To Friends Everywhere: Our Meeting strongly supports the Standing Rock Sioux in opposing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and in insisting that their legal and treaty rights be fully honored and not be violated.
This 1100-mile pipeline would create the same dangers as other projects, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, and should be rejected for the same reasons. The Dakota Access Pipeline proposal process absolutely warrants thorough and intensive environmental consideration, and full engagement with the Standing Rock Sioux, whose rights must be respected. These include but are not limited to the right of access to clean water, which is the foundation for all life, as well as the right to have their burial grounds and other sacred sites respected, protected, and preserved.
The word, “Dakota,” means “friend.” As Friends (Quakers), we bear witness to the equality and sacred nature of every person. The principle of equality is also fundamental in a democratic society. When we as a society shut out the voices and ignore the rights of Native Americans as in the current situation, we deny that principle.
As Friends, we also hold sacred the responsibility of all humanity to care for the Earth, our home, and preserve it for future generations and all life. Our Native American sisters and brothers have long modeled the importance of considering not only our own desires, but also the needs of future generations, before acting. Expediting projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline, and pursuing the extraction, transport, and use of fossil fuel instead of renewable and sustainable alternatives imperils the earth’s waters, the atmosphere, the air we breathe, and the climate necessary for continued life on earth, all of which are vital to the Standing Rock Sioux and to all life. If we are to act quickly at this time, let it be toward developing and implementing environmentally sound practices to preserve our Earth-home and all life on it.
– Bellingham Friends Meeting (NPYM) September 11, 2016