Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline
-Submitted by Joan M. Gregory, Co-Coordinator, Environmental Ministry
The Sierra Club issued this alert: A dangerous fracked oil pipeline has been approved by the federal government -- but it isn't over yet. The controversial Dakota Access pipeline would carry over 450,000 barrels of oil through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, putting communities and waterways at risk all along its 1,168-miles. The Dakota Access pipeline would cut through communities, farms, sensitive natural areas, wildlife habitat, and tribal lands like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's ancestral lands that are within half a mile of its current reservation.
Not only would the Dakota Access pipeline threaten sacred sites and culturally important landscapes, it would also cross under the Missouri River just upstream of the Tribe's drinking water supply, where a spill would constitute an existential threat to the Tribe's culture and way of life. That's why the Standing Rock Sioux have been protesting the pipeline in peaceful prayer camps since April, and why thousands of supporters have joined them since the pipeline was approved. Take Action: Urge President Obama to stand with tribes to protect our environment by repealing the approval of this dangerous fracked oil pipeline!
Water protectors at Standing Rock are standing strong to defend land and water from the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which would put the Missouri River and all those who depend on it in great danger. About 2,000 water protectors are camped there, with more tents and teepees going up daily. In their call to action, they wrote: Water is a necessity for all life. Water is life. Now is the time for all people from all walks of life to join together to stop the desecration and destruction of water, land and life! Members of hundreds (over 188 at last count) of indigenous nations have joined the indigenous-led resistance emerging from Standing Rock Reservation, home of the Oceti Sakowin, the seven council fires, known to many as the “Great Sioux Nation.”
“This 1,168-mile pipeline extending across four states from North Dakota to Illinois has sparked a prairie fire of united Native American resistance not seen since Wounded Knee, and a return of the Great Sioux Nation. This is the first time since the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn that all seven council fires have camped together.” writes Jacqueline Keeler, a Navajo/Yankton Dakota Sioux writer living in Portland, Oregon.
Keeler goes on to report that: “By the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s estimates it will take less than two minutes for a pipeline break to bring heavy Bakken Crude Oil to the Tribe’s Early Head Start building and less than 5 minutes to reach an elementary school. Then 15 minutes to reach the Tribe’s water intake.”
In July, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which had granted the final permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline in federal court. On August 24, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court from the District of Columbia delayed a decision for the Tribe’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and promised a decision before or on Sept. 9. On September 3, 2016, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the pipeline’s construction and the destruction of their sacred lands.
This promises to be a long term action and these brave nations will need support. What can you do?
Here are some articles to read and some sources to follow to get up to speed on what’s happening:
- · We’ve Always “Occupied the Prairie” and We’re Not Going Anywhere [Elders and Leaders - Sacred Stones Camp, NativeNewsOnline.net, 8/24/2016]
- · Rewrite: the Protests at Standing Rock [O'Donnell, MSNBC, 8/25/2016]
- · Standing Rock Litigation FAQ [Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, StandingRock.org, 8/30/2016]
- · Time to Stop a Bad Idea [Brune, SierraClub.org, 9/1/2016]
- · Tribal Dakota Pipeline Resistance the Start of Something Bigger [Keeler, telesurtv.net, 9/3/2016]
- · Why the Founder of Standing Rock Sioux Camp Can’t Forget the Whitestone Massacre [Allard, YES! Magazine, 9/3/2016]
- · What’s Happening in Standing Rock? [Sundeen, OutsideOnline.com, 9/2/2016]
- · ‘And Then the Dogs Came’: Dakota Access Gets Violent, Destroys Graves, Sacred Sites [Manning, Indian Country News, 9/4/2016]
- · DemocracyNow! 8/8/2016, 8/12/2016, 8/18/2016, 8/23/2016, 8/23/2016, 9/4/2016
- · Social media hashtags: #NoDAPL and #RezpectOurWater
Here are some ways you can help out:
The camps that are leading the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline need support. If you are able to donate or send supplies, please do.
- · Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Call for Support
- · The Camp of the Sacred Stone was established on April 1 2016 at the edge of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to resist the Dakota Access oil pipeline. You can donate to the Legal Defense Fund for Sacred Stone Spirit Camp or donate to the Camp’s general fund or send supplies directly to the Camp via their Amazon wish list.
- · The Red Warrior Camp was established in partnership with the Sacred Stone Camp to help guide the nonviolent direct action resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. You can donate to the Red Warrior Camp or directly send supplies to the Camp via their Amazon wish list or support the Red Warrior Camp legal fund.
- Locally, Peaceful Uprising and ROAR are following what is happening at Standing Rock very closely. Watch their Facebook pages for calls to action: Peaceful Uprising and Roots of Autonomous Resistance - ROAR Collective. A caravan from SLC left on Labor Day Weekend for Standing Rock, and there are likely to be more. When the call for help goes out again, they will be looking for supplies of warm camping gear and clothing. So please set aside your donations of sleeping bags, pads, tents, coats, boots, thermals, hats, gloves, and other warm camping gear and clothes! When the call goes out again, you will be ready.