Standing Rock — 10/24/2016
Minute from NEYM Committee for Racial, Social and Economic Justice
Rachel Carey-Harper, clerk
The Doctrine of Discovery was used to justify Christians “right” to dominate, exploit and claim the lands of non-Christians … It has the force of law globally and serves as a framework of oppression fully intact in U.S. federal Indian law today…We as New England Yearly Meeting repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. We are beginning a journey to consider the moral and spiritual implications…”. –From NEYM Minute 2013-52
The Doctrine of Discovery speaks directly to the Dakota Access Pipeline as it encourages people of European descent and their corporations, with the support of law, to invade indigenous people (1), take their possessions and resources (2) , and imprison (3) those who stand in the way. Not only does the pipeline create environmental devastation but it clearly demonstrates that the Doctrine of Discovery is very much alive and in operation. In the words of Chief Sitting Bull “They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.”
The Committee on Racial, Social & Economic Justice asks Friends to prayerfully consider appropriate responses and support for the indigenous protectors (4). who are putting their lives on the line at Standing Rock. Friends stated in NEYM Minute 2013-52 and previously in 2003’s Minute on Racism that “Our first work is to remove the logs from our eyes so that we may see.” We need to look at white privilege and the white supremacist attitudes that most of us of European descent carry unconsciously.
We seek a world in which all people can join together as equal and respected parts of the human family. We must let go of that which keeps us separated. By holding each other in respect and unconditional support, the divine spark within every individual joins in harmony with all others.
Let us envision and work toward renewed commitment to justice, truth and respect blossoming in all our hearts, where we meet each other with Light and unconditional Love.
~Friends can learn more about the camp and how to make a concrete difference by visiting the Sacred Stone Camp website: http://sacredstonecamp.org
(1) “Standing Rock Indian Reservation was established as a permanent homeland for the Hunkpapa, Yanktonai, Cuthead and Blackfoot bands of the Great Sioux Nation… Dakota Access Pipeline violates Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty which guarantees that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe shall enjoy the “undisturbed use and occupation” of our permanent homeland, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.” excerpts from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Resolution NO. 406-15 September 2, 2015.
(2) “the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe relies on the waters of the life-giving Missouri River for our continued existence, and the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a serious risk to Mni Sose and to the very survival of our Tribe. drilling in the construction of the pipeline has destroyed burial sites and would also destroy other valuable cultural resources of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe;” ibid
(3) North Dakota continues to escalate repression of the people protecting sacred sites and waters from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Today, two more felony charges were sought for water protectors bringing the total to seven … http://sacredstonecamp.org/blog/2016/10/4/north-dakota-seeks-more-felonies-for-water-protectors Seventy-four people have been arrested so far and held at the Morton County jail in connection to actions opposing the pipeline. http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/09/28/direct-action-and-arrests-continue-dapl-construction-site-nd-165926
Naming is important. Those gathering at Standing Rock are not “protesters”, they are Protectors.
“We reject the appropriation of the name “Dakota” in a project that is in violation of aboriginal and treaty lands. The word Dakota means “the People” in the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language and was never intended to be used in a project which violates traditional ceremonial areas.” from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Resolution.