CUPE stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all indigenous activists and allies who are courageously fighting to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The proposed pipeline would carry nearly half a million barrels of fracked crude oil across four states every day, from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to Illinois, threatening the water resources as well as the tribe’s land and ancestral burial sites.
CUPE stands in solidarity with all working people in their struggle for dignity and justice in their workplace and in their community. All people have a right to stand up in defence of their survival.
As the pipeline is slated to cross the Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the blatant disregard for the rights of indigenous people to protect the land and its resources is reminiscent of centuries of racism and colonial plunder. The level of violence and intimidation endured by indigenous activists, at the hands of private security and state forces on behalf of a private corporation, is shocking. To suggest this is unacceptable is an understatement.
This DAPL deepens our reliance on fossil fuels and will worsen climate change at a time when we need to be building a future that relies on renewable energy. We need to realize our ambition to create renewable public energy systems that are fully unionized and creating millions of environmentally sustainable jobs that respect the integrity of the planet and its people. We believe the first step in this process is to stand in solidarity with indigenous communities who are prepared to struggle and challenge corporate power.
We support and echo the calls on the US government to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, to stop the violence and to consult with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe immediately to find a solution that will not pose a risk to the Tribe, their water sources or their sacred grounds.