The struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and its allied water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline has become one of the most significant causes of our time. Construction of the pipeline has brought to the forefront a host of issues that include the trampling of indigenous rights and treaties, the desecration of sacred lands, the endangerment of the Missouri River, the building of fossil fuel infrastructure that would accelerate climate change, and the militarized response of law enforcement to peaceful acts.
In August of 2016, the collegium of the UCC followed the leadership of the UCC's Council for American Indian Ministries and issued a statement that highlighted many of the key issues involved in calling for active solidarity with Standing Rock through online advocacy.In addition to action alerts, the UCC national setting initiated an ecumenical online call for action signed by 300 clergy and an interfaith statement signed by nearly 2,000 faith leaders.
In late 2016 the Obama administration declined to grant the final permit necessary for drilling. President Donald Trump subsequently signed an executive action that signals his support for advancing the Dakota Access pipeline. In his Presidential Memorandum to the US Army Corps of Engineers, President Trump ordered that permit for the the Dakota Access Pipeline be approved in an expedited manner, to the extent allowed under law.
In early February, the Army Corps of Engineers acted on this order and granted final approval to the much-contested last section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, its allies, are vowing to keep up the opposition to that construction which would drill under a water reservoir at the Missouri River and potentially threaten the drinking water of millions of Americans.
Our indigenous neighbors have asked people of faith to speak out. Act now – Tell the Army Corp of Engineers and Congress that you support a full and thorough environmental review for DAPL because your faith calls you to protect Creation, care for future generations, and stand with indigenous peoples.
March - Join us in DC on March 10th as we "Rise with Standing Rock"
- Download our sign and display in solidarity - "We Rise. We Resist. Let our Nation Repent."
- Give - Make a Contribution to the Water Protectors
Pray - Download Prayers in Solidarity with Standing Rock from UCC Worship Ways: .doc | .rtf
Hymns for Standing Rock by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette:
Engage your congregation in activities of reflection and repentance in considering the Doctrine of Discovery, a legal concept arising from church documents that authorized and, indeed blessed, Christians to kill non-Christians and possess their lands and resources. The repudiation of this doctrine served as a central point of focus for the clergy who gathered in Standing Rock. The United Church of Christ has developed resources to assist congregations in addressing the destructive legacy of Christianity that continues to impact the world today as Standing Rock amply demonstrates.
Articles & Commentaries
- Standing Rock lawsuit, D.C. March continue movement against Dakota Access Pipeline by Connie Larkman
- UCC leaders condemn decision to approve Dakota Access Pipeline by Connie Larkman
- Standing Rock and the Four Stages of Moral Maturation by Brooks Berndt
- United Church Funds Hosts Standing Rock Tribal Chair by Anthony Moujaes