“We beg for your forgiveness”: Veterans Apologize to Native Elders #StandingRock

Via Salon.com:

Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans at Standing Rock one day after the Army Corps announcement. The veterans joined Native American tribal elders in a ceremony celebrating the Dakota Access Pipeline easement denial.

Lakota spiritual leader and medicine man Chief Leonard Crow Dog and Standing Rock Sioux spokeswoman Phyllis Young were among several Native elders who spoke, thanking the veterans for standing in solidarity during the protests.

Clark got into formation by rank, with his veterans, and knelt before the elders asking for their forgiveness for the long brutal history between the United States and Native Americans:

“Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.”

Read more on the Veterans’ apology to Native elders >>

Click the image to watch powerful footage of the Veterans’ apology to Native elders:

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Dakota Pipeline Halted — Take Action to Stop the Construction for Good #StandingRock #NoDAPL

On December 4, the department of the Army announced that it will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes…”

Read the complete statement at StandWithStandingRock.net >>

 

Take Action

But the fight is not over! So long as the project is still being funded, it may move forward at a later date. Please take action to cut off the Dakota Pipeline’s funding.

“While the US Army Corps continues its consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the river crossing, the Dakota Access pipeline project is in financial jeopardy.  It is likely impossible for the company to meet its January 1 deadline, and if it does not, producers and shippers who two years ago committed to use the pipeline will have the option to renegotiate or even terminate their contracts… In August, a group of banks agreed to lend $2.5 billion to Dakota Access. But $1.4 billion of this loan is still on hold until the Army Corps grants the final permits for the pipeline. This means that there is still time for the banks involved in this loan to cut their line of credit.”

Target the 17 banks funding the pipeline and demand they divest from the project — read more on HonorEarth.org >>

You can also join MoveOn.org in thanking the Standing Rock Sioux community and/or contributing financially to the tribe.

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Paul Eppinger, interfaith leader, dies at 83

From AZCentral.com:

Paul Eppinger, who led a campaign for Arizona to recognize a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. and later was involved in interfaith affairs, has died. He was 83.

The contentious battle in the late 1980s to pass a holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. in Arizona took six years, with one governor declaring a holiday and the next revoking it, and voters initially voting down a holiday but later, in 1992, supporting it.

Eppinger was the statewide director for the successful “Victory Together Campaign” to establish a state King holiday.

”I think this is precisely what Christians should be interested in to give proper leadership to a critical moral and ethical issue,” he said at the time. ”We look at the saints of all times and lift them up as heroes, but when it comes to us taking a stand in our local community, Christian churches are afraid of what people will think.

”Personally, I’ve never felt the spirit of Jesus more than when I am helping people who have been cast aside or who are down and out.”

Read more about interfaith leader Paul Eppinger >>

TOU Stands with Standing Rock #StandingRock #NoDAPL

Standing with Standing Rock

The Temple of Understanding stands with Standing Rock! Grove Harris, our Main Representative to the United Nations, is pictured (third from the right) with interns from Peace Boat US, which does peace missions around the world. This shot was taken on Nov. 15 on the way to a rally in support of Standing Rock protesters.

Demand that your bank stop financially supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline

Via SumOfUs.org:

Over 100 water protectors were brutally arrested by Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) security forces — some locked in dog kennels and shot at with rubber bullets and pepper spray — just for standing up for their ancestral lands and our most precious resource, water.

Thousands have peacefully gathered in person and in solidarity to stop this 570,000 barrel-per-day pipeline that would endanger the water and ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux. People around the world have donated, showed up in person, and millions used Facebook’s ‘check in’ function in solidarity just this week.

And while this inspiring work is going on, the banks that we use every day are backing the project with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and investment each.

Demand that your bank stop financially supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline and associated projects such as Energy Transfer now. >>

Big News! Norway-based Bank DNB just announced it is reconsidering its financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline project. This is thanks your support and the brave water defenders who have been on the front lines standing up for the ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux and our water.

 

Please add your name to the petition!

