By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the 280 tribes who have joined them to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota. The DAPL will transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day across nearly 1,200 miles. The pipeline crosses three rivers, including the Missouri River which serves as the tribe’s source of drinking water. The “Water Protectors” say the project was permitted without consulting them and threatens their culturally-sacred sites and drinking water supply. We released the following statement in support of the protectors and we wanted to share with you:

The Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) family of organizations and programs released the following statement regarding the powerful unity and joint opposition of 280 tribes against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL threatens the culturally-significant sacred sites and drinking water source of the Standing Rock Sioux and was approved without required consent of the tribe.

The CVNM family of organizations includes Conservation Voters New Mexico and CVNM Education Fund and its dedicated organizing programs that work with communities directly impacted by pollution. The programs include: Juntos – Our Air, Our Water in Albuquerque; organizing around water and legacy uranium waste in Cibola and McKinley counties; and organizing around oil and gas’ impact on health in Rio Arriba County.

“We are humbled by the courage and leadership of the Water Protectors in their efforts to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). They are protecting their land, their families and drinking water for thousands of Americans from the threats of contamination. In short, they are fighting for environmental justice and we stand in strong solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux.” says Demis Foster, CVNM & CVNMEF Executive Director. “Their concerns are all too familiar to many New Mexicans who are also directly impacted by pollution in their communities, and are often left out of critical decisions that impact their health and families. The Standing Rock Sioux continue to show the power of bringing people together for a healthier and safer future by successfully securing a federal review of the pipeline’s permits.

Moving forward, we urge the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior to correct past injustices by thoroughly and authentically involving the communities that will be most impacted when the pipeline leaks.

We support the ability for each community to protect their quality of life to create the communities we want to live in. It’s time to put strong families, a healthy environment and a stable economy first.”

If you’re interested in supporting the Protectors in their efforts, you can donate directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund on their website.