Monday, November 21, 2016

Duluthians travel to Standing Rock to share concerns about water compromise

By Shawn Carr
For the Hillsider

A group of Northlanders who traveled to Standing Rock to share
concerns about the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo submitted)
Fourteen people from Cloquet and Duluth Minnesota met in Cloquet and formed a caravan of five cars and one trailer as they made their way out to Standing Rock, North Dakota on Saturday Sept. 3. The trailer full of donations contained sleeping bags, tents, jackets, batteries, lighters, shovels, food and many other items. Among the group were representatives of All Nations Indigenous, Idle No More /Northwoods Wolf Alliance and a minister from Peace United Church. Eagle Staffs were brought along to honor the people at the camps and were used in a ceremony on Sunday, which was performed next to burial sites that had been disturbed by Dakota Access Pipeline. (DAPL). And of course we went there because we share the concerns of the other tribes that the DAPL will compromise the water quality of a good part of the nation.

We were in Jamestown, North Dakota when we heard the first reports of the pepper spray and dog attacks. This filled us with a greater sense of urgency to get there. The camp is made up of a couple camps. The main camp, Red Warrior, Sacred Stone and we stayed at Rosebud Camp across the river from the main camp. We helped in the camp kitchen with security and helped construct a sweat lodge. Things were peaceful when we got there and we were greeted with hugs and smiles at the supply and food tent. The mood was upbeat.

Once our tents were pitched, we were eager to help out.
Approximately 1500-2000 Native Americans from almost every tribe in the United States participated. The main camp consisted of 5000 people that weekend all peacefully committed to the protection of the water. The driveway to the main camp is lined by the flags of over 150 indigenous nations coming from as far as South America, Alaska and Hawaii. The camp is a constant bustle of activity including a school. Among the teepees and wigwams are horse corrals and tents. Among the drums and traditional singing there was also nightly entertainment by musicians and comedians. When it came time to go home none of us wanted to leave and had all been profoundly affected by our experience.