Water Protectors in Mandan
MANDAN, ND—Several days ago the Morton County Sheriff’s Department published a wishlist to the general public via social media requesting items in their deployment near the Dakota Access Pipeline site north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation only to be surprised that a contingency of youth from the International Indigenous Youth Council and supporters from #NODAPL camps personally delivered them to the facility in an effort to repair relationships. Included on that lists were items such as hand warmers, food items, thermal clothing, and prayers.
First on the list to be delivered was prayer. Prayer songs led by youth at the front of the Morton County Correction Center were sung in unison and brought a chilling emotion to the streets of Mandan. Supporters and youth emphasized that their intention has always been about peace and prayer and voiced everyone would be included in prayer.
After the event several youth voiced to media that they wanted to public to understand that in no way are the efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline violent or intended to exclude anyone.
Youth expressed that they wanted to let Morton County know that they are not the enemy and their thoughts on today’s actions were to express that their message was their was for them to be healthy and do the best jobs they can so all people are protected and safe.
Recent tensions have heightened between #nodapl camps and law enforcement due to recent demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Since demonstrations have heightened in early August more than 400 people have been arrested and many more have been sprayed by water in sub-freezing temperatures, struck by rubber bullets, and pepper sprayed.
The event was organized several days ago by various members of the community and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but were kept quiet due to the possibility of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department responding to the actions as a possible threat. Morton County accepted the offering and posted on their Facebook page a gesture of thanks to the International Indigenous Youth Council, but did not mention #NODAPL.
Darren Thompson can be reached at 605-545-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org