Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 25, 2017

NORWAY -- Women of Standing Rock to Speak Out During Divestment Delegation

Indigenous Women of Standing Rock and Allies to Speak Out During Divestment Delegation to Norway

March 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          
March 24, 2017

Media Contact:
General requests - Emily Arasim, +1(505) 920-0153,
Urgent requests in Norway - Osprey Orielle Lake, +1(415) 722-2104,

Indigenous Women of Standing Rock and Allies to Speak Out
During Divestment Delegation to Norway, March 25th-April 2nd

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, California (March 24th, 2017)A delegation of Indigenous women from Standing Rock and their allies who observed and/or experienced human rights and Indigenous rights violations in North Dakota, U.S. will travel to Norway to share on-the-ground experiences from Standing Rock and other traditional territories, as Indigenous women who are living in communities directly impacted by fossil fuel development and infrastructure.

Despite the termination of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by the U.S. Trump administration, Indigenous women remain undeterred in their quest for justice and healing regarding the violations of Indigenous rights and human rights related to the on-going construction of DAPL and other fossil fuel projects.

From March 25th to April 2nd, 2017 theIndigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway: Experiences from Standing Rock’ will engage with financial institutions and public officials, civil society groups and public forums, and press and media to share their experiences, concerns and calls for international solidarity and justice.

All of the Delegates have been engaged on the frontline of the Standing Rock resistance effort and other work to oppose extractive developments in their homelands and to protect the natural systems of life and Indigenous rights.

Delegates include Dr. Sarah Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota living and working on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation); Wasté Win Young (Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer); Tara Houska (Anishinaabe, tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders); Autumn Chacon (Diné/Navajo writer and performance artist); and Michelle Cook (Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer and a founding member of the of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock) - with the support of Delegation organizer Osprey Orielle Lake (Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, WECAN) and documentary filmmaker, Tanyette Colon. [Full spokes-women biographies here]

Details surrounding public and press events will be released soon. Members of the press are encouraged to reach out with questions and media requests for spokeswomen.

"In the 21st century, an investment in dated, entrenched, dirty fossil fuels is an investment against our children and our future. Indigenous peoples bear the brunt of the many harms associated with extractive industry, our communities are impacted first and worst. We must break the cycle of oil dependency and justly transition to a green economy." explains Tara Houska, Anishinaabe, tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders

“The United States Army Corps of Engineers recently permitted the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, where it would hook up to other pipelines and refineries. The inevitable pipeline break on the river will result in catastrophic contamination of the water supply for 17 million people downstream, including our people. This sends a direct message that our people are expendable. Although there has been a brief respite in activity it has not stopped or deterred our people from maintaining a physical and spiritual presence on our ancestral lands. This movement has and always will be guided by prayer and love. Wóčhekiye. Wótheȟila. Wówauŋšila. Prayer. Love. Compassion. Mitakuye Oyasin. All My Relations.” explains Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young, Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa, member the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

"Making indigenous human rights abuses visible is critical in ending human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples. Indigenous women deserve spaces where they can share their personal testimonies regarding the impacts of extractive industries on their lands, lives, bodies, and human rights. This delegation provides the rare opportunity, for Indigenous women to meet face to face with the international banks who fund the DAPL and oil and gas extraction in their traditional territories." explains Michelle Cook, Diné (Navajo) human rights lawyer and founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock

"The connections between who we are as Lakota Oyate - our health, our lands and water, our spirituality, our self-empowerment and self-esteem - are deeply rooted; the actions we take to protect our land and water, our future, and our children's water can only help us all. We all have the power - wowasake - within us to make a difference in this world." explains Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle, Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota living and working on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

"In North Dakota when we attempt to sit down and have meetings with the bank, or the executives of the project affecting us, the doors will be locked before we even get to the building. The police will be called, we are threatened with arrest. What options are we then left with?" explains Autumn Chacon, artist, activist and Water Protector

“Indigenous women are the foundation, backbone and future of their tribal nations and now more than ever, it is essential to listen to the struggles and solutions of frontline women. We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous women delegates from the Standing Rock resistance effort as they raise their voices in Norway throughout this week. Concerned members of the international community whose governments and corporations are complicit in the violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, human rights, and Earth rights must be made aware of the devastations being carried out in their names across the world. Together, with voices of Indigenous women at the forefront, we can restore the health of our communities, transition to clean energy, and build the just world we seek.” explains Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

"While in Standing Rock bearing witness a few months ago and documenting Indigenous women, one interview that pierced my soul was that of a 13 year old from the Standing Rock Sioux.  I asked her," What would you tell Norway if you had the opportunity to speak to them?" She said, "Please know that my people have suffered and if you still continue to invest here I would say, "Have you no heart?" explains Tanyette Colon Activist and Documentarian


About The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change, climate justice, and sustainability solutions. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization.

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