Stand with Standing Rock. Stop Militarized Response to Water Protectors.
Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Join in a day of prayer on November 3 [or another day], and call on President Obama to stop the use of military force against indigenous people leading the movement for water protection. Click on the link to take Action
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors and care for God's creation. For many months, the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota have stood in peaceful opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing lands and rivers that provide water to millions.
The advocates at Standing Rock have resolutely declared that they are not protestors but protectors and defenders acting out of a sacred commitment to protecting all life. They say, “water is life.” Yet, they face violence.
They have stood as peacemakers while government authorities and hate-filled hecklers deride them as criminals, rioters, and terrorists. Recent reports tell the story of children, women, and men gathering in prayer and song, only to suffer at the hands of those wielding batons and pointing rifles. We have witnessed an escalating, militarized response to their acts of nonviolence. Advocates have been arrested, strip-searched, and humiliated.
This week, more than 400 faith leaders, including members of the Creation Justice community, will travel to North Dakota to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux as they protect our water. Together on Thursday, we are all invited to pray in solidarity with them.
But right now, we must act for everyone's safety --- by calling off the militarized response.
These offenses are part of a larger story of ongoing racial injustice. In a letter to the Attorney General, Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II reminds us that, “This country has a long and sad history of using military force against indigenous people–including the Sioux Nation.” That history is linked to the Doctrine of Discovery, a theme Creation Justice Ministries will further explore throughout next year.
Now is the time for action. Stand in solidarity with Chairman Archambault and the water protectors in prayer and action. Call on our leaders to end the militarized response at Standing Rock.
Grace and Peace,
Shantha Ready Alonso
Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries
P.S. There is great need for more organizing capacity at this amazing movement moment. Please chip in to support Christian communities' solidarity organizing!
Creation Justice Ministries
110 Maryland Ave NE #203
Washington, DC 20002
Statement from the General Commission on Religion and Race on the Continuing Protests at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota
General Secretary Erin Hawkins Visits Standing Rock, September 2016
November 2, 2016
The General Commission on Religion and Race stands in solidarity with members of the Sioux Nation and others--including an ever-growing number of religious leaders--who say that construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota may jeopardize the tribe's water supply and threaten sacred tribal sites.
Since April of this year, members of the Sioux Nation, along with representatives of more than 90 other Native American tribes and supporters from around the United States and the world have converged on Standing Rock to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thousands have set up camp on land around the reservation and hundreds have been arrested in clashes with law enforcement officials in order to bring attention to this issue.
Developers of the pipeline say it is needed to transport fracked crude oil from the Bakken oil field across the Missouri River to a refinery in Chicago.
The United Methodist Church is on record as supporting the rights of Native/Indigenous people, advocating greater care of God's creation and decrying environmental racism. In 2012, the United Methodist General Conference called the worldwide, 12-million-member denomination to engage in Acts of Repentance for the violence, displacement, discrimination and systemic harm done to Native American and other indigenous cultures, both throughout history and currently.
Delegates to that General Conference challenged United Methodists everywhere to engage in ongoing learning about the histories of Indigenous members, to initiate conversations with Indigenous People in our respective communities, and to engage in authentic acts of repentance and restorative justice in support of Native/Indigenous people.
While the issues of the Standing Rock protests are complex, the Commission asserts that the rights of Indigenous persons and their lands, and our call to honor and protect precious natural resources-such as water-must be protected. We call on United Methodists to take a stand to insure that the voices of Native Americans are heard on what happens to their lands, and that church members pray for all parties, write letters to their respective legislators expressing concerns, and offer other means of support toward a just, responsible resolution to this conflict.
• UMNS: Clergy Head to Standing Rock for Protest
• GCORR: Native American Heritage Month
• Healing Relationships With Indigenous Persons, Book of Resolutions #3323
• Trail of Repentance and Healing, Book of Resolutions #3324
• Environmental Justice for a Sustainable Future, Book of Resolutions #1023
• Environmental Racism, Book of Resolutions #1025
• Protection of Water, Book of Resolutions #1029
• The Natural World, Book of Discipline ¶160
General Commission on Religion and Race
100 Maryland Ave. NE | Suite 400 | Washington | DC | 20002