Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winter Tent Needed for Human Rights Work at Standing Rock for Michelle Cook, Dine'

By Michelle Cook

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I am heading back to Standing Rock and this time I am coming prepared. Back to the war zone round two. Human rights abuses continue. The abuses need to be documented and this Arctic tent will help achieve and secure that presence, mission, and purpose.
Re: Winter Shelter for Continued Human Rights Work In Standing Rock
Dear Supporter, Funders, and Donors,
I hope this message finds you well and strong. My name is Michelle Cook born of the Honághááhnii Clan of the Navajo Nation; and a founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective formerly the Red Owl Legal Collective. I am writing to request financial support to continue my work at the Standing Rock encampment. The Dakota Access pipeline runs through the traditional territories used and occupied by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and has been constructed without adequate consultation or their free, prior, and informed consent. The installation of the pipeline is creating a climate of fear, terror, and insecurity, perpetuated and waged against the people by police, federal agents, and private security forces hired by the Dakota Access Company. 
As a volunteer human rights and legal observer, I am in need of reliable winter shelter as I continue to witness and document human rights abuses in Standing Rock through December and January. The only accommodation is ten miles away from the encampment at the Prairie Knights Casino located on the Standing Rock reservation. This accommodation is unreliable as rooms are often booked leaving those who are serving the camp without reliable accommodation.  Even when available, as volunteer legal staff I would have a hard time paying both for travel to Standing Rock and then additional housing expenses.
Therefore, I am trying to raise 5,000$ toward getting winter shelter. Please help if you can. Winter shelter is expensive but critical in continuing to provide direct onsite legal services to the camp and water protectors in Standing Rock.
Thank you,
Michelle Cook J.D.
SJD Candidate, University of Arizona, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program

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