The events at Standing Rock have crossed a line in recent days. The standoff took a turn when the National Guard and North Dakota State Police used violent tactics to forcibly remove peaceful water protectors near the site where they’ve been staging a non-violent resistance for several months.
We at ACE stand with Standing Rock and all that this movement is working toward.
The resistance is being led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and is being supported by other Native American groups, and Indigenous people and allies from all over the world. While the goal is to halt the construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline and its clear threats, this is about more than climate change. It is about protecting vital water sources and sacred land. It is about the long and painful history of state-supported violence and oppression that has been experienced by Native Americans for hundreds of years and that’s still playing out today.
As Kandi Mosset, Lead Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, said in her recent speech at the Bioneers Conference, “What’s happening today is not the historical thing. It’s not what happened to Native Americans back in the day. It’s what’s happening to us right now. This country is founded on taking our land from us. It’s not history, it’s now. And we need people to help us.”
We at ACE stand with Standing Rock and all that this movement is working toward. We stand with the water protectors and join them in their fight for justice, equity and their treaty-guaranteed sovereignty to protect the lands and ecosystems that they were first to discover, and have inhabited for many generations. We acknowledge the uncomfortable truth that the United States was created and expanded through settler colonialism--forcibly taking land from its original inhabitants, resulting in genocide. Tragically, the facts of this history are often ignored and consistently overlooked. Just like the reality that millions of Native American people and hundreds of tribal nations still exist today, and that their struggle for sovereignty and basic human rights continues to remain invisible to mainstream culture.
We also acknowledge our own role in overlooking Indigenous people and this continued struggle. But while we reflect on how we can be stronger allies, we aren’t waiting to take action. We’re striving to support those on the front lines by drawing more attention to this vital issue.
As we continue to lift up these events, we are left wondering why the media isn’t covering the events of Standing Rock in the same way that it’s provided coverage for other recent escalations of police violence.
This fight is crucial and we hope you’ll join us in supporting the Red Warrior, Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin camps leading this movement. If completed, this pipeline would not only carry dirty, fracked oil across rivers immediately upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, it would continue to perpetuate colonialism and terror on Native Americans and their communities.
All of us, whether we’re descendants of settlers living on colonized land and benefitting every day from this history of oppression of Indigenous people, or not, we all must recognize and accept our responsibility to no longer be silently complicit. The time to act is now.
We ask you to join us by taking action:
- Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 and ask President Obama to deny the Dakota Access Pipeline’s final federal permit
- Make a direct donation to the Sacred Stone Camp or the Red Warrior Camp as they provide hot meals, water and blankets for those on the frontlines
- Make a donation to support youth of Standing Rock and their school, Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa
- Tweet CNN and ask them to give this story the attention it deserves
- Learn more about this issue here
Standing in solidarity,
The ACE Team