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Kahsatstenhsera: Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines

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    This is the land we come from.
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    Stolen, illegally occupied, abused.
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    But like our people? Alive.
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    Over 500 years of attempted genocide,
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    our people have resisted.
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    We have resisted assimilation,
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    we have resisted colonialism.
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    As Onkwehon:we, L'nu, Anishinaabe peoples,
    as people of the earth,
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    our legacy is the land upon which we stand.
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    [ Ron Tremblay ] Our old stories say Noh-gelw-ska-po [SP] was the first man who came to this territory,
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    and who was our, I guess pathfinder who got
    everything ready for the two-leggeds to come here.
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    There was agreement with creation
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    that we as two-leggeds were gonna come here
    and live within balance,
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    and within means with the four-legged, with the winged,
    with the crawlers, with the swimmers.
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    We go back, as traditional people, thinkin'
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    well, this is our agreement, our treaty with creation.
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    Have we been following that treaty?
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    Well, no.
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    We've, y'know, messed up.
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    [ NARRATOR ] Line 9 is owned and operated
    by Enbridge Pipelines,
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    a major oil and gas corporation in Turtle Island.
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    This pipe is part of a larger system of pipelines
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    starting in the heart of the tar sands,
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    and occupied Cree and Chippewayan territory
    in so-called "Alberta".
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    Enbridge has already begun reversing this pipeline,
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    increasing its capacity in order to pump
    300,000 barrels of bitumen through it per day.
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    Line 9 starts in Anishinaabe territory in Aamjiwnaang,
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    and follows the north shore of
    lakes Huron and Ontario,
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    also impacting neighbouring Métis nations,
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    and snaking up along the St. Lawrence river,
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    where it meets a refinement facility in occupied Haudenosaunee territory in so-called "Montreal".
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    Line 9 is coming through our territory,
    it's coming through the Haldimand Tract,
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    and it is threatening our entire communities,
    all of our people, and our lands.
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    And it's bringing the fight from the tar sands -
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    ground zero, one of the most destructive projects
    on the planet -
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    it is bringing that destruction and what's going on there, to our lands and our territory.
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    [ NARRATOR ] But that isn't the only pipeline battle
    coming to a head.
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    Trans Canada plans to reverse a 4,500 KM frack gas
    pipeline dubbed "The Energy East",
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    and retrofit it to carry 1.1 million barrels
    of diluted bitumen to the Irving Refinery
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    on occupied Wolastoqiyik territory,
    in so-called "New Brunswick".
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    From there, they plan to build a marine terminal
    to ship the dilbit [SP] via supertankers,
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    threatening the entire eastern seaboard.
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    The Energy Beast pipeline requires construction
    of new pipe nearly all along its path,
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    as well as the construction of
    land and marine terminals, pumping stations,
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    and for corporations like Suncor, Irving, and Enbridge
    to increase their refining capacity.
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    [ John Levi ] This is where we belong, you know?
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    And if you're gonna poison our waters,
    where do we go, y'know? Where do we go?
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    So we gotta protect it, we gotta keep it clean,
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    we gotta protect our waters, our hunting grounds,
    our medicine grounds, y'know?
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    And there's no two ways about it.
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    This west to east pipeline
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    is another... i think it's gonna be one of the worst
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    things that could possibly occur within our territories.
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    Especially if there's like spills.
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    There was part of the prophesies about this
    two-headed snake comin' from west to east;
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    and um we thought it was a physical snake.
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    Well it is a physical snake,
    it's that pipeline that's gonna be comin' across.
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    And I said we have to kill that snake.
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    [ NARRATOR ] From the point of extraction
    to the point of refinement,
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    the tar sands and their pipelines threaten
    the health of our territories,
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    including the lakes, the streams,
    and the peoples that they feed.
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    [ Suzanne Patles ] Frackin' is an issue in my territory
    because it affects us because it destroys the water,
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    and water is the foundation of who we are as a people.
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    Without water, we're unable to be who we are.
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    We're unable to practice our ceremonies.
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    We're unable to fulfill our obligations as L'nu people.
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    [ NARRATOR ] Resource extraction is the process
    of erasing our relationship with our mother,
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    and commodifying her in the interests of capitalism.
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    We must remember the impacts
    of projects like the tar sands.
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    [ Lionel Lepine ] It affected us in various different ways,
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    varying from social and economic impacts,
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    to environmental impacts,
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    and ultimately, death.
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    [ NARRATOR ] Bitumen is a corrosive solid which has been primarily used as ashphalt.
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    To transfer bitumen through pipelines,
    it must be diluted,
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    which requires the use of gas that comes from
    the process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking".
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    Fracking takes the lifeblood of mother earth
    -- fresh water --
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    and desecrates it by adding chemicals and sand,
    targeting shale deposits,
