Native American Land Rights

Photo credit: Rick Jones.

A Presbyterian delegation went to stand in solidarity with Presbyterian Native Americans and others affected by the Dakota Access Pipeline running near Dakota Sioux land. Photo credit: Rick Jones.


Native American tribal sovereignty and treaty rights (1981)

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.”

Other policies on racism, indigenous rights, and environmental justice

Churchwide Conversation on Race, Ethnicity, Racism, and Ethnocentricity This comprehensive policy, approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), includes a repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery and a call to study the doctrine and its implications

Apology to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians Approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Witnessing Against Environmental Degradation and Affirming Public Policy to Support Good Stewardship of Natural Resources. Approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Affirming a Programmatic Review of the Impact of Expanded Coal Exports on Human Health and Well Being. Approved by the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Hazardous Waste, Race, and the Environment. Approved by the 207th General Assembly (1995) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Presbyterian Native American ministries


Presbyterian Native American leaders brought a small group to Standing Rock to plant a PCUSA flag on the Avenue of Flags. Photo credit: Rick Jones

Presbyterian News Service and other PC(USA) resources related to Standing Rock concerns

Other related Presbyterian solidarity efforts

Presbyterians at the PCUSA National Offices gather in prayer for Standing Rock, Nov 2016. Photo credit: Rick Jones.

Presbyterians at the PCUSA National Offices gather in prayer for Standing Rock, Nov 2016. Photo credit: Rick Jones.

Other related environmental and Native rights stories from Eco-Justice Journey
, the blog of the Office of Environmental Ministries

A New Song: Joining Hands with La Oroya, Peru, and Standing Rock, ND (Dec 2016)

Lummi Totem Pole Ceremony in Sandpoint, Idaho…On to Standing Rock, North Dakota (Sept 2016)

Environmental Justice: Prayerful Solidarity and Faithful Action (Aug 2016)

On behalf of the Lummi Nation and Northwest Native Tribes (May 2015)

 Ecumenical statements and resources

Christian Communities Support Standing Rock Sioux Protection of Land and Water from Dakota Access Pipeline




Explore the concepts of environmental racism and environmental justice. The Presbyterian Hunger Program and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People hosted a webinar in November 2017 on the Impact of Environmental Injustice on Low Income and Communities of Color with guest speakers Elona Street-Stewart, Shantha Ready Alonso, and Grace Ji-Sun Kim. Watch this webinar here, or go to our web page that has a workshop outline and a few other video resources.


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness Action Guide: Support the Standing Rock Sioux #NoDAPL


The Synod of Lakes and Prairies has an account to support the water protectors. Make a check payable to: Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Note on check: Dakota Access Pipeline Acct #2087

Synod of Lakes and Prairies
2115 Cliff Drive
Eagan, MN 55122

The synod will send a confirmation to the donor that the funds were received and then information about where they were distributed. Please include name and address on the check.

Note: about Standing Rock\How to be an Ally

If you are thinking about going Standing Rock or taking other solidarity actions around the country, please be mindful, humble, and willing to learn from local communities and leaders. Indigenous leaders have worked with a team of solidarity trainers to create a resource packet of information to read before you go, while you are there, and after you return.