Minnesota American Indians Lead March at the Tar Sands Resistance Rally in St. Paul

Minnesota American Indians led an estimated crowd of 5,000 through streets of St. Paul for a rally at Minnesota State Capitol. Photo by Patricia Shepard

Minnesota American Indians led an estimated crowd of 5,000 through streets of St. Paul for a rally at Minnesota State Capitol. Photo by Patricia Shepard

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA— Led by American Indian women from several Minnesota-based tribes, an estimated 5,000 people marched through the streets of St. Paul to the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday for the Indigenous Bloc at the Tar Sands Resistance March. Prior to the rally, the women held a traditional water ceremony.

Saturday’s rally was set to protest the proposed Sandpiper pipeline that is slated to carry crude oil from North Dakota through Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin where its owner Enbridge Energy runs an oil terminal that connects other pipelines to refineries in the Midwest and the eastern part of the country.

Among the protesters on Saturday was Ojibwe “Water Walker” Sharon Day, who has been active in fighting the Keystone XL pipeline.

“The turnout for the Indigenous Bloc at the Tar Sands Resistance March was historic,” said Patricia Shepard (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), a Twin Cities Amreican Indian activist. “It was an amazingly beautiful diverse march from the Midwest and as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. We all came together for this incredible experience STOP THE TAR SANDS and ENBRIDGE!!!”

American Indians taking pipeline resistance to the streets in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday. Photo by Dirk Whitebreast

American Indians taking pipeline resistance to the streets in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday. Photo by Dirk Whitebreast

The Tar Sand Resistance Rally attracted some 20 speakers and had no arrests according to law enforcement. The rally happened one day after Minnesota regulators approved the $2.6 billion pipeline.

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