UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff have expressed solidarity for the efforts of Standing Rock Water Protectors, and with the assertion of rights of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. As a community, a petition was created, calling for our colleagues and educators to speak out and teach about this historic event. UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students from the Native community also circulated and signed a letter of support in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Now, we have established this blog to share the efforts and experiences of students, faculty, staff and groups in support of Standing Rock. For educators, we hope this can inform what you may teach about this. For aspiring activists, we hope that this informs your choices and efforts. For everyone, we hope this inspires you to spread the word about this historic event and the many issues in our world that are like this.
For those of you who would like to organize events around this issue on the Berkeley campus, please read the statement below from the UCB Native community.
To our friends and allies at UC Berkeley,
We urge you to contact one of the many active Native American student organizations on campus listed below and/or local community organizations when planning any kind of Native solidarity or themed event/drive/campaign, especially concerning Standing Rock. We are appreciative of the support for Native causes, but as a group that makes up less than 1% of the population on this campus, we are being actively erased by those claiming to help our cause. Concerned allies have organized events on campus for the benefit of Native peoples and Native lands, but without sustained engagement with local Native voices, perspectives, and organizations in the process.
It is necessary and important that the land rights of the people of Standing Rock be talked about, and we appreciate all the many efforts to bring awareness to the issue of the Dakota Access Pipeline. However, this is a crucial time for Native self-determination on multiple levels due to multiple issues, not only those dire needs of Standing Rock. Even on our own campus, individuals and communities have worked for years to repatriate thousands of ancestors of California Native tribes back to their people, with great resistance from some faculty and administration. In recognizing that Indigenous peoples have faced a long history of erasure, we also recognize that our institution is built on land whose stewards, the Ohlone people, continue to be invisibilized. Don’t let your support for Indigenous issues begin and end with Standing Rock. Don’t be complicit in our erasure. Don’t let your personal motives eclipse what is really at stake for Native communities. We ask you to stand with us in our fight.
American Indian Graduate Student Association
American Indians in Science & Engineering Society
Native American Recruitment & Retention Center
Native American Student Development
(Re)Generation Social Welfare Caucus
& Individual Native students, faculty and staff at Cal