The Democratic Party of New Mexico has withdrawn its funds and closed its accounts at Wells Fargo bank due to that institution’s funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline, DPNM said in a press release.
“In solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and tribes throughout New Mexico, (we have) made the decision to divest from Wells Fargo, one of the many financial institutions supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline,” the release says.
DPNM is chaired by Debra Haaland, the first Native American state party chair in the country.
“The Democratic Party of New Mexico knows that it’s imperative tribes have a seat at the table and that their voices are respected,” Haaland said in the release. “Donald Trump’s action to continue the Dakota Access Pipeline is a direct assault on meaningful tribal consultation, and now we must make sure our support is not only heard but felt. We are closing our accounts at Wells Fargo, and we encourage others who feel compelled by this issue to do the same.”
Marisa Romero, chair of DPNM’s Native American caucus, is from the Pawnee Nation in Oklahoma.
“As Native Americans and as Democrats, it is incumbent upon us to stand up when we see injustice,” said Romero. “I support the DPNM leadership in this decision to close all accounts with Wells Fargo, in hopes they take notice that we are not blind to the institution’s vested interest with the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will not stand idly by while they fund the desecration of the Dakota peoples’ land and water.”
Wells Fargo is one of several banks funding the pipeline either through direct loans or investment in Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of the pipeline’s developer, Dakota Access, LLC.
In September, DPNM’s Native American Democratic Caucus wrote a letter to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chair Dave Archambault expressing support for the tribe’s stance.
Following the letter, Haaland traveled to North Dakota and volunteered at the Standing Rock Tribal Services building, met with tribal leaders and helped at the Oceti Sakowin camp where the community set up in protest of the pipeline project.