As the number of water protectors continues to burgeon on the banks of the Cannonball River in protest of the Dakota Access oil pipeline’s route across Standing Rock Sioux ancestral, treaty-protected lands, national media outlets are starting to pick up the story.
Both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have run pieces, and The New York Times published an op-ed by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II, as well as a detailed explanation of the issues. But Democracy Now! has been out in front with in-depth reports on more than one night. Last week we brought you the independent news show’s initial report.
Anchor Amy Goodman has since interviewed both Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II and Ojibwe activist, journalist, author and sometime vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke. Both reports aired last week, as support from Indian nations and people continued to grow to several thousand.
The Standing Rock water protectors took their civil actions to the source on Monday evening, sending a caravan of people to rally in front of the offices of the attorneys for Dakota Access LLC.
Bearing signs and witness, more than 300 people took a stand outside the offices of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., a Minneapolis-based law firm with offices around the world, on Monday August 29.
The rally was organized by the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), one of many groups represented at three prayer camps near the Standing Rock Tribe’s reservation. The goal was to “inquire why they choose to represent a corporation that is knowingly threatening the water and lives of 18 million people downstream from the planned Dakota Access Pipeline,” IEN said. “Women and children from all over Turtle Island put their hands on the windows of the law offices and prayed that they would understand the actions they are taking and the severe consequences that threaten the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all people and life downstream from the proposed Missouri River crossing of the pipeline carrying dirty, hydro-fracked crude oil from the Bakken oil field.”
According to those on hand, the attorneys locked the doors and remained inside. They did not return calls from Indian Country Today Media Network seeking comment. …“We are going to stay and resist until Dakota Access leaves,” said IEN founder Tom Goldtooth. “We have been here for generations, we are protecting water for all generations and all cultures, all people and all life.”
Facing the Black Snake, by Terri Miles.
It all adds up and becomes more. At one point this past spring the Camp of the Sacred Stones consisted of approximately 100 people who wanted to protect the waters. The camp is named after the sacred stones that used to come from these waters, but are no longer created because the Army Corps of Engineers disregarded indigenous values.
Lewis and Clark passed this way on October 18, 1804, and Clark wrote in his journal “above the mouth of the river Great numbers of Stones perfectly round with fine Grit are in the Bluff and on the Shore.” After these stones, the French trappers (who had been the only white people around) called the river Le Boulet, which Clark translated Cannonball.
The sandstone concretions that name the river are generally less than two feet in diameter but have been reported as large as ten feet. Their geometric perfection has spiritual significance to the Native people in the area, but that significance was lost on the Corps of Engineers dredges, which disrupted the unique currents necessary to produce the sacred stones.
Running roughshod over Native beliefs, threatening the drinking water—it all adds up and becomes more, more than the people can tolerate. As the river used to produce the sacred stones, the threats to the river have produced the Water Protectors.
And from Brazil, Brazil Cancels Massive Dam Project Affecting Indigenous. All over the world, Indigenous people are never allowed peace and rest, there’s a continual fight for lands, and keeping that land healthy, and as always, clean water. Carly McIntosh writes about the struggle of First Nations in Canada dealing with bad water.