Defund DAPL Spreads Across Indian Country as Tribes Divest

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Like the call and response in Lakota ceremonial prayer songs, tribes are answering the Standing Rock’s Sioux plea for all of Indian Country to move its money out of banks that have invested in the Dakota Access pipeline and help further destabilize the pipeline’s already shaky financing.

“Many people are, rightfully, afraid that executive support [President Trump’s] now means that the pipelines are full steam ahead,” said Melanie Yazzie, co-founder of The Red Nation, an activist coalition dedicated to the liberation of Native people from capitalism and colonialism. She views divestment as obstruction—the good kind—something akin to water protectors locking down on construction equipment and as a continuation of the widespread resistance that has united under the cry of #NoDAPL.

“The investors and financiers will not move forward if the projects are deemed financially unfavorable,” Yazzie said. “We must continue to deny settlers their desired profits, profits they reap from colonizing our non-human relatives—the land and water.”

“Tribes want to divest themselves as external supporters.”

That is the hope of a growing cohort of tribal leaders, activists, researchers, and strategists who have come to see divestment, which is catching on all across Indian Country, as a winning tactic in a wider strategy of non-cooperation. It’s a cohort that at first glance appears to have some strange bedfellows: radical academics and Wall Street professionals.

Read the article in yes! Magazine