Water protectors on top of school bus outside the Trump International Hotel where marchers stop to demonstrate.
Published March 11, 2017
WASHINGTON – Under rain, hail and sunshine, thousands of American Indians from throughout Indian Country came to Washington, D.C. to proclaim: “We stand with Standing Rock.”
Marches assembled by mid-morning in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters in the nation’s capital because it was the Corps of Engineers–the federal agency–that caved in by granting an easement permit to drill at Lake Oahe, near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota.
The easement will now allow the construction of the final portion of the 1172-mile Dakota Access pipeline.
Five busloads of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe came to Washington, D.C., to stand with their tribal chairman, Dave Archambault II. Other American Indians and allies stood in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe youth
The peaceful march took up to 12 city blocks as it made its way to Lafayette Square in front of the White House where a rally was held. The marchers chanted: “Mini Wiconi – Water is life” and “We exist, we resist, we rise” along the march route. The march stopped and erected a tipi in front of the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House. It was this man who signed the presidential memorandum instructing the Corps of Engineers to act quickly in granting the easement that overrode the memorandum the Obama administration issued not granting the easement on December 4, 2016.
Musicians such as Taboo and the woman-group, Ulali provided entertainment at the rally.
Speaker after speaker proclaimed “we stand with Standing Rock.”
Highlights of from some speeches
“We have fallen prey to this misguided and unfounded system long enough. It is time we stand up and demand and our rights and considerations be treated with the respect and deference afforded any other sovereign. We are on the cusp of real change. You stood with Standing Rock and now I ask you to stand with our Indigenous communities around the globe. Together, we rise.”
Dave Archambault II, Chairman, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
“Two centuries of blood shed did not conquer us…No country should ever take unilateral action without consulting us.”
Dawn Sharp ( Chair – Quinault Indian Nation), Vice President, National Congress of the American Indian
“We would ask those corporations with heart to ask, what do we need now? We don’t need more oil. Keep it in the ground…we need not take more oil from the earth…we cannot drink oil. Keep it in the soil…water is life, Mini Wiconi.”
Wes Studi, American Indian actor
We stand in solidarity, too often in this town, the powers made here are made…let our voice be heard loud and clear reminding our leaders we are all bound together
Our government belongs to the people…the fight for clean for water is a battle for the life blood of our planet the soul of our nations and of all nations.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)
The march was part of four-days of events in Washington, D.C. hosted by Native Nations Rise and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert