Celebrating with Standing Rock Sioux
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
On Sunday, Dec. 5, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would not grant the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to be drilled under the Missouri River—marking a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux. The Corps of Engineers states it will be looking into an alternative route for the project. But at this point, the companies running the project are committed to continue construction of the pipeline around Sioux land.
Throughout the past few months, thousands of people from across the country have made the journey to Standing Rock to stand with the Sioux people. Protesters of the pipeline, known as Water Protectors, are concerned the project would desecrate the cultural and ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux and contaminate the Missouri River, the main source of water for the Sioux and millions of others. Tribal leaders also state that the Corps of Engineers’ initial decision to allow the pipeline to run within a half-mile of the local reservation was done without consulting tribal governments and without a thorough study of impacts.
We celebrate this historic moment with our Native sisters and brothers. The faithful and tireless work of Indigenous people and their allies has inspired us to hope that justice is within reach. However, our work is not yet done—we must keep watch to ensure that this just decision is honored and upheld. But for now we give thanks and recognize the importance of organizing and solidarity.
Throughout North America, Indigenous peoples like the Sioux are at the forefront of movements calling for more careful attention to creation care and for deeper respect of Indigenous treaty rights. Just this week in Canada, for example, citing concern for “local affected communities, including Indigenous Peoples,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the Northern Gateway pipeline.