Protecting the Water. Mni Wiconi. Water is Life.
Over the last few weeks, thousands of Indigenous people, representing hundreds of tribes, have gathered together on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, and in other places, to protect the lands, and the waters, and their sacred sites, against the $3.4 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline project, charted by Energy Transfer Partners, and which the tribes call the black snake, would transfer about a half million barrels of crude oil per day across 1,134 miles starting at the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota. The people camped out along the river are not protesters, but protectors. Their occupation on the front lines not only affects the people who live near, but affects several states, numerous communities. The protectors are fighting for all of us. My mother and grandparents were born in Fort Yates, the Standing Rock Reservation. We are Hunkpapa Lakota; my heart holds the protectors’ hearts. I thank them for their courage and diligence. Pilamaya to all who are on the front lines.