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NEA President: We support Standing Rock Sioux Nation

Eskelsen García: They have a right to protect human and civil rights, sacred sites and people

WASHINGTON - September 28, 2016 -

Today, the National Education Association, the nation’s largest professional association representing more than three million educators, expressed solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s sovereign right to protect its people and sacred lands.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

“We support the sovereign right of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation to preserve their basic human and civil rights, to protect their water, land, natural resources, sacred sites, and their people.

“Native communities have the same right as any other community to live without fear that political decisions will put them in harm's way.

“Standing Rock is bigger than just a community in North Dakota. It is symbolic that we have moved from a time when communities of color who have faced a history of oppression and environmental racism were expected to be silent. Standing Rock has every right to challenge the business interests they believe threaten their homes, their families and their way of life.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez