The Presiding Bishop for the United Methodist Church in Minnesota and the Dakotas has issued a moving statement in support of the protesters attempting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline and the threat the pipeline poses to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation which spans the North Dakota/South Dakota border.
Support for the protest is growing. There are a number of ways that you can support the protest, too, both financially and by using your voice.
But before getting to the details of how to help, consider the power of a personal story exemplified by the moving statement by Bishop Bruce R. Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church. His statement is titled: “Mni Wiconi (Lakota for ‘Water is Life’)” He writes:
This is a very difficult and complex issue for our country, and for me personally. I grew up in the oil fields of northwest North Dakota. My father earned his living and supported our family working for an oil exploration company. My grandparents homesteaded on land less than 20 miles west of Watford City, the epicenter of the Bakken oil fields. I have farmed and cared for that land and its precious water resources. I attended a Bureau of Indian Affairs school during my junior high years. After college, I spent two years living and working on the Standing Rock Reservation. I was living there during the American Indian Movement’s protest at Wounded Knee. I grew to love the Lakota and Dakota people, their spirituality, and their deep respect for God’s creation and creatures. I have a unique history and perspective on the current conflict. …
He ends his statement with the following: Continue reading