After months of protest, Indigenous water protectors and activists have won a ruling from the federal government against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This decision calls to reroute the pipeline that threatened to contaminate the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Our thanks and congratulations go out to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its allies. For months, their peaceful protests were met with violence, from dog attacks to water cannons to tear gas – all because they put their water, their rights, and their lives over corporate interests. But they were not deterred by these attacks. They persevered in their fight for justice.
When I’ve spoken to our Indigenous partners from around the world, they’ve been steadfast in their solidarity with Standing Rock. Because they know, better than most, that our lives and our movements for justice are all tied up together. That Indigenous women have long been frontline defenders of their communities and of the world’s waters and lands that we all depend on. And that while the forces of exploitation and greed are organized and powerful, when we come together, we are mightier.
Every day, these brave women fight to protect against climate threats and resource exploitation. They never forget this lesson, and neither should we: in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, resistance is not only possible – it works. As we gear up to face a new Administration that promises to threaten our rights and freedoms at every turn, and is already set on reversing this win, we take strength and courage in the example that these Indigenous activists have laid forth.
Our work does not end here. We will continue to stand with Indigenous activists, at Standing Rock and around the world, who speak out and organize in their communities with this shared vision: “water is life.”
MADRE Executive Director