Dioxin: Against It Before They Were For It

On November 8, 2000 the Oneida Business Committee passed OBC Resolution 11-08-00-B, ‘Dioxin and Persistent Organic Pollutants,’ which states:

…[T]he ability of our Native Community to be protected from the effects of dioxin poisoning is critical to the future of our tribal nations and all life that sustains us…. [T]ribal communities and families continue to be disproportionately exposed to dioxin and other persistent organic pollutants. Many of our tribal members are more susceptible to these dangerous toxins due to our land based culture and subsistence practices, and…dioxin has been classified as a ‘known human carcinogen’ with the ‘highest’ level of certainty by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and acknowledged by the World Health Organization that dioxin exposure is linked to severe health effects[.] NOW, THERE, BE IT RESOLVED: that the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin requests that the United States State Department pursue ending the production and release of Dioxin and other Persistent Organic Pollutants in the United States.

In fact, dioxin is linked with cancer, diabetes, birth defects, immune system damage, disrupted sexual development and IQ deficits/behavioral disorders. The Resolution was unanimously affirmed by Vice Chair Tina Danforth, Treasurer Judy Cornelius, Secretary Julie Barton, and Council Members David Bischoff, Sandra Ninham, Vince DelaRosa, Paul Ninham & Eugene Metoxen. However, on December 8, 2010 OBC passed Resolution 12-08-10-B, ‘Supporting Oneida Seven Generations and Oneida Energy in the Development of the Waste-to-Energy Project,’ which is in regards to a pyrolysis/gasification incinerator project under the direction of…

corporations wholly owned by the Tribe constructing this facility on the Oneida Reservation[.]

As OSGC & Oneida Energy have admitted, their proposed facility would emit dioxin in stark contrast to Resolution 11-08-00-B. Yet, despite that dangerous fact, Resolution 12-08-10-B was unanimously reaffirmed by OBC on April 11, 2013. ‘Sovereignty’ ought not be treated as a synonym of ‘hypocrisy.’ The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin can and must do better.

 


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