On Sunday, December 4, Standing Rock Tribe Chairman Dave Archambaugh II issued a statement of thanksgiving in which he praised the Obama administration for its historic decision to not grant easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. The chairman extended thanks to all who played a role in advocating for the cause, especially other tribal nations and jurisdictions. "It is time," Chairman Archambaugh said, "to return home and spend winter with our families." He voiced hope that Kelsey Warren, Governor Dalrymple, and the incoming Trump administration will respect this decision and Indian treaty lands.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19h Generation Keeper of White Buffalo Calf Bundle, called for a Day of Interfaith Prayer at the Oceti Sakowin, on December 4th. In his statement Chief Looking Horse called on all people of all faiths to "unite in believing we can change the path we are now on." He said, "This is a serious time we are in. . . . It is time for all of us to become leaders to help protect the sacred upon Mother Earth. She is the source of life and not a resource."
We join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in celebrating this important and historic victory and give thanks for the leadership and courage of the people who endured water canons in freezing weather, attacks by police and para-military units who used rubber bullets, mace, dogs and cages constructed to hold "prisoners." Many people were gravely injured as a result of these actions. We hold these people, their families in our prayers.
This historic victory can be an important turning point in the struggle for interracial justice. In future blogs I will share what I think are next steps for those of us in the mainline church.