In 2016, the world gathered to watch as Standing Rock Sioux Nation took a stance against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Little did they know, they would be the center of attention in the struggle against giant fossil fuel companies and received support from many, many people and organizations.
Although the DAPL construction was allowed to be completed, there are still ongoing efforts to monitor the pipeline, expose the spills and defend those Water Protectors who are still incarcerated, going to trial and being sentenced.
Over 500 clergy stood in the camps blocking DAPL, over 50 of them were from Unitarian Universalist congregations and organizations and reported in the UU World magazine. There were many UU ministers and congregational members from the Pacific Northwest, having just gone through similar situations with the Pacific Northwest Tribes and oil, coal and gas projects in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
Rev. Karen VanFossan of the Bismark-Mandan UU Congregation is very much involved with two activities related to DAPL and Standing Rock. For more check out their website.
- One effort is working with those Water Protectors that are still incarcerated, going to trial or awaiting sentencing. A recent September webinar was sponsored by the UUMFE.
- Another is her representing UUs and co-coordinating efforts through the InterNational Initiative for Informative Collaboration (INITC). They have held several retreats in October 2917, December 2017, March 2018 and another in August 2018 with lots of teleconferences in between. Here the invite for the March Retreat: MAR 2018 INITC Flyer so you can get a feel for the work they are doing. The invitation for the the August retreat is here.
At the UUA General Assembly in June 2018, the Assembly conducted an Action for Immediate Witness entitled “We are all Related: Solidarity Now With Indigenous Water Protectors” which speaks to our acknowledgement and gratitude for Standing Rock and our commitment to support other “Indigenous movements that seek to protect the environment and restore traditional Indigenous ways of life.”
Currrent news and activities are being shared on the UU Presence at Oceti Sakowin & Sacred Stone Camps Facebook page.
During the Occupation
Here were some ways to Contribute to Standing Rock Sioux Nation or the Sacred Stone Camp. Colder weather was setting and the camp was in need of winter supplies.
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund
- Defense Fund for Sacred Stone Spirit Camp
- General Fund for Sacred Stone Spirit Camp
- Funds for the Red Warrior Camp
- Mn Wichoni Nakixiin Owayawn (Defenders of the Water School)
To keep abreast on the how the Nation and Camp are faring, check these sites:
- Standing Rock Sioux Nation website
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Facebook Page
- Sacred Stone Camp website
- Sacred Stone Camp Facebook
Support UU Actions:
- UU Presence at Sacred Stone Camp Facebook page
- UU Minister’s Letter to Standing Rock Sioux Nation: Encourage your minister to contact Deb Cruz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and sign the letter.
- Congregational Expressions of Support: Encourage your congregation, as a body, to send statements of support to Standing Rock Sioux Nation.