In 2004, a group of grandmothers in Lakota country — an area comprised of nine Indian reservations in North and South Dakota — asked to investigate and help prevent South Dakota’s Department of Social Services from removing their grandchildren from their families. The investigation uncovered that drugging and routine patterns of physical and mental abuse of Native children in foster care were leading to high levels of youth suicide.
These atrocities, a direct violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) — a federal law enacted in 1978 — inspired the formation of the Lakota People’s Law Project (lakotalaw.org). Their mission is to end the cycles of injustice leading to the slow genocide of the Lakota.
In 2016, the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) threatened the Lakota’s sacred lands and water, so the LPLP expanded their mission. The injustices perpetrated against the Lakota during the peaceful and prayerful resistance to DAPL highlighted a blatant pattern of contempt and disregard for the Lakota and their sovereignty.
The Lakota People’s Law Project also works closely with tribal nations and nonprofit compatriots to amplify Indigenous voices, provide renewable solutions in place of fossil fuel consumption, protect the voting rights of Native people, and provide on-the-ground support when and where it is needed most. That includes working with organizers to advance LGTBQ2S rights in Indian Country and help with challenges around COVID-19.
Understanding that Native peoples possess inherent sovereignty and the right to autonomous rule and self-determination, LAPL aims to assist in the reclamation of Indigenous lands and to stop all threats to the Lakota culture.
Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings to organizations doing work in the world that advances our Unitarian Universalist principles; the other 50% of the offering is used to support the life of our church.
UUSM’s Generous Congregation supports our church community. And together, we uplift the reach and impact of vital organizations doing work we could not do on our own. This month, half of our Sunday offerings will go to the Lakota People’s Law Project. Your donations will help the Lakota toward the revitalization of their people and culture.
Please consider supporting the mission of our church, and the Lakota People’s Law Project. To give right now, text “$10 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.)