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Official statement on Kainai fracking blockade

Lois Frank “intimidating” a truck at the blockade against fracking on the Blood Reserve.

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, one of three women from the Kainai/Blood Tribe who were arrested late in the evening on September 9 for blockading a Murphy Oil fracking site has written an official statement explaining the group’s actions and their opposition to fracking on the Blood Reserve.

Her complete statement can be read here.

“After nearly a year of doing everything in our power to stop hydraulic fracturing from occurring on our land, we felt that time was no longer on our side,” Tailfeathers writes.  “With the imminent threat of hydraulic fracturing about to begin on Blood Tribe land, we decided that we had to act immediately.”

“As members of the Blood Tribe, we were never asked whether or not we wanted these wells built in the first place.  There was no referendum, no vote, and no transparent consultation process.  If any objective body were to look at the facts, they would see that the actual people who live on this land were both ignored and lied to.  The fact is that we are a marginalized population that has, once again, been exploited by those in power.”

“I do not feel as though what we did was heroic.  We were a handful of people, including a couple of children, who gathered for a common purpose; to prevent any further desecration of the land.  For us, this place is more than just land; it is the place that has given life to our people since time immemorial. Our culture, our language, our identity comes from the land and it is to the land that we owe our very existence.  This knowledge is something that our ancestors have passed on from the beginning; this land is our mother and we must always respect that. So when I say that I do not feel that what we did was heroic, I mean that we were just doing the right thing. ”

The three have been charged with “intimidation” will appear in court on September 19 at 10:00 am at the Provincial Court Building in Cardston, Alberta. The three have legal counsel, but are asking that anyone in a position to help assist them with funds for legal fees. For donations, please contact Ingrid Hess, Barrister at ingrid.hess@shaw.ca.

Videos from the blockade, including the arrest can be viewed here.