Chanting “respect our existence or expect our resistance,” nearly 400 people protested outside an Austin bank Saturday to try to stop construction of an oil terminal on ancient Indigenous land near Corpus Christi.
“We are still here, and we are still fighting,” said protest organizer Chiara Sunshine Beaumont, a descendant of the Karankawa people who once lived on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Saturday’s protest followed months of efforts by Indigenous groups in support of the Karankawa’s objections to expansion of oil export terminals owned by Enbridge, a Canadian petrochemical pipeline company. Beaumont said her group chose to protest Saturday outside a Bank of America on South Congress Avenue because the bank is a large underwriter of Enbridge’s projects.
Take a couple steps off nearly any highway spanning its 270 million acres, and you’re bound to be trespassing on someone else’s property. Over 95% of the state’s land is privately owned, resulting largely from the removal of Native peoples in the 19th century. Despite its huge size and a history of hundreds of Indigenous tribes inhabiting its present-day borders, Texas has only three federally-recognized reservations – those of the Alabama-Coushatta, the Kickapoo and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Hundreds of non-federally recognized tribal communities exist here, left without allotted land to practice self-autonomy or the funding to preserve cultural traditions.
Hays County Commissioners Court raised the ire of critics by failing to reappoint members of its historical commission during a meeting earlier this year, a move that effectively dissolved a committee that represented the interests of Tejano and Indigenous groups. The criticism came from citizens after the court did not reappoint members of the Hays […]