Stand with Standing Rock, pray with Standing Rock on November 3, 2016
Many eyes are fixed on Standing Rock, North Dakota and the proposed construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, an oil pipeline that would run beside the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and cross the Missouri River, the main source of drinking water for the community and for other communities downstream. Since April of 2016, Indigenous rights defenders from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation have been camped near the pipeline construction site on Standing Rock Reservation land, with a more recent and growing camp of supporters building across the river.
Recently the local Episcopal (Anglican) priest issued an invitation to clergy and faith leaders to come to Standing Rock November 2nd to 4th, 2016 and gather on the banks of the Missouri River “to stand witness to water protector’s acts of compassion for God’s creation, and to the transformative power of God’s love to make a way out of no way.” Many are responding including a high level delegation from the United Church of Christ. Among those present from Canada will be Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop.
On November 3, “a day of protective witness in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and with the water protectors,” KAIROS invites you to show your presence and support in two ways:
1) At 10am, your time, join with two or three in prayer. Please use this prayer or another suitable for you and for this moment:
Creator, You loved creation into being. Your goodness is present in the land and waters, in the creatures and peoples You created. You call us to be in right relation with all living things. Be present today, and every day, where people stand in peaceful defense of your creation. We recognize Your presence in Standing Rock, with Indigenous peoples who are protecting the waters. May we also be present in spirit and in truth. We recognize Your presence in our own country where Indigenous peoples also stand peaceably in defense of land and waters. May we be present in witness and solidarity. We recognize and repent for the violence that has marked relations with Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. We claim your challenge of truth and justice, and your promise of healing and reconciliation. In Your mercy, help us move forward in a good and just way. Amen
2) Make the connections in Canada
Reflect on where in our country, closest to you, Indigenous peoples are giving leadership to defense of land and waters, where they are endeavouring to claim their rights as protected in the treaties, Constitution, or in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Commit to learn more about the history and current issues in that local situation, and consider in what way you might be involved. Consider calling your Member of Parliament and indicating your concern that in whatever context, free prior and informed consent of the Indigenous peoples whose territory is involved is respected.
For more information, see this recent KAIROS briefing paper “Prime Minister Facing Moment of Truth on Indigenous Rights”.