Mni wiconi: protecting the water of life
The DAPL transports 1 million gallons of oil through the Missouri River every hour--that's 17,000 gallons per minute! The Missouri serves as the only source of drinking water for the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Lakota Tribes. Even if detected immediately, a spill could irreparably contaminate the Missouri River before Energy Transfer shuts the proper valve. As indigenous people, we are taught that our survival is deeply intertwined with the survival of Ina Maka (Mother Earth). Mni Wiconi (Water of Life) grounds our ceremonies, as well as our bodies--leaving the Lakota people no choice but to rise up against the Energy Transfer family of companies. This spiritually-grounded resistance awakened the masses to the continued struggle for Mother Earth of not just the Lakota oyate, but of people all over the world. Indigenous-led campaigns against TransMountain, Line 3, LNG, Tar Sands, an observatory on Mauna Kea, and more, wage on with the spirit of the resistance.
While first peoples own, occupy or use 25% of the world’s surface area, we safeguard 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. Our identity is in the landscape--the mountains, the rivers, the plants, and the animals. For this reason, we are in a unique position to advocate for the ecosystem our shared human existence. But if we are to preserve the Earth as a home for all future generations, we need everyone to help us restore indigenous and environmental rights. That is where divestment comes in. That is where you come in.
Divestment: one of many tactics
The resistance at Standing Rock to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) awakened the non-indigenous world to the existence and continued repression of Native Americans at the hands of the United States government and the fossil fuel industry. Unfortunately, this awareness has not stopped oil from flowing through the pipeline.
- The courts have largely ignored Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Lakota Tribes’ pleas for an injunction;
- The administrative process under the Trump's oil crony administration is all but doomed;
- Native Americans are not meaningfully represented at the federal level;
- and while non-violent civil disobedience remains a powerful tactic, it a costly one, as many Water Protectors suffer from PTSD induced by law enforcement.
The United States system of political representation and justice were not designed to protect indigenous people. It is time for an additional tactic.
Divestment has proven an historically successful means of resistance for disenfranchised people around the world. South Africa, Sudan, and Burma are just a few places where it has seen success. Divestment is not a magic bullet, but it is a powerful tool to challenge the status quo of placing profits over people. These same banks are backing the new expansion of the DAPL system into the Bayou Bridge pipeline, as well as FOUR proposed tar sands pipelines that together would add over three million barrels of the dirtiest oil in the world to flow across turtle island every single day:
Keystone XL (TransCanada) - 830,000 barrels per day
TransMountain (Kinder Morgan) - expansion from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day
Line 3 (Enbridge) - expansion from 390,000 to 915,000 barrels per day
Energy East (TransCanada) - 1.1 million barrels per day
Our coalition of grassroots Indigenous groups joins the 121 First Nations and Tribes of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion to demand these banks divest from the companies building Dakota Access and the four proposed tar sands pipelines.
From the frontlines at Standing Rock, a divestment movement was born. As of Spring 2017, over $5 billion has been withdrawn from the banks funding DAPL, and momentum continues to build.
This website hosts a larger campaign to defund the companies building DAPL and all four tar sands crude oil pipelines proposed out of Canada: Keystone XL, Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain, Enbridge’s Line 3, and Energy East.
This campaign is led by the 121 First Nations and Tribes united by the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, and a coalition of grassroots Indigenous groups: