GPUS Youth Caucus Statement on the IIYC & the NO DAPL Movement

The water protectors at Standing Rock mobilized their community and supporters around the world, raising consciousness around the need to protect Mother Earth. Not surprisingly, the Standing Rock protests were initially sparked by indigenous youth, who have since organized the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC). The IIYC inspires youth to take action in their communities to protect the land, water, and treaty rights, to act locally to overturn any and all social and spiritual injustices. They were formed in response to the call of Youth from the Sacred Stone Camp for resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and are made up of indigenous youth from all nations, tribes, and races.

Update from IIYC, March 2017

As many of you all know, President Trump signed executive actions to advance the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline on January 24, 2017. The final stage of drilling the DAPL across the Missouri river is underway, and water protectors were ordered to evacuate the Oceti Sakowin and Sacred Stone camps on February 22. Over the past several weeks water protectors were hard at work cleaning up camps in order to prevent the river from being contaminated with debris as the spring weather brings flood waters. Unfortunately, on February 22, militarized law enforcement officers forced protectors to leave, arresting 47.

The movement sparked by Indigenous youth at Standing Rock will continue to grow and strengthen. Youth, students, and supporters around the country will mobilize against the black snake (zuzeca sape), the Lakota prophecy symbolizing not only the pipelines, but also sickness, racism, destruction and devastation. As Greens, we do not believe that corporate profits should be valued over people having access to clean water. The Green Party Youth Caucus unconditionally supports the International Indigenous Youth Council, their Decolonization of People Everywhere (DOPE) campaign, and the fight against the black snake. We have updated our bylaws to proclaim our caucus as being explicitly anti-colonialist, as well as anti-capitalist, intersectional, and politically independent from corporate influence. We will reflect in our spaces the same values as the Standing Rock movement and the IIYC. Greens and the Youth Caucus will continue to fight alongside the IIYC to address our society’s destructive addiction to fossil fuels. Together we can challenge the Trump administration’s newly expedited environmental review process, and help build a clean energy future.

[We] train warriors but we are also warriors in training working together to provide protection of all that is sacred on Mother Earth, while becoming the betterment of the generations before us so that our children and the generations to follow can enjoy the essence of living in a green, clean and beautiful world. We are trying to heal America from its sickness and addiction to money, power, and greed by showing the world what it truly means to be a human being.      

– Ta’sina Sapa Win, IIYC

The Green Party Youth Caucus calls on its members, supporters and others to:

– Start local campaigns to divest from banks that support the fossil fuel industry, and push schools and communities at large to do the same.
– Challenge other pipelines, such as the Sabal Trail pipeline (Alabama-Florida), Energy Transfer Partners’ Trans-Pecos pipeline (Texas), Atlantic-Sunrise Pipeline (Pennsylvania) and the Plains All American Pipeline’s Diamond Pipeline (Oklahoma-Tennessee).
– Research your community to find environmental hazards and take action against them.
– And directly follow and support the work of the International Indigenous Youth Council.

To learn more about the Green Party Youth Caucus see our Facebook page, join as an individual, or start a campus chapter. Our campus program welcomes new Young Greens chapters as well as individual student organizers in campus coalitions.

GPUS Youth Caucus, March 2017


 Download the statement as a PDF here


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