Solidarity with Standing Rock has now spread to many different parts of the world. A diverse gathering of more than 50 people came together for ceremony and support of the Standing Rock actions in New Credit last Wednesday, September 21.
Lakota Sioux Protests began when the Energy Transfer partners decided to re-route the Dakota access pipeline away from Bismarck, N.D., a predominately privileged community, to Standing Rock underneath the Missouri river. The Missouri river is the primary source of drinking water for standing rock.
“The whole of Turtle Island needs to be involved, indigenous or not,” said Robin Mcleod, who resides near Georgetown, Ont. and came down to offer support and gave his perspective on the issue. “It’s about all of us being together and finally listening to what indigenous people have been telling us for centuries. The simplicity of it all is what we have to get back to not this complicated egotistical world selfish thinking. We all should be loving, encouraging and uplifting to each other. We are all a part of the human race connected to one spirit and there’s nothing complicated about that at all.”
In the U.S. there has been more than more than 2,000 significant accidents on oil and gas pipelines. These accidents have caused $3 billion worth of property damage and environmental damage as well. One of the worst pipeline accidents was Enbridge’s pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo river in January 25,2010. Almost 3.3 million litres spilled into the river with the bitumen going immediately to the bottom of the river, which could take decades to clean up.
The organizer of the event Nancy Rowe went on a formal tour of the Kalamazoo oil spill site two years ago after much clean up was done.
“I could see the oil film on top of the water despite the clean up efforts. It is not just an American problem; it involves all of Turtle Island,” said Rowe. “We all need to gather here to avoid the contamination of the thing we need the most, which is water. It doesn’t make sense to me that we are going to ruin or take a chance to ruin everything that our life depends on. Why are willing to take the risk? What doesn’t make sense to me is that it does not get the media coverage that it should. It’s not about race colour or creed; we need to gather as people because water doesn’t recognize race, colour, or creed. I think that this is not just a problem for Standing Rock but a problem for us all that needs to be dealt with. This is why people are now starting to gather.”
Yutlunotha, also known by some as Amanda Doxtator, turtle clan, from the Oneida of Thames just came back from Standing Rock. She went down to help in any way she could and felt it was important to keep on supporting. Yutlunotha described the campsite:
“I don’t consider it a campsite, there was a sense of community there that was amazing; always helping and supporting each other. Taking care of each in the original way. The men cut wood and the women helped in the kitchen and at night time singing, sweat lodges and other ceremonies going until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.. The people and the unity there made it an amazing experience. We need to create awareness about Enbridge’s line 9 and 10. If you look at what’s going on with our mother like fracking she is giving her shell a shake busting those pipelines because she’s trying to warn us; but all the people from other directions haven’t been listening.”