Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hundreds of clergy gather in North Dakota to back indigenous people blocking pipeline

From Christian Century-

When John Floberg, an Episcopal priest on Standing Rock Reservation, called for clergy to join him less than a week later in Cannonball, North Dakota, he thought 100 might come.

Instead, more than 500 clergy from around the world came to show their support for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s efforts to protect land and resources they say are at risk from construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. They gathered November 2 and 3 at the Oceti Sakowin camp on the shores of the Cannonball River, which bears the proper name of the Sioux people, one of several camps the Standing Rock Sioux and supporters have set up.

“The invitation of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe—the people here, the people who have been here for weeks and months—that’s how it came to be that God called us together,” Floberg said at the introductory gathering.

Emphasizing the interfaith and ecumenical nature of the show of support, Floberg encouraged everyone to authentically represent their faith traditions even as he acknowledged the “overwhelming” presence of Christian clergy. The next day the group processed to Backwater Bridge, where 141 people were arrested while blocking construction in late October.

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