We invite you to join the House of Tears Carvers and our partners on the Red Road to DC at a blessing ceremony at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Government building, as we continue our journey to draw attention and action to sacred sites and Indigenous rights. This journey and our partners recognize an historic opportunity: with a new federal administration—including the first Native American to lead the Department of the Interior, the Executive Orders issued, Supreme Court decisions affirming tribal rights, and the urgency of climate crises, now is the time to implement policies to protect, restore, and renew sacred places, lands and waterways; and redefine the principles that shape land and water regulation and management in the United States on the basis of tribal sovereignty and Nation to Nation relations.
This event is open to the public; you may RSVP to join us in-person on Facebook. (Livestream availability will be dependent on day-of conditions, as will the exact start time – RSVP to be notified when the Livestream is available and always check our social media accounts for updates and notifications.)
Take Action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s right to free, prior and informed consent on decisions impacting treaty lands and sacred places.
About the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline
In the middle of miles and miles of brown flatlands on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannonball, North Dakota, a sprawling camp of tepees, tents, and RVs appeared in the Summer of 2016. Members of more than 300 Native Nations and several thousand supporters arrived, joining in an unprecedented alliance against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which was set to cut through Sioux territory and across the Missouri River despite strong tribal opposition. The DAPL risked jeopardizing the primary water source not only for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, but also for 17 million people downstream.
Standing Rock captured headlines around the world, holding the attention of millions. It also invoked the horrifying memory of Wounded Knee, where, more than a century ago hundreds of Lakota people were massacred by the U.S. Cavalry for protecting their treaty lands from the encroachment of gold prospectors in the midst of the Black Hills gold rush. It was as if Standing Rock was leaping from the history books. This time, it felt like maybe if we did something, the outcome could be different.
Standing Rock provoked a collective desire to not only observe history but to help create it. More than a million Facebook users virtually “checked in” to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation page in solidarity with the water protectors on the ground. Hundreds of Native Nations issued statements in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Since then, dozens of inter-tribal treaty agreements have been made to help specific communities block other fossil fuel infrastructure projects that threaten treaty rights, sacred sites, water, land, and public health.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s struggle to protect sacred waters, lands, and treaty territories continues to this day. While the Biden administration issued an executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline upon taking office, it has not taken a similar stance on DAPL. The pipeline continues to flow while a court-ordered environmental review moves forward. DAPL violates Indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights and has failed to abide by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which requires free and prior informed consent.
By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. Oil infrastructure can accelerate climate change, harming those who have contributed little to this situation. In this context, the Indigenous belief that water is sacred is also the most scientifically rational and environmentally responsible one.
Mni wiconi, water is life.