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AOC: There’s A Connection Between ‘Fossil Fuel Extraction Sites’ And ‘Murders Of Indigenous Women’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed during a congressional hearing this week that there was a link between fossil fuel extraction and indigenous women being murdered.

“We have a crisis of missing and murdered indigenous and black women in the United States,” she said. “Today I want to discuss part of this crisis that is all too often overlooked, but whose evidence shows that there’s a very meaningful connection here, the correlation between fossil fuel extraction sites, and abductions and murders of Indigenous women across the United States. We’re very lucky to have Ms. Angel Charley here with us today to start that conversation. Ms. Charley, let’s start at the top. Can you draw a brief introductory picture of how fossil fuel extraction efforts expose Indigenous women to physical and often sexual violence? Why is it that oil, gas, and fossil fuel extraction sites have such a high correlation of violence and abduction against native women?”

“Fossil fuel industry creates man camps, or temporary settlements, that often exist right outside the outside the border lands of indigenous communities,” Charley responded. “As I stated earlier, many tribes do not have tribal jurisdiction over non-native offenders, which a majority of these oil workers are. We know that when these man camps or temporary establishments are created, that there is an increase in violence and particularly sexual violence against our native women.”

“So when there’s a fossil fuel extraction site that is placed on a reservation, and those workers, oil company workers, go to the reservation, have that site, if they commit a crime, and commit violence against indigenous women, you’re saying that they essentially escape jurisdiction from having a clear path to accountability because of where these sites are happening. Is that correct?” AOC asked.

“That is correct,” Charley claimed.

WATCH:

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): We have a crisis of missing and murdered indigenous and black women in the United States. Today I want to discuss part of this crisis that is all too often overlooked, but whose evidence shows that there’s a very meaningful connection here, the correlation between fossil fuel extraction sites, and abductions and murders of Indigenous women across the United States. We’re very lucky to have Ms. Angel Charley here with us today to start that conversation. Ms. Charley, let’s start at the top. Can you draw a brief introductory picture of how fossil fuel extraction efforts expose Indigenous women to physical and often sexual violence? Why is it that oil, gas, and fossil fuel extraction sites have such a high correlation of violence and abduction against native women?

ANGEL CHARLEY: Thank you for that question. Fossil fuel industry creates man camps, or temporary settlements, that often exist right outside the outside the border lands of indigenous communities. As I stated earlier, many tribes do not have tribal jurisdiction over non-native offenders, which a majority of these oil workers are. We know that when these man camps or temporary establishments are created, that there is an increase in violence and particularly sexual violence against our native women.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: So when there’s a fossil fuel extraction site that is placed on a reservation, and those workers, oil company workers, go to the reservation, have that site, if they commit a crime, and commit violence against indigenous women, you’re saying that they essentially escape jurisdiction from having a clear path to accountability because of where these sites are happening. Is that correct?

CHARLEY: That is correct.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Wow.

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