“We call upon all member states to condemn the destruction of our sacred places and to support our nation’s efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and to protect the environment, our nation’s future, our culture and our way of life.”
—Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II
The power of personal narratives in the face of climate change could not be more needed than it is now, given the unfavorable forecast for U.S. climate action following the recent elections, on top of the urgency of climate change. In particular, the story of Indigenous people and their fight for sovereignty and against resource extraction needs to be highlighted. While the needs of Indigenous people are largely marginalized in the world of the UN climate change negotiations, Indigenous people are making their voices heard.
Yesterday at the UN COP22 village, the Indigenous People’s caucus organized an event in solidarity with the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. The event started by honoring the Indigenous people of Morocco, the Amazigh community, for welcoming us on their land, and featured speakers from Indigenous communities from around the world. It is clear from their stories that the struggle at Standing Rock is emblematic of the fight all Indigenous communities are carrying out to protect water rights, preserve their self determination, and prevent climate change impacts in their communities. I anticipate that there will be more solidarity actions in the coming week at COP22 and, moving forward around the world in the months to come.
You can read more about Standing Rock.