United Methodist Leaders to Show Support for Standing Rock Sioux and Affirm Commitment to Water as Basic Human Right

indigenous-people

Global Ministries to Issue Public Statement at Center for Human & Civil Rights

ATLANTA, Ga. (November 22, 2016) – Seeking to show their support for the Standing Rock Sioux impacted by the Dakota Access Pipeline and affirm the United Methodist Church’s commitment to indigenous people, leaders of the General Board of Global Ministries will issue a public statement and conduct an awareness event on Human Rights Day in December.

The Global Ministries event will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2016, at 10:30 a.m., at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.

The General Board of Global Ministries is the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church. Among its programs is the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program, UMCOR-WASH, which accompanies and empowers families and communities to identify their water, sanitation and hygiene behavior goals and develop solutions that ensure continued access to clean water and healthy disposal of waste.

According to the latest press reports, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners is building a 1,200-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline to carry oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point at Patoka, Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux have stated the pipeline will harm drinking water and cultural sites. In North Dakota, the proposed pipeline will cross the Missouri River, the tribe’s only source of drinking water, and nine of its major tributaries, as well as treaty-protected land belonging to the Hunkpapa Sioux.

“Access to water is a basic human right and one that Global Ministries works to support on a consistent basis in communities around the world,” said Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries. “Here in the United States, the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens Native American identity and integrity, as well as the land and its resources, especially water.” Earlier this fall, our staff traveled to the Philippines, joining with the Lumad against the continued forced migration from their ancestral homes.

Global Ministries staff for Native American ministries and communication are scheduled to travel to Standing Rock to be in communion with the leadership and community there. They will report on their visit during the press event in Atlanta.

“Global Ministries takes seriously its solidarity with indigenous peoples,” continued General Secretary Kemper. “We are the only faith-based agency with full-time staff who regularly liaison with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and facilitate direct programs of solidarity with indigenous people. We look forward to increasing awareness of the issues that undermine the indigenous peoples’ way of life.”

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About the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

The General Board of Global Ministries is the worldwide mission agency of The United Methodist Church. Founded in New York City in 1819, Global Ministries today supports 340 missionaries in 60 countries, including the United States. It has personnel, projects and partners in a total of 136 countries. Learn more about Global Ministries by visiting www.umcmission.org or follow www.facebook.com/GlobalMinistries and www.Twitter.com/UMCmission.