ND Governor Burgum must uphold his campaign pledges by withdrawing his support for DAPL.
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Dear Governor-elect Doug Burgum,
We, the undersigned, petition you as incoming Governor to the state of North Dakota to respect the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a sovereign Nation, and to reverse the grievous policies and decisions of the previous Governor of North Dakota, Jack Dalrymple, regarding the right-of-way and construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
As you are aware, this pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Corporation based in Texas, has been under construction on un-ceded treaty lands, which include sacred and cultural sites that were granted to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Nation by the U.S. Government in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1865. Governor-elect Burgum, in your “Main Street Initiative” campaign platform, you pledged to the ideals of “healthy vibrant communities” and to the support of the “emergence of new solutions built on innovative ideas.” Decision making while creating a sound economically sustainable community does not include the seizure of lands by foreign or other state owned corporations, the advancement of dirty technology for the financial advancement of billionaires, or the militarization of police forces to brutally enforce corporate interests against the will of the peaceful citizens of the state. Vibrant communities are not those that foster racism, hostility, abuse, and assault toward peaceful citizens regardless of race, gender, religion, or identity, nor are they communities that violate the right of a people to preserve their cultural heritage or that cause environmental degradation and the extirpation of species that are native to North Dakota.
The arrests and continued surveillance of the Water Protectors have come at great cost to North Dakota. That cost includes a recent request for seven million dollars by the North Dakota Energy Commission in addition to the ten million dollars it has already borrowed in support of Energy Transfer Partners as they engaged the police in a brutal violation of human rights. At least 500 clergy members and leaders of many faiths, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, over 2000 American Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights have all come to bear witness to the oppression on tribal sovereignty and to throw a light on the shameful practices meted out by the Dalrymple Administration, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, with growing calls for the Department of Justice to investigate the events that have occurred at Standing Rock. Just imagine if the time, energy, and funds had instead been dedicated to support new jobs in technology, on education, on sustainable agriculture, on rejuvenating communities, and on improving existing infrastructure in North Dakota.
As the facts become clear, we know that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Tribal Council was never formally recognized or consulted during the process that brought the Dakota Access pipeline to cross their un-ceded ancestral lands, we know that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe did not want oil carried by the pipeline to contaminate their water supply, and we know that the pipeline route was rejected by other communities out of fear of the contamination it would cause. We also know that oil pipelines always leak, and we have all heard the steady stream of lies from oil companies when it comes to cleaning up pipeline spills. We know that there have been at least 85 oil and chemical spills in North Dakota in the past 20 years, with over 850,000 gallons of oil recently leaking into prime agricultural land. We know that there are more jobs to be created from maintaining and repairing existing pipelines than there will ever be installing new ones.
Governor-elect Burgum, pollution does not recognize boundaries, and it does not recognize borders. Given the track record of spills and breaches from pipelines owned by Energy Transfer Corporation and its subsidies, the contamination that will come from the Dakota Access pipeline will impact everyone downstream from the Great Missouri River. As the world watches and the new Administration takes office, you have the ability to create real change and to give struggling communities the hope that they, too, can have a vibrant, productive, and healthy future for generations to come. We the undersigned, petition you Governor Doug Burgum, to respect the wishes of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and to make good on your promise of empowering local communities and fostering vibrant, healthy communities, and to reverse the disastrous policies of the outgoing Dalrymple administration regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline and subsequent violations of human and civil rights. Governor Burgum, please support North Dakota in becoming a vibrant sustainable state and uphold your vision where families and environment can thrive together by withdrawing your support for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
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