Pledge to Register as a Muslim if Trump requires Muslims to register

The Alliance of Community Trainers has launched this campaign on CAUSES:

Pledge to Register as a Muslim if Trump requires Muslims to register.

In this dire moment, we need to send a strong message that we will not let prejudice and hatred prevail.  We call on every person of good heart to join us, to hold the vision that this country can yet become a place where we value diversity, cherish the freedom to believe and worship as we choose, and counter fear with courage and love.

View the campaign page here.

Parliament of the World’s Religions Statement on Standing Rock #NoDAPL #StandingRock

Parliament Standing Rock

[Reprinted from the Parliament newsletter]

Today, representatives of the Parliament of the World’s Religions leadership have arrived in North Dakota to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Parliament Vice-Chair Andras Corban-Arthen leads the delegation meeting with the camp organizers. He will present a Parliament statement (follows below) supporting the protest of the DAPL and upholding the dignity, rights and freedoms of our Indigenous siblings by sharing our commitments around the camp’s Sacred Fire. This statement conveys our collective support as a global interfaith community and is co-signed by:

  • Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr. Robert Sellers
  • Executive Director Dr. Larry Greenfield
  • Vice-Chair Dr. Kusumita Petersen
  • Chair of the Indigenous Task Force Lewis Cardinal
  • Parliament of the World’s Religions Special Ambassador on Climate Change Ms. Karenna Gore

If you wish to act with us, below are a few critical points on how you can best support the Standing Rock Sioux. This information comes to us through our contacts on-site:

  • The most important thing is to come to the camp and stand with the Water Protectors as a physical presence.
  • Apply pressure to political leaders. It is critical that we move quickly in our actions before U.S. President Obama leaves office in January.
  • Visit www.standwithstandingrock.net for information and oppportunities to offer financial support. Of the 1.5 million dollars that has come in support of the Water Protectors, more than half has gone to legal fees. No money has been allocated to the 400 people who have been arrested, including 14 clergy members arrested in Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • For those who can physically come to the camp, extra supplies are needed. In addition to your own supply, please try to bring food and water cold weather clothing (mitts, jackets, scarves, and hats) for other Water Protectors.
  • nativechildrenssurvival.org is another good resource for information.

For those able and interested to travel to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, please contact the Parliament for direct information of our on-site contacts, and to offer your own aid in coordinating additional efforts.

Thank you for your support.

Your Friends at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

A Statement on Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

from the Parliament of the World’s Religions


At the 2015 Parliament in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Parliament of the World’s Religions adopted several statements including an Indigenous People’s Declaration for Action and An Interfaith Call to Action on Climate Change. We encourage everyone to sign these declarations. The people confronting the ongoing crisis in North Dakota are representative of the action these declarations call for. The following is an excerpt from the Indigenous Declaration.

An End to the Desecration of Sacred Sites

“We hold the Ancestors, the Mother Earth, Forces of Nature, mountains, rivers, oceans, streams, trees, winds, storms, and all living beings as sacred and worthy of reverence. This worldview is the key to reversing the path of disaster on which all inhabitants of our sacred Mother Earth tread. We invite all Brothers and Sisters of the Creator to invoke and respect the divine spirits of the natural world, thereby ending their desecration.”

– Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration for Action, Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2015, Salt Lake City, USA

 

A Statement On Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

The Parliament of the World’s Religions denies any purported “rights” of the Dakota Access Pipeline to trespass on, build upon, and subsequently endanger the sacred land and water of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. We do not speak for the peoples whose sacred sites and waterways are under attack. Instead we respond to a call from our 2015 Parliament keynote speaker Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and we are inviting you to join us in answering that call:

“What we are being faced with is a dark spirit. All life cannot afford to allow the same mistakes to be made any longer. Look what is happening to the four directions in the contamination of MniWic’oni – the water of life…”

“We are asking the religious leaders to come support them to stand side by side with them [the protestors at Standing Rock] because they are standing in prayer.”

– Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Nations

 

The desecration of sacred sites, for profit or otherwise, is both an unjustifiable practice and a violation of the basic human right of religious freedom. This desecration is especially unacceptable when, as in this case, it is perpetrated against peoples who have weathered a long history of abuse for the sake of material wealth, land, and resources in both the recent and distant history of the United States.

