DNB Bank Divests – Responses from Standing Rock Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway

OSLO, NORWAY (March 27 , 2017) – Having travelled 5,000 miles from the United States to deliver an urgent message regarding the human rights and Indigenous rights violations in their homelands, the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway and allies is pleased with the announcement from Norwegian bank, DNB, regarding the cancellation of its $2.5 billion USD credit line to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Through inputs from diverse groups and an independent investigation, DNB confirmed the lack of consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux and violation of Indigenous rights. As a result, the financial institution has fully and completely divested from the project.

Photo – Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway members (left to right), Dr. Sarah Jumping Eagle, Tara Houska, Michelle Cook, Autumn Chacon and Wasté Win Young

The Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway, organized and supported by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International in response to requests from frontline Indigenous women leaders, traveled to Norway late last week to share experiences from Standing Rock and request that financial institutions divest from DAPL and other fossil fuel developments, which threaten the cultural survival of their nations and peoples.

In strategic platforms, the Delegation members are providing direct testimony on the impacts of extractive industries, oil spills, and contamination – particularly on women and children. The Delegation has called for immediate fossil fuel divestment and is encouraging the pursuit of investment in a just transition to renewable energy.

The Delegation hopes DNB’s decision to divest will reverberate to the other 15 international banks engaged in DAPL and the Oil Fund to further actions for divestment in respect to human rights, inherent tribal sovereign rights, water rights, and treaty rights of Indian tribes in the United States. With DNB’s divestment announcement, the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway helped tipped the scales of justice toward the standard of consultation and consent affirmed and recognized by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Today, Monday March 27, the Delegation will continue in action towards this goal during a meeting with the Council on Ethics of the Oil Fund. Later this week, public events and a press conference will be held during which spokeswomen will share their firsthand experiences from Standing Rock, and analysis of the recent DNB divestment.

Members of the press are encouraged to reach out with questions and media requests for spokeswomen – Dr. Sarah Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota living and working on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation); Wasté Win Young (Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Former Tribal Historic Preservation Officer); Tara Houska (Anishinaabe, tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders); Autumn Chacon (Diné/Navajo writer and performance artist); and Michelle Cook (Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer and a founding member of the of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock). [Full spokes-women biographies available here]

“We are thankful that while here in Norway, DNB announced that it will financially divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). While this is a step in the right direction we continue to push the Norweigan oil fund and other financial institutions to divest from DAPL because of the human and civil rights violations that have occurred against the people and indigenous communities at Standing Rock. Norway is a leader in the global community and by taking this step to divest from the DAPL their actions can cause a ripple effect throughout the world, for the greater good.” explains Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young, Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa, member the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

“DNB divesting from the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer partners is encouraging. This is the first wave of funders and corporations being held accountable by the people who want a future for our children based on renewable energy.” explained Dr. Sarah Jumping Eagle, Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota living and working on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

“The momentum of this movement is steadily building. The people are taking matters into our own hands and pushing banks, cities, and municipalities to stop investing into destructive fossil fuel projects like Dakota Access. If corporations won’t listen to morality, they will listen to money.” explains Tara Houska, Anishinaabe, tribal attorney, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders

“We are thrilled with DNB’s decision to divest from DAPL and respect indigenous human rights and tribal sovereignty. We hope that this decision will spread to the other 15 banks and the Oil Fund to completely divest.” explains Michelle Cook, Diné/Navajo, human rights lawyer and a founding member of the of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock)

“Regarding DNB’s announcement to divest from the Dakota access pipeline I am pleased to hear that they are willing to be cooperative . however we have been told this many times before as first Nations people, and we are conditioned to be apprehensive when promises are made. this is not to discredit the integrity of DNB but historically we have been lied to, and thus will only be satisfied when we can see their words put into action.” explains Autumn Chacon, artist, activist and Water Protector

“As the divestment of DNB from the Dakota Access Pipeline shows, this fight is far from over, and we do have the power to expose and alter the practices of those funding and constructing such devastating extraction projects. With the voices of frontline Indigenous women leaders at the forefront – we are spreading a clear message across the country and across the world. It is far past time to respect and uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples and human rights, and it is far past time to end the desecration of our common home, Earth. Global citizens must become keenly aware of the violations being perpetrated by state actors and corporations, and we must continue to demand full fossil fuel divestment now. A healthy and just world is possible, and we will continue to raise our voices and act ceaselessly until it has come to fruition.“ explained Osprey Orielle Lake (Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, WECAN)

“I am happy with DNB bank’s decision to fully divest from DAPL. This proves that there is a wave of social consciousness sweeping through Norwegian financial institutions that set the global stage on what constructive dialogue looks like in terms of respecting the rights and hearing the voices of indigenous people. For every dollar spent on projects like DAPL, there are families being torn apart, voices being suppressed, military states being financed and natural resources being stripped from our future generations in the name of a fuel source that is a dying breed.” explained Tanyette Colon, Activist and Filmmaker

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Media Contact
General requests – Emily Arasim, +1(505) 920-0153, emily@wecaninternational.org
Urgent requests in Norway- Osprey Orielle Lake, +(415) 722-2104, osprey@wecaninternational.org

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