Magazine article The Christian Century

Whose Land, Whose Oil?

Magazine article The Christian Century

Whose Land, Whose Oil?

Article excerpt

More than 200 tribes and First Nations from across North America have gathered to protect a site just off the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where Energy Transfer LLC, a Texas-based energy company, plans to build an oil pipeline across the Missouri River. As indigenous people have documented, the pipeline route crosses sacred sites and has the potential to' contaminate the reservation's water supply.

Responding to months of opposition to the pipeline, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wisely decided in mid-September to halt pipeline construction temporarily in order to consider the Standing Rock Sioux's concerns.

Meanwhile construction continued at nearby sites on the 1,172-mile pipeline designed to carry oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. Protests continued, too, with support from the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the United Church of Christ.

Those resisting the pipeline have demonstrated a unity among indigenous people that has not been seen in more than a century. The insistence of the Standing Rock Sioux on respect for their holy ground and their rights as human beings serves as a significant witness. Their action has, from the beginning, been grounded in prayer. …

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