WHEREAS, the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,168-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline being developed by of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and its affiliates, which would carry as much as 570,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude from western North Dakota to Illinois; and
WHEREAS, the DAPL would run across or beneath 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries, including the Missouri River, which provides drinking water and irrigates agricultural land in communities across the Midwest, serving nearly 10 million people; and
WHEREAS, the DAPL would also run through the ancestral lands and waters reserved for the traditional use of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by the Treaty of Ft. Laramie, including the Missouri River, burial grounds and gravesites, and other sacred sites of cultural, religious, and historical significance; and
WHEREAS, Indian Treaties such as the Treaty of Ft. Laramie are recognized by the U.S. Constitution as “the supreme law of the land,” and require consultation and cooperation by the United States with its Indian Treaty partner before any federal action is taken that affects Treaty lands, territories, waters or other resources; and
WHEREAS, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 affirms the need to “protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions,” particularly in American Indian sacred places; and
WHEREAS, Articles, 11, 12, and 25 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), as endorsed by the United States in 2010, affirms that indigenous peoples like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe possess the right to maintain and protect their culture, religion, practices, and relationship with their “traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories [and] waters”; and
WHEREAS, the UNDRIP Article 32 further provides that governments shall consult with indigenous peoples “in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources”; and
WHEREAS, in 2008 the Texas State Employees Union as a local of Communication Workers of America (CWA) joined the BlueGreen Alliance guided by the principle that “we can no longer choose between good jobs and a clean environment—that the actions we take to create quality jobs and to protect working people and the environment must go hand-in-hand, and that together, we will build clean, thriving and fair economy”; and
WHEREAS, the Texas State Employees Union is dedicated to promoting social justice as it is inextricably linked to environmental justice, including the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States and in honor of our nation’s indigenous roots, history, traditional knowledge and contributions; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult with or obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as required by the Treaty of Fort Laramie, Executive Order 13175, the UNDRIP Article 10, and other federal and international laws, before issuing a “Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact” that would result in an easement for horizontal directional drilling for the DAPL; and
WHEREAS, any spill of oil into the Missouri River would irreparably harm the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Treaty reserved lands, territories, waters and other resources; burial grounds, gravesites and other sacred sites of cultural, religious, and historical significance; and spiritual relationships and indigenous ways of life; and
WHEREAS, in solidarity with the goals of the BlueGreen Alliance, Texas State Employees Union further supports efforts to oppose the environmental and social destruction caused by all proposed pipelines of the Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), including the regionally significant Trans-Pecos Pipeline in the Big Bend region of west Texas, due to EPT’s abuse of imminent domain and the consequent destruction already occurring to culturally significant archeological and sacred sites in both North Dakota and Texas.
WHEREAS, the CWA Committee on Human Rights, Service Employees International Union, Labor Coalition for Community Action, City Councils of Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians comprised of 59 Indian Nations in the Northwest, and nearly 200 Indian Nations, are among the organizational and governmental bodies that have taken formal action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and oppose the DAPL and Trans-Pecos Pipeline ; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, THAT:
Section 1. The Texas State Employees Union stands in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) across the Tribe’s ancestral lands, waters and sacred sites.
Section 2. The Texas State Employees Union calls upon the United States and the Army Corps of Engineers to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, prior to taking any federal action regarding the DAPL that would harm or destroy the Tribe’s ancestral lands, waters and sacred sites.
Section 3. The Texas State Employees Union stands in support of organizations and peoples opposing the construction of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline in the Big Bend region of west Texas.