Lakota Youth Send Video Message To President Obama:
Uphold Your Commitment to Indigenous Youth: Reject Keystone XL
For immediate release: March 3, 2015
Contact: Dallas Goldtooth, 507-412-7609, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabrina King, 605-939-0527, email@example.com
Whit Jones, 914-671-1880, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH DAKOTA -- This morning youth of the Oceti Sakowin released and delivered a video to President Obama asking him to uphold his commitment to Indigenous youth and to reject Keystone XL. The video, supported by Indigenous Environmental Network, Energy Action Coalition and NO KXL Dakota will be delivered to top tribal representatives in the White House administration.
President Obama has previously met with Lakota youth and promised to pursue initiatives that would bring prosperity to young Indigenous people. On the heels of President Obama’s veto of Congress’s Keystone XL bill last week, the Lakota youth in the video are calling on President Obama to go one step further and outright reject Keystone XL in order to uphold his commitment to Indigenous youth.
TransCanada’s timeline to build Keystone XL through South Dakota has expired due to all the delay, and now Indigenous and non-native youth have united to oppose Keystone XL every step of the way. They’ve launched a petition in conjunction with WeArePowerShift.org with nearly 7000 people pledging support for their campaign and calling on President Obama to reject Keystone all together.
Valeriah Rose Big Eagle of the Yankton Sioux tribe, and one of the creators of the petition said: “South Dakota remains our home. These lands we populate have sacred meaning to the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people and the future of the Oceti Sakowin. President Obama, please protect our children and future generations by irrevocably rejecting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.”
Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said: “We hope President Obama lives up to the promises he made to Indigenous youth, and protects their future. These youth are asking him to reject the KXL pipeline. Let’s see if he listens.”
Tony Helland, a young community organizer in Sioux Falls, SD said: “The costs associated with this pipeline drastically outweigh the good. Tar sands oil is some of the dirtiest to extract. It speaks to the desperation corporations have to exploit what was thought impossible to reach. When extracted, tar sands oil omits more CO2 into our atmosphere, requires an absurd amount energy input, and is filled with chemicals kept secret from the public. As South Dakota’s youth, we ask President Obama to deny the Keystone XL permit pipeline now and for good.”