Standing with Standing Rock

Sealaska applauds and support the efforts of Standing Rock leadership, who is taking great measures to protect their precious resource and connection to land. Sealaska Directors unanimously approve a resolution.

Sealaska Directors Stand in Solidarity with Standing Rock September 16, 2016

Sealaska applauds and support the efforts of Standing Rock leadership, which is taking great measures to protect its precious resources and connection to land. That support is the form of a Sealaska board resolution that directors unanimously approved at a September 16, 2016 meeting. The resolution titled, Woocheen - Standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation, acknowledges the tribe’s effort to preserve the environmental integrity of the water and resources on its reservation. Sealaska respectfully requests that the federal agencies involved in permitting and authorizing this pipeline give due consideration to the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation, whose tribal citizens and tribal resources will be most significantly affected by the construction of this pipeline.
Excerpts from resolution

  • Sealaska and the Native people of Southeast Alaska have a long history of advocacy on public policy issues that impact the lives of Alaska Native and Native American people, including supporting responsible development and the protection of our waters and our sacred sites
  • The earth has provided precious “life giving water”, haa daséigoo a tooyeiyatee; our oxygen is in the water; water is the most precious of earth’s resources
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation has provided comments and participated in tribal consultation to ensure that its concerns were shared with the pipeline developers and those federal agencies that would authorize the construction of the pipeline, and also filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court to enjoin the construction

Sealaska director Jackie Pata visited the front lines as NCAI Executive Director.  Pata assisted the Standing Rock Chairman and his team. “It was a great sight to see the T&H and SEALASKA flag on the canoe as it came down the river and a welcoming ceremony of the arrival bridging the west coast protocols with the Great Plains,” said Pata. “ The paddlers in the Raven canoe and their families shared our songs and dance. I wrapped the Chairman's mother in a Sealaska blanket and with our traditional words of support. The blanket was donated by and carried to Standing Rock by Skipper Doug Chilton.

Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II issued a call for canoes to paddle the Missouri River from Bismarck, North Dakota, to the Standing Rock Reservation. The One People Canoe Society answered the call and didn’t hesitate to travel thousands of miles to participate in the canoe journey. Sealaska, along with Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, provided financial support for the journey.

The Raven Canoe returned to Juneau, Alaska on September 14, 2016. A group of supporters stood in the rain at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal to welcome home members of the One People Canoe Society. Doug Chilton and DeAndre King were greeted with song, dance, drums and familiar faces when they drove off the M/V Matanuska, pulling a canoe. Both had just completed a journey that took them from Juneau to Skagway via the ferry. From there they drove through Canada to Washington state and then on to Bismarck, North Dakota. Chilton was greeted by CeCe Frank who said, “I’m so proud of you,” as she embraced him.

The nation and world have been watching tribal, Native organizations and many others come together in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Standing Rock filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for violating the National Historic Preservation Act along with other laws in regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. The proposed pipeline would transport crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois, traveling through 50 counties in four states. The lawsuit was filed after the agency issued final permits for the project.

Chilton, King and many others who joined the protest left a lasting impression back in North Dakota. One Lakota Elder said they brought so much, with songs, dances, talks and commitment to the water. Upon his return, Chilton said it was an incredible trip.

Sealaska has more than three decades of land and natural resource management experience. As a large private landowner in Southeast Alaska, Sealaska is the steward of 362,000 acres of land and carries its responsibility so that future generations can benefit from the land. Sealaska is a leader in habitat research, managing the land and forest resources to ensure the viability of streams, soil and wildlife. Our land will always be one of our most precious assets and we are committed to maintaining and developing it responsibly.

Coverage of the Standing Rock Efforts

News Type: