WASHINGTON – Chief Arvol Looking Horse and other American Indian leaders sent a letter on Friday to President Barack Obama urging him to meet face-to-face to discuss the United States responsiblities to Indigenous People relating to the Dakota Access pipeline.
The leaders write:
Under your authority, the United States is in the process of writing another disgraceful chapter in its history of relations with Indigenous Peoples.
Here is text of letter sent to President Obama:
November 11, 2016
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
President Barack Obama,
As spiritual leaders, elders, medicine people, we carry great responsibility for our Nations. We are not political people though we stand-up to politics to ensure the future. Unfortunately, this often includes our own people in political positions that are knowingly and willingly violating the Creator’s Natural Law. This Law guides all life and is the spiritual foundation held sacred by Indigenous Peoples around the world. Policies, procedures and laws created by the United States of America continue to hurt the Indigenous Peoples, our ways of life and the natural world. These laws, policies and procedures can be changed or amended what cannot change is our absolute dependence on Mother Nature.
As President, you have unprecedented access to the latest technological information and data from the scientific community. This vast amount of information provides you with tremendous knowledge. This information is confirming what Indigenous Peoples have been voicing since the arrival of Europeans. Knowledge without wisdom is unguided. Just as science without spirit has brought the people of the world to the brink of self-destruction.
It has been extremely difficult for Indigenous Peoples to be understood by those that make decisions based on money. We feel sorry for leaders, including those from Indigenous Peoples, who gamble with our future by making spiritually disconnected decisions. You, Barack Obama, when campaigning to become President of the United States met with one of our Councilman, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred C’anupa (Pipe) Bundle of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation.
You, Barack Obama, during this meeting with Chief Arvol Looking Horse indicated that you understood Treaties and would address the violations against our people. As Indigenous Peoples we take such words as your word. We recognize those that fulfill their words and those that do not. During your term you have been resistant to uphold your word by refusing to meet with the Aboriginal Indigenous Spiritual People of the Earth.
At Standing Rock, we have seen those that are gathering peaceably and prayerfully being met with unprecedented violence. Unarmed people including elders and children are being maced, beaten, shot, arrested, strip-searched and left unclothed in kennels meant for animals. To us that is elder and child abuse. As spiritual people we cannot sit and watch as those who claim to be upholding the law, repeatedly violate their own man-made laws. These contemptible actions must stop along with your Nations’ addiction to oil. The path to life and a healthy future requires this addiction to end. Under your authority, the United States is in the process of writing another disgraceful chapter in its history of relations with Indigenous Peoples.
The lack of inclusion of the Indigenous Spiritual People of the Earth is apparent and is reflected in the continued desecration and destruction of our ways of life, sacred places and Mother Earth. We are not intending to challenge you. Our people are peaceful people, we hold the ancient ways of healing and maintain the sacred knowledge of how to live in harmony with Mother Earth and All Creation. Common sense dictates that it is time to meet when those that are seeking protection for the sanctity of water are jailed while those willing to pollute it are protected. We are once again offering you the opportunity to fulfill your word and meet face-to-face. Your time in office is now short. Therefore, every day is critical. It provides you an opportunity to work with us to heal the future.
ALL LIFE IS SACRED. WE COME INTO LIFE AS SACRED BEINGS. WHEN WE ABUSE THE SACREDNESS OF LIFE WE AFFECT ALL CREATION
As spiritual people, we live by faith and belief in the Creator. We know you cannot fool the good spirit. We want to be very direct when addressing this addiction to fossil fuels. Simply re-routing a pipeline does not alter the damaging activities on either end of the pipe or the threat in-between. We urge all Nations and human beings around the world to unite with good minds and prayer as a global community of all faiths and continue to stand with us, the Caretakers of Mother Earth, to restore and uphold the Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision-making from this point forward.
Representatives of the Council
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
The Great Sioux Nation
Bobby C. Billie
Clan Leader and Spiritual Leader Council of the Original Miccosukee