A Native American climate change activist declared on Friday that the ecosystem in Washington, DC, is destroyed due to climate change furthered by colonization and slavery.
Climate change alarmists gathered in the nation’s capital Friday as part of the global climate strike, chanting and delivering speeches on what they say is a looming climate catastrophe.
A Native American activist took the stage at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol and declared that the ecosystem in D.C. has been destroyed due to climate change, which has been furthered by colonization and slavery.
“We are the indigenous people of Maryland. Our traditional territory follows the Potomac River all the way to the Chesapeake Bay. I want everyone to take a moment and feel the ground beneath your feet. Remember the steps that you took to get here,” she said, accusing the United States of stealing land from indigenous people.
“The land that you are standing upon is native land. Every square inch of the Americans is native land, land that was painfully ripped away and stolen from indigenous people,” she proclaimed.
“Obviously, all of us are here because we care about the environment. That’s why we’re striking. But half of us don’t understand the land we are trying to protect and the waters we are trying to protect,” she continued, claiming that the ecosystem in D.C. has been “destroyed.”
“Before we do anything, we need to understand where it comes from. How it is changed. What caused it to change. What caused the beautiful ecosystem of D.C. to be destroyed,” she said, decrying the existence of roads and sidewalks in the city:
What caused the roads to be paved over with asphalt, the sidewalks with concrete? What caused the Capitol to be built? The answer is colonization. The genocide of indigenous people. The enslavement of Africans. Some may say that this doesn’t matter, that it happened a long time ago, that it doesn’t affect us today. But it affects counties of color every single day. Today across our nation and here in D.C. it is still brown and black communities that have the least amount of access to clean water and healthy green spaces.
She accused “colonizers” of forcing “development and mass consumption” upon those communities and added that climate activism is not just about the environment. Rather, it is also connected to immigration, race, and feminism.
“This is not just an environmental issue. This is a race issue. This is an immigration issue–feminist issue,” she said. “We can’t solve anything unless we understand the connection between these issues.
Her remarks echo those of Seattle climate activist Jamie Margolin, who testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis alongside Greta Thunberg on Wednesday. She told lawmakers that climate change is connected to colonization and slavery.
“Solving the climate crisis goes against everything that our country was unfortunately built on — colonialism, slavery, and natural resource extraction,” Margolin said. “This is why the youth are calling for a new era altogether.”
“And right now something that has been disturbing me a lot is seeing the way that we are trying to colonize and buy and sell our way out of a problem caused by colonization and buying and selling,” she added.