The Seattle City Council has unanimously voted to pass a resolution supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Tribal leaders who visited the council meeting from as far away as Alaska spoke about the importance—and universality—of expressing solidarity with what has become a national movement.
"It's not just the Standing Rock Sioux, it's all of us," David Brown Eagle, vice chair of the Spokane Tribal Business Council, told council members. "I want my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren and their children, when they ask what their great-great grandfather in the Spokane Tribe did, I want them to say he stood up for them. Our water is clean."
On Friday, the Obama administration intervened in the pipeline controversy after a federal judge turned down a motion from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to block pipeline construction. The Department of Justice, Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement temporarily blocking pipeline construction pipeline construction at Lake Oahe on the Missouri River.
Debora Juarez, the first Native woman elected to the city council and one of the sponsors of the legislation, spoke to some of the cultural differences in how Americans and Native Americans view water. She reiterated that tribes didn't view water as just a resource to be consumed, but as something life-giving and sacred.
"Tribes, Native Americans, indigenous people, my people, have been here since time immemorial," Juarez said. "The sacred is the sacred."
In addition to recognizing the tribal sovereignty of nations like the Standing Rock Sioux, the Seattle City Council resolution also demands that North Dakota authorities "drop all charges against the activists, journalists, and organizers with outstanding warrants issued in response to civil disobedience in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline in protection of the land and water, as well as those who have already been arrested or charged."
Last week, Morton County, North Dakota, issued an arrest warrant for Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman after she reported on the pipeline private security's use of dogs on indigenous activists.
Read the full text here.