After Visiting Standing Rock, Swedish Bank Puts Companies Behind DAPL on Watch
After a visit by its representatives to Standing Rock, Swedish financial institution Nordea announced today that it will not back the Dakota Access Pipeline if it violates the demands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Nordea met with tribal representatives on the ground, including Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe urged Nordea to divest and respect the rights of Indigenous communities via a letter delivered by Sami artist and activist Sofia Jannok and Greenpeace.
At a meeting with Greenpeace and Nordea regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, it was announced that:
- Nordea will demand guarantees from the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline that it will not go through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation land. If the companies do not respect this, Nordea will start the process of selling its holdings in the companies;
- Nordea will place these companies in quarantine for six months;
- Nordea will send a letter to the companies by Friday with a clear requirement: They must respect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's demands not to route the Dakota Access Pipeline in the vicinity of their land;
- If the companies do not meet that requirement within the next six months, Nordea's Sustainable Finance team will recommend selling Nordea's holdings in these companies.
- If the companies concerned are found to be in violation of indigenous peoples' rights, Nordea's Sustainable Finance team will recommend selling holdings in them;
- If the companies win a lawsuit in relation to the last stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or if a change in the political situation allows companies to legally be allowed to route the pipeline near Standing Rock Sioux Tribe land, the Nordea Sustainable Finance team will recommend that Nordea sells off holdings in the companies.
"It's an important step that Nordea put its foot down and now has specific requirements that the oil pipeline not go through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's land," Greenpeace Nordic climate and energy campaigner Rolf Lindahl said. "It sends a clear signal to the world that the rights of indigenous peoples must be respected. We encourage others to set the same demands for the companies that are building the oil pipeline.
"The fact that bank after bank is withdrawing or voicing concern over the project shows the power of people united. This is another positive development for water protectors, though it does not yet determine the pipeline's future, which should be stopped in its entirety."
WIN! Shout out to our Sami family in Norway: Another major Norwegian investor Divests $23.8m from DAPL @EcoWatch https://t.co/48kj35DGqe— IndigenousEnviroNet (@IndigenousEnviroNet)1480093623.0
Greenpeace USA spokesperson Mary Sweeters concurred. "It is becoming increasingly clear that financial institutions view the Dakota Access pipeline as a liability," she said.
"Banks should not be funding projects that violate human rights and contribute to climate change. The fact that Nordea traveled to Standing Rock to consult with those on the ground and then came to this decision is significant. The recklessness of Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco and the threat to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are real and can scarcely be depicted in full through media. This project is a crime against Indigenous sovereignty and human rights everywhere. It's time for all banks invested in DAPL companies and those giving loans to get out for good."
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
Should Kids Go Back?<p>While these guidelines may help get some schools to reopen, many people don't think children should go back to school over fears they could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents.</p><p>In a <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> commentary, <a href="https://www.md.com/doctor/william-raszka-md" target="_blank">Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr.</a>, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Vermont Medical Center, argued that schools should open because school-aged children are far less important drivers of COVID-19 than adults.</p><p>But he says the risk and benefit is not equal among all students ages 5 to 18.</p><p>"Elementary schools are arguably higher priority for face-to-face schooling, since younger children are at lower risk for infection and transmission, and since parental supervision of younger children's distance learning may be particularly challenging," added Sorensen, who penned a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767411" target="_blank">June article in JAMA</a> with reopening tips. "That means middle and high schools are more likely to emphasize distance learning."</p><p>Specific student populations, such as special education students and students with disabilities, would also benefit greatly from more time spent in face-to-face environments, Sorensen said.</p>
What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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<div id="fea63" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9a6f211c2bc5aedd34837944cb8eeedf"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1281000111481294849" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Water in Illinois is overwhelmingly public. Why is Tammy Duckworth sponsoring a bill that aims to change that? https://t.co/1V36Kkd99s</div> — The American Prospect (@The American Prospect)<a href="https://twitter.com/TheProspect/statuses/1281000111481294849">1594249201.0</a></blockquote></div>
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