Tribal youth in North Dakota. Photo by Joe Brusky
One Spirit joins Lakota to fight pipeline
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor
RAPID CITY --With so many charity organizations soliciting funds for the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, there is only one joining the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
One Spirit has managed to shake the stigma attached to most outside charities on the reservation by becoming fully invested in the people living there. With so many eyes in Indian Country now focused on stopping the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, One Spirit has decided to join its constituents and is attempting to raise $100,000 to send 1,000 Native youth to the protector camps near Cannon Ball, ND. The funds will be used to help transport the youth, supply tents and sleeping bags, as well as food needed for them to reach the pipeline protest site.
"The construction led by Energy Transfer Inc. has already destroyed ancient burial sites, prayer grounds, and sacred artifacts. The Standing Rock Lakota have been joined by members of 280 other tribes, and the youth from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation want to join their elders and stand with them. Not only would this strengthen the #NODAPL movement, it could also be a turning point in stopping the epidemic of youth suicide on the reservation," said Jeri Baker, Executive Director of One Spirit Native Progress.
The protector camps located near the Oahe Lake have been erected to prevent the laying of the Dakota Access Pipeline underneath the Missouri River due to concerns that a leak could ruin drinking water for millions of people. Additionally, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has argued that they were not properly consulted prior to approval of the pipeline despite legal precedent stating that the United States must meet with tribal-nations on a government-to-government basis.
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"Many Oglala Lakota have already played a key part in the pipeline opposition. Most of the youth have been supporting their elders from afar until now, but they are determined to reach the protest site to lend their voice to the movement in person. They are more than their circumstances, and they are determined to prove it," said Baker.
For more information on how you can contribute to this effort please visit nativeprogress.org.
(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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