September 1, 2016

Wyoming Tribes Support Pipeline Demonstrations In North Dakota

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Signs of protest at the Dakota Access pipeline construction site.

Amy Sisk/Inside Energy

Signs of protest at the Dakota Access pipeline construction site.

Both tribes on the Wind River Reservation have submitted letters of support for the Standing Rock Sioux in the Dakotas. That tribe is protesting the development of an oil pipeline under the Missouri River, their main water source.

The Eastern Shoshone have passed a resolution in support of the Standing Rock Sioux, and the Wind River Native Advocacy Center has sent 17 people along with food, water and other supplies to southcentral North Dakota where about 1500 people are camping out. 154 tribes have come out in support of the protests, says the center’s executive director, Jason Baldes.

“That’s unprecedented. People are likening it to Wounded Knee where the people are gathering in peace and in prayer. And you’ve got the army on the hill with Gatling guns.”

Baldes says protesters didn’t expect to be camped out so long.

“There’s families, there’s kids, they’ve even started a school there so that kids can go to school while being there.”

Baldes says, contrary to some reports, the demonstrations have been peaceful.

“You know, there’s no firearms, there’s no drugs, there’s no alcohol,” Baldes says. “And it’s a peaceful and prayerful opposition to that pipeline.”

Baldes says both the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapahoe feel the Army Corp of Engineers left the Standing Rock Sioux out of pipeline negotiations. He says by treaty and federal statute they are required to include tribes since they’re sovereign nations.

Baldes says Wyoming’s tribes want to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s demand to be included as a sovereign nation in decision making affecting their water.

“We’re at the headwaters,” he says. “The water that leaves our mountains, that’s the water they’re drinking. And you know, everything is connected. We say ba nanashoonte…Water is life.”

Baldes says they plan to send more people and supplies in coming days.

Are you at the protests? Does this situation affect your life? Text “pipeline” to 701-354-4414 to anonymously share your story with us.

  • Flying Eagle

    Time to awaken and realize that the children to come are the ones who will walk upon the land. One must ask themselves what they wish for the 7th generation. If you only care about today, then tomorrow means nothing.

  • Sloan

    For the most part it does sound like they are being peaceful. That first day when they stormed the fence on foot and horseback in a threatening manner was not so peaceful though, it’s no wonder pepper spray and dogs were let loose. If you charge at someone you can be sure they will feel threatened.

  • Amber Rivera

    Sloan and Flying Eagle, thank you both for adding your insights to this story. For more opportunities to share your thoughts, we hope you’ll stay connected to our reporting by signing up for our twice monthly newsletter: