URI members express support, solidarity for Standing Rock


Several URI members are among the thousands standing in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protestors say the oil pipeline would disrupt a sacred Indigenous burial ground and threaten water supplies.

Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., a member of the URI Global Council, and an enrolled member of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, spoke from Sacred Stone Camp on Sunday.

“It’s the prayers and the ceremonies and the kindness and the peace that’s going to distinguish what we’re doing here from other actions,” he said in a video posted on YouTube.

“I am really thankful that I have lived to this day to see the sacred prophecies fulfilled before our eyes,” he said. “Behind me you see the prayer of all the great Indigenous leaders who have prayed for this day when we could all come together with one heart and one mind and many bodies in a prayerful, peaceful manner. ”

19th Generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations published a call to unity around this issue.

“Our vision is for the peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites to pray and meditate and commune with one another, thus promoting an energy shift to heal our Mother Earth and achieve a universal consciousness toward attaining Peace,” he said. Read more here. 

URI Global Council Trustee Audri Scott Williams has also raised her voice in solidarity through her radio show and Cooperation Circle NOWTIME Radio, where she interviewed Chief Phil Lane. You listen here.

UNIFY, a URI Cooperation Circle, voiced their support, posting on Facebook,
“We have so much gratitude & respect for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, ND!” They also shared a video calling for prayer and action.

The Marin Interfaith Council shared with their members a petition from longtime member Macha NightMare and the group’s Pagan brothers and sisters.

“The vested interests of the fossil fuel industry continue to exploit dirty and unsustainable sources of oil, delving for every last drop in ways that assault Mother Earth and fracture her very bones, spilling filth onto the lands and spoiling the waters,” NightMare said. “We invite groups and individuals from all faith traditions to join with us in heeding the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Sacred Stone Camp’s calls for solidarity and support. Supporters are being asked to call their elected representatives, and donate to support the well-being of defenders at Sacred Stone camp.”

She also invited members to sign a petition.