WE DENY CONSENT!
NO VALLEY CROSSING PIPELINE, NO LNG!
By Juan Mancias,
of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas
We, the Esto’k Gna, have been purposefully excluded from any consultations regarding these projects, furthermore, the lack of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for the Valley Crossing Pipeline project is not only a violation of Due Process and the principles inscribed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), it is a financial liability that must be addressed in the account ledgers of the parent company Enbridge and Spectra as such and before all relevant financial institutions and international credit agencies.
The Valley Crossing Pipeline and the LNGs are an example of how the history of colonization, discrimination, and marginalization are a copy of the policies of expropriation and exploitation of our Mother Earth and the labor of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples across Mexico, the US and Canada in collusion under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 1994).
Since time immemorial the Esto'k Gna have called these lands, which today are commonly called “Texas”, our home. The Carrizo is what the Spaniards called us because we lived in carrizo huts or jacals. In our language our houses were called Wama’k. Comecrudo is what the Mexican people called us because we had a like for some raw foods and also because we ate a lot of jerky and greens. The Kiowa called us the shoeless people for we made our shoes from the fibrous lechugilla grass that grows in the deserts of West Texas and along the Rivers of the Pecos, Devil’s River and Rio Grande. We have been misnamed as Coahuiltecan, Jumano, and Cuchendos, as well Mexican.
Esto’k Gna are all over Texas. We were allies with Tonkawa, Caddo, Hasnai, Karnkawa, Atakapa, Pueblo. Our Villages are recorded and remembered by the Elders. Places like San Isidro, Las Comitas, La Venada, Las Mujeres, Tanque Alegre, Peñitas (about fifteen of these), Las Pastas, Encinal, were just some of the old rancherias or village sites of the Esto’k Gna. Carrizo Springs is one of those places as well and we have begun to build and maintain our Cotoname Village there.
Our homes were along the Rio Grande Delta that includes present day Northeastern Mexico (Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Chihuahua along the Rio Grande all the way up to the Northern Pueblos.
We had a pueblo on the Pecos River in what is now New Mexico. It was called the Pecos Pueblo. We have our pictographs all the way up to Adobe Walls that only assumes that we traveled as far as Kansas between Scott City and Oberlin at a place called “El Cuartolejo”. Mostly our culture was a Hunter, Gatherer and Trader culture. We traded our Bows and Arrows and our medicine.
Evidence places us also at the Concho River in Paint rock on Hwy 83 between Eden and Ballinger. Evidence of the Moth Man pictograph at Lake Alan Henry denotes our presence in the Caprock Canyons near Double Mountain near Post Texas.
The rivers and sacred sites have names that carry meaning and memories with them as we have known them since time immemorial. Enchanted Rock is the Wai Pe-a-una’ma meaning “the North wind does not leave the mountain” since the North Wind was quieted by the folk hero Pato’pe. The coal mines are the place to fear Payawela-u. The San Antonio river is the Payaua’p Ah-ta meaning “Wolf Water” because of the wolves that would run north and south along the river. The Nueces River is known as “the bathing place”, Ya- Pawpe’l. The Concho River is called “the Gathering Waters”, PAKETETUA’K AH’E. The Rio Grande is “the running waters of life spirit”, Ahmahatau Mete’l the spirit river.
The rivers and waters were always a place of life and to give life. They gave everything we need to survive. They had the fish, turtle, cattails, algae, and water… always water. The names denote the life spirit the waters portrayed.
The Devil’s River was known as the EWE AH’E, “Deer waters” for it was a hunting land for the the Nation of the Esto’k Gna. Punta de Sur was known is the Wama’k Payese’l the “Heart House” or the place of the house clans. Double Mountain in Post, Texas was the place to travel for the summer for hunting and gathering the wild plums. It was a place to gather sage and deer’s tongue as well. And the Deer were larger there and it was good cover from the hot summer days. The White River is the PEPO’ AHE --- “white running water”. The Canyons were the place for many of the Canyon Clans. We have a Red Canyon Clan, White Canyon Clan, Yellow Canyon Clan and the Black Canyon Clan. The villages were a place to trade and visit. Fallen Timbers along the Red and Canadian Rivers were a place to trade and gather and make relatives insuring that the tribal lines were not inbred.
The movement of the Esto’k Gna created a large Tribal presence. The Brazos River was the “Running Red”, because of the its red color rapids. The canoes or Pakawatatap were left at rivers to utilize as community travel. Elephant Mountain is the Esto’k Kica’x, “little people mountain”. The eight hills on I10 outside of Boerne is the Ken Keteui meaning “the sister star mountains”. The Hot springs are the Met Pamala’P, “stinking waters”. Salado Creek is the Glam Ah’e Ya, “bear water place”.
The Trappings was an important watering hole in the Big Bend area known as the Kuama’k Ya, the dance place, an important place for our Lifeways. We have named only a few of them.
