Standing Rock and the Environmental Emergency

As I’ve been writing lately this is a time for Quakers and others to return to the public square.  Corporate control of the mainstream media means news about injustices such as those related to the Dakota Access pipeline and either not reported or slanted to favor the fossil fuel industry.

Things in North Dakota are escalating now that construction of the pipeline is drawing closer to the Missouri River, where the Native American camps are.  This is also the point of the primary legal hope for stopping the pipeline, since the Army Corps of Engineers has not given final approval for constructing the pipeline under the river.

Organizers are sending out emergency calls for people who understand nonviolent direct action to come to the camps.  83 people were arrested Saturday, and the size and militarization of law enforcement is increasing dramatically.

Yesterday water protectors took back unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie as sovereign land under the control of the Oceti Sakowin.   There is supposed to be a meeting today at the White House to discuss this issue of eminent domain.

Those of us who cannot get to North Dakota need to do what we can to raise awareness about the Dakota Access pipeline and the many, global issues related to it.  This is an opportunity to have a deep, needed discussion about past treatment of Native Americans, and an opportunity to do the honorable thing and acknowledge Native American’s relationship to the Earth, one that we would do well to learn from and emulate today.

We would not be struggling over pipeline issues, and facing human extinction from environmental destruction, if we had cared for the Earth as indigenous people around the world do.  Please add your voice however you can to make others aware of the environmental emergency we are in.

As Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations recently said:

“To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. You yourself are the one who must decide.”

“You alone – and only you – can make this crucial choice, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. On your decision depends the fate of the entire World.”

 

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