Did you have a chance to read Rev. Karen Van Fossan’s urgent message from last week? The Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation is providing vital support to the water protectors at Standing Rock. As Karen explained, the situation is getting worse with growing militarized police presence and continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline destroying sacred land. Indigenous leaders have issued an urgent call to come, witness, and support their efforts peacefully. Later this week I am traveling to North Dakota to join clergy across faith tradition - including UUs - at Standing Rock in a faithful witness of solidarity in the fight to protect the water supply and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. To find out more information, sign up and stay engaged, see this call to action. Please take a moment to read Karen’s message and be sure to sign the petition created by the Bismarck Mandan Unitarian Universalist Social Action Working Group. Thank you.
Rev. Peter Morales, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
I’m writing to you, as I head south in a carpool from Bismarck, North Dakota toward Standing Rock. We are driving to Sacred Ground Camp, where we’ve been told police are again arresting water protectors. Indigenous leaders with allies have peacefully reclaimed 1851 treaty land that is in the would-be path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. As we speak, militarized police from 5 states have descended on the new camp.
We need you and we need you now. People of faith and conscience are being called to take immediate action and come to Standing Rock in solidarity. Unarmed water protectors have been met with militarized responses at every step. There is an opportunity for us to show up and affirm this prayerful movement. A movement calling for direct action to center Indigenous communities’ autonomy, history and spirituality. A movement working to ensure our collective future.
Next week, there is a call for clergy from across the country to join us at Standing Rock. Buses are being organized by MUUSJA to bring people - both clergy and others - to show up. Unitarian Universalists from at least 15 states have joined us in recent months. Please join us.
If you are not able to participate now, there will likely be many opportunities to support this movement, and to travel to Standing Rock in the coming months as the Protectors prepare to settle in for the winter. We have begun collaborating with MUUSJA along with regional and national UU social justice networks to develop a national response from Unitarian Universalists around the country. We have also created a petition in response to a call for action by Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network, shared during a Teach In hosted at our congregation. Please sign and share here.
Please stay tuned here and on our congregational Facebook page for latest updates as our work evolves.
In faith and solidarity,
Rev. Karen Van Fossan