There are currently about 400 religious leaders who are already at Standing Rock in support of the action to protect the land and in protest of the proposed pipeline. At least Fourteen religious leaders were arrested yesterday.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, is calling on religious leaders from all traditions to come join young people standing in prayerful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“We are asking the religious leaders to come and support them, to stand side-by-side with them because the are standing in prayer.” – Chief Arvol Looking Horse
The protestors, who say the pipeline will disrupt sacred Indigenous burial grounds and threaten water supplies, are standing along Highway 1806, which leads to the pipeline’s construction site. Looking Horse, a member of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations, said the police and National Guard are moving in on the protesters and he believes an influx of religious leaders to the area can help keep the peace.
“If you can find it in your heart, to [come] pray with them, and stand beside them…the Police Department and the National Guard would listen to each and every one of you,” he said.
“The hearts of All People’s faiths must now unite in believing we can change the path we are now on.”
Looking Horse is a member of the United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle Protecting and Restoring the Sacred. You can read his full statement below or at this link. You can read URI’s statement of support presented at Oceti Sakowin Camp here.
Arvol Looking Horse:
October 22, 2016
Protecting the Sacred
We are now up against dangerous decisions that are coming from the disease of the mind. We are dealing with minds that hold no values of respect and honor toward another Nation’s Burials and Sacred Sites. Money has contaminated their minds to want the power to desecrate the sacredness of Mother Earth and allow my People’s burial places to be destroyed in order to continue to erase our culture.
As Keeper of this Spirit Bundle of my People, we as the Buffalo People – Pte Oyate, have been able to keep our ceremonies and way of life for 19 generations in tact, which every generation is 100 years. This Bundle has been with us for over 2000 years, which has guided us through massacres and hard times, even when it was hidden until the 1978 Freedom of Religion Act.
Tim Mentz –Tatanka Duta (Red Bull) and his family lineal knowledge are bound by this same woope – Creator’s Law. This knowledge is based on sacred oral history that dictates the word is sacred and stands in truth. Tim’s inherited knowledge in recognizing significant Sacred Sites holds the same value for our People as my position, this is why I am able to carry an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of SD. We both have been raised with traditional knowledge with the responsibility to protect and carry, on behalf of our People. A person that earns a Degree can never attain that same knowledge we carry for our People. The Responsibility that we care for is passed down and learned through our oral history.
For this Oil Corporation to destroy what Tim Mentz, a cultural historical Tracker, identified as our Burial Mounds and Sacred Sites, is a violation to the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This also violates United States’ own Treaty with our People. What has now been allowed to happen is a violation in the highest level of disrespect toward a Nation’s Ancestors. The support this Corporation has are Political Leaders who have given themselves the Power in their elected positions, to violate their own Laws they are supposed to uphold; as stated in their own US Constitution in how Religions are to be treated. Where are the Keepers of their values?
The hearts of All People’s faiths must now unite in believing we can change the path we are now on. We, from heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World to unite for our children’s future. Already we have witnessed many Nations of life are now dying because of contamination; those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, the plant Nation, the four legged and now the two legged.
What we are being faced with is a dark spirit. All life cannot afford to allow the same mistakes to be made any longer, look what is happening to the four directions in the contamination of Mni Wic’oni – water of life. If we do not actively stand up as Leaders and do Creator’s work in uniting our concerns, it will continue to be a domino affect that our Ancestors have warned about in the Prophecies.
This is not a competition of who will lead and who should follow, this is a very serious time we are in. I know in my heart there are millions of People that feel this is long overdue. It is time that all of us become Leaders to help protect the sacred upon Mother Earth – she is the source of life and not a resource.
In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning.
Onipiktec’a (that we shall live),
Nac’a Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe