9/9/2016 6:50:00 PM
CHICAGO – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has released a statement addressing the situation surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Sept. 9 a federal judge ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline. Three federal agencies have issued a statement and have asked the pipeline company to pause construction.
Bishop Eaton’s statement follows:
“As church together, we have been watching the situation regarding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several ELCA members have been present on the ground with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The ELCA American Indian Alaska Native Lutheran Association has issued a statement as have other local ELCA congregations. We have been in conversation with local synod bishops.
We recognize the complexity and the deeply personal significance of what is at stake for those living in the area. We have been looking at the situation in light of the Churchwide Assembly action to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, and our church’s long-standing concern for respecting the sovereignty of tribal nations.
We welcome the joint statement from the U.S. Departments of Justice, the Army and the Interior issued on September 9, 2016. We are particularly heartened by the tenor of the statement from the departments and we affirm its concern that it is now “incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.”
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