September 01, 2016 