AFSC Report on Standing Rock; More DAPL Updates; and One Reservation’s Efforts to Stop the Mexican Border Wall

In this post, we:

  • Summarize the American Friends Service Committee’s report: “We Are Our Own Medicine: An AFS Special Report From the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Land and Unceded Territory.”
  • Let you know about the “Black Snake Resistance March” on Jan. 20, and where to buy t-shirts and posters that are a fundraiser to support youth at Standing Rock.
  • Link to a Bismarck Tribune updating DAPL’s current court case.
  • Share news that an Arizona tribe says it will not allow the proposed U.S.-Mexican border wall on its lands.

For details, keep reading!

AFSC Releases Report on DAPL

A report issued by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)  last November calls on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the Morton County Sheriff’s Department for its mistreatment of water protectors opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

AFSC “is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action,” its website said. AFSC finished its report on Oct. 21, before much of the violent clashes took place. It added a preamble to the finished report summarizing the mistreatment of water protectors:

We support the immediate intervention of the Department of Justice including a full investigation of the Morton County Sheriff ’s department policies, procedures, and actions in engagement with the protectors and in their treatment in the county jails throughout the state. We also recommend that Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act be reviewed for adherence and that amendments be crafted to adhere to the United Nations standard of “free, prior and informed consent;” and that all other consultation guidelines be amended to reach this standard.

AFS sent a delegation to Standing Rock and the water protectors camp for four days in late September to listen to and learn from participants. Its report provides a chronology of events up to late October, documenting actions by water protectors, law enforcement, and the courts.

The report includes 14 findings, starting with a statement that first and foremost the water protectors are about prayer. “The whole of what is happening is a Ceremony. This Ceremony is bringing blessings to all of us and the Earth who shares her life with us.”

The report includes nine immediate and longer-term recommendations, among them that the water protectors “are asking all of us to join them in prayer and in service to the Earth.”

Allies who join them should support the protectors in prayer and service asking not “what can we do?” but rather, “how can we serve?” Allies should be open to guidance on how to fit in and support this movement.

Click here for the full 36-page report.

Black Snake Resistance March Jan. 20

The Native Lives Matter Facebook Page posted information on the Black Snake Resistance March, inauguration day, Friday, Jan. 20. The rally starts at 2:30 p.m. at Chicago Avenue South and Franklin Avenue East, near Peavy Field. Around 4 p.m., the group will march to City Hall, joining other protest marches as part of Resist From Day One.

According to the Facebook post:

We want to express that this march is against not only the newly elected president Trump but also the system as whole that cradles and supports such racism and bigotry that has furthered the oppression of people through the school to prison pipeline and the oil pipelines.

The Black Snake Resistance Rally is sponsored by Idle No More Twin Cities; AIM Twin Cities; Minnesota Two Spirit Society; and Twin Cities Save The Kids.

Standing Rock Fundraiser: T-Shirts and Posters

Interested in a Standing Rock T-Shirt or Poster? They are on sale at All My Relations Gallery/Pow Wow Grounds Coffee, 1414 East Franklin. The watercolor posters sell for between $15 and $25 and “The Ave Stands with Standing Rock” t-shirts are $20. All proceeds will be donated to the International Indigenous Youth Council camp at Standing Rock.

Here are the posters:

(Photo by All My Relations Gallery)

Update on DAPL’s Easement Battle

The Bismarck Tribune updated the court battle over whether DAPL has the permits it needs to drill under the Missouri River. The story was headlined: Tribe, corps side against Dakota Access in court claim.

There is no decision in the court case yet, but the story notes that Energy Transfer Partners “has staged drilling equipment within sight of the Oceti Sakowin encampment.”

The company maintains it has the needed permits to drill, Standing Rock and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disagree, according to the story:

The tribe’s attorney, Jan Hasselman, of Earth Justice, said Dakota Access is in a mess of its own making.

“Its own choices — including building a significant portion of the pipeline before it had any permits and refusing to voluntarily cease construction in the disputed area around Lake Oahe, as the government repeatedly requested — are responsible for its current predicament,” Hasselman told the court.

The story does not indicate when a court decision is expected.

Click here for the full article.

About That Mexican Border Wall ….

The Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona includes a 75-mile stretch of borderlands with Mexico. The nation’s peoples live on both sides of the border. Security checkpoints already have created difficulties for the community. Tohono O’odham leaders are saying they won’t support Trump’s proposed wall on their lands, according to a November article in the Washington Post.

Border Patrol agents and a steel-post fence already make it difficult for the O’odham people to freely cross the border to visit relatives and traditional sacred sites in Mexico. But building a border wall, which President-elect Donald Trump has planned to do, would cement that division even further.

In light of Trump’s presidential win, Tohono O’odham Nation tribal leaders said they would refuse to support building a border wall on their land.

It would be their Standing Rock moment.

Amy Juan, an O’odham tribe member and co-founder of the Tohono O’odham Hemajkam Rights Network, told the Post that “she hopes the dialogue about the wall sheds light on the history and plight of her people, in a similar way that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe protests have captured the nation’s attention.”

“We were here before America was America,” Juan said. “We have always been here, before these lines were drawn, before these borders were created.”

Click here for the full story.

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