#GivingTuesday: Standing with Standing Rock #NoDAPL

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The protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been ongoing for two years, but it only recently grabbed media attention. If you’re like many I know, you’re concerned about the protests, but you’re not really sure about the details and how we got to this situation.

If the DAPL is built, the 1,172-mile pipeline will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil every day through ancient burial and ceremonial grounds of Standing Rock, on through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, to Illinois. The pipeline is set to cost $3.7 billion dollars and its goal is to have the crude oil reach refineries in a faster, more cost-efficient manner and reduce the use of rail and truck transit.

Standing Rock

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says construction of the pipeline could affect drinking water supply and put communities living downstream, “At risk for contamination by crude oil leaks and spills.” The pipeline will also destroy Native American burial sites, and other locations of historic, religious, and cultural significance.

The concern over water contamination is not far-fetched. The DAPL will run under the Missouri River and pipelines of this sort are known to break. In the month of October 2016 alone, there were seven pipeline accidents in the United States. A pipeline leak in Oklahoma on October 24th was of a pipeline similar in size and scope to the proposed DAPL; on October 21st, another pipeline in Pennsylvania leaked over 55,000 gallons into the Susquehanna River. Since 2010, pipeline accidents have killed over 80 people, injured over 380, and cost $2.8 billion in damages.

In 2014, the proposed route of DAPL went through Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, with roughly 61,000 residents, 92 percent of them white. After complaints by residents that pipeline could contaminate drinking water and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirming the possibility, it was rerouted to pass by Standing Rock. This switch in the route was done without first consulting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They have been protesting ever since, and this fall the media and celebrities have caught wind and are doing what they can to support Standing Rock.

It is true that building this pipeline will bring in thousands of construction jobs to the area, and those for the pipeline claim it will make our country less dependent on others for oil (though an SEC filing slates this oil for export). But the price we’ll pay for these benefits is too costly. There are alternatives to oil, there are no alternatives to water. The non-violent protesters are now dealing with sub-zero temperatures and have been hit with tear gas, rubber bullets (causing one protester to possibly lose an arm), and water cannons.


If this was my community, I too would be out there in the cold, being blasted by water and taking rubber bullets to defend my culture, my home, and my water supply. But this IS my community, this is my country, and this is a water supply that can affect millions of us. I stand with Standing Rock, and on Giving Tuesday, I dedicate this post to them.

So what can we do to help?

How to Support Standing Rock

Sign a Petition

There's many petitions out there collecting signatures of those who protest DAPL; I always recommend signing those associated with the White House to prevent spam emails and calls, and to be sure it's legit and going to the powers that be.  Click here to access the DAPL petition via We The People.  However, if you wish to add your name to other petitions, here's some that could use your electronic signature:

Call and Show Your Support

  • North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple: 701-328-2200
  • Morton County Sheriff's Department: 701-667-3330
  • North Dakota National Guard: 701-333-2000
  • North Dakota Senator John Hoeven: 202-224-2043
  • Army Corp of Engineers: 202-761-5903. When you call you can tell them to reverse the permit.
  • President Barack Obama’s Public Comment Line: 202-456-1111. When you call you can tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Donate Money

As an FYI, a federally recognized tribe and/or its political subdivision is determined by the IRS to be an organization to which contributions may be tax deductible, as provided in IRC section 170 (source).

Purchase from an Authorized Amazon Wish List for those at Standing Rock

Not sure where your money is going? Buy actual supplies that the protesters need from their Amazon Wish List. They're constantly updated, and it’s super easy to buy a box off emergency Mylar thermal blankets or a gift card on your lunch hour and not have to worry about shipping.  Some gift lists:

Share Your Thoughts on Social Media

Using the right hashtags, you're adding your thoughts to the conversation.  While a tweet won't technically make a difference, like a petition, it adds your account to the thousands tweeting about this subject.  Visit this link for example tweets, Facebook and Instagram shares.  Get ideas and support those using the hashtag #NoDAPL on Twitter.

It doesn't matter where you are located, who you are or how much money you have; you can make a difference, your voice can be heard, and you can help those at Standing Rock.  Consider supporting those at Standing Rock on Giving Tuesday; and if you have other suggestions on how to help share them in the comments below!

