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Epic Two Row Wampum Campaign Sets Sail for NYC

Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

“As long as the grass is green, as long as the waters flow downhill, and as long as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.”

Last Sunday, July 28th, hundreds of indigenous and ally paddlers and their supporters gathered at the boat launch in Rensselaer in the pouring rain for a rousing send off for an epic 13-day canoe trip down the Hudson River.

The symbolic “enactment” is a focal point of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign – a state-wide education and advocacy campaign to mark the 400th anniversary of the first agreement between the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and Europeans. The Two Row Treaty outlines a mutual commitment to friendship, peace between peoples, and living in parallel forever. The Haudenosaunee have increasingly emphasized that protecting Mother Earth is a fundamental prerequisite for this continuing friendship.

Consisting of canoes (representing the Haudenosaunee) and ships (representing Europeans), more than 200 indigenous and ally paddlers began sailing side-by-side starting near Albany, NY and ending in New York City on August 10th. Along the 13-day route will be many stops for educational and cultural events featuring Haudenosaunee leaders as speakers. Check out the upcoming events in New York City:

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Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Inwood Hill Park
6:00pm – 8:30pm

Poetry and Spoken Word: Two Rows and More

Come hear powerful and inspiring words…

Special guest readers include Janet Rogers (Mohawk)*, Daygot Leeyos (Oneida) and Suzan Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee).

There will also be an opportunity for open mic time. Free and open to the public.

The public is also invited to greet the paddlers as they land at Inwood Hill about 5 pm that afternoon.

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Friday, August 9th, 2013
Pier 96 (57th St. on West side of Manhattan)
10:00am

Enactment Arrives in New York City

Launching from Inwood Hill Park, the enactment will land at Pier 96 at 10:00am, being welcomed by the Dutch Consul General and other dignitaries.

At 11:30am there will be a march to the United Nations for a greeting from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 1:30pm.

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Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Brookfield Place/World Financial Center, West of World Trade Center
11am – 5pm

New York City Two Row Festival

Join the Onondaga Nation, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, American Indian Community House and the American Indian Law Alliance for a historic commemoration to mark the 400 year anniversary of the Two Row Wampum, the oldest treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch.

This day-long festival will feature world-class Native singers, dancers, speakers, performers, and artists. We will be honoring paddlers and riders who have just completed a journey down the Hudson to bring the Two Row’s messages of sovereignty and solidarity to life.

Free and open to the public, all children and Elders welcome! This location is handicap accessible.

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For all of the latest updates follow the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign on Facebook.

Bank of America’s Toxic Tower

By Sam Roudman / New Republic

By Sam Roudman / New Republic

New York’s “greenest” skyscraper is actually its biggest energy hog

When the Bank of America Tower opened in 2010, the press praised it as one of the world’s “most environmentally responsible high-rise office building[s].” It wasn’t just the waterless urinals, daylight dimming controls, and rainwater harvesting. And it wasn’t only the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—the first ever for a skyscraper—and the $947,583 in incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It also had as a tenant the environmental movement’s biggest celebrity. The Bank of America Tower had Al Gore.

The former vice president wanted an office for his company, Generation Investment Management, that “represents the kind of innovation the firm is trying to advance,” his real-estate agent said at the time. The Bank of America Tower, a billion-dollar, 55-story crystal skyscraper on the northwest corner of Manhattan’s Bryant Park, seemed to fit the bill. It would be “the most sustainable in the country,” according to its developer Douglas Durst. At the Tower’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Gore powwowed with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and praised the building as a model for fighting climate change. “I applaud the leadership of the mayor and all of those who helped make this possible,” he said.

Gore’s applause, however, was premature. According to data released by New York City last fall, the Bank of America Tower produces more greenhouse gases and uses more energy per square foot than any comparably sized office building in Manhattan. It uses more than twice as much energy per square foot as the 80-year-old Empire State Building. It also performs worse than the Goldman Sachs headquarters, maybe the most similar building in New York—and one with a lower LEED rating. It’s not just an embarrassment; it symbolizes a flaw at the heart of the effort to combat climate change.

Buildings contribute more to global warming than any other sector of the economy. In the United States, they consume more energy and produce more greenhouse gas emissions than every car, bus, jet, and train combined; and more, too, than every factory combined. When we’re not traveling between buildings, we’re inside them, and that requires energy for everything from construction to heating and cooling to running appliances.

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