April 28, 2017
Dear Mr. Sloan
As Council members of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), the premiere international and professional organization of Indigenous studies, whose membership consists of more than 1,000 scholars, students, independent researchers, and community workers, we write to you concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Wells Fargo’s investment in the pipeline. NAISA Council stands in solidarity with the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (the Great Sioux Nation), the Standing Rock Sioux, and the Water Protectors in their opposition to the DAPL, and has issued a statement in support of this struggle against the pipeline, which can be accessed from our website (https://naisa.org/). DAPL crosses un-ceded Sioux lands and violates treaty rights, and continues to desecrate sacred burial and cultural sites. A spillfrom the pipeline, which crosses four states, would contaminate the drinking water of not only those at Standing Rock but millions of Americans, placing their lives in danger.
Since its inception in 2008, NAISA has had its financial accounts with Wells Fargo and has valued this relationship. As elected Council members, we have fiduciary and ethical duties to our members who in turn have responsibilities to not simply their intellectual fields and academic homes but to indigenous communities. ln our capacity as NAISA Council, but also as clients of Wells Fargo-a company that claims it is committed to environmental sustainability and human rights” and ‘respects Tribal governments and communities, ‘we implore you to exercise social responsibility to those who lives will be placed in danger and divest from the DAPL. As representatives of our membership, we are obligated to consider both the security and performance of NAISA assets and philosophical congruence when deciding on financial institutions. The current situation with DAPL is leading to a reconsideration of our current relationship with you as our financial institution.