The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Expression of Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Nation and its Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline

WHEREAS: The Standing Rock Sioux Nation has put out a peaceful call for action requesting support in opposing the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline that would carry up to 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil per day for more than 1,100 miles from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois, passing over sensitive landscapes including treaty-protected land containing recognized cultural resources and the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for their Reservation;

WHEREAS: Despite deep opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, farmers, scientists, environmental groups, and other Tribal nations, and without Tribal consultation or meaningful environmental review as required by federal law, in July, 2016 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit allowing construction of the fracked oil pipeline to move forward;

WHEREAS: On August 15, 2016 the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council led by Tribal Chairman David Archambault II called on Tribal nations and Indigenous people around the world to issue resolutions in support of the Standing Rock Sioux and the Sacred Stones Camp and the call was answered by Washington State Tribal Nations including Lummi Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Yakama Nation, Puyallup Tribe, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Hoh Tribe;

WHEREAS: The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship has repeatedly demonstrated through direct action support of Lummi Nation and other tribes of the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and cosponsored and supported the 2016 Totem Pole Journey which attended a Blessing Stop on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, witnessing the proposed destruction and participating in an unprecedented support of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation by native and non-native people;

WHEREAS: Other UU congregations and organizations have spoken out and committed action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, such as the Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Church, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, UU Youth for Climate Justice, Commit2Respond and this statement released August 30th 2016 by UUA President Rev. Peter Morales:

“The construction of the massive Dakota Access pipeline, stretching from North Dakota to Illinois, is a textbook case of marginalizing minority communities in the drive to increase fossil fuel supplies. As people of faith and conscience, committed to protecting the interdependent web of all life and supporting indigenous rights, Unitarian Universalists cannot remain silent as land held sacred by our Native American siblings is threatened.
We join other faith groups and native tribes to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they oppose the construction of this dangerous pipeline. I am proud to see that Unitarian Universalists in the region are already joining the protests. But I know that more is urgently needed. I urge you to join the effort to bear public witness to the injustice in North Dakota and add your voice to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved: The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship stands in support of Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and we call on all Unitarian Universalists, other faith communities, social and environmental justice organizations and other people of conscience to raise awareness about this important struggle for indigenous sovereignty and environmental justice and to support the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Water Protectors’ Camps efforts in any nonviolent way they are willing and able.