The Water for Life Movement and the environment need our support now more than ever. On January 12, 2017, while the water protectors at Standing Rock face blizzard conditions, United States Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) was named to serve as the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Hoeven is a DAPL and Keystone Pipeline supporter.
The Indian Affairs committee job is to propose legislation that addresses the concerns of “American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native peoples,” including land management and economic development, according to the committee’s website.
Sen. Hoeven’s new job is ironic because he has repeatedly opposed causes that Native Americans support. The Dakota Access Pipeline is the most recent example. As thousands of protesters from across Indian Country converged on Cannon Ball, North Dakota, over the latter half of 2016 to block the pipeline’s completion, Hoeven called the protests “violent” and asked President Barack Obama to deploy federal law enforcement to quell them.–Zach Cheney Rice
This appointment by the Republican-controlled Senate shows once again the intent of the new administration to dismantle basic and necessary social services. How can Hoeven address Native American concerns while at the same time calling them “violent” and requesting federal law enforcement to “quell them?” So, once again, it is time to stand with Standing Rock!
HOW DO WE HELP?
The first thing we can do in any resistance is to become more educated. The Water is Life Movement–Beyond Standing Rock, a group from Fort Collins, Colorado, will conduct a webinar for all interested Water is Life groups and individuals around the U.S. and globally. Leaders in Water is Life protests from Florida, Texas and Flint are invited to participate. The webinar will include a discussion of fracking in Colorado and its impact on ‘clean water’ issue on the Front Range. Sponsored by Grandfathers for Seven Generations, an educational non-profit that also supports Standing Rock and other protest sites, the webinar will be streamed on Tuesday, January 17, from 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. Mountain Time. Register for the webinar here.
2: INVESTIGATE DIVESTING
One of the movements to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is to divest from the banks that are funding the pipeline. Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon have made headlines recently when they took their considerable funds from such banks. The city of Seattle is considering a motion to divest over $3 billion from Wells Fargo by 2018. To date, people have divested $46,314,727.18 from personal accounts, moving money out of banks that support DAPL. If moving your money is not possible, or if you are not banking with the 17 banks that are funding DAPL and other pipelines, sign Susan Sarandon’s petition to let banks know that you don’t want the funding continued.
The water protectors are facing a brutal winter. If you as an individual or as a group want to help, you can find current needs here. Please be a responsible donor and do your own research before donating to a group or individual to ensure that it actually helping the water protectors.
- Firewood–Lynne Colombe is a volunteer that is purchasing and delivering firewood to the camps. While there has been some talk about false gofundme groups, Lynne’s gofundme is legit. You can donate here.
- Legal Defense–Check out the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe webpage for more information.
If you live in the area, and can volunteer for a day, consider helping as the tribes move two camps to higher ground. There is also a need to clean up the lower camps before snow melt. See Daphne Singingtree’s FB post from January 8, 2017, for more information.
No one expected thousands, at one point ten thousand people to show up at camp. Then the severe weather came, most people left, leaving behind a lot of stuff and not enough people to process the donations, and then clean up afterwards. We need able bodied people who are able to work in the cold, please plan on coming to help, even for a week or two, anytime over the next month or two. –Daphne Singingtree
5. STAY INFORMED
Most of mainstream media have stopped reporting the events at Standing Rock. We must continue to stand with Standing Rock and the other protest/protect movements around the country. Robert Redford, in a recent Time article, says it best.
The Standing Rock movement needs all of our support now more than ever. If you were in North Dakota or are still there, stay inspired and stay peaceful. If you can’t be there, there are other ways to support the movement. Donate money for legal and logistical support. Contact your political representatives and make your opinion known. Share news of the movement in your social and digital networks. Most importantly, when the Environmental Impact Statement is announced – which should be any day — submit a comment and make your voice heard.– Robert Redford
Mni Waconi – Water Is Life
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