September 15, 2016
To the People of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation:
May God’s grace and peace be with you always, dear Sisters and Brothers, and especially now in this time of great challenge. I am grateful that Deacon Lewis Sitting Panther Powell is able to be with you, representing the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, and conveying this message of solidarity.
We stand with you because Scripture teaches us that the Creator has entrusted all humanity with the care of the earth, the beautiful home shared by all people. Together we have been given a sacred trust; in protecting your lands from harm you are helping to protect the whole earth, for the good of all.
We stand with you because the official position of the Episcopal Church calls for “the honoring of all Indian treaty rights and the right to internal autonomy and self-determination of Indian Nations and Tribes.”
We stand with you in your request for respect for sacred lands. The Episcopal Church has expressed its desire for “the preservation of burial sites and other sacred places of Indigenous Peoples” and our hearts are with you in making this demand for basic decency.
You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as you work for good in this crisis, peacefully but with determination. May God strengthen you and shield you, fill you with hope and courage, and help you to find justice.
Barry L. Beisner
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
To download Bishop Beisner's letter, click here.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's video about his visit to North Dakota to stand with the Dakota Sioux Nation is available here.
If you want to tell Congress to honor treaty obligations with the Standing Rock Tribe and respect sacred ground, click here to send a letter through the Episcopal Public Policy Network.
Posted on Tue, September 27, 2016
by Paula Schaap