Today we’re celebrating the victory of Indigenous leadership at Standing Rock. On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers stated that it would not grant an easement allowing the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) to cross under Lake Oahe. This ruling comes after months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, our partners at the Indigenous Environmental Network, more than 200 tribal leaders from around the world, and thousands of other Water Protectors who traveled to the camp.
While this victory does not mean the end for the battle against DAPL, it’s a significant step. The Sacred Stone Camp started in April on Ladonna Brave Bull Allard’s land and has been resisting against increasing militarization and violence from local police and private company security. Less than three weeks ago, police used weapons including tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons in below freezing weather, injuring more than 300 peaceful Water Protectors. Despite this violence, Water Protectors have kept resisting to win this incredibly important victory.
Many CJA members and allies traveled out to Standing Rock in solidarity with NoDAPL, and to connect the struggles there with other local fights for climate justice. Back in September, People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights and Movement Generation participated in a small CJA delegation to Standing Rock to build connections and show solidarity. Shortly after, Southwest Workers Union drove supplies to the camp from San Antonio. Asian Pacific Environmental Network traveled with Grassroots Global Justice affiliates at the Chinese Progressive Association for another delegation. And in November, the East Michigan Environmental Action Council organized the Anishinaabe family delegation.
Many more members and affiliates showed up in person to the camp individually or through delegations. We also organized and participated in countless actions and fundraisers across the country to bring attention to this issue and pressure targets, as well as raise resources for Indigenous leaders on the ground.
We’d like to thank the Water Protectors who fought and will continue to fight against this extractive project that threatened essential resources and our future generations. Thank you to all of our members and allies who showed up for this fight in whatever way you could. Thank you to President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers for not approving the easement, and thank you to the congressional representatives who came out in support of NoDAPL. We’ll continue to fight for climate justice, Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and a just transition to an economy that benefits us all.
Congresspeople who supported NoDAPL:
Members Going/Been to Standing Rock:
Dennis Kucinich (former)
House Members on Sign On Letter:
Bonnie W Coleman
Eleanor Holmes Norton
House (Individual Statements)
Senate (Individual Statements)
Tom Udall (NM) *incoming vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee