Sealaska director Jackie Pata, delivered a letter to the White House on Sunday (12.4.16) on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians. The letter requested the Obama Administration to make a decision on the Dakota Access Pipeline(DAPL). That effort was followed by a joint letter from Indian organizations requesting action due to concern about a lack of a decision. On Sunday, The Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the DAPL construction, in a key section of the route.
The 1,172-mile pipeline was rerouted to just miles from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation land. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been concerned about the potential hazards with drinking water, as part of the pipeline would be under the Missouri River. In addition, sacred sites along the pipeline corridor were destroyed and the tribe was concerned about others.
Sealaska applauds and support the efforts of Standing Rock leadership for taking great measures to protect their precious resource and connection to land.
In September 2016, Sealaska Directors unanimously approve a resolution in support of the Tribe’s efforts. Since then, Sealaska has committed $6,000 to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II issued a call for canoes to paddle the Missouri River from Bismarck, North Dakota, to the Standing Rock Reservation in late August 2016. Shareholder Doug Chilton towed a canoe representing the One People Canoe Society from Juneau, AK to Bismarck, ND September 2016. Chilton also carried a Sealaska flag to the Sacred Stone Camp.
Sealaska, along with Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, provided financial support for the journey.
The Sealaska flag has flown at the campsite for the past four months. Sealaska shareholder Brendan Winders traveled with his Union to Standing Rock on December 1, 2016, to deliver supplies. Once at the campsite, he found the Sealaska flag and sent a picture of him in front of the flag.