CALGARY, ALBERTA – On Wednesday May 17, leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Great Sioux Nation (Očhéthi Šakówiŋ) will reignite a historic union to send a message to US President Donald Trump that the stroke of his pen on an executive order cannot erase the weight of history. In solidarity with Tribal Nations from British Columbia to Oklahoma, Chief Stan Grier of the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy and Chairman Brandon Sazue of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, will sign the “Declaration Opposing Oil Sands Expansion and the Construction of the Keystone-XL Pipeline” in the Morris Schumiatcher Room at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, at a ceremony beginning at 11 am.
“We, The First People, were and remain the stewards of the land and with this Declaration renew our vow to carry that sacred obligation in defense of our Mother, the Earth, and all born of her body and nurtured at her breast who are no longer heard amidst the dissonance of industrialization and corporate domination,” reads the preamble to the historic document. Among those quoted in the Declaration is Chief Vern Janvier, Chief of the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, a tribe on the frontlines of the Oil Sands. In the document, Chief Janvier articulates how the sacrifice of sacred beings on the altars of fossil fuel profits is an act of cultural genocide. “I am honored that my words are in this declaration, and I’m proud to see the brotherhood of Nations continues,” says Chief Janvier.