Stand with Standing Rock

Stand with Standing Rock

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. 

WaterIsLife1.jpgIn 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.

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ndapl-caim.jpgIn late 2016, the Obama administration declined to grant the final permit necessary for drilling. President Donald Trump subsequently signed an executive action that signaled 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.



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.

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Contact Info

Brooks Berndt
Minister for Environmental Justice
700 Prospect Ave
Cleveland, OH 44135