Showing posts with label conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conservation. Show all posts

LaDonna Brave Bull

(Excerpt from Sista Resister: Bios of 50 Radical Women of Color Activists Resisting Sexism, Colonialism & Racism by m seenarine. Xpyr Press.)

20. LaDonna Brave Bull (Sioux/US)

Introduction: Indigenous Women's Resistance

In the Anglo-sphere, fake news of 'white' genocide is used to erase the actual genocide of Indigenous peoples in the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Meanwhile, oil oligarchs in Russia and Europe continue to colonize and exploit Indigenous lands for profit in the Global North and across the Global South. The vast majority of Native people affected by dispossession and pollution are women and children, so First Nations' land rights is a feminist issue.

As the Anglo-sphere becomes increasingly racist against high-melanin migrants from the Global South, it is worth remembering that most people with low-melanin are themselves migrants, colonizers and occupiers of First Nations gynocentric lands on Turtle Island and traditions in the Global South.

Many mainstream Western feminists are reluctant to prioritize issues that are urgent crises in Indigenous communities. For example, the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the forced sterilization of Native women, the struggle for land rights, drug and alcohol addiction, and partner violence. There is a lack of awareness of the disproportionate sexual victimization of Indigenous women, specifically as targets of European American and Canadian men.i In addition, there is little attention given to the capitalist ecocide being practiced in First Nations' environments by fossil fuel and other industries, like tar sands pollution, spills from oil pipelines and mining ponds, deforestation, and so on.

Despite 500 years of colonization, Western colonization and fossil fuel hegemony on Turtle Island are not complete. First Nations women and girls have resisted decades of carbon pollution, and there are millions of high-melanin female survivors of centuries of Anglo-spheric genocide. Indigenous women have solutions to both Western consumption-driven ecocide and Eurocentric genocidal racism. First Nations females who are resisting the 6th mass-extinction through peaceful methods of gynocentrism are powerful role models, and one example, is LaDonna Bravebull Allard.

LaDonna's Biography

LaDonna Bravebull Allard (1955 to 2021) was an outstanding Lakota-Dakota activist, native historian, and leader of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, known by the hashtag #NoDAPL. LaDonna Bravebull was an enrolled member of, and former historical preservation officer for, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The Standing Rock Reservation, located in North Dakota and South Dakota, is the sixth-largest Indigenous reservation in the US.

Brave Bull Allard is the great-great-granddaughter of Nape Hote Win (Mary Big Moccasin), a survivor of the Whitestone Massacre. Sista LaDonna graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in History. She later became instrumental in establishing the Standing Rock Scenic Byway which passes many historic sites including the place where Sitting Bull was killed.

In an interview, the female First Nations leader states,

… my family has been here since 1873, when we were brought across from the east side of the river. My name is LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. My real name is Ta Maka Waste Win, Her Good Earth Woman. I am Ihunktonwan, Hunkpatina and Pabaska Dakota on my father’s side. I am Hunkpapa, Sihasapa and Oglala Lakota on my mother’s side. So, I’m Lakota-Dakota, but I was raised Dakota.ii
The upper Missouri River is the only water supply for Standing Rock, and after a proposed route near the state capital was denied, the privately owned Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was rerouted near the Reservation. The Sioux opposed construction of the pipeline under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, and a grassroots movement began in 2016 to protect the water, land, and sites sacred to the First Nations people.

On April 1st, 2016, Sista LaDonna and her grandchildren founded the Sacred Stone Camp on her land, which was the first resistance gathering of the #NoDAPL movement, with some of the closest Indigenous-owned land to the construction site. Since the establishment of Sacred Stone Camp, thousands of water protectors camped on the Sioux reservation and organized to prevent the construction of the pipeline.

The #NoDAPL movement has become the largest inter-Indigenous alliance on Turtle Island in centuries, with over 200 nations represented in the protest. Due to the courage of First Nations activists like LaDonna Bravebull, the #NoDAPL movement grew to become one of the most powerful and widely supported Indigenous rights movements in recent decades.

In addition to her direct action near the construction site, LaDonna Bravebull conducted numerous interviews and wrote several articles to popularize the #NoDAPL movement. The Lakota-Dakota leader often highlight the state's racist hypocrisy in the handling of people protesting for land rights.

For example, European American ranchers like the Bundys, who encroached on protected lands in Nevada for decades, confronted federal agents in 2014, and occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016, were deemed innocent by the courts. At the same time, First Nations activists who peacefully protested DAPL, faced hefty fines and years in jail.

