In North Dakota, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies are struggling for the future of their land and people. Where those without worldly power stand in the Truth in the face of empire, God is at work and our faith calls us to support them.
For months, the Indigenous people leading this witness have embraced their role as “water protectors” in opposition to the completion of an oil pipeline that threatens the water supply, sacred sites, sovereignty and survival of Native people. Their nonviolent stand to protect the water, land, and climate for future generations faces escalating violence in a militarized, state-supported assault.
On behalf of Quakers in the six New England states, we affirm that we see God at work in the courageous actions of those in the protector camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. In their ongoing resistance, we see the convergence of struggles for Indigenous rights, climate justice, and liberation from white supremacy, moving with the power of the Spirit, raising up a vision of a world renewed.
Many New England Quakers and local Friends meetings are engaged in supporting this witness and we pray for those who plan to deepen their involvement. We are keenly aware that winter is coming to North Dakota and that direct material support is needed for those continuing this work.
We encourage all Friends to keep this unfolding confrontation in their prayers and to keep themselves and their communities educated about nonviolent resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock and elsewhere. We urge local meetings across New England to consider how we might offer practical and spiritual support to those standing for Life in the face of violence.
In support of this witness, we hope Friends and meetings will prayerfully consider the following possible actions:
- Prayer: Hold all involved and affected by these events—on every side—in the Light, including Friends from New England who are working to support the water protectors and those planning to travel to North Dakota in the coming days
- Advocacy: Join the advocacy work of Friends Committee on National Legislation in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
- Support: Respond to the call for timely and direct support of those gathered at the Sacred Stone Camp
Fritz Weiss, Presiding Clerk
Noah Baker Merrill, Yearly Meeting Secretary
New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
P.S.– In recent days, New England Yearly Meeting’s Committee on Racial, Social and Economic Justice approved a minute in support of the Standing Rock water protectors. We encourage Friends seeking more background to refer to this minute, as well as the Minute of Annual Sessions 2016 affirming a divine call to respond to the climate crisis.