Standing Rock: Thanks & Updates
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The staff and board of the UUMA are so grateful to all of you who have worked to support the movement at Standing Rock. Thank you for your prayers, faithful witness, donations, fundraising, writing, preaching and acts of solidarity. We thought you might like to know that we wrote a letter to Chief Avrol Looking Horse, tribal leaders and the Water Protectors on behalf of the UUMA. You can read the full text of the letter below. We celebrate the US Army Corps of Engineer’s decision to deny the easement to drill under Lake Oahe, and we know that the struggle is not over. We are in active conversation about ways we can continue to provide faithful and accountable support of the leadership of the Standing Rock Sioux and will keep you informed about next steps as they become clear.
Rev. Cheryl M. Walker, UUMA President
Rev. Don Southworth, UUMA Executive Director
4 December, 2016
Chief Avrol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf
The Great Sioux Nation
Dear Chief Looking Horse,
On behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, and our al-most 1900 seminarians and ministers around the world, I am honored to deliver this message to you and the Elders of the Standing Rock Sioux and to all of the Water Protectors and their supporters.
We understand that the threat of the Dakota Access Pipeline is but the lat-est assault on your sovereignty as native people. The history of coloniza-tion, genocide, racism and erasure of indigenous people, by colonists first and then by the government of the United States of America, is shameful and full of pain. We are sorry for the irreparable harm caused by the people of many generations, some of whom were our ancestors, spiritual or otherwise. We grieve the violence inflicted upon the native people of this land and we support your right to protect and defend yourselves, your sacred sites and the earth which is the source and support of us all.
Thank you for the invitation to come in prayer and in witness of the faithfulness of the Water Protectors. We are grateful for your spiritual leader-ship, moral courage and far-reaching vision. Through your prayerful resistance, you are reminding us and the whole world of that which truly matters: water is life. Thank you for the invitation to join our voices with yours in opposition to the forces of destruction, desecration and greed.
Finally, we acknowledge that much of mainstream culture in this country is built upon these forces; built upon exploitation of the earth and of his-torically marginalized people. We confess that our religious tradition as a whole, and many of us as individuals, have benefited from the legacy of domination. In praying with you today, we join our hearts with yours in hope for a different future. We promise to lift our voices in support of your call for the cessation of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will work for respect, peace, justice, equity and compassion among the people of this earth. We will practice reverence for the interdependent web of all existence. Your leadership humbles and inspires us. Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you and to join you in prayerful witness and solidarity.
Yours in hope and faith,
Rev. Melissa Carvill Ziemer
Associate Executive Director,
Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association