Nation’s Largest Union of Healthcare Workers is Proud to Help Sponsor Bus for Indigenous Environmental Network to Attend Historic Climate March

April 25, 2017

Contact: Mark Riley, 1199SEIU (347)-637-0621 |
Jade Begay, IEN (505) 699-4791 |

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 24, 2017

Both organizations share the same sacred values of protecting our air, water and health, and fighting for economic justice

“Crazy Horse, we hear what you say…One earth, one mother.
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon.
We are the land.
How do we sell our mother?
How do we sell the stars?
How do we sell the air?”

-John Trudell, Indigenous Activist, Poet, Musician (1946-2015)

New York, NY - As people from around the country make plans for a massive, historic Climate March on April 29, 1199SEIU is both proud and humbled to partner with the Indigenous Environmental Network in sponsoring ground transportation to the March from several locations in the upper Midwest. The IEN played a leadership role in resisting the construction of both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, struggles that are ongoing. The 1199SEIU sponsorship will allow many indigenous people who might not have been able to attend the march to add their voices to the hundreds of thousands making a profound statement on April 29. IEN Executive Director Tom Goldtooth said the network is grateful for the continuing support:

"The battle in Standing Rock was unprecedented because it demonstrated the growing solidarity across different movements. In particular, the labor movement was very present, showing their support for Indigenous Peoples and for the fight for social and climate justice.

"1199SEIU continues this support by partnering with the Indigenous Environmental Network to bring Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux members to the People's Climate March, giving Indigenous peoples more opportunity to share their stories, which too often go unheard"

IEN and 1199SEIU share a longstanding commitment to racial, social, economic and environmental justice.

“The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU are extremely honored and proud to help sponsor a bus for our sisters and brothers in the Indigenous Environmental Network. The members of IEN have been on the frontlines fighting to protect our water, air and climate, so this is our way of recognizing their tremendous contributions and commitment. This sponsorship is also a powerful message that all of us are connected to each other and share the same values. We all want a healthy, secure, prosperous and just world. Dirty fuel CEOs and the politicians they pay for want to destroy these sacred values, but we cannot let them. We will be marching side by side with our fellow indigenous Americans to say there is another way. By transitioning to 100% clean energy, we can create millions of good jobs, protect our air and water, foster healthy communities, solve the climate crisis and create a better world.”

-George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Both organizations are looking forward to linking up at the march.


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union in New York State and the largest healthcare union in the nation. We represent over 250,000 nurses and healthcare workers in New York and over 400,000 members throughout the East Coast. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.

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Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities. IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others. IEN convenes local, regional and national meetings on environmental and economic justice issues, and provides support, resources and referral to Indigenous communities and youth throughout primarily North America – and in recent years – globally.