In her article, "Why do we punish Dakota pipeline protesters but exonerate the Bundys?" LaDonna Bravebull notes that the Bundys and the water protectors at Standing Rock were both concerned with rights to federal land. There were important differences though. For instance, the Bundy militia were fighting for their right to make money by grazing cattle on protected ecosystems.

In contrast, the actions of First Nations people are not motivated by profit. The Sioux only want to protect their sacred lands and water supply. In response, the state confronts Indigenous activists with violence and hostility, while protecting the rights of corporations to pollute Native peoples' survival resources.

Sista LaDonna writes,

When I began to look into the Bundy’s standoff at the Malheur Refuge, I became angry. That place is a locus of ancestral heritage of the Burns Paiute Tribe, which the Bundys knowingly desecrated. They reportedly dug latrines through recognized cultural sites. As a tribal historic preservation officer, my heart broke when I heard they allegedly rifled through some 4,000 cultural items that had been kept in the museum. Some of the sacred objects they destroyed were hundreds of years old. The Bundys did not reclaim that land. It was never theirs. It is Paiute land.iii
In comparison to the armed face-off of European American ranchers in 2014 and 2016, the Lakota-Dakota activist emphasized the peaceful nature of Indigenous water protectors' protest,
From the beginning, we at Standing Rock gathered in a spirit of prayer and non-violent resistance to the destruction of our homeland and culture. We came together with our ceremonies, songs and drums. Weapons are not allowed into our camps. The Bundys’ occupation began with threats and guns. It was violent from the outset, and the people they pretended to represent did not even condone it.

Instead of handguns, shotguns and rifles, First Nations employed songs, drums and dance. The peaceful protesters never represented a danger to local authorities, but they were considered as such. LaDonna Bravebull describes how First Nations water protectors were treated by the police, state and private security forces,

While we stand in prayer, we have assault rifles aimed at us, we are attacked by dogs, pushed from our sacred sites with pepper spray, shot with rubber bullets and bean bag rounds and Tasers, beaten with sticks, handcuffed and thrown in dog kennels. Our horses have been shot and killed.
The scene the female Lakota-Dakota leader describes is reminiscent of centuries of European settlers' genocidal campaigns against First Nations. LaDonna Bravebull argues that the attack on Native water protectors is also part of a pattern of environmental racism,
As indigenous people, we know these attempts to erase us very well, and one of the ways it works is through environmental racism. Indigenous lands across the country are the sites of nuclear waste dumping, toxic mining operations, oil and gas drilling and a long list of other harmful environmental practices, but see very little benefit from these projects. We live in the sacrifice zones.iv
First Nations are on the front lines of resistance to the carbon-based economy and climate pollution. The proximity of Indigenous communities to fossil-fuel production sites means that they suffer some of its worse polluting effects. In order to preserve their existence, First Nations often find that they have to fight against the confluence of interests and combined forces of the fossil-fuel industry and post-colonial governments.

The Lakota-Dakota leader describes how Indigenous people are able to persevere and resist the powerful alliance of capitalism and the state,
The national guard and state police have been reinforced by forces from seven other states, to push corporate interests through our home, but together with our relatives, we stand up. We are still here. We have always welcomed everyone to come stand with us against the injustices of the federal government. Joining forces would be a source of great power – if we stand together to confront racism and destruction of the land. But we will do that with prayer, not guns. We are the people of this land. We have the roots growing out of our feet. We stand with compassion and prayer. They cannot break us.
After years of protest, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous organizers scored a legal victory on June 6th, 2020 when a federal judge ordered Dakota Access controlled by Energy Transfer Partners, to stop operations and empty its pipelines of all oil pending an environmental review.

Sista Brave Bull underwent brain surgery in 2020, and her family announced her death on April 10th, 2021. North Dakota State Representative Ruth Buffalo stated, "Her courage was contagious and inspiring. She was very knowledgeable of the extensive history of the land and worked to preserve our history and sacred sites." And, South Dakota state Senator Red Dawn Foster noted, "She inspired the world with her love for the water, the land, the people, and the love she shared with her husband Miles."v

Meat Society

Meat Society is a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

The articles are excerpts from  Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157

See also Pandemics Ahead, a series of articles from Meat Climate Change, that looks at the link between animal protein and global health disasters. See also our COVID-19 Meat Pandemic Bibliography with a categorized listing of Online News and Reports (March to June, 2020).

1. Dietary Transformation

2. Trends in Animal Production

3. Global Carnism

4. US Animal Production

5. Food's Footprint

6. Food Animals' GHGs 

7. Addressing Livestock GHGs

8. Animal Agribusiness Disorder

9. Factory Farming is Not a Solution

10. Structural Demand for Animal Flesh

11. Mitigating Demand for Animal Protein

12. GHGs: A Tale of Two Sources

13. Livestock's Emissions Denial?

14. Sounding the Alarm on Carnism

15. Urbanization and Carnism

16. Over-Consumption and GHGs

17. Global Substitution Diets

18. Class and Global Diet

19. Over-Consumption Curse

20. Diet or Over Population?

21. Hungry Masses

22. Hidden Population: Obesity

23. Livestock Triangle

24. Livestock Equals Food Insecurity

25. Meat and Colonialism

26. Climate Justice

27. Racism and Food Deserts

28. Meat the Patriarchy

29. Greenwashing Cruelty: Humane Meat

30. Diet and Social Justice

For more information, see

eco denialist


in four hours

94-year old attenborough

gained one million followers

the british broadcaster's documentary

a life on our planet

calls for immediate action

to stop the next extinction

caused by the human asteroid

the documentarian is called 'radical'

david's popularity is 'a good sign' 

that humanity is changing

but is david's call radical enough

are his solutions way too little

and his analysis far too tepid

in his latest media blitz

the wildlife advocate argues

biodiversity loss 

is dangerous to humans 

by increasing epidemics

threatening food security

climate change and more

david lists the key causes

of the extinction crisis

the trade in 'wildlife'

overfishing oceans

over-consumption in developed world

pollution in the global south

destroying natural habitats

and climate change

but these causes are not radical

all are already known

so too the solutions offered 

like less consumption

with responsible carnism

used as an add-on at the end

far from an eco revolution 

this is business-as-usual

and eco denialism

david offers no critique

of carnism




right after his call 

for responsible carnism

the natural historian 

carts out one 'expert' 

who explicitly states

"that's not to say

that none of us

should ever eat meat

or we should cut

all dairy out from our diets"

thus dominion is left intact

and the human asteroid 

is cleared for landing

david's lack of awareness

is not surprising

in an interview he states

"I eat fish, and chicken, 

and my conscience does trouble me.

I'm affluent enough to afford free-range, 

but it's a middle-class hypocrisy"

alas, poor david

after all this time

spent in the company of animals

he still uses a knife

while preaching to others

blissfully ignoring

his denialism is the asteroid

nature on the edge

unsustainable human activity 

is pushing the planet’s 

natural systems 

that support life on Earth 

to the edge

in 2020 the international community 

did not fully achieve 

any of the 20 Aichi 

biodiversity targets 

agreed in Japan in 2010 

to slow the loss of the natural world

along with missed targets

$500bn (£388bn) in government subsidies 

is still being invested 

in environmentally damaging 

agriculture, fossil fuels and fishing 

the UN's global biodiversity outlook 5

reported that more than 

60% of the world’s coral reefs 

are under threat

because of overfishing 

and destructive practices

the living planet index (LPI) 

tracks almost 21,000 populations 

of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles 

and amphibians around the world

the 2020 LPI show

an average 68% fall 

in almost 21,000 wildlife populations 

between 1970 and 2016

a two-thirds decline 

in less than half a century 

due in large part 

to the very same 

environmental destruction 

which is contributing 

to the emergence 

of zoonotic diseases 

such as COVID-19

1 in 5 plants are threatened with extinction

the current rate of plant extinction 

is twice that of mammals

birds and amphibians combined

since 1970 the average decline 

in freshwater population size 

is 84% 

the starkest population decline 

in any biome

equivalent to 4% per year


why are we losing nature?

we are the cause




changing land use 

for food production 

is the biggest driver 

of nature loss

about 50% of the world’s 

habitable land area 

is already used for agriculture 

for livestock such as cattle and pigs 

and for crops that feed 

both people and livestock

if we continue to destroy the natural world

we will see more outbreaks like COVID-19 

and the next pandemic 

could be even more deadly and costly

business-as-usual will result

in even more steep population declines

we need nature

nature is a solution

nature can help 

to address climate change 


or to reduce vulnerability 

to the negative impacts 

of climate change

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is published by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Living Planet Index (LPI) is provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) - Living Planet Report 2020

Mass Extinction

Pandemics Ahead: Number 7 in a series looking at the link between animal protein and global health disasters.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages. ISBN: 0692641157.

