Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon (Translated from Passamaquoddy to English means, “we take care of the homeland”)

 

Donations Are Needed to Protect Passamaquoddy Bay
Environmental Justice & Indigenous Independence

400 years after Champlain sailed up the St. Croix River, another “ship” is coming in.  Its impact threatens to be as deadly to the indigenous people of the coastal Wabanaki region as small pox was to native people in 1600.

In response to the growing momentum for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on tribal land, Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon has launched an ambitious campaign to educate Tribal people and opinion leaders about the nature/scope of LNG, identify interventions and solutions and organize for reform. We are a group of Passamaquoddy people organized to:

ØStop the current efforts to locate an LNG terminal on ancestral land and in the ancestral waters of tumultuous Passamaquoddy and Fundy Bays

ØResist the usurpation of Indigenous rights to cultural survival by a political economy;

ØExpose the deliberate infliction on an Indigenous group (Passamaquoddy) conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and

ØProtect the homeland against environmental racism.

The Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon seeks donations to legally defend our right to organize a culturally appropriate response to the recent “LNG” and “Quoddy LLC” proposal to process and store liquefied gas in Passamaquoddy Territory. The Passamaquoddy Bay region is a critical-cultural-heritage site, which deserves protection and advocacy.  Over the past year the controversial LNG terminal has been rejected by communities up the coast from Harpswell to Searsport, and now it is focused in on our homeland .  It was only in June that plans to locate the terminal in tribal territory were made public, and LNG operatives, who include state and federal regulators and seasoned politicians, have already galvanized support from Maine’s governor to bring LNG into this small coastal village. It is important that the Passamaquoddy homeland be protected and that efforts that jeopardize our cultural survival be banned from our territory.

The growing control of our political process by LNG/Quoddy LLC (a small number of unaccountable corporations), federal, and state elites, and other misinformed elected officials undermine indigenous human rights, religious freedom, ecological health, and the economic viability of the region. LNG/Quoddy LLC’s agenda and influence is clear; their message exemplifies environmental racism and degradation.

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As lifelong members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, our aim is to:

ØDevelop and promote sustainable, environmentally sound regional economic ventures and energy projects,

ØProtect our sacred sites and religious beliefs in Wonakomesuwok (little people); sites that would be destroyed by this intrusion,

ØProtect Passamaquoddy Bay through its designation as a heritage site,

ØPromote cultural restoration, which is underway throughout our homeland, and

ØEmpower Native people to resist genocide and environmental racism.

 Our short-term goals include:

ØOrganize and educate membership about the potential impact of the proposed LNG terminal on Tribal land and of LNG sites in general;

ØEncourage advocacy for healthy industries and lifestyles on many levels within the community and bioregion;

ØEstablish a moratorium on current efforts to situate the LNG on tribal lands so that inclusive conversation and education can take place outside of the traumatic urgency which is characterized by people’s relation to the subject at this time: disaster is pending.

ØResearch and secure legal representation (environmental/religious/human rights); and,

ØProvide a series of environmental/spiritual leadership workshops conducted by traditional elders/healers from throughout the Wabanaki region.

Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon is challenging LNG’s and Quoddy LLC’s (including its proponents) deliberate targeting of Passamaquoddy Bay and Passamaquoddy people, which disproportionately harms Native people and has the potential of permanently altering Passamaquoddy heritage, and their natural and cultural resources including: fishes, potential ancestral burial grounds, wilimaphaskil (sweet grass lands), numerous other medicines, night sky, clean air, clam flats, etc. The proposed site for the LNG terminal would prevent free access to traditional and sacred sites, which includes the rocky shoreline that currently serves as the home to our religious beliefs in Wonakomeswok (the little people). ). The proposed site and port will essentially be a site for “hazardous materials,” which is in direct opposition to Passamaquoddy values. Because of its detrimental potentiality, it is our stance that there is no such thing as the state of the art fire/rescue/toxic-clean-up processes in Maine. It’s not even clear which agencies (local or state) would have the responsibility of providing emergency response.
 

Though the local Tribal Government is entertaining an LNG terminal, Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon’s position is that the Passamaquoddy were not consulted; the State of Maine (under the cover of LNG) is intruding upon Passamaquoddy traditional homeland and watersheds, capitalizing on the dire economic conditions of Washington County, and abrogating its own obligation to grow economy for its constituency. The Passamaquoddy has sacrificed enough—we do not have to give up what little land we have left. Though LNG proposes to obtain a 42-acre site via a “50-year lease” at Sipayik (Pleasant Point, Passamaquoddy Reservation), the average size of an LNG terminal import site is closer to 600-1000 acres. The reality is that if LNG does not situate its import terminal on Tribal land, it can go somewhere else along Maine’s coastline.

Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon is dedicated to preserving what is left of our homeland and traditional watersheds – we stand by our treaties and we oppose any further restriction/encumbrance on our hunting, fishing, gathering, trade and travel within Passamaquoddy ancestral territory.  However, it’s not just our traditional ancestral land/waters that are under assault, it’s our deepest cultural beliefs - our religion, which help form our Passamaquddy sense of identity that is at risk of being extinguished - genocide. 

Though we have utilized our networks for moral support, we lack the critical ingredient – money. LNG is here in Maine.  Its proponents include corporate and government interests.  Passamaquoddy participants have not included their own community members in forwarding the LNG site on tribal lands. Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon needs your financial support to effectively resist LNG. Ntulankeyutomen Nkihtaqmikon seeks to bring Indigenous voices to the fore and to revitalize/promote a healthy debate about the inseparability of indigenous, environmental, and cultural issues. Without effective grassroots organizing in our community, Native people will surely suffer the consequences of LNG, which threaten our human rights and religious freedom.

In advance, we appreciate your wiliness to act on behalf of humanity; kindly support indigenous independence by sending dontations to: Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon , Protect Passamaquoddy Bay , C/O The Commons, 51 Water Street, P.O. Box 255, Eastport, Maine 04631