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Unlikely Alliances


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grassroots coalitions of Native peoples and white ranchers and farmers (including the aptly named “Cowboy and Indian Alliance”) are blocking the Keystone XL oil pipeline and coal mining. In the Pacific Northwest, Native nations are using their treaties against plans for coal and oil terminals, partly because shipping and burning fossil fuels threatens their treaty fishery. In the Great Lakes, Bad River Ojibwe are leading the fight to stop metallic mining, drawing on past anti-mining alliances of Ojibwe and white fishers. In the Maritimes, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet are confronting shale gas fracking, joined by non-Native neighbors. 

 

 

 

color:black;mso-themecolor:text1″>These unique convergences have confronted mines, dams, logging, power lines, nuclear waste, military projects, and other threats. My main education has been as an activist in unlikely alliances in South Dakota and Wisconsin. As a geography grad student I later studied them in other states (such as Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) where they took different paths from treaty conflict to environmental cooperation, and had varying degrees of success.

 

 

 

 
 

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You can all love this land as much as we do.” 

). He is a longtime community organizer, and was a co-founder of the Midwest Treaty Network in Wisconsin. His dissertation explored Unlikely Alliances: Treaty Conflicts and Environmental Cooperation Between Rural Native and White Communities (University of Wisconsin Department of Geography, 2002). He is co-editor (with Alan Parker) of Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis (Oregon State University Press, 2012). 

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