As you know, we are all tasked with writing blogs regardless of whether or not any real news has occurred and whether or not we have any kind of actual reaction to that news. So when “potential” news strikes, I’m always on the lookout. Such was the case earlier this month when I was forwarded a press release about a planned trip to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., by First Nations tribes of Canada who feel that their rights are being trampled on by the oil being sold by Canada to the US. According to the press release, the trip was to be “in the tradition of delegations of American Indians traveling in the late 1800s to Washington, D.C., to meet the ‘Great White Father.’” The trip, planned for Jan. 8, was to parade on horseback through the National Mall to encourage President-Elect Obama to “embrace the attitude of respect, compassion, and support by engaging in the accountability of equitable and fair trade between the United States, the Indian Nations, and the Canadian Government,” according to Chief Glen Hudson of Peguis First Nation. “Canada is the largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States. America needs to purchase 14 million barrels of foreign oil every day, and maintaining a steady supply of oil is a national security issue for the US. So far, Canada pays little or no royalties to indigenous people for resources.” The delegation seeks Obama’s help in applying international pressure on Canada to share resource wealth with its indigenous people. So of course my interest was piqued. Native people on horseback in the National Mall? High-level talks with the President-Elect? A press conference? I eagerly awaited the details! None were forthcoming. An hour-long Google search turned up absolutely no mention of anyone on horseback in the nation’s capitol. Which led me to wonder: 1) Did the demonstration not come off as planned? In which case, why the onslaught of pre-publicity? Or, 2), was it such an underwhelming event that no major news outlet considered it worthy of coverage? I posited this question to the person who sent me the e-mail, who responded that it did happen and that the press did attend, but for some reason it didn’t make national headlines. The processing and ceremonies with delegation chiefs in native regalia began at 10:30 a.m. EST, and a press conference hosted by the Treaty One First Nations council of Canada took place at 1 p.m. The message to Obama requested a Presidential Order to halt all processes for the approval of the expansion of oil sands pipeline infrastructure entering the US and to support the demand of Alberta First Nation chiefs to Canada for the moratorium on all expansion of Canadian tar sands developments. So, considering that most of the United States’ imported oil comes from Canada, and a major curtailment in this supply could upset the economy even further, it seemed that this might register on the national news. But it didn’t. Maybe next time they can re-enact Custer’s last stand and draw a little more attention to themselves.