Many are disheartened by the videos we’ve seen of law enforcement attacking Standing Rock frontline protestors. After fighting for months over a whopping $3.7 billion project that has the potential to contaminate their water supply, Native Americans are taking a stand against potential damages to their land.
In the past week, many citizens have been attacked with billy clubs, rubber bullets and pepper spray in an effort to get protestors to cease with what citizens consider to be a peaceful demonstration. Among these citizens that have been physically attacked are children and elders of the community. It is estimated that about 141 protestors were arrested just last week.
Although many of us cannot physically stand with our native brothers and sisters during this time, a lot of people have taken to Facebook in hopes to confuse law enforcement. An article on The Verge states that since police have intervened on the protests, a message that has been circling the social media outlet is giving users instructions that may “confuse” officers:
According to the NY Times, activist Mekasi Horinek, a son of Ponca Tribe activists, came to North Dakota to stand in solidarity on the Standing Rock frontline as well. He stated that “What I said to the police officers when I was sitting down in a prayer circle, I asked them, ‘Don’t you drink water, too? Don’t your children drink water? We’re here to protect the water. This isn’t just a native issue. We’re here protecting the water, not only for our families and our children, but for your families and your children. For every ranch and every farm along the Missouri River.”
Horinek further stated that “No matter what they do to us, they’re not going to strip our dignity, our honor. These are things we hold in our DNA, and we’ll never lose.”
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation. According to reservation’s official website, The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe “stands by its right to self-government as a sovereign nation, which includes taking a government-to-government stance with the states and federal government entities.”
We stand with our brothers and sisters in North Dakota as they fight peacefully to preserve their way of life.