(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 20, 2016)
Ferndale, MI – Fendale City Council passed two resolutions Monday night.
One proclaims the city to be bat-friendly and establishes Oct. 31 as “The Night of the Bat.”
The other resolution “proclaims support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the DAPL..”
The bat resolution was brought to Council’s attention by the “Ferndale Blockheads,” a FIRST LEGGO league team from Ferndale Upper Elementary School. In addition to The Night of the Bat, the resolution declares that Ferndale is a “Bat Friendly City” that ” encourage its residents to install bat houses, plant native wildflower gardens and provide a water source.”
The resolution supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their protests against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was introduced by Councilperson Dan Martin on behalf of resident Rebecca Phoenix, who spoke at a previous Council meeting.
The resolution states “WHEREAS, the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,168 -mile, 30 -inch diameter pipeline being developed by Energy Transfer Partners and its affiliates, which would carry as much as 570,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude from western North Dakota to Illinois; and
WHEREAS, the DAPL would run across or beneath 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries, including the Missouri River, which provides drinking water and irrigates agricultural land in communities across the Midwest, serving nearly 10 million people; and
WHEREAS, the DAPL would also run through the ancestral lands and waters reserved for the traditional use of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by the Treaty of Ft. Laramie, including the Missouri River, burial grounds and gravesites, and other sacred sites of cultural, religious, and historical significance; and
WHEREAS, Indian Treaties such as the Treaty of Ft. Laramie are recognized by the U.S. Constitution as “the supreme law of the land,” and require consultation and cooperation by the United States with its Indian Treaty partner before any federal action is taken that affects Treaty lands, territories, waters or other resources; and
WHEREAS, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 affirms the need to “protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions,” particularly in American Indian sacred places; and
WHEREAS, Articles, 11, 12, and 25 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), as endorsed by the United States in 2010, affirms that indigenous peoples like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe possess the right to maintain and protect their culture, religion, practices, and relationship with their “traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories [and] waters”; and
WHEREAS, the UNDRIP Article 32 further provides that governments shall consult with indigenous peoples “in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources”; and
WHEREAS, the Ferndale “Human Rights Ordinance” of 2016 recognizes “the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”; and
WHEREAS, the City of Ferndale recognizes the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Ferndale, valuing the many contributions made to our community through Indigenous People’s knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and the deep cultural contribution that has substantially shaped the character of the City of Ferndale; and
WHEREAS, the City of Ferndale promotes the closing of the equity gap for Indigenous Peoples through policies and practices that reflect the experiences of Indigenous Peoples, ensure greater access and opportunity, and honor our nation’s indigenous roots, history, and contributions; and
WHEREAS Ferndale has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education, and social crises; and
WHEREAS, any spill of oil into the Missouri River would irreparably harm the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Treaty reserved lands, territories, waters and other resources; burial grounds, gravesites and other sacred sites of cultural, religious, and historical significance; and spiritual relationships and indigenous ways of life; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of Seattle, City Councils of Portland, Oregon, St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians comprised of 59 Indian Nations in the Northwest, and nearly 200 Indian Nations, are among the governmental bodies that have taken formal action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and oppose the DAPL;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FERNDALE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING, THAT: Section 1. The City of Ferndale stands in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) across the Tribe’s ancestral lands, waters and sacred sites. Section 2. The City of Ferndale proclaims support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the DAPL.”
Mayor Dave Coulter added the condition that copies of the resolution be forwarded to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. The DAPL construction has been put on hold but the legal battles continue.
Both resolutions passed unanimously, with Councilperson Greg Pawlica being absent from the meeting.
On Monday council also approved changes to the ordinance governing the Ferndale Housing Commission to allow up to two board members to be from outside the city. http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/12/17/ferndale-housing-commission-sets-new-vision-seeks-board-member/