( originally published here: http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2016/10/fearless-ojibwa-woman-warrior-is.html)
We know pipelines leak, they always do – it would wipe out our culture and identity. It’s something that’s so fundamental to our people.
Tara Houska, from the Ojibwa Nation, says this gathering of tribal nations at Standing Rock is unprecedented since Wounded Knee in 1973.
“I can tell you that on the ground people aren’t leaving. The 2,000 now upwards of 4,000, when folks come in that actually live on Standing Rock, they come in on the weekends we’re talking a massive encampment of Native American people that are saying no more. And those people we know how to camp. We know how to live off the land. We know how to be in a winter camp. There are people from all over that have come there to bring their skills and bring their tribal cultural knowledge to share with each other. And these folks are not leaving. They want this pipeline; this has become more than just a pipeline. This is a stance for indigenous rights. These people are willing to die to stop this pipeline.” said Tara Houska.
“We’ve seen North Dakota, in particular, put out messaging that says folks are violent, that we’re aggressive, that we are antagonizing the situation and somehow necessitating this militarized response. The reality is, if you’re here and you’re seeing the grassroots media coming out, it’s people who are gathered together in prayer and unity and coming together for the first time, really, in history. This is a historic moment for tribal nations to come together like this. We’ve got people who are historic enemies camping alongside each other, learning to live together and be together in this space…”
“We’ve been working at Honor the Earth against two pipelines, Line 3 and the Sandpiper line. Enbridge, the company behind Sandpiper, actually pulled the funding from Sandpiper and put it toward Dakota Access.”
“One of the issues here is that Dakota Access went through a process where they used legal loopholes, they used nationwide permit to segment the project into little pieces and essentially avoid the stringent environmental review that a project like this should have. They did an EA – environmental assessment – instead of a full environmental impact statement to consider all the cumulative impacts that a pipeline like this could have. The impacts to sacred sites, cultural sites, health impact, anything that a massive fossil fuel infrastructure project that we don’t need would have with it.”
Words of Tara Houska