Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Members and Friends of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Expression of Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Nation

Last Sunday, we started gathering signatures to an expression of solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Nation. We will be collecting signatures again this Sunday.
For those of you who are unable to attend next Sunday, September 18th and have not yet signed the expression and want to, please contact me at dwcruz@comcast.net. I will need to have a statement from you to the effect of "I give my permission to add my name to the Expression of Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Nation.  I will also need you to indicate whether you are a Member or Friend of BUF.
I've attached a copy of the Expression. We're trying to gather these signatures as quickly as possible, as we don't know what kind of time frame we're dealing with here. Originally the Fed Court was supposed render a decision in the next few weeks, however, now that the Feds (DOJ, DOI and DOA) have intervened and we want to make sure that Standing Rock and all the Fed agencies get copies of our support before any review/decision is made.

Members and Friends of 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 co-sponsored 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 Bismark-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Church (https://www.midamericauua.org), Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (http://www.uusc.org/uusc-stands-solidarity-standing-rock-sioux-tribe/), UU Youth for Climate Justice (https://www.facebook.com/uuyacj/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE), Commit2Respond (http://www.commit2respond.org/nodapl) and a statement released by UUA President Rev. Morales: on Wednesday, August 30th: 

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:  We who are Members and Friends of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, stand 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 Sacred Stones Camp efforts in any nonviolent way they are willing and able.