Stand in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Tribes
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
We know the era of fossil fuels must end, if our planet is to thrive. Burning oil, coal and gas have caused catastrophic ecological damage. It's time to hospice out the old pipelines, coal plants, and fracking wells and devote our vast intellectual and financial resources to installing renewable energy systems that are safe, reliable, and efficient and powering countries around the world.
We also know that the colonization of the Americas was a brutal genocide that almost completely eliminated sovereign, diverse, and beautiful nations of peoples. The Native American Indian peoples who are still here are struggling to live within a culture that has stolen their ancestry and continually broken promises. As the truth becomes known, reconciliation is urgent and essential.
Tragically, we now recognize that our current democracy has been hijacked by large multi-national corporations who have rewritten the rules through lobbyists to benefit the few and the powerful. The fossil fuel industry is a huge player in this dirty game, receiving billions of dollars in subsidies and tax favors in exchange for their generous campaign contributions.
All three of these issues are coming together right now in North Dakota, where the Dakota Access Pipeline is slated to carry 450,000 barrels of dirty oil each day across sacred burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and beneath the Missouri River, threatening their drinking water and that of millions of others, downstream. Right now, members of the Standing Rock Sioux and over 60 other tribes are gathered to protect their water and sacred burial sites from the dangerous Dakota Access Pipeline.
The pipeline company gained permission to cross the water in a fast-track process in conflict with numerous federal laws and agreements, including the “Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, as well as federal trust responsibilities guaranteed in the 1851 and 1868 United States treaties with the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota tribes.”(2)
Credo Action reports: The Standing Rock Sioux have been protesting for months in peaceful prayer camps in North Dakota, and farmers and landowners in Iowa have been fighting to stop the pipeline there for more than two years. Now, thousands of people have joined in solidarity. In recent days, activists in Iowa and North Dakota have been arrested for physically blocking the pipeline’s construction, with more protests planned in the coming weeks and months.(3)
Last week, the tribes submitted the required surveys and paperwork to register their sacred burial grounds for Federal protection. Those of us watching in prayer and solidarity were shocked and horrified when, the very next day, before 8am on a holiday weekend, the pipeline company moved their construction equipment 20 miles and bulldozed the very site that had been submitted for protection, destroying sacred burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux.
We at the Eco-Institute wrote letters to Federal Judge James Boasberg, pleading with him to uphold the tribe's request and halt the construction that would continue desecrating the sacred burial grounds. He sided with the pipeline company.
Yesterday, the Obama Administration stepped in. The very same day of Judge Boasberg's shocking decision, the Army Corps of Engineers, The Department of the Interior, and the Department of Justice issued this joint statement (4) postponing authorization of the pipeline where it crosses Lake Oahe, which leads into the Missouri River. This is only a temporary stay. We are hopeful that the President will follow through with his pledge to protect the environment and fight climate change by making that ban permanent.
On Sept 13th, we will leave The Eco-Institute at 11am and drive to Washington DC to join thousands of other citizens urging President Obama to honor the requests of the Native American Tribes at Standing Rock and revoke permission for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
We invite you to join us either on the bus to the White House (Click here for your ticket), or participate in a local protest in your city on the 13th, and by signing this petition. (5) We recommend following the Honor The Earth website for updates. (6) To find other Solidarity events, visit the Action Network website.
1. Jack Healy, "Occupying the Prairie: Tensions Rise as Tribes Move to Block a Pipeline,” The New York Times, August 23, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/us/occupying-the-prairie-tensions-rise-as-tribes-move-to-block-a-pipeline.html
2. Letter to President Obama from The Indigenous Environmental Network regarding the Dakota Access pipeline, August 25, 2016. http://www.ienearth.org/open-letter-to-president-obama-halt-construction-and-repeal-permits-for-the-dakota-access-pipeline-project/