The PC(USA) applauds and recognizes the Army Corps of Engineers action to deny the easement to drill under Lake Oahe and their commitment to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline. We know, however that this action does not guarantee that the rights and sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe will be respected, and are committed to remain engaged and vigilant in the movement to protect their sacred sites and water source.
Many people have asked what can be done to support the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota.
Make 3 phone calls
Call North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200 to demand the demilitarization of the response by law enforcement to the water protectors.
Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414. Tell President Obama to take permanent action to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Call the Army Corps of Engineers, express support for their decision to deny the easement for the DAPL and assert the need for a permanent solution: (202) 761-5903.
Send your monetary donations for camp supplies to:
The Synod will send a confirmation to the donor that the funds were received and then again with information about where they were distributed. Please make sure to include your name and address on the check unless already printed on it.
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies
2115 Cliff Drive
Eagan, MN 55122
Note on check: Dakota Access Pipeline Acct #2087
Since April, 2016 a growing popular movement lead by indigenous people has formed at the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Cannonball, ND. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other indigenous representatives have asserted that completion of the pipeline would jeopardize the watershed of the Missouri River, that the Army Corps of Engineers did not sufficiently consult with tribal representatives from the tribe, and that Dakota Access has destroyed cultural sites as part of construction of the pipeline. As of late November, thousands of native and non-native people (including Presbyterian Native Americans and Non Native Presbyterians) have demonstrated support. An unprecedented 180 tribal nations have sent letters of solidarity. The camps at Standing Rock are monitored by the National Guard, and private security companies have attacked some protestors with dogs, among whom number women and children.
The day after Thanksgiving, the Army Corps of Engineers issued an eviction order stating that camps needed to be clear by December 5th. Also, on Tuesday Nov 29th, Governor of North Dakota Jack Dalrymple signed Executive Order 2016-08, which mandates the evacuation of all persons in areas of Morton County that are under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps. The Governor’s order cites harsh weather conditions, improper shelter, dwellings and sanitation as reasons for the evacuation. "As I have stated previously, the most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold," said the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Chairman, Dave Archambault II. "If the true concern is for public safety than the Governor should clear the [highway] blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings."
General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessors have affirmed the sovereignty and treaty rights of Native American tribes on numerous occasions. For example, the 193rd General Assembly (1981) of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America called the President of the United States to develop “a national Indian policy that is consistent with the concerns of Indian people for self-determination, tribal sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency, and preservation of treaty rights.”
Building on a long history of General Assembly policy related to the environment, the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved an action empowering the Presbyterian Mission Agency to witness against environmental degradation and to affirm public policy that supports good stewardship of natural resources.” Among the environmental concerns identified were threats from “all modes of fossil fuel extraction, processing, transport, and storage.”
The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson III, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in conjunction with the Rev. Irvin Porter, associate in the Office of Native American Intercultural Congregational Support, issued a statement in support of the Standing Rock Sioux on August 29, 2016.