At the regular meeting of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, held in Montpelier on January 11, 2017, the Commission adopted a Proclamation in support of the actions of the water protectors at and near the Standing Rock, North Dakota community, opposing disruption, destruction, and degradation of the the natural and sacred landscape. The proclamation was written by Commissioner Joelen Mulvaney and adopted by consensus of all in attendance. pdf here: vcnaa-standing-rock-proclamation. Full text below:
Proclamation of Support for Lakota, Dakota and Nakota at Standing Rock, North Dakota by the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs
Whereas the Commission is charged by law to recognize the historic and cultural contributions of Native Americans in Vermont, to protect and strengthen Native American heritage, and to address needs in state policy, programs, and actions.
Whereas the Commission develops policies and programs to benefit Vermont’s Native American Indian population.
Whereas the Commission is committed to protecting and preserving sacred, culturally sensitive and historical sites crucial to strengthening Native American heritage and promoting understanding of indigenous conservation efforts since time immemorial.
Whereas the natural environment, grandfather mountains and ridges, forests and wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams and birds, animals and fish are integral to Abenaki culture, history, tradition, heritage and spirituality.
Whereas indigenous people who have been protecting and preserving sacred and historical sites and natural resources around the world and in Vermont are under siege by the pressures of industrial energy production.
Whereas the Commission recognizes the collective struggle of indigenous people to bring recognition to their cultural contributions and heritage, including the natural environment on Turtle Island, from Ndakinna to Kanaka Oiwi; from the northeast woodlands of Vermont to the islands of Hawaii.
And whereas sites such as Rocky Ridge in Missisquoi (Swanton), the Kwanitekw (Connecticut River) watershed, the Green Mountain National Forest in Searsberg and Botambakw (Lake Champlain) are places where industrial energy development threatens the preservation of historic, sacred and culturally sensitive sites.
The Commission proclaims support for those protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota who are resisting destruction of sites sacred to Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people, disruption of traditional ways and potential environmental contamination from crude oil pipe line construction and use.