News Release

Indigenous Environmental Network

On Thursday, April 1st, frontline Indigenous youth and organizers from the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights will arrive in Washington, D.C. for a series of actions to urge President Biden to Build Back Fossil Free by stopping these climate-destroying projects and upholding his commitments to climate action, Indigenous rights, and environmental justice.

Indigenous youth and organizers will hold a rally at the Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters building on Thursday morning, amplifying the voices of 400,000 people across the country who signed a petition calling on the Corps to withdraw its permit approving of Line 3. Then, organizers will lead a march to Black Lives Matter plaza near the White House carrying a 200-foot-long “black snake,” representing the threat of the Enbridge Line 3 and the Dakota Access Pipelines to Indigenous communities, clean water, and our climate. A full schedule of the day’s events, photo and interview opportunities is included below.

These actions will bring the demands to stop these pipelines directly to Washington, D.C., amid President Biden’s stated commitments to act on the climate crisis, pursue environmental justice, and respect the rights of indigenous peoples. These pipelines will demonstrably exacerbate the climate crisis and allowing their construction would represent a major failure to listen to Indigenous leaders and communities on the frontlines of the fight against environmental injustice and to protect clean water. President Biden can avoid that by directing the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately reevaluate and suspend or revoke the Line 3 project’s Clean Water Act Section 404 permit. You can read more facts about the Line 3 pipeline here.

Youth activists and rally organizers are available for interviews at multiple points during the events. Photo opportunities include the 200-foot “black snake” in front of the White House and the petition drop at the Army Corps Headquarters. Below is a schedule of the events with press moments highlighted.

10 a.m.: Indigenous Youth Run from the National Museum of the American Indian to the Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters (441 G St. NW)

11 a.m.: Rally at ACOE HQ

  • A 200-foot black snake carried by around 45 people will be used as a backdrop to the rally stage while Indigenous youth speak about the need for the Biden administration to reject dirty pipelines.
  • At approximately 12:10 p.m., Standing Rock Youth will deliver over 400,000 petition signatures demanding President Biden and the ACOE shut down the Dakota Access and stop the Line 3 pipelines (photo opportunity).
  • At approximately 12:15 p.m., youth leaders will hold a “die-in” action at ACOE HQ. (photo opportunity).
  • Isaac Weston will sing a memorial song for all the lives lost due to fossil fuel development on Indigenous lands.
  • Youth leaders and organizers will hold a brief media availability (interview opportunity).

12:20-12:50 p.m.: March from ACOE HQ to the White House

1 p.m.: Closing Program at Black Lives Matter Plaza (wraps up around 2-3 p.m.)

  • A brief speaking program to urge the Biden administration to stand up for environmental justice and Indigenous communities.
  • Youth participants will enact a street performance with a cultural Lakota song and dance and street theater performance of “Destroying the Black Snake” (photo opportunity).
  • Youth leaders and organizers will hold a brief media availability (Interview opportunity).

Many of these youth pressuring President Biden are from the tribal nations that would be hit hard by the construction of Line 3 and the Dakota Access Pipeline, and they have been leading the resistance to these dangerous projects for years. These actions occur on the five year anniversary of the founding of the Sacred Stone Camp by Standing Rock Lakota Nation and ally Lakota, Nakota, & Dakota citizens, near Cannon Ball, the northeastern border of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. There, history was made as thousands of people descended to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

More details will follow. If you have questions, please contact: Jennifer K. Falcon, jennifer@ienearth.org

Note: While many of the participants are vaccinated thanks to Native Nations leading the way in vaccination rates, appropriate masking and distancing protocol will be in place.

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