The Standing Rock Sioux Nation, the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and hundreds of native tribes across the US have ignited a historical Indigenous movement to protect sovereignty, water, sacred lands, and Mother Earth. In so doing, these protectors of water and life are gathering support for a shift in our relationship with energy, from one of extraction and consumption to one of respect and sustainability with the earth. Values of community well-being that include social, physical and the spiritual significance of nature are rightfully grounding the struggle. The Climate Justice Alliance stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux nation, IEN, and all the communities united to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline and move toward a clean, sustainable and more just future.
On this Week of Actions in honor of Indigenous People’s Day, we urge President Obama and North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple to:
Take strong and immediate action to put an end to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction based on the principles of democracy and self determination.
Put forth and support energy policies and procedures that acknowledge and remedy the historic and ongoing social and environmental costs of the energy system on Indigenous peoples, communities of color, workers, low income communities, and the environment.
Support and reinforce innovative solutions to our energy economy that include a Just Transition toward clean energy for communities, workers, and the Earth.
The Decolonization of our Energy Infrastructure and Economy
From the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota to Birmingham, Alabama, oil pipelines across the United States and around the world serve as physical reminders of colonialism, slavery, and continued environmental racism. Pipelines perpetuate our climate crisis driven by 200 years of a fossil fuel economy. If built, the Dakota Access pipeline would pump 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. This project has already desecrated sacred lands,threatened worker safety, and violated the sovereign rights of the Standing Rock Sioux nation to govern their own energy and water needs. Despite this, the U.S. Court of Appeals has rejected the Tribe’s request to halt construction on treaty lands near the Missouri River. While this ruling is disappointing, Water Protectors will continue to peacefully resist the pipeline.
Our Theory of Change
The Climate Justice Alliance recognizes that communities experiencing the worst impacts of the extractive economy and consequential climate change are the best equipped to lead a Just Transition toward whole energy solutions that respect Mother Earth. As the climate and economic crises continue to impact the communities we come from and really care about, this issue will intensify and rally more support.
“Standing Rock is an example of how communities are winning through the combination of direct action and massive international solidarity.” - Angela Adrar Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance
Climate Change and False Promises
Climate Change is an urgent manifestation of our historical energy errors and Climate Justice is the only way forward, for we know that neither the benefits nor the costs of climate change have been shared equally. Up until now, U.S. energy policy has included incomplete and often false promises focused on federal and state implementation that provide hefty incentives to large industrial energy corporations at the comprehensive cost of the communities in which extractive energy projects are located. The U.S. emits one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, and almost a trillion metric tons since the 1800s. The issuance of permits to support the development of pipelines and other extreme and extractive infrastructure is directly contributing to the escalation in greenhouse gas emissions, is in contradiction to our international agreements and as a result, is accelerating historic and extreme heat waves, droughts, and floods across the U.S and worldwide.
Our Commitment to #NoDAPL
This is the time we need to be divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and other communities around the United States that are actively influencing and seeding a new energy democracy. Financial institutions have a complicit role in this extractive economy and we urge them to reinvest in local, community controlled clean energy projects that are safe for workers and communities, not one more pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation and other Indigenous nations are entitled to have sovereign control over their energy needs, land, and futures. Workers deserve to have safe, secure working conditions in helping to build this future and frontline communities are at the forefront of this change across the U.S. Together, we can gather the political and financial power to support systemic change for a true energy democracy that benefits people and Mother Earth.
We need a just transition to clean, sustainable, and democratically-controlled energy. We don’t need more pipelines. Support the Week of Actions planned around Indigenous Peoples Day. Power without Pollution, Energy without Injustice!
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) forges a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from an extractive economy towards local, living economies to address the root causes of climate change. Together, we strengthen relationships between community-based organizations, environmentalists, labor unions, food sovereignty/sustainable agriculture groups and other sectors of society and is part of a growing global movement to fight climate change and build a sustainable future.
We stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), their ancestors, and their future generations in this struggle to protect the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of water, their sovereign rights, and the rights of Mother Earth.
CJA has already taken several steps to support the struggle against DAPL:
We have granted $10,000 to the Indigenous Environmental Network to support efforts on the ground.
A CJA delegation of staff and members went to Standing Rock to learn more about the camp and how our organization can best continue its support.
CJA is partnering with Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) on a stipend program to support CJA and GGJ members in traveling to the camp and will continue to offer resources for members planning to travel to the camp who can offer support in communications, infrastructure, and political context.
We published an Open Letter in response to the AFL-CIOs support of the DAPL to request further dialogue on the role of workers rights in our common struggle.
We are committed to work with GGJ and IEN to form a national strategy for our members to actively work against the pipeline.
Show your support this week:
1) Donate to Support Resources for the Standing Rock Water Defenders. There are several critical fundraising efforts to support the organizing on the ground on Standing Rock. We encourage our support to donate directly to support the leadership of the leadership of the Indigenous Environmental Network, or any one of these specific solidarity funds: Solar Showers and Winterization funds, IEN Mobile Media Van, Legal Defense Fund.
2) Spread the Word. Social Media has been a key vehicle for amplifying updates in this struggle and mobilizing national and international solidarity. Follow the Sacred Stone Camp (@SacredStoneCamp), IEN (@IENearth), CJA (@CJAOurPower) and GGJ (@ggjalliance) for more updates as this struggle continues. #WaterIsLIfe #NoDAPL #StandingRock
3) Join in National Solidarity Actions. Pipeline construction is continuing at a rapid pace. Peaceful and prayerful Direct Actions are continuing daily in Standing Rock, along with solidarity actions across the country. On the week of Indigenous Peoples Day (October 10-14) there will be a number of solidarity actions across the country. To find out more and to support local actions in your area, reach out to Chloe at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jaron at email@example.com
4) Organize a Solidarity Delegation to Standing Rock. The water protectors are committed to maintaining the resistance camps at Standing Rock though the winter and to keep strengthening this campaign until the Dakota Access Pipeline is defeated. Solidarity delegations, especially coming from other communities of color and frontline communities, have been really welcomed and add both capacity and visibility to the struggle on the ground. We encourage delegations to prepare in order to add capacity to the camp when they are on the ground. Click here for more information about the CJA - GGJ Member Delegation Travel Stipends.