[Episcopal News Service – Cannon Ball, North Dakota] In a historic show of interfaith support and solidarity, more than 500 interfaith clergy and laity answered a call to come to North Dakota to stand in peaceful, prayerful and lawful solidarity Nov. 3; and to bear witness with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation as they continue to protect the tribe’s sacred land and water supply.
The interfaith group spent more than five hours on site, marching, singing hymns, sharing testimony and calling others to join them in standing with the more than 200 tribes who have committed their support to the Sioux Nation as they protest the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Here are some images of the group’s visit.
The sun rises over Oceti Sakowin Camp just north of the Cannonball River where 2,000 opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline have been living. Opponents began arriving in small numbers in April. Larger numbers came in July and August, and more continue to arrive every day. Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
The Rev. John Floberg, supervising priest of the Episcopal churches on the North Dakota side of Standing Rock, gives instructions to more than 500 people from 20 faith backgrounds gathered in the Oceti Sakowin Camp just after dawn. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
South Dakota Bishop John Tarrant reads an abbreviated version of the Episcopal Church’s repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. The 2009 General Convention passed a resolution repudiating the doctrine and urged the U.S. government to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
Religious leaders representing Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists and others read their faith’s repudiations of the Doctrine of Discovery. Then they gave a copy of the 15th-century document that gave Christian explorers the right to claim the lands they discovered to elders in Oceti Sakowin Camp and asked them to burn it. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
Eliza Marth, an Episcopal Service Corps fellow in Massachusetts, is smudged as she leaves the Oceti Sakowin Camp to march north along Highway 1806 to the front line where opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline’s route have been in a standoff with law enforcement officials since last week. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
More than 500 interfaith witnesses marched north along Highway 1806 to the backwater bridge where they formed a Niobrara Circle of Life. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
The Rev. Stephanie Spellers, canon to the presiding bishop for evangelism and reconciliation lead the 500 interfaith witnesses in singing “Wade in the Water.” Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
Woody Star, the father of the Rev. Terry Star who died on March 4, 2014, represented his son during the Nov. 3 day of interfaith solidarity and witness. Star, who served on the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council and whose home church was St. James’ Episcopal Church in Cannon Ball, was loved by many. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
The interfaith witness formed a huge Niobrara Circle of Life just south of the backwater bridge where on the other side law enforcement officers kept watch. Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline have held the bridge since law enforcement on Oct. 24 cleared a newly set up protest camp on private land; land that some say belongs to the Sioux Nation. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service
A man stands on a burnt-out SUV as interfaith witnesses share testimony and commit to carrying with them home the message from Standing Rock. Photo: Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service