Don’t Let Pipeline Further Destroy Sacred Native American Land

Target: President Obama

Goal: Stop the development of the Keystone XL pipeline on historic Native American land

Ponca City, Oklahoma has been extremely polluted by the ConocoPhillips oil refinery and this damage will be exacerbated by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. The ConocoPhillips refinery released over 2,000 pounds of benzene into the air in Ponca City and spilled and contaminated ground water. Now, the Keystone XL pipeline’s proposed route will cross this same area, threatening hundreds of indigenous sacred spiritual sites and burial grounds, as well as two major sources of drinking water. TransCanada and the Obama Administration cannot be permitted to build on the destruction already caused by ConocoPhilips and further exploit indigenous communities by pursuing the Keystone XL pipeline.

The proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline will not only go through the original territory of the Ponca people but will also follow the path of the historic Trail of Tears of the Ponca people in the 1800s. This pipeline project is a tragic testament to the Ponca people’s history of forced relocation and historic discrimination and exploitation by the immigrant settlers. Native American leaders, environmental activists, Nebraska ranchers and other grassroots organizations have threatened Obama and TransCanada that they will meet a fight if they try to build KXL in this historic place.

The pipelines will transport Canadian tar sands bitumenwhich carries chemicals such as natural gas, hydrogen sulfide, benzene and toluene. This highly toxic diluted substance runs through large pipelines such as Enbridge’s Pegasus line, which recently burst in Mayflower, Arkansas. The Keystone pipeline would pollute the Ogallala aquifer and the Mni Wiconi water line for the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Native American reservations.  The environmental and social damage already caused in the area that would be furthered by the pipeline and has been described as environmental genocide. The federal government needs to be held accountable and not allow further destruction of the Poncan culture and sacred sites.

PETITION LETTER

Dear President Obama,

The proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline goes through of the historic Trail of Tears path of the Native American Ponca people in the 1800s and also threatens hundreds of indigenous sacred spiritual sites and burial grounds, as well as two major sources of drinking water, the Ogallala aquifer and the Mni Wiconi water line. This pipeline project is a tragic testament to the Ponca people’s history of forced relocation and historic discrimination and exploitation by the immigrant settlers. TransCanada and your administration cannot be permitted to build on the destruction already caused by ConocoPhilips in the region and further exploit indigenous communities by pursuing the Keystone XL pipeline.

The ConocoPhillips refinery has released over 2,000 pounds of benzene into the air in Ponca City and spilled and contaminated ground water. ConocoPhillips polluted the land in this region to such an extent that they had to buy the contaminated land and tear down the 200 homes that were on it, which was largely settled by Native Americans.  In its place, the company built Standing Bear Park. This park is a miserable memorial to the distant past and now the Pipeline threatens the future of these communities. The federal government needs to be held accountable for this destruction and not allow further abrogation of the Poncan culture and sacred sites.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: pcol via Flickr

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