The Global Month of Actions, targeting the banks behind the pipeline started on December 1st, but in November the Indigenous people have already obtained an important victory in Norway, when two major investors decided to divest from Dakota Access Pipeline.
Odin Fund Management, one of Norway’s leading fund managers, announced on November 24, that it sold $23.8 million worth of shares invested in the companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline because the project did not correspond to the strong ethical standards for their investments.
This news follows the November 17 announcement by Norway’s largest bank, DNB, that it sold its assets in the DAPL and is reconsidering the loan it provided.
The decision was taken after a meeting of the bank executives with Beaska Niillas, chairman of the Norwegian Sámi Association (NSR) and his wife, Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska, who had spent time in Standing Rock. The activists provided a report that documented not only the human rights violations and international human rights laws that were being broken in North Dakota, but also the legal obligations of DNB and its role in these violations.
The Sami, indigenous people living in the very north of Europe, and Standing Rock camp attorneys are working together to get Norway institutions to completely divest from the DAPL.
“The financial institutions behind the pipeline are realizing that it is bad business to invest in companies willing to disregard Indigenous sovereignty to destroy sacred Native lands and water supply,” Greenpeace USA spokesperson Mary Sweeters said.
Meanwhile, a group of 10 water protectors goes on trial today, December 19, on charges of disorderly conduct. The 10 water protectors are the first to go to trial amid the months-long resistance to the pipeline, led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and members of 200 other indigenous nations from across the Americas. About 500 people have been arrested in total.