Native Americans like the Onondaga, a member nation of the Haudenosaunee Iroquois Confederacy and long leaders as healers of the environment face a new threat: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Complaints have soared as fracking has expanded across the country. “Every state where this is going on, people’s water is contaminated,” said Joseph Heath, general legal counsel to the Onondaga Nation.
“The permanent disruption of peoples’ homes, lives, and communities is heartbreaking,” said Jeanne Shenandoah, Eel Clan elder and member of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force who, with several HETF representatives and Onondaga members visited communities impacted by fracking.
“It impacts huge amounts of land and creates roads through forests and fields. Spills and waste ponds pollute the surface of the land, and the water. Drilling accidents allow gas to migrate into peoples’ water wells and homes. Hundreds of trucks speed down narrow roads every day.”
Shenandoah said when the air coming from these sites gives people headaches and health problems, “you know it’s being polluted too. This cannot be allowed, for the sake of all living things.”