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    and injecting this mixture deep into the belly of the earth,
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    at incredible speeds and pressures
    to literally fracture our mother,
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    and cut her open to release the gas and petroleum
    that was stored there.
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    The natural destruction, it all has a consequence,
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    and it impacts the people of the community.
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    It removes people from the natural cycles
    of what they should be doing with the land,
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    and how they should be treating the land,
    how they have to live with the land.
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    [ Danielle Boisneau ] When our land is destroyed,
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    it's definitely a kind of genocide.
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    And they know that, y'know?
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    That's why they want to destroy us,
    because we have that connection.
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    But y'know, there's too many strong people,
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    and like people are awakening now,
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    and they're seeing that,
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    and so they're just trying to destroy it faster and faster.
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    [ Vanessa Gray ] What I call this process
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    with companies taking over land and resources,
    is environmental racism,
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    because this is not just happening in Aamjiwnaang [SP]
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    where we... our health and our environment is affected
    by these companies being so close to our houses.
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    It is happening all over Canada,
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    it happens all over the world
    where indigenous people are suffering
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    because of these companies selfishly
    extracting resources for money.
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    [ NARRATOR ] This sickness of capitalism
    and abuse of mother earth known as the tar sands
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    is fueled by frack gas.
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    Resistance to all forms of resource extraction
    and their infrastructure,
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    pipelines, pumping stations, seismic trucks, marine terminals, gas wells, and their corporate headquarters,
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    is necessary.
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    As indigenous peoples,
    we have a responsibility to our mother earth,
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    to the faces not yet born,
    and all members of creation,
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    to ensure that the death machine of colonial capitalism
    is abolished.
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    All over Turtle Island, our people are standing up,
    on our lands,
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    refusing assimilation and asserting our inherent titles.
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    [ Toghestiy ] We are Wet'suwet'en people,
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    and the territories that they're talking about
    belong to our people.
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    They don't belong to a tribal council,
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    they don't belong to bands.
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    They don't belong to industry,
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    and they certainly don't belong to government.
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    If anybody wants to try and force pipeline
    through our territories,
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    theyre gonna meet resistance.
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    And if they wanna put contractors out here,
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    they're gonna be puttin' contractors in harms way,
    because we are gonna protect our lands.
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    [ Suzanne Patles ] It's important to stop these pipelines
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    because they're gonna destroy and deplete
    everything that we are.
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    It's eco-genocide.
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    It's destroying us through destroying
    everything that we have.
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    [ Laura Norton ] I think what you have to do
    is you have to, um, you have to go home.
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    You have to really take time
    to go sit outside,
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    and lay down on your mother,
    and she'll tell you what you have to do.
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    I think that the nation to nation relationship,
    when it's decolonized,
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    then that's when we're really gonna see an uprising.
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    That's when we're really gonna be bound together
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    by things other than physical.
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    Y'know, when we have that
    spiritual connection with each other,
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    like, that's some really strong shit.
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    [ Vanessa Gray ] What needs to happen is direct action.
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    I think people need to physically get out there and show their support for the earth,
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    and not the tar sands destruction, or the pipelines destruction, or the government.
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    We tried protesting,
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    y'know, we tried, uh, y'know, marching around,
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    dancing around malls here and there.
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    Y'know, we tried court, we tried y'know legal ways.
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    Y'know, strong, hardcore direct action
    is the only way to stop these guys.
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    We're resisting colonialism,
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    we're trying to bring back who we are
    as indigenous people,
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    and it's important to assert your rights,
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    and it's important to assert your inherent authority,
    and assert your title over the land,
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    because non-assertion equals extinguishment,
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    and if we do not assert who we are as a people,
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    then we are exterminating who we are.
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    [ NARRATOR ] We are caretakers, we are warriors,
    we are people of the earth.
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    Captions created on un-ceded Coast Salish Territories,
    by the Radical Access Mapping Project, 2013
Title:
Kahsatstenhsera: Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines
Description:

Kahsatstenhsera gah-sad-sdanh-se-ra is a Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk) word that means Strength in Unity. This short documentary details contemporary Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipeline expansion, in particular the Line 9 and Energy East pipelines, which threaten the health of our territories in the northeast of Turtle Island. It includes the voices and perspectives of Dene, Wolastiqiyik, Mi'kmaq, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Wet'suwet'en land defenders.

www.reclaimturtleisland.com

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Captions courtesy of the Radical Access Mapping Project, Un-ceded Coast Salish Territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. To see more captioned videos and accessibility resources, go to:
http://radicalaccessiblecommunities.wordpress.com/subtitled-videos/
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Video Language:
English
Duration:
09:44

English subtitles

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