This week the Wallace Global Fund awarded the prestigious Henry A. Wallace Award and a $250,000 prize to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for its role in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and its commitment to transitioning to renewable energy.
The tribe will also receive up to $1 million in investments from the Wallace Global Fund to support its transition toward fossil fuel independence.
Tribal Chairman David Archambault II accepted the award on Thursday during a ceremony in New York. Following the ceremony was a briefing on the upcoming solar and wind energy projects taking place on the Standing Rock Reservation.
This new award was established this year by the Wallace Global Fund to highlight organizations that stand up to oppressive corporate and political power.
Scott Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund and the grandson of Henry A. Wallace, stated:
“Our foundation is guided by my grandfather’s framing of a mighty struggle that continues to this day: protecting the interests of what he called the ‘common man’ – ordinary people – against the oppressive combination of corporate and governmental power. Democracy, he said, ‘must put human beings first and dollars second.
“This award in his honor is intended to recognize the type of extraordinary courage that ordinary people can summon to fight such abuses of power. No one represents such courage better than the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. And never has such courage been more essential to the health of our democracy than right now.”
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has spent the last year fighting for a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline project. They led countless peaceful protests, going so far as to camp out on the land through an entire brutal winter, to protest the project that threatened their sacred lands and water sources. Although the Dakota Access Pipeline has been completed and oil has started flowing, the tribe is not giving up the fight against the project or any other transgressions against Native Americans.
David Archambault made the following statement after accepting the award:
“This is not over. We continue to fight the pipeline in court and await a decision that adequately reflects the rule of law established in this country–one so often flouted by this administration. However, we will never stop fighting for our planet and future generations; this resiliency is part of who we are as a tribe.
“We are grateful and honored to accept the inaugural Henry A. Wallace Award and a grant from the Wallace Global Fund that will help us continue our resistance against the pipeline and transition to clean energy technologies like wind and solar.”