By Katie Ingegneri on September 9, 2021
The Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas has faced a multitude of threats to their historic land in recent years, from the proposed exploitation of their community’s natural resources by corporate entities, to the border wall construction initiated by former President Trump. UUSC has been a partner of the Tribe for the past few years, inviting our members to get involved in supporting and affirming their rights to autonomy and sovereignty on their land.
The Tribe is celebrating recent victories after tireless advocacy and organizing, including the cancellation of a proposed fracking project that would have desecrated the historic Garcia Pasture, which is described by the Tribe as a “sacred site of ceremony and gathering.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “failed to conduct adequate analysis of climate and environmental justice impacts of two fracked gas export terminals that had been proposed for the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.”
The construction of the border wall also remained a major concern, but as of July 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas notified the Tribe that there will be no further action or construction at “sites recognized as being of archaeological importance,” which are historic sites valued by generations of the Tribe.
Tribal Chairman Juan B. Mancias commented:
“In a sense, it’s a beginning. With the land claim we have, and with what is happening now, I think they are starting to be aware that our resiliency isn’t going to stop; and that our ancestors are speaking through us; and that our ancestors are saying ‘no more.’
‘No more destroying. We want to rest in peace; we want our villages taken care of; we want our history to be told; we want to include you in our history since you won’t include us in yours.’
We are talking about what is really happening here and the proposed continuance of genocide and ethnic erasure of tribal identity of the Esto’k Gna/Carrizo Comecrudo in Somi S’ek / Texas.”
This win sets an important precedent that the U.S. government must consult with the Tribe and all communities whose land the United States occupies. While UUSC joins the Tribe in celebrating these wins, we know that it will be crucial to remain vigilant against future proposed oil developments on their land and other encroaching threats to their culture and way of life and lend our support and solidarity. As the Tribe says, “it is time for the treaties to be upheld and Native People to be uplifted.”
You can take action to continue supporting the Tribe by following them on Facebook, sending financial support, and following their latest campaigns and other coalition efforts:
- #ChangeTheNarrative: Sharing stories about life as Native people and putting up billboards to drive awareness.
- #BuildBackFossilFree: Native groups and allies are demanding the U.S. government end fossil fuel development – learn more at the coalition website.
- If you live in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, learn more and get involved with the Gulf South for a Green New Deal initiative led by grassroots communities to advance racial, economic, and climate justice.
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Image Credit: Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas