Fighting for Our Future – Natives Take on Dakota Pipeline

Fighting for Our Future – Natives Take on Dakota Pipeline

As Mother Jones put it in their article about the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL), nothing but “DisRezpect” has been shown to the local tribes in the area. In case you're not familiar with it, the Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a new 1,000+ mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will move crude oil in the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. Just when folks had celebrated the victory over the required presidential permit for Keystone XL being denied, a new pipeline has popped up in its place and as you can imagine everyone is upset!

The pipeline will cross through sacred lands and pass under the Missouri River twice. For the Standing Rock Sioux, the Missouri provides drinking water and irrigation, while its riverbanks grow innumerable plants of cultural import, including sage and buffalo berries. The tribe launched a campaign called “Rezpect Our Water” and staged a 500-mile relay race in protest, hoping to sway the Army Corps of Engineers in the permitting process. Last weekend, a group of 30 Native youth completed a three-week run from North Dakota to Washington, DC, where they delivered a petition of 160,000 signatures opposing the pipeline's construction.

Now, even though the Corps has given the go-ahead, the tribe has not given up the fight. They recently filed suit against the Corps in federal court. The suit seeks an injunction, asserting that the pipeline will “damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance,” a violation of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Here's a great video from AJ+ that shows footage from August 11th and 12th at the blockade:

KILI Radio captured the moment that comedian Tito Ybarra and Scotti and Juliana from Scatter Their Own were arrested at the Dakota Access pipeline blockade.

Celebrities are also standing in solidarity with the protesters. Leonardo DiCaprio posted about the Rezpect our Water campaign back in May.

Actors from the Justice League movie, Ray Fisher and Ezra Miller, also showed their support in this video:

And Shailene Woodley also joined Ezra Miller and the Rezpect our Water campaign in this video:

Jason Momoa also showed his support in this Instagram photo:

But it's not just about the star power at these protests, although that does help spread the word. It's really about the folks in the community that will be personally affected if this pipeline is built on sacred land. It's been wonderful to see them step up and fight.

Like these amazing warriors on horseback:

And so moving to see this strong woman, Heather Belgarde, defend her land:

And here her sister talks about the arrest:

This drone footage also shows you the scope of the protests:

In case you want to help out with the cause, there are several campaigns out there to help. Here's the Legal Defense Fund for Sacred Stone Spirit Camp follow this link or click below

Powered by FundRazr

And here's the link to a GoFundMe page set up to help get supplies to those at the Sacred Stone Camp –

Hau we are the Inyan wakankagapi otip-Sacred Stone Camp from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We have partnership with the Oectc Sakowin- Seven Council Fires, Indians and Cowboys and anyone who was to stand with us against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

We are asking for financial support for water-propane – food and blankets for the camp. This is a prayer camp movement to save our sacred land and water and has been entirely supported by the people and the campers. We are in great appreciation for all you contributions….Wopila lila tanka– we are deeply grateful for you contributions thank you!

Also please visit the website for more videos and detailed information.

Keep fighting the good fight and stay strong out there!

Last Updated on October 31, 2016 by Paul G

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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