Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 4, 2016

Protection of Sacred Sites Leads to Clash with Pipeline Security, Halts Construction

Photo credit Natalie Hand
Lakota Media Project/Owe Aku
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Protection of Sacred Sites Leads to Clash with Dakota Access Private Security and Halts Construction
September 4, 2016

Yesterday, on the 153rd anniversary of the White Stone Hill Massacre of over 300 Dakota men, women, and children, the Dakota Access company’s private security provoked an altercation with protectors of sacred sites west of Highway 1806. Just the day before, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed additional information with the D.C. District Court detailing dozens of sacred sites, including burial grounds, that are in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Yesterday morning, Dakota Access attempted construction on that route. A group of approximately 100 people traveled from the encampment on the Cannon Ball River and arrived on foot to protect the sites from harm. The active construction equipment was guarded by private security armed with trained dogs and mace.

Guards sprayed mace directly into people’s faces and released dogs without warning on the actively demonstrating, unarmed protectors. At least 6 people were bitten, including a pregnant woman and a young girl who was taken to the hospital in Ft. Yates in stable condition. At no point did the security guards provide any request to leave or verbal warning, nor did they provide identification.  

LaDonna Allard, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, described the scene and the significance of the day, “September 3rd is the 153rd anniversary of the White Stone Hill Massacre. People from Cannon Ball are the descendants of survivors of that massacre. When the sun goes down, we know that’s when they started killing our people. We grew up with these stories. Yesterday morning, they told me Dakota Access was constructing. They are going over our culture, our land, our heart. On the day we remember those tears and that heartbreak, they are running over Mother Earth. I stood on that ground as the dogs barked and I prayed.”

A mother from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe was bitten on the chest by a dog while demonstrating, “They stood there smugly and laughed at us. I did this for my mom. I did this with the spirits. My grandmother always told me to stand up for what I believe in, to stand up for my children. When I feel that my son’s future is threatened, that he might be poisoned, that he might not get to experience life because of cancer, how can I not protect my child? I’ll die for my son. For his future, for all of these children’s futures. What little we have left, I will protect.”

“This was a call to action to protect our sacred sites. People showed up in force to stop the construction and the disrespect. We were there to defend and pushed back the private security force in a non-violent way and they released attacks dogs on the women on the frontlines first. They are the aggressors. We didn’t fight back, but we stood our ground. Yesterday’s action was forced upon us,” said Cody Hall, on behalf of the Red Warrior Camp.


Anonymous said...

(For) Bring Back the Way
We met the enemy face to face,the walls of their terror crumbled into sand. We are the people of mother earth, beauty so simple for everyone to understand. I touched the enemy with my courage, without fear I made my stand. We are the people of mother earth, there is no way to break our love of this land.You, enemy, cannot own me, cannot buy me, cannot destroy me. On this day forever I earn my name. I Undoubtedly Exist /in Beauty I live.MMMMMMMOMMMMMMMOMMMMMMM

Anonymous said...

What you need to know about me is that I live in Kentucky and have numerous ancestors that were Cherokee and my heart goes out to all those protectors waters everywhere. I am a retired public school teacher, former council member and secretary of the band Echota Cherokees of Alabama, wife, mother and grandmother. I support the Sioux tribe for all their efforts and attempts to protect their lands and waters. This is my prayer:
O' Creator hear our prayers,
May the Four Winds blow gently on all the protectors at Standing Rock for protecting waters and ancestors
May blessings be upon all those whom we share our hearts and lives as well as media and videos that are posted.
May our prayers touch those on the front lines and those staying to make a stand to change the minds of the opposers
May joyous peace reign throughout all our days and our children's days knowing that this generation is trying to keep safe what is meant for their lives and that they will do the same for their future generations with goodwill and clean waters for all life.
May we see with Creators eyes the things we must do to be the caretakers of this earth we belong to.
May our ears hear the sounds of praises and thanksgivings for His many gifts.
May we hear His voice in the ways that He speaks to us.
May all protect torso now health physically,spiritually,and emotionally as they endure the cruel and forceful manner of those forcing themselves to put a pipeline where it is not wanted.
May we sustain together this task there and here that we know what to do, how to speak, and how to support all efforts legal and right in presenting to courts and governing bodies the importance of this cause in a sacred and respectful manner.
May all the directions under the sun be watching and following the non media and the social media see what is true and know that we are followers of what is being done.
May all our lives shine and put light on what is just and good each day and each step of the way.
May this prayer bring hope and love to lead and to lift up all who are standing firm.
Aho and Amen
Belinda K. Finn
Of Indian Springs
3018 Lake Vista Drive
Louisville, Ky

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