Native Sun News Today: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in fight for 'our lives'

Julie Richards of Mothers Against Meth Alliance at the #NoDAPL encampment in North Dakota. Photo from Facebook

‘The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is fighting for our lives’
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

CANNON BALL, N.D. –– As the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe looked forward to Oct. 5 oral arguments on its federal court appeal to protect cultural properties and water in treaty territory from the Dakota Access Pipeline, hundreds of sympathetic demonstrators marched onto active construction sites, keeping the issue in the public eye.

“Our ancestors fought for our rights to clean water and to have a good way of life, and now we're fighting to make sure that our daughters and great granddaughters can also have those rights and a better life,” said demonstrator Julie Richards.

“All this land is sacred to us. It's our ancestral homelands and part of the designated treaty territory,” said Richards, who is the founder of the Mothers Against Meth Alliance (M.A.M.A.) based in Pine Ridge.

Participants in a demonstration Sept. 25, weathered whipping winds to make a stand with their songs, drums, flags and banners in the pipeline right-of-way near its proposed crossing of the Oahe Reservoir on the Missouri River, just upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory.

In contrast to former direct actions that have resulted in some two dozen arrests in the Cannon Ball area of resistance, and in contradiction to rumors of police presence, this demonstration drew no law enforcement or private security response.

The federal courts in North Dakota had lifted a pipeline company injunction against demonstrations a week earlier.

In a separate court case, the tribal government had procured an administrative injunction from the U.S. Circuit Court of the District of Colombia on Sept. 16 to reinforce and lengthen a Sept. 9 Cabinet-level order postponing pipeline construction permits in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction in a buffer zone 20 miles east and west of the river, respectively.

That order included an offer to all federally-recognized tribes for consultation on infrastructure projects in longstanding territorial jurisdiction conflicts, which was followed by a Sept. 23 invitation letter addressed to tribal leaders.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: 'The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is fighting for our lives'

(Contact Talli Nauman at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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