Letter to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

The White Plum Asanga Circle for Healing Prejudice and Nurturing Inclusiveness (CHPNI) has created and sent a letter to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman, Dave Archambault, II, in support of the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota. Thousands of indigenous people and allies from around the world representing hundreds of different tribes have gathered to prevent the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the sacred sites of the Standing Rock Lakota people.

Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline owners, plans to run the pipeline under the Missouri River, which supplies water for 17 million people, including members of the SRST. A pipeline spill, which is likely based on past experience, could contaminate not only the Missouri River but the Ogallala aquifer, the largest aquifer in the United States and primary water source for irrigated agriculture in the area. The final permit for the pipeline to cross under the Missouri River has not yet been granted by the Army Corps of Engineers, pending the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement and review of further degradation of sacred tribal relics.

The letter of support was signed by over 70 members of the White Plum Asanga, an organization of teachers in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, including members from 7 countries and 19 different states. Myoyu Roshi is co-steward of the CHPNI Circle. Read the letter in its entirety below:


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Honorable David Archambault II, Chairman
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Building 1, N. Standing Rock Avenue
P.O. Box D
Fort Yates, ND 58538

November 20, 2016

Dear Chairman Archambault,

We are writing to you as leaders of Zen Buddhist Communities around the world in the lineage of ancestor teacher Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi, to express our support and deep gratitude for the Standing Rock Lakota people and members of the hundreds of tribes gathering to protect the water and sacred ground from the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We deeply appreciate that you are acting courageously and nonviolently not only to protect your ancient tribal lands, but that your compassionate actions are on behalf of all who presently inhabit this earth and our grandchildren for generations to come. For this, we owe an enormous debt. We honor the vision of indigenous people throughout the world, for their leadership is calling us all to recognize how seriously we have threatened our earth with careless actions and that we must all come together to bring healing.

The dangers posed by this pipeline and the use of fossil fuels are increasingly evident. Since 1986, U.S. pipelines have leaked an average of 200 barrels per day. Science has shown that these spills, some impossible to clean up, cause widespread ecological harm, threaten safe water supplies, and release known carcinogens and neurotoxins into the water and air. Additionally, the large financial investment in the pipeline fosters more reliance on fossil fuels rather than encouraging safer alternative energy sources such as solar and wind.

Your actions inspire us to contact our government officials and ask them to revoke authorization of the Dakota Access Pipeline, honor treaty agreements with all Lakota people, and to protect the water and land of all peoples. We stand with you as the effort to shut down the pipeline entirely goes forward, for as long as it takes. As Buddhist practitioners, we are humbled by your profound appreciation of the interdependence of all life and the need to respect and honor all life. We thank you for this teaching.

With deep bows of appreciation and respect,

Susan Myoyu Andersen
Great Plains Zen Center, WI

Jan Chozen Bays
Great Vow Zen Monastery, OR

Paul Genki Kahn
Zen Garland, NY

Nicolee Jikyo McMahon
San Diego, CA

Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Village Zendo, NY

June Ryushin Tanoue
Zen Life and Meditation Center, Chicago, IL

Mushin Abby Terris
Corvallis Zen Circle-Sangha Jewel Temple, OR

Janet Jiryu Abels
Gregory Hoshu Abels
Still Mind Zendo, NY

Greta Myoshin Aerts
Kanzeon Zen Centrum, The Netherlands

Paul Gyodo Agostinelli
Great Mountain Zen Center, CO

Robert Joshin Althouse
Zen Life and Meditation Center, Chicago, IL

Shugen Arnold
Zen Mountain Monastery, NY

Nancy Mujo Baker
No Traces Zendo, NY
Irène Kaigetsu Bakker
Zen Spirit Sangha, The Netherlands

James Daikan Bastien
Howling Dragon, VT

Seiryu/Bruce Blackman
Zen Community of Baltimore Clare Sangha, MD

Merle Kodo Boyd
Lincroft Zen Sangha, NY

Carol Myoshin Bruce-Fritz
Open Hand Zendo, CO

John Daishin Buksbazen
Ocean Moon Sangha, CA

Timothy Tomei Butler
City Mountain Zendo, MA

Richard Taido Christofferson
Trikaya Zen Center, WA

Barbara Soshin Craig
Flowing River Sangha, PA

William Ji An Dietrich
Silver Spring Zendo, One Heart Sangha, MD

Michel Genko Dubois
Zen - Voie du Coeur, France

Koshin Paley Ellison
NY Zen Center for Contemplative Care, NY

Robert Jin Gen Ertman
Silver Spring Zendo/One Heart Sangha, MD

Jane Jishin Faysash
Southern Palm Zen Group, FL

Charles Tenshin Fletcher
Zen Mountain Center, CA

Ralph Kendo Fritz
Open Hand Zendo, CO

Grover Genro Gauntt
Hudson River Zen Center, NY

Patricia Shingetsu Guzy
Zen Center of Los Angeles, CA

Joan Jiko Halifax
Upaya Zen Center, NM

Diane Musho Hamilton
Michael Mugaku Hamilton
Two Arrows Zen, UT

Elizabeth Hamilton
Zen Teacher, CA

Jules Shuzen Harris
Soji Zen Center, PA

Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts
Heart Circle Sangha, NJ

Catherine Anraku Hondorp
Two Streams Zen, MA

Al Genkai Kasniak
Upaya Sangha of Tucson, AZ

Andrzej Getsugen Krajewski
Kanzeon, Poland

Dana Kojun Lederhos
Upright Noble Zen, AK

Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt
Zen Herz Sangha, Germany

Eve Myonen Marko
Green River Zen Center, MA

Heiku Jaime McLeod
Treetop Zen Center, ME

Wendy Egyoku Nakao
Zen Center of Los Angeles, CA

Daiken Nelson
The Pamsula Zen Center, NY

Michel Plein Ciel Oltheten
Zen Heart Sangha, Netherlands

Jose Shinzan Palma
Dharma Bum Temple, CA
Oceano del Zen, Mexico

Ilia Shinko Perez
Maitreya Abbey, CO

Anna Purna Pirruccello
Zen Teacher, CA

Al Rapaport
Open Mind Zen, Inc.,FL

Marzena Ryonen Rey
Zen Sangha Mainz, Germany

Diane Eshin Rizzetto
Bay Zen Center, CA
Steve Aishi Sarian
San Diego, CA

KC Kyozen Sato
Salt Lake City, UT

Anne Seisen Saunders
Sweetwater Zen Center, CA

Edward Sangetsu Sullivan
Red Rose Sangha, PA

Julie Myoko Terestman
Village Zendo, NY

Sinclair Shinryu Thomson
Village Zendo, NY

Bonnie Myotai Treace
Hermitage Heart, Inc., NY

Evan Junryu Vardi
Eiryu-ji Zen Center, NJ

Sydney Musai Walter
Prajna Zendo, NM

Todd Hotai Watson
Walkingtree Zen, NH

Barbara Salaam Wegmuller
Zen Peacemakers, Switzerland

Roland Yakushi Wegmuller
Berne, Spiegel Sangha, Switzerland

Gerry Shishin Wick
Great Mountain Zen Center, CO

Sara Kokyo Wildi
Sarva Schule für Yoga und Zen, Switzerland

angel Kyodo Williams
Center for Transformative Change
newDharma Community, CA

Peter Wohl
Treetop Zen Center, ME

John Gendo Wolff
Great Wave Zen Sangha, MI