ND Balkan oil to the refineries. Some say they are also invested in companies that build rail cars and chemical companies that make products to mix with extracted crude. This is not the work of environmentalists.

UPDATE: Research Org Publishes Financial Connection Between Buffet and Pipeline Protests

According to Port, “It makes you wonder how much opposition to energy development, not to mention energy infrastructure…is authentic as opposed to manufactured noise…” We agree. This isn’t the first pipeline to be protested by supposed environmentalists.  It’s just the one to have gotten the most world-wide attention. Whether it has been Soros or Buffet behind the varied protests over the last few years – or whether some other powerful opponent – questions of big money behind fighting oil pipelines abound. Investors Business Daily had suggested in 2015 that Russia was involved with fighting the Sandpiper pipeline.

Sadly, there has been a lot of information about what is going on at Standing Rock that has not been reported outside of North Dakota.  After watching major media spend months hiding and spinning government corruption, then watching major media spin the pipeline into a one-sided story, many are left feeling we truly only have a voice if ‘powers that be’ allow it – and they only allow it if it benefits their agenda.

There ARE many good people at the protest who came with genuine intention to do good for Standing Rock and the environment.  They simply haven’t been told all the true facts.  Then there are some at the camp with no agenda at all – being at Standing Rock is simply an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, spend time with friends, and be part of something big.  Still others are there with an unknown agenda.

Big money aside, Bruce Ellison, an AIM attorney who has been implicated in the murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash and who repeatedly pled the 5th when questioned before a grand jury, is also there assisting the protesters. You can read more about AIM and company here.

Those who choose to donate to the Standing Rock camp need to be aware who all they are donating to.

Our hope is that all the people concerned about the well-being of children at Standing Rock would be as concerned about the following:

Tribal governments and their supporters have been documenting rampant sexual and physical abuse of children on many reservations.  The documentation is solid and has been so for at least two decades. Despite many hearings, reports and billions of dollars, the situation appears to be only getting worse. There are various practical reasons this could be occurring – but heritage and history are not among them.  You can read the documentation of the abuse here – and make your own decision as to whether an additional pipeline over the Missouri River is more of a threat to children than the high levels of abuse tribal entities have self-reported. Read the documentation – and make your own decision about what you, as a concerned and caring community member, can do about it.

Congressman Cramer stated in a constituent letter concerning the Dakota Access pipeline, “I pray for the safety of all those involved and a peaceful resolution.” We agree and pray with you, Congressman Cramer.

 

 

Additional information about where pipeline funding might be coming from: 


 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/08/16/money-talks-from-ferguson-to-unrest-overseas-new-reports-reveal-soros-influence.html

ArchiveGrid : Grant and Proposal Files, 1970-1986. – WorldCat

These institutions’ programs concerned Native American students and … church body officials; American Indian Movement officials; and directors and other staff … was founded in 1970 through activities of the Lutheran Church and Indian People … Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (joined in 1978), and Latvian …

Indian Movement does not speak for the American Indians. … government and from a variety of religious organizations, Catholic and Protestant. … and by the churches has been used to radicalize the Indians, to stage confrontations like … Contrary to the representations of AIM in soliciting these funds, they have not been …

 

President Obama, Senator Heitkamp, and Standing Rock

 Comments Off on President Obama, Senator Heitkamp, and Standing Rock
Jun 072014
 

June 7, 2014

Concerning the upcoming event featuring President Obama and Senator Heitkamp at the Standing Rock Reservation on Friday, June 13th:

North Dakotans are a gracious and forgiving people and will politely welcome the president to our wonderful state.

However, before he gives his speech concerning the wonderful “Nation to Nation” relationship he has with tribal leaders and announces what further moneys and authorities he will bestow upon them – he needs to learn facts from those whom his edicts directly affect.

  • According to the last two U.S. censuses, 75% of tribal members DO NOT live in Indian Country – and many have deliberately taken their children and left in order to protect their families from the rampant crime and corruption.
  • The abuses at Spirit Lake here in North Dakota are well known, but it is also known that Spirit Lake is just a microcosm of what’s happening on reservations across the country.
  • These abuses are rampant on many reservations because the U.S. Government has set up a system that allows extensive abuse to occur unchecked and without repercussion.
  • Many, many times more children leave the reservation system in the company of their parents, who have mass exited – than do children who have been taken into foster care or found a home in adoption.  But tribal leaders can’t admit parents are consciously taking their kids out of Indian Country in attempt to get them away from the reservation system and corrupt leaders. It makes a better sound bite to blame it on evil social services

President Obama, please listen to those who do not have a vested financial interest in increasing tribal government power, and learn about the physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse of tribal members by other tribal members and even many tribal leaders.

STOP supporting corrupt tribal leaders and corrupt systems and pretending all is okay in Indian Country.

Every time power to tribal leaders is increased, tribal members – U.S. citizens – are robbed of civil freedoms under the constitution of the United States.

More power given to tribal leaders means less freedom, safety and constitutional rights for tribal members.