These dances are ours. They are the Bear Dance, Deer Dance, Crane Dance, Eagle Dance, Green Corn Dance, Berry Harvest Dance, Peyote Dance, Harvest Thanksgiving Dance, New year Dance, Fall Dance, Winter Dance, Prairie Chicken Dance, Red Wolf Dance, Dolphin Dance, Buffalo Dance, Fishnet Dance, Unification of the Arrows, and it was daily dance as well. All the dance are important. It is a part in the daily creation and opportune time of the Year. We are present and we exist.
The land is our ancestors’ bones and flesh giving us life. The waters are the water that has left the bodies of our ancestors. So, as the ancestors are the land, we the ancestors, so the Esto’k Gna are the land. It is not we who own the land, it is the land owns us. So, we stand for what gives us meaning and our ancestral Identity.
The river waters carry the blood of the Earth who are our ancestors as well. That water runs through our bodies thus giving life to the Esto’k Gna.
The Esto’k Gna were first in contact the with Spanish speaking Europeans who migrated to the continent was in or around the early 1500’s. Before first contact with the Europeans who migrated to this continent, the Atakapa, Karnakawa, Tonkawa, Caddo, Wichita where around as well and later in 4th century the plight of the effects of colonization had brought in the Apache, Comanche, and Coahuilteco displaced people.
We were respectful of human ways. Rarely was there a battle and we asked for permission when we used someone else’s trail.
The relationship was muddled up by the mission records for those Carrizo/Comecrudos that married with the displaced natives brought in by the Spanish who confused the classification of Tribes, Bands, and Clans.
If you look at the Comecrudo and Cotoname language you will find that the social makeup of a tribe was through its language. Comecrudan and Cotoname are the oldest of the languages in Texas that denotes that we did not speak a Uto-aztecan language. Yet, what is considered Coahuilteco is the formation of six compiled tribal languages.
The Mission of the Spaniards was to find gold and riches. The Depredations of the Spaniard was that of terrorist invaders desecrating beliefs and lifeways of the Original people of Texas. This is a historical fact of the trip down the Rio Grande by the Governor Garya from Bermuda sending soldiers in 1510. (Indians of the Rio Grande Delta: Martin Salinas) the junket was an expeditionary force, but turned out to be greedy assemblage of blood and rape by the European Spaniards. The Spanish came up the river and began to exploit the Esto’k Gna resources and women and children.
The purpose of the mission colonization was to take the savage out of the wild and make him “civilized”. However, the Esto’k Gna visited the missions and left. We did not really start developing a longer relationship with the missions until the turn of the 19th century. Even then, it was a very unstable relationship since we were not allowed to dance and especially not to dance with Peyote.
The Texas Rangers hunted us down and even erroneously changed our “Citizenship” to steal the land and livestock.
We lived without the oppressive wantonness of greed at the mouth of the Rio Grande what is now known as Boca Chica and the La Bahia wetlands. So the intentions of the Europeans was not of chronicling their trips for history sake, but to terrorize and subjugate and pillage for wealth.
That oppression is what is part of the Brownsville Port Authority’s decision to open mega-projects tied to extraction on sacred land for LNG Industrialization. This includes the ongoing contamination through gentrification, destructive development, all of which is just another form of the continued ethnic cleansing and genocide taking place through colonial “development” on sacred lands.
Now the Texas Historical Commission, of whom the wife of Kelsey Warren is an active member, are deciding that there is no significant historical data to warrant a stopping of the Valley Crossing Pipeline and the the proposed LNGs. The Valley Crossing Pipeline is the evil project of Spectra and Enbridge. Enbridge is also responsible for the Pollution of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Enbridge has put the City of Flint, Michigan in peril with undrinkable water contaminated with the oil Spill at the Kalamazoo River. We need to find out who is financing the these evil people of destruction. They are polluting not just the air, water, and land; they pollute the well being and the cultural connections of the lands here in Texas.
Through these mega-projects there is the constant digging up of the dead that creates upheaval among the living. This nuisance is becoming significant because the spirits of this land are restless. They are restless because their eternal sleep has been disturbed, thus they are looking for closure through the seventh generation.
The Esto’k Gna have a reason for denying our consent to the LNGs and Valley Crossing Pipeline. This reason is the continued violations of International Treaties that have been broken by the Tejas/Nuevo Santader Mexican State, Republic of Texas, The United States, The State of Texas and the Republic of Texas as well. Ultimately, it is also a violation of the United States by terminating the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty in 1917 elevating the ethnic cleansing of the Native Original People of Texas, the Esto’k Gna.
The Texas Historical Commission’s inability to admit that much of their records of history are erroneous continues to add confusion. The significance lays in the researched historical data and the recorded language of the Native Original People of Texas. There is significance in not accepting the biased documentation by european historians who have only had a one sided view of their history. Their history is not our history.
The Esto’k Gna do not consent to these mega-projects because we want to solidify a future for the generations to come, to stop the ignorance of confusion to the Native Original People of Texas, who struggle to understand tribe, band, clan, and family. We deny our consent in order to stop the oppressive attitude toward the Native Original Peoples of Texas. It is time for the denial of our existence through legislated historical ignorance to end.
