Lakota Country Times: Tribes remain united at #NoDAPL encampment

The Spirit Camp is one of two camps that have attracted as many as 2,000 protectors, young and old to Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Photo courtesy of Arlo Iron Cloud

95 Tribal Nations: Protect Water And Prepare For Court
By Tom Crash
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

CANNONBALL, ND – On September 9, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is set to issue a ruling on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction to stop the continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that plans to cross four states from Stanley, North Dakota, to Patoka, Illinois, 1,172 miles.

Both the Spirit camp and the Sacred Stone Spiritual camp continue strong with as many as 2,000 participants representing 95 tribal nations. Alayna Eagle Shield, with the support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, has started a school for children of the campers that includes language, diet and nutrition and traditional stories. A river mobilization is planned on Sept. 7-8, riding boats from Bismarck to Cannonball. In conjunction with the annual United Tribes pow wow, a rally is scheduled at 4pm, Sept. 9 in Bismarck at the state capital.

The Lummi Nation brought a 22 foot totem pole from Washington that is part of a 5,000-mile journey through Canada and the U.S. Photo courtesy of Arlo Iron Cloud

On Tuesday, August 30, the Lummi Nation totem journey arrived at the camp with a 22 ft. totem on a flat bed truck, part of a 5,000 mile journey across Canada and the U. S. attempting to unite Native naions in opposition to fossil fuel infrastructure development in areas that affect tribal nations. Crude oil pipelines and shipping portals that provide opportunities to ship millions of tons of coal are the focal points of the journey. This is the fourth year of the symbolic journey, the 22 foot totem, weighs 3,000 pounds, is carved out of western red cedar and features an eagle on top with a 12 foot wingspan, a bear and a wolf.

“Spending time at Cannonball, in the camps, it was very powerful. There was such unity, you could feel it in your chest, your core. There was an overwhelming pride, everyone coming together, people helping with water, food -- not one negative feeling,” said Rich Greenwald about his time at the protector’s camp by Cannonball. “It was all positive, the prayers, it was peaceful, a common goal: protect the water. Race didn’t matter -- this can have an impact on everyone, not just Natives.”

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Drilling under the river hasn’t started yet, materials continued to be stockpiled on the east side of the Missouri. A small amount of construction continues on the west side. Representatives from the group Black Lives Matter also visited the camps in the past few days.

Mel Lone Hill (Oglala Sioux) addressed the council on Tuesday.

“The council needs to continue to support the efforts of people gathered at Cannonball,” he said. “I’ve been there twice. When I came back from Cannonball, it was like a slap in the face. It really woke me up, people were really working together.”

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