Rights of Nature Tribunal
Read Hydraulic Fracking Case presented by Shannon Biggs, Global Exchange.
In the United States, human law has not forgotten nature, but it hasn’t protected it either. Fracking is a prime example. Some 400 million years ago, ancient aquatic environments dried up, cementing fine sedimentary deposits over the millennia into hard shale, which now lie 2 miles or more below our feet. Through the wonder of modern technology some industry-friendly political will and serious legal heft, today these ancient shale formations are the new underground playground of oil and gas corporations.
Under our current structure of law, communities are not allowed to say “no” to fracking even as our health, safety and welfare is at risk. In many states fracking is unregulated and even unmonitored. Most communities are not even notified that fracking is happening near them. Fracking is a legal drilling process, and corporations with a state permit and ownership or lease of mineral rights to drill have the law on their side. Residents are seen as having “no authority” in their own communities. Cloaked in Constitutional protections, exemptions and well-greased political cover, the oil and gas industry stands on solid legal ground as they roll into town.
And what about environmental protections? The ownership of ecosystems is promoted and protected by law, upholding the control and dominance of humans over nature. The law does not “see” nature as anything but property. Our ecosystems have no legal standing in a court of law. From the tar sands of Alberta to mountaintop removal for coal, to fracking and deep ocean drilling, profound damage has been done with the full blessing of the law.
Tantoo Cardinal, Activist and Actress
An accomplished and celebrated actress, Tantoo Cardinal has advanced Aboriginal performing arts throughout the world. Known for her authenticity, she has brought to life complex and diverse Aboriginal characters and has worked to dispel stereotypes. Her performances on stage and in both film and television have helped to blaze a trail in an industry where few roles for Aboriginal women previously existed. Her 80 plus credits include North of 60, Shattered, Legends of the Fall, Dances With Wolves, Black Robe, Loyalties, Education of Little Tree, Luna, Spirit of the Whale, Unnatural & Accidental, Sioux City, Silent Tongue, Smoke Signals and Mother’s & Daughter’s.
In 2010 Tantoo was inducted as a Member into the Order of Canada for her outstanding contributions. Other honors include a National Aboriginal Achievement award, the Harvard University Sunhill Award for excellence in Aboriginal film making and four honorary doctorates: University of Rochester, doctor of Fine Arts, University of St. Lawrence, Doctor of Arts; University of Calgary, Doctor of Laws; and, Fraser Valley University, Doctor of Letters to add text, images, and other content.
Una actriz consumada y celebrada, Tantoo Cardenal ha avanzado las artes escénicas aborígenes en todo el mundo. Conocida por su autenticidad, se ha traído a la vida compleja y diversos personajes aborígenes y ha trabajado para disipar los estereotipos. Sus actuaciones en el escenario y en el cine y la televisión han ayudado a abrir un camino en una industria donde unos papeles para mujeres aborígenes existían previamente. Ha actuado en varias aclamadas películas como North de 60, Shattered, Leyendas de pasión, Bailando con Lobos entre varias otras.
En 2010 Tantoo fue incluida como miembro en la Orden de Canadá por sus extraordinarias contribuciones. Otros honores incluyen un premio Nacional de Aborígenes Logro, el Premio de la Universidad de Harvard Sunhill por la excelencia en la realización de películas de los aborígenes y cuatro doctorados honoris causa: Universidad de Rochester, doctor en Bellas Artes, Universidad de St. Lawrence, Doctor en Artes, la Universidad de Calgary, doctor en Leyes y, Fraser Valley University, doctor en Letras para agregar texto , imágenes y otros contenidos.