Of all the species that have populated Earth at some time over the past 3.5 billion years, in excess of 95% have vanished, many of them in spectacular die-offs called mass extinctions. The permanent loss of large numbers of species over a relatively short period of geological time is known as a mass extinction. According to the fossil record, there have been five mass extinctions due to alterations in Earth's environment and atmosphere. Over half of all life on earth has been wiped out, repeatedly, during the past 500 million years. One cause is an oxygen-depleted ocean spewing poisonous gas as a result of planetary heating. 

The natural background extinction rate for mammals and birds is one species lost every 500 to 1,000 years.(869) Species extinction is occurring at 100 times the natural rate, and is expected to accelerate to between 1,000 and 10,000 times in the coming decades.(870) The current rate of extinction may already be as high as 10,000 times the natural rate.(871) At the upper annual rate of 0.7%, thousands of species are disappearing each year. If that trend continues, it could lead to a loss of 75% of species, or mass extinction, by 2200.

According to the UNEP, the Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of life. This is due to neoliberal development policies and practices, which are based on reductionist, short-sighted, utilitarian views of nature. About 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the "natural" or "background" rate.

The current rate of biodiversity loss is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago. And the losses are occurring all over the planet, from the South Pacific to the Arctic and from the deserts of Africa to mountaintops and valleys of the Himalayas.(872) Precious life is being loss in the oceans, land and air. Up to 50% of known vertebrate species died off in the last 50 years. And, the remaining 50% could die off in the next 40 years. Threatened with extinction are 33% of reef-building corals, fresh-water mollusks, sharks, and rays. Plus, 25% of plants and mammals, 20% of reptiles, and 14% of birds.(873)

Of 3,000 wild species tracked since 1970, the overall decline in wildlife populations was 52%.(874) Once populations drop below 50%, this may culminate in unstoppable, irreversible, cascading extinctions and collapse. Over 75% of species loss is a mass extinction, and the Earth is rapidly approaching this point. The IUCN survey of species threatened with extinction catalogs over 17,000 groups. The list contains one in four mammals, one in three amphibians, and one in eight birds. 

The number is actually 50% higher because the survival of 6,300 non-threatened species depends on the existence of the threatened species cataloged. These figures may be much larger since only an extremely small proportion of possible and known species has been evaluated for threatened status. For land extinctions, the spread of agriculture has been the main driver, while overfishing and pollution have affected sealife. Species across land, rivers and seas are being decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats. The fastest decline among the animal populations was in freshwater ecosystems, where numbers have plummeted by 75% since 1970.

The biggest declines in animal numbers were in developing nations. Conservation efforts in rich nations have seen small improvements, but the big declines in wildlife in rich nations occurred long ago. Even so, biodiversity is still in decline in developed countries. Case in point, farmland birds in the UK, such as gray partridge, have declined by 50% between 1970 and 2012, mainly due to an intensification in farming. 

In effect, by importing food and other goods produced via habitat destruction in developing nations, rich nations are “outsourcing” wildlife loss to the global South. This represents yet another aspect of global neocolonialism. Over a third of all the products of deforestation, such as animal carcass and soy for livestock feed, were exported to the EU between 1990 and 2008. A 2°C (3.6°F) rise in warming may cause 15% to 40% of species becoming extinct.(875) If one species becomes extinct, this can have a chain-effect on others it interacts with. And, the extinction of a keystone species may cause a cascade of further extinctions. 

Around US$25 billion is needed annually to achieve effective global conservation.(876) Biodiversity-related aid has been falling, and in 2002, five agencies spent only US$1.5 billion on conserving biodiversity. The World Bank, Global Environment Facility, IUCN, Nature Conservancy, and Wildlife Conservation Society spent half of this aid in the US alone.

At COP21 in Paris, Germany, Norway and the UK pledged to support rainforest conservation efforts with about $1 billion per year through 2020. While this is a great start, a sum of $10 billion per year is needed to fully protect the 1.5 billion acres of tropical rainforest remaining. This commitment level from the developed world is a good start, given tropical forest's potential to lower global warming. Conversion to alternatives to fossil fuels is necessary but will cost trillions of dollars. Conservation requires just a fraction of that total.

Chapter 23: 6TH MASS EXTINCTION, pg 227 
  Previous  |  Home  |  Next 

For more information, see

New Release

New Release - Cyborgs Versus the Earth Goddess

Now Available! Cyborgs Versus the Earth Goddess: Men's Domestication of Women and Animals and Female Resistance by m seen...