What bank do you have accounts with? Who holds your credit card? Is it maybe one of the banks who are funding the pipelines that move fracked oil in from the Bakken Fields? Possibly the Dakota Access Pipeline? Until February 22, 2017, the Water Protectors at the Oceti Sakowin Camp near Cannonball, North Dakota, have been actively protecting their ancestral lands and their drinking water supply from encroachment by the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). 

Water protectors say the resistance camp sits on unceded Sioux territory under the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie and that they have a right to remain on their ancestral land. The ongoing encampments in North Dakota were the largest gathering of Native Americans in decades. At its peak, more than 10,000 people were at the various resistance camps.

Earlier this month, construction crews resumed work on the final section of the pipeline, after the Trump administration reversed the Obama administration and granted an easement to allow Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to drill beneath the Missouri River.

On February 22, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) forcibly evicted the main resistance camp using law enforcement from various federal, state and county agencies. They employed armored vehicles and other weapons of war against unarmed water protectors including the grandmothers. In all, over the approximately 10 months that the Water Protectors have stood in peaceful, prayerful, non-violence to stop DAPL from tearing up ancestral sacred sites, heavily armed law enforcement have used dog attacks, rubber bullets, tear gas, and other “less lethal” weapons against them and have arrested nearly 700 protesters. 

According to Lakota Sioux Chase Iron Eyes, the battle is now in the courts and with the banks. If you bank at any of the 17 banks that are directly funding this pipeline or are invested in Energy Transfer (the main corporation behind the project), you can help the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by moving your money out of these banks and into a local bank or credit union. These funding banks include, but are not limited to TD Bank, Wells Fargo, and CitiBank. 

Removing your funds from this project is one small step towards honoring the treaties and traditions of the native people of this country. Thank you for considering how you can help.

Susan Lauchlan, Waldo