The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is an attempt to desecrate the sacred, to corrupt the life that flows from the water and grows from the soil, and to silence the voices speaking out in protest. And while the people at Standing Rock have brought an incredible level of visibility to the abuses happening there, the fight does not belong exclusively to them; it is our responsibility as humans and as people of faith to join them in that fight.

Since the centenary Parliament of 1993, the participation of Indigenous Peoples in Parliament events (in the USA, Africa, Europe, and Australia) has been crucial in making the Parliament of the World’s Religions what it now is. In this present environmental crisis, we have once again been granted an opportunity to embrace the unique and deep spirituality that comes from the land and those who guard it, to find common ground with one another and to experience the beautiful reciprocity that comes from sharing our beliefs, cultures, and our common home. We must not squander this chance to listen to those who have been so often silenced in the past.

Organized and well-funded violence is taking place in rural North Dakota, deployed against these protesters as they stand peacefully against further violence being committed against the Earth. It is another example of unchecked commercial entities endangering the common good for profit, a massive step backwards in the move away from fossil fuel reliance, and a clear instance of oppression.

It is time to join with these Protectors and to stand up to this exploitation of natural resources and the people that they sustain, in the name of the Mother Earth who nurtures all of us.

– The Parliament of the World’s Religions

* * * *

We do not and will never advocate repaying violence with violence in this protest or in others. For peaceful and practical ways to help protect the land and the water endangered by the DAPL and to support the people who are standing against it, here are some actions you can take:

Visit: http://www.nodaplarchive.com

Contact North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200 and leave a message stating your opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to ask President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Call the Army Corps of Engineers at 202-761-5903 and demand that they rescind the permit.

Hindu priests are now helping to combat child marriage in Nepal

Via Mashable.com:

Imagine your birth certificate being the only thing that can stop you from becoming a child bride. A piece of paper that could change the course of your life.

In Nepal, a girl’s cheena, or astrological chart, is playing a crucial role in deterring her from being married off before she reaches adulthood.

In Nepal, between 38 percent and 50 percent of all girls are married off before turning 18, according to activist groups.

It’s a deeply embedded tradition where marriages are arranged — and often forced through — by parents or relatives of the girl. Some are as young as 12 months.

This can have a variety of inherently detrimental consequences. In the short-term, girls are more likely to drop out of school and are less likely to have access to information about birth control and contraception.

In the long-run, they are more likely to suffer the dangerous impacts from early childbearing. And in a vicious intergeneration circle, the women are less likely to rise out of poverty so that they can spare their own daughters from enduring the same fate.

Surprisingly, astrologers, Hindu priests and shamans could hold the key to ending this perilous cycle.

In a remote far western part of Nepal, some of these religious leaders are using their standing in traditional communities to educate families about the consequences of child marriage.

Read more about Hindu priests combating child marriage in Nepal >>

A young Hindu devotee in Nepal. Image by jmhullot via Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A young Hindu devotee in Nepal. Image by jmhullot via Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock #Standing Rock #NoDAPL

A film project documenting the Dakota Access pipeline protests at Standing Rock!

This short film features an exclusive interview with Sky Bird Black Owl, first woman to give birth at the Standing Rock Protests. The filmmakers ask that you please watch, like, share, and donate what you can. With your help, the voices of the women of Standing Rock will be heard.

Click the image to view the film.

End of the Line The Women of Standing Rock

Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses

Via The Guardian:

A United Nations group is investigating allegations of human rights abuses by North Dakota law enforcement against Native American protesters, with indigenous leaders testifying about “acts of war” they observed during mass arrests at an oil pipeline protest.

A representative of the UN’s permanent forum on indigenous issues, an advisory group, has been collecting testimony from Dakota Access pipeline protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.

“When you look at what the international standards are for the treatment of people, and you are in a place like the United States, it’s really astounding to hear some of this testimony,” said Roberto Borrero, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council.

Read more on human rights abuses at the Dakota Access pipeline protests >>