Presbyterian News Service Article —October 31, 2016
Ways to support those trying to protect their sacred sites and waters
December 19, 2016
From across the United States and the world, indigenous peoples and their allies have gathered at the Camp of the Sacred Stones, north of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation’s northern border. Members of the tribe took the initiative in this witness to protect their sacred sites and waters from environmental harm and to affirm tribal sovereignty and treaty rights.
The people known as water protectors have come together in an effort to stop the Dallas-based company Energy Transfer from piping Bakken oilfield crude oil underneath the Missouri River, the main source of drinking water for the tribe. This project is known as the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline (DAPL).
Recognizing the call of Jesus to stand with those who seek justice, Presbyterians have supported the water protectors in prayer. We have traveled to Standing Rock and have made financial contributions and provided supplies. We have signed petitions, made phone calls, and written letters to public officials and corporate leaders.
And we have grieved as the response by law enforcement has escalated. Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, has written a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in which he notes, “State and local law enforcement have increasingly taken steps to militarize their presence, intimidate participants who are lawfully expressing their views, and escalate tensions and promote fear.”
In the face of this escalating response, there are several ways to stand in solidarity with the water protectors by organizing prayer services and providing financial support to the water protectors through the Synod of Lakes and Prairies:
Synod of Lakes and Prairies
2115 Cliff Drive
Eagan, MN 55122
Please make your check payable to: Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Note on check: Dakota Access Pipeline Acct #2087
The synod will send a confirmation to the donor that the funds were received and information about where they were distributed. Please make sure to include your name and address on the check unless they are already printed on it.
Contacting public officials:
Call North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple at (701) 328-2200 to demand protections for protestors and an end to hostilities against them.
Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414. Tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand that they reverse the permit for DAPL: (202) 761-5903.
Native American Presbyterians continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates on ways to support the effort at Standing Rock, and across the country, to protect water, land, and tribal rights and to maintain harmonious relationships with the earth.
Mark Koenig, coordinator for Leader Development, Racial Justice and Network Support, Presbyterian Ministry at the UN
Today’s Focus: Solidarity with Standing Rock
Let us join in prayer for:
Synod of Lakes and Prairies Staff
Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart, synod executive
Teaching Elder Deb DeMeester, director of leadership development
Alex De Veyra, director of financial services
Ruling Elder Duane Sweep, associate for communications
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Lord, help us to share our ideas, our resources and our passion for your work in the world so that together we may be the body of Christ, sharing the good news and healing the tears in our social fabric. Amen.