Update: Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Here is an update to yesterday’s blog outlining the current protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation.

Today, a federal court in Washington D.C. will hear a suit brought by the Standing Rock Reservation seeking an injunction against the pipeline. There is no guarantee the judge will issue a ruling today, and regardless of the outcome, the losing side most likely will appeal.

Indian Country Today ran an exclusive interview with Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II on the suit. He said:

What I think is that all of our Nations have been faced with wrongs—usually projects like this where tribes don’t have the opportunity to have any consultation on something that will affect their homelands. We are never afforded the protection that the companies are afforded when they get their easements. Tribes across this nation are continually paying the costs for the benefits or gains of others. …

This pipeline is making its way through our territory—even though there was an alternative route north of Bismarck, until someone claimed that they are concerned with safe drinking water for that community. They rerouted it north of Standing Rock. We complain too, because we’re concerned for our future generations and their drinking water. They don’t listen.

Pastor Joan Conroy (Oglala Sioux Tribe), President of the American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association, issued the following statement:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran ministries throughout the United States and Canada worked diligently to bring the Adoption of the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery Memorial Resolution at the ELCA National Churchwide Assembly on August 9, 2016, which made a commitment to healing and reconciliation with Native Nations across the country.

We are asking all people, congregations and other denominations to stand up together with us and with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and many other Native Nations, to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

1. We support the peaceful, traditional, and prayerful actions of all of our Native Nations who have come together “…to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline” to preserve the Mni Wakan.

2. Within our Holy scripture we see the representation that water plays in sustaining human life and God’s creation. We acknowledge that the Dakota Access Pipeline is a danger not just to native people but to ALL people, animals and God’s creation. “When we act interdependently and in solidarity with creation, we do justice.” ELCA social statement “Caring for Creation”

3. We are protectors not just of God’s creation, we are also protectors of current and future generations. It is up to us to make a stand against the extreme harm that the Dakota Access Pipeline will have on generations to come. We support the peaceful historic gathering of our Native Nations on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline.

4. We ask that North Dakota governmental agency/authorities re-open State Highway 1806 ending the economic sanction against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal nation and surrounding North Dakota residents. Let us all stand together as we witness this historical gathering happening in Cannonball North Dakota, of the many Native Nations from across our country to protect our water rights and God’s Creation.

The American Indian /Alaska Native Lutheran Association of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has 30+ congregations with more than 5,000 members.

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