Bridger, South Dakota American Indian community resistance against Keystone XL pipeline in late March 2014
BRIDGER, SOUTH DAKOTA — Bridger Project Board of Directors met and in recognition of and in cooperation with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council motion on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 supporting the placement of a spiritual camp in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in the Cheyenne River Valley Bridger area has unanimously approved.
The Spiritual camp will open Saturday April 12, 2014 on land authorized in 2005 for use in the Bridger area. Campers are expected to arrive beginning this week.
This camp is temporary and serves a purpose specific to supporting Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council and membership initiatives in opposing oil development and pipeline construction which is detrimental to the interests of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Campers will be training and practicing exercises in non-violent direct action, witness documentation, Lakota culture and history, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal laws and treaties as well as survival training activities.
Other spiritual camps have also been erected along the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The first was erected by descendants of the Ponca Tribe last year in Nebraska in November. The second camp was opened on March 29th on the Rosebud Sioux reservation.
Lakota are traditionally nomadic and there are several camp areas outside the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council reservation boundary which lie on trust lands to the west of the Bridger area. This aspect renders assembly of this camp logical in its location and purpose. They Keystone XL project plans to route its pipeline just directly south of the southern tip of the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation and plans to traverse under the Cheyenne River where local residents fill their freezers full of fish to survive the harsh poverty and climatic conditions of the area.
The Bridger Project board of directors will oversee the organization, formation and finances of the camp in cooperation with the CRST treasurer’s office and other related CRST programs. The Board will work to insure the safety and wellness of the community and campers as well as to insure discipline for financial solvency, security and compliance with CRST laws and the goals set forth for this camp.
When President Obama issues the decision whether or not to approve the request by TransCanada for permission to build the northern leg of the pipeline the board of directors will meet with campers and spiritual leaders to decide the best strategy at that time. In the event the permit is denied the camp will break.
Contact information for the camp is as follows:
LaVae Red Horse 605-200-2381
Hermus Red Horse 605-538-4238
Sylvester Waloke 605-848-9159
Byron Buffalo 605-200-2614