From Palestine to the Pipeline: A Journey for Justice


The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 was signed on September 17, 1851 between United States treaty commissioners and representatives of the Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, Crow, Assiniboine, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations. The treaty is an agreement between nine more or less independent parties. The treaty set forth traditional territorial claims of the tribes as among themselves. The United States acknowledged that all the land covered by the treaty was Indian territory and did not claim any part of it.

The “Dakota Access” Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. DAPL is slated to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where it would be laid underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent.  DAPL is just one more step in breaking the Treaty of Fort Laramie. This is another chapter in the same story of colonization reported across the Americas for the past 400 years while the world watches silently.

In November 1917, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour wrote a letter declaring the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, a land inhabited by Arab Palestinians colonized by the British.  On November 29, 1947, the UN partition plan led to the establishment of the State of Israel on Palestinian land. Since then, UN Resolutions 194, 242, (among 226 UN Resolutions) that were adopted called for acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of Palestine. Since its Occupation by Israel, Palestine has been carved into pieces with hundreds of settlements inside Palestinian UN and Internationally recognized territory. And yet, today the Israeli settlements continue to grow, water and land are stolen –  and the world watches silently.

Stolen lands, settlements by occupiers, colonization, water theft, forced displacement and the trauma of losing a place to call home tie Palestinians to the Indigenous people of the Americas.  

The Arab American Civic Council is partnering with the Palestinian Youth Movement and Activate Labs to send a Palestinian-American and Arab American delegation to Standing Rock.  As indigenous people we know what it is like to face displacement, relocation, and environmental destruction to our own motherland.  

Journey for Justice is vital in helping further our understanding of oppression, decolonization, and the importance of land, while at the same time building a relationship with Native peoples in order to continue to strengthen our movements together. Therefore, we must stand together with our other Indigenous siblings in the fight against environmental destruction and oppression of indigenous people. Join our national call for Action!

Join the national call to Action for Standing Rock! What happens in Standing Rock matters to what happens in Palestine.  Standing Rock is about indigenous sovereignty over land and water. Let’s stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe!