Saturday, December 10, 2016

A thank you to the Standing Rock Sioux

Will you join me in thanking and supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by contributing whatever you can to replenish its budget?

Dear MoveOn member, 

Water is life. That's the meaning of the Lakota saying "Mni wiconi."

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Oceti Sakowin elders, International Indigenous Youth Council, and Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin camps led a movement that won against tremendous odds.1 In the course of the past year, we have said often that we are protecting our sacred sites and the Missouri River for all, Native and non-Native, who live and work along the river. Our struggle to protect our sacred sites is to protect our ancestors and their ability to lead us along a path that will save Mother Earth.

MoveOn members like you helped to lift up and defend the Standing Rock Sioux's struggle for sovereignty and to protect our environment by sending more than 400,000 petition signatures to the White House, calling on President Obama to act; making 13,000 phone calls to the White House and North Dakota authorities; and much more. Thank you for the actions you've taken to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of the water protectors.

Now, I'm writing to you, Eddie, with the hope that you'll join me in thanking and supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for standing resolutely and fiercely—for all of us and the rights of sovereign nations—by contributing whatever you can to replenish its budget, drained by the struggle to stop the pipeline and support the prayer camp. 

Yes. I want to contribute to express my thanks. (Your contribution is tax-deductible and will be made to the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, which has established a special fund for the exclusive use of the tribe.)

I can't contribute, but please include my name and message in a thank-you card to be sent to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II.

Please allow me to share an excerpt from a message from Chairman Archambault:

We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need.2

We have a long road ahead to protect Mother Earth and reverse the damage done by profit-driven fossil fuel corporations. And even as we celebrate this victory, we recognize that there will be immense challenges ahead for the #NoDAPL movement—especially in light of the incoming administration.

Please help make sure that the Standing Rock Sioux community has the resources it needs to chart the way forward by contributing whatever you can now.

I can't contribute, but please include my name and message in a thank-you card to be sent to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman, David Archambault II.

This victory has come at a critical moment, not just for the fight against the pipeline but as many of us consider the tough road ahead with a new administration. But as this struggle demonstrates, faith, courage, and unity of peaceful action by our tribes and communities can defy all odds and provide a real challenge to overreaching corporate and state powers.

We need to remember that now more than ever, and draw strength from our collective histories, even when the odds feel insurmountable.

Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who said, "Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children."

Remember that Standing Rock is everywhere now. Water is life, and your solidarity is our collective water.


Judith LeBlanc
Member of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma
Director of the Native Organizers Alliance


1. "Dakota Access pipeline: US denies key permit, a win for Standing Rock protesters," The Guardian, December 5, 2016

2. "Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement," Stand with Standing Rock, December 4, 2016

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