You’ve likely read quite a bit about protests of the plans to build Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Violent clashes between protestors, police and other security personal have been a regular occurrence since early fall. Chestnut Hill minister Cliff Cutler of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church recently returned from a peace mission at the site of the protests. The following is his account of the time he spent there.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe asked for clergy to come to their support and calm the tensions. They are protecting the water of the Missouri River (and their water supply) from the Dakota Access Pipeline that will move 470,000 barrels of oil a day under the river.
The Rev. John Floberg, Canon Missioner for the Episcopal Church on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, put out the call on Oct. 22, hoping for 100 clergy to respond. The night of Nov. 2, as we gathered for the first time in the Cannon Ball, N.D., gymnasium we numbered more than 500, from 25 faith traditions, 45 states and four countries.