Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oil Spill Threatens Native American "Water" Village

© 2010 National Geographic; Videographer and Field Producer: Fritz Faerber

June 8, 2010--The town of Grand Bayou, Louisiana, has no streets and no cars, just water and boats. And now the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens the very existence of the Atakapa-Ishak Indians who live there. "We're facing the potential for cultural genocide," says one tribe member.


  1. Susan Mountain DeerJuly 14, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Rainforest Action Network

    Share this powerful video with your friends!

    "If oil companies have been successful in globalizing their bad practices all to make a profit, why can't we all unite to defend our land, to defend our rights?"

    Luis Yanza, a community organizer from Ecuador fighting for Chevron to clean up massive oil contamination, posed this question at a packed community forum amidst Louisiana's oil-drenched bayous.

    Every day during our week-long journey through the Gulf Indigenous leaders from Louisiana and Ecuador shared personal experiences of the devastation oil companies have caused and the fears they have for the future of their communities.

    They also expressed anger toward the oil industry that has made their communities sick, and the corrupt politicians that let that industry get away with murder, literally.

    Although the assembled Indigenous leaders were separated by language and geography, they shared a common story. From Louisiana to Ecuador (and many lands in between) oil companies expropriate traditional land, cut corners on safety to cut costs, dump their toxic waste into poor communities, and leave a legacy of illness, poverty and destruction for which the oil companies refuse to accept responsibility.

    The devastation that BP and Chevron are responsible for in the Gulf and Ecuador could have been prevented. Unless we stand in solidarity with frontline oil-impacted communities the world over, there will be more preventable oil disasters. By taking action now, we can prevent future suffering, illnesses, and deaths.

    In the coming weeks and months, the Change Chevron team will be asking you to join us in preventing future oil disasters. We will ask you to stand in solidarity with frontline communities the world over and take action to finally hold oil companies and governments fully accountable for the damage they have caused.

  2. Susan Mountain DeerJuly 14, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Thank you so much Denise for all your hard work and tireless efforts to shout the truth! It is the women that keep the faith and hope alive, we are the keepers of civilization!
    God bless!