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  1. I appreciate you posting this. I’m siding with the protesters with this issue. It is known that these pipelines can break anytime and there have been reported incidents like this before. All they care about is the money they will save in transporting the oil. They should wake up and be concern of water contamination that can happen anytime soon. And please give respect to the ancient burial and ceremonial grounds of Standing Rock.

    Please check out my blog if you can:

  2. More info from a reader who emailed me this and said it was okay to share:

    Here’s a piece I
    wrote recently for FB. (I’m a lawyer with some federal Indian law
    experience – I worked on the case that resulted in federal recognition
    of the historical treaty promised Saginaw Chippewa reservation
    boundaries – in MI)

    is a horrific irony in water cannons, rubber bullets, and other
    violence being used against tribes protesting to maintain clean water
    and tribal sovereignty…during the week of Thanksgiving.

    The right to assemble – to peacefully protest – is a founding value of the United States.

    September we saw protesters attacked by security company dogs whose
    handlers were not licensed to provide security in North Dakota. Per the
    sheriff’s department, cases have been forwarded to prosecutors for
    charging decisions, as well as a security licensing board.

    Just a few days ago, a protestor was so badly injured that she may lose her arm. She is being treated at HCMC.

    If that isn’t enough for you to support Standing Rock…

    my knowledge, Standing Rock has vocally opposed this pipeline (in
    various ways), since approximately 2006. The project required federal
    permits from the Army Corps, who are required by law to consult with the
    tribe…a sovereign nation. At least three federal agencies are on
    record as believing the Corps’ tribal consultation was inadequate. It
    is rare for a federal agency to formally criticize the actions of
    another federal agency, let alone three.
    March 29, 2016 letter from the Dept of Interior to the Corps (agreeing
    with the tribe that tribal consultation was inadequate) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3036070-DOI-MARCH-Letter-to-Corps.html
    2) March 11, 2016 letter from EPA to the Corps (agreeing with the tribe that environmental consultation was inadequate) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3036068-Dakota-Access-2nd-DEA-Cmts-3-11-16-002.html
    May 19, 2016 letter from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
    to the Corps (agreeing with the tribe that the Corps’ historical
    properties analysis and tribal consultation was incomplete and flawed) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3036069-Ex-32-ACHP-Objection-Letter-DAPL.html And a September 28, 2016 statement by the American Cultural Resources Association. http://www.acra-crm.org/resources/Pictures/ACRADAPLStatement_9_28_2016.pdf

    is even more rare for the Department of Justice to release joint
    statements with the Corps, all of which support the water
    protectors/protesters and further review.

    The 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty governs the land at issue. http://standingrock.org/fort-laramie-treaty/ More information about the creation of Standing Rock can be found here: http://standingrock.org/history/
    And you probably shouldn’t get me started about the long and sordid
    complexities and history related to tribal land, treaties, allotments,
    and fraud.

    Sacred Stone Camp recently posted the following:
    allies: we have asked this before, and we will ask it again. Please do
    not set up crowdfunding pages to simply bring yourself to Standing Rock
    if you are not coordinating with indigenous people on the ground. It is
    very very hard to organize on the ground, it is very difficult to gauge
    needs, navigate the camps, navigate power dynamics, communicate etc. We
    are here, and we have been working hard on this campaign, and we need
    your support. We do not need you to come and save us, we need your prayers and your resources and your actions. Please look around yourself
    if you are at camp, and consider the dynamic. Are you creating space
    that is dominantly non-indigenous? If so, please consider that this is a
    furthering of colonization, and take action to step back, and re-center
    indigenous sovereignty. If you have raised funds for yourself, please
    find a camp here to donate to: http://sacredstonecamp.org/donate/

    So please, educate yourself, donate, and get updates here: http://sacredstonecamp.org/

  3. Long time reader, first time commenter. As Hannah said above, thank you for using your platform to publicize worthy causes! I was delighted to see this excellent roundup on Standing Rock on your site.

  4. Thank you for the information. I was trying to research the Standing Rock issue this morning, and this is a lot of help. Its also good to know that I can help them, even though I’m hundreds of miles away.

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