Mazaska means “money” in Lakota. Mazaska Talks describes itself as, “a network and resource hub for individuals across the country who want to divest their cities from banks and financial fossil fuel projects and related repression of indigenous and human rights.” Mazaska Talks is a coalition of 121 First Nations and Tribes. Six grassroots Indigenous groups identified at the end of this article support Mazaska Talks. Mazaska Talks is an Affiliated Project of the Seventh Generation Fund.
When Mazaska Talks will Protestant denominations that have apologized to Native Americans, renounced their mission to "civilize and Christianize" Indians, and repudiated the doctrine of discovery listen? The follow article explains what is a stake, and why these denominations should join this campaign.
Mazaska Talks is planning for Global Days of Action on the October 23-25, when 92 of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions will meet in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to discuss policies on climate change and Indigenous Peoples’ rights to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC).
Speaking on behalf of the Treaty Against Tar Sands, Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said, “We call on all banks and financial institutions to withdraw their investments in the corporations proposing to build new pipelines to carry even more tar sands oil out of Canada. We call on individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments to withdraw their money from these financial institutions until they divest from these pipeline companies who are violating our rights, our treaties and our sovereignty.”
There are 64 banks and financial institutions invested in fossil fuel projects that have been identified by Mazaska Talks. Among these institutions are: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Bank of Hawaii, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank. A complete list of banks and financial institutions can be found on the Mazaska website.
According the Mazaska Talks, the four pipelines that are the foci of the divestment campaign are:
Keystone XL (TransCanada) - 830,000 barrels per day
TransMountain (Kinder Morgan) - expansion from 300,000 to 890.000 barrels per day
Line 3 (Enbridge) - expansion from 390,000 to 915,000 barrels per day
Energy East (TransCanada) - 1.1 million barrels per day
In addition, the coalition is opposing the expansion of the DAPL system into the Bayou Bay Bridge pipeline, a project of the Energy Transfer Partnership (ETP). Importantly, the paramilitary organization TigerSwan, which partnered with ETP in North Dakota, is also planning to partner with ETP again in Louisiana.
The divestment campaign is supported by a coalition of grassroots Indigenous groups:
Corporations and financial institutions will not be moved to withdraw from the fossil fuel era because of compelling moral arguments or ecological data. Courts have largely ignored Indigenous pleas for injunctions to stop pipeline development. There is no guarantee that divestment will successfully stop pipeline development. But, divestment is a powerful tool to challenge the status quo of placing profits over people. Divestment does offer those Protestant denominations that have apologized to Indigenous Peoples for their participation in Indian genocide and Indian boarding schools and renounced the doctrine of discovery a way to stand in deep solidarity with American Indians. and support their drive for sovereignty.