At the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Kevin Hart, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Manitoba, told The Real News Network’s Dimitri Lascaris that humanity urgently needs to heed the ecological wisdom of indigenous peoples.

Hart previously expressed solidarity with “our brothers and sisters across the medicine line in the United States at Standing Rock Sioux Nation,” where indigenous demonstrators and their supporters are trying to halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on the grounds that the oil spills that could occur endanger the water and land on which they depend.

Hart called the police actions of the U.S. and North Dakota governments “human rights violations.” Authorities have used water cannons, tear gas, noise machines and concussion grenades against the demonstrators, hundreds of whom have been injured, some severely, including 26 who were taken to local hospitals. A 21-year-old-woman’s arm was nearly destroyed after she was hit with a grenade shot by police, leaving her with an injury that may require amputation. Her father told Democracy Now! that “[w]itnesses that I’ve spoken to said that the police officers—it takes seven seconds for these concussion grenades to go off. And instead of throwing them on the ground, they pulled the plug, held them for five seconds and threw them directly at her.

“They have to demilitarize the police there,” he added. “There’s no reason that the police should be intentionally trying to kill people, maim people. And this has to stop.”

The Obama administration is open to charges of hypocrisy as it tells COP22 participants that it seeks to avert climate change while simultaneously permitting the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure such as the Dakota Access pipeline.

At the COP22 conference, representatives of Canada’s Youth Delegation demanded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau honor his commitment to be the “minister of youth”:

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly


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