Standing Rock: What Does Easter Look Like? by Elizabeth Cunningham

As I write, Bakken crude oil is moving through the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe Reservoir, crossing treaty lands and waters that the Sioux Nation never ceded to the United States Government.

This, after the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline since it was proposed in 2014, with hundreds of other tribes making formal declarations in support of the tribe’s opposition. This, despite ongoing lawsuits. This, after a prayer camp begun by a small group of indigenous youth in April, 2016 grew to several camps with a total population at one point of close to 20,000. This, after 4,000 United States military veterans came to stand with the water protectors in December, 2016. This, after the United States Army Corps of Engineers under the Obama administration denied the easement to cross the river and legally bound themselves to conducting an environmental impact study that the Trump administration aborted. This, after countless unarmed water protectors faced attack dogs, mace, rubber bullets, water hoses turned on them in sub-freezing weather, and noise cannons.  This, after the arrest of over seven hundred people (some charged with felonies and still awaiting trial) many of whom were strip-searched and held in kennels in an unheated parking garage. This, after hundreds of people camped all winter, surviving blizzards and bitter cold. This, after people remained standing in prayer until they were forcibly removed from the prayer camps on February 22nd, 2017. Continue reading “Standing Rock: What Does Easter Look Like? by Elizabeth Cunningham”

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