We do not consent to these mega-projects. We do this in order to make sure that state agencies understand that “KEEP TEXAS BEAUTIFUL”, means to protect Somi Se’k, our Mother Earth and all living creatures, and to hold accountable those forms of governments and its agencies to the dangers of the pollutants from the LNGs and Valley Crossing Pipeline.
It is critical to understand that the FERC or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will give the final approval on the LNG’s construction. Yet, the Valley Crossing Pipeline has started construction without a federal permit because they know that it will be approved anyway in spite of the Esto’k Gna denial to consent. Regardless of this, we are making it known that we do not freely consent and we had no prior knowledge of these projects.
The FERC has given a notice to LNGs to comply with a letter asking for procedure and study on how the Rocket Pad that has been built 15 miles will affect the LNGs in case of falling debris from a mislaunch of a Rocket. The FERC has yet to answer the question. Yet, the ANOVA LNG is asking for a 10 year Tax Abatement from three counties and says that the income from their operations would more than make up for them not paying taxes to Cameron county and surrounding counties. Income seems to be the only measurement that the Industrial LNG is using for the economic gain by their construction there. There seems to be no economic measurement for the side effects that the land, air, and water will suffer. There will have no measured results of damages to the Health problems that the human community will suffer as well.
The companies that carry out these types of projects are responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the BP oil spill in the Gulf and Enbridge's oil spill pollution of the Kalamazoo River that has impacted Flint, Michigan. Enbridge is one of those companies involved in the building of the Tuxpan Pipeline from Agua Dulce to Veracruz, underwater and under the Gulf of Mexico.
We, the Esto’k Gna, understand that these projects will result in the devastation of a Wildlife Refuge and registered historic site called the Garcias Pasture which will be largely impacted by the construction of the LNG Export Terminals. Dolphins, Ocelots, Horned Toads, Ahingas (the waterbird symbol logo of the Native American Church), Aplomado Falcon, three species of turtles, and many more animals and plants are being threatened by the construction alone. When the gas starts to flow the spills will inevitably come and and human beings will be affected. All of these studies EIS have been tampered with and recorded erroneously findings to gain approval and keep the public uninformed.
Highway 48, which runs from Brownsville to Port Isabel, will be even more cluttered with oil transport traffic, and yet ANOVA is asking for a tax abatement. The road Infrastructure will be damaged and compromised. It is also known also that many of these LNG Workers will be imported so the job market will not be available to the local residents.
There are five communities that will be are impacted by the these horrendous monstrosities that are being built to that will be nineteen stories high. One community can only get access by water. The shrimpers will be affected by the boat traffic in the ship channel accommodating the LNG Ships exporting the LNG.
Federal and state Government and the State government need to be held accountable for the Ethnic Cleansing that goes on through the Environmental Genocide of Mother Earth, the indigent, the poor, and the Native Original People of Texas.
You would not pollute your mother, so why then do these unhuman inhumane Corporations do so for their bottom line? It is up to all of us to hold these people accountable to all of Humanity, to uphold the values of a natural law over the man made laws of greed, and to be responsible for our HOME, MOTHER EARTH.
There is a way to stop these projects from happening. It can it be stopped if we get people involved that are more aware that we are only borrowing this world from the children of tomorrow. We need to guarantee that life is not a spiritual journey alone, but also a road that has its responsibilities. We need to hold ourselves accountable not for money alone but for how clean water, clean air, and clean earth maintains our life forms. We need to be aware that we are not here “to multiply and subdue”, but to walk with the creation, as we are only a part of the creation, and not apart from it.
Tribal values were about life and its balance in the survival of that life in the creation. Now, our values are and have become traumatic due to the stress of living in highly technological and high paced society. It is not hard to focus and maintain those Tribal Values and teachings without succumbing to confused corporate politics and economics. Decolonization is about slowing down and appreciating that which is given to us by the creator of all life. Decolonize and let those who really know the teachings of the land bring back the meaning of Creation. You have to be able to see the Stars to know the Teachings. This pollution hampers our ability to really send our voice into the universe.
We call on all conscious people to attend the rallies, demonstrations, workshops, convenings, that inspire the ability to break away from the colonization and gentrification of the Human Being and Human Spirit.
We can VOTE PRO EARTH and you vote for all creation. France has outlawed Fracking and there should be no reason why we cannot as well. We must continue to send letters, emails, and phone calls to the Railroad Commission of Texas that is handing out fracking and pipeline and other oil, gas, and coal mining permits without regard for these concerns and dire consequences. In reality, no one will gain from these mega-death projects other than the oil and gas bullies. Only the wealthy will gain and even the few jobs that they will provide are limited to those who have no human values.
We have a responsibility to the past humans who deserve the inalienable right to rest in Peace, without their resting place being disturbed for the Corporate gain. We have a responsibility to the present human beings to educate them to at least understand that Global Warming is effecting all of us on Earth, 129 degree weather is just not acceptable. We have a responsibility to the future generations to be able to enjoy the Tribal Lifeways of the Native Original People of Texas.
We also have a responsibility to Clean Water for all Life!
We also have a responsibility to Clean Air for all Life!
We also have a responsibility to our Mother Earth, a Clean Earth.