Far too often, projects that affect Native lands, waters, and resources begin construction without proper consent, forcing tribal communities and Native peoples to the frontlines to fight for what should already be protected by law. Tell President Biden to recognize the traditional, legal, and moral rights of Native nations and Indigenous peoples to protect sacred places.
Our clients take on the fight every day to protect shared lands and waters from destructive fossil fuel projects. For years, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been defending its drinking water and homeland from potentially irreversible contamination from the Dakota Access pipeline. The Anishinaabe people of northern Minnesota are actively resisting the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline in the heart of territory where they retain the rights to hunt, fish, and harvest wild rice and other plants. And in Michigan, the Bay Mills Indian Community is fighting to protect its ancestral waters in the Great Lakes from Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline.
There is no time to waste to protect the most sacred places where Indigenous peoples pray, gather traditional foods and medicines, get drinking water, and continue the cultural practices of their ancestors. We are in an environmental, climate, and social justice crisis. Indigenous peoples care for and protect 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity — environmental advocacy must include advocacy for Indigenous rights.
We call on President Biden to issue an executive order directing all federal agencies to require the engagement and consent of affected Native nations early in the planning process and before a project is approved.
Native nations must be part of the decision-making process. No more oil pipelines threatening water supplies without the consent of tribes. No more oil and gas drilling in ancient burial sites without tribal permission. No more large-scale projects without tribes’ participation and consent.
The U.S. must uphold the rights of Native nations and Indigenous peoples to Free, Prior & Informed Consent, as set forth by the United Nations.