Pilgrim Team Visits to the Standing Rock Episcopal Community/North Dakota Council on Indian Ministries

The WCC Pilgrim Team Visits (PTV) will focus on indigenous communities on Standing Rock, particularly along the shore of the Missouri River (Lake Oahe) and their struggle for justice, including water justice. The PTV is hosted by the The Standing Rock Episcopal Community & North Dakota Council on Indian Ministries. Rev. Dr John Floberg is the focal point for the host.

Standing Rock: the pain of the past and the challenges of the future

Standing Rock: the pain of the past and the challenges of the future.


Indigenous peoples are at the frontline of the fossil fuel industry. In particular, Standing Rock has been the focal point of the Dakota Access Pipeline and its court litigation since 2016.  At present, a US Federal Court has determined that DAPL does not have a valid permit to be running the 550,000 barrel per day flow of Bakken (fracked) Crude.  A complete Environmental Impact Study has been ordered.  An April 9th hearing is scheduled with the Biden Administration making an unknown proposal.

A break in the pipeline would endanger the Standing Rock Nation’s water supply as well as hunting and fishing rights.  Establishing the pipeline destroyed sacred sights and artifacts.

This will also provide a platform to address Water issues around Standing Rock & across North America with indigenous and racist perspectives.

Story-telling will be used to lift up the impacts of and challenges faced by indigenous communities in the Standing Rock region facing encroachment of their sacred waters and land through the North Dakota Pipelines  (via negativa). Appropriate methodologies will be explored with a view to engaging with and learning from indigenous spirituality and spirituality of resistance to the injustice (via positiva) . Responses and transformative proposals, with a focus on the role of churches and the ecumenical community, will be harvested through virtual roundtable discussion or webinar (via transformativa).

This Pilgrim Team Visit (PTV) will follow a hybrid approach, with physical accompaniment from local participants and with virtual accompaniment from international participants. If technology and other conditions allow, the PTV will employ virtual but real-time storytelling and sharing methods. Otherwise, pre-recorded video interviews will be conducted followed by online and real-time roundtable discussion (through webinars) among local and international participants.

Click here to register for the public events of this visit


25 May 16:00 - 17:30 CEST
PUBLIC EVENT: Webinar 1 with authors of the reflections of the 2021 WCC's Ecumenical Water Network "Seven Weeks for Water"
Topics will touch upon Water scarcity and Racism, Indigenous communities, land and displacement, gender discriminations in North America

26 May 16:00 - 17:30 (CEST)
PUBLIC EVENT: Dakota Goodhouse Presentation 

Introduction to Standing Rock issue related to Land & water, Truth and Trauma, Racism.

27 May 16:00 - 17:30 (CEST)
PUBLIC EVENT: screening of the documentary "I Stand: Guardians of the Water", followed by a discussion

DAPL and its effect on the land, the destructive effect on relationships of the Standing Rock people and their allies to the State of North Dakota and its citizens.  

28 May 16:00 - 17:30 (CEST)
PUBLIC EVENT: An in-person forum at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Ft. Yates

Topics included: racism and reconciliation, youth and their future, historic trauma and its legacy into the present, Indigenous expression of the Christian Faith.

Click here to register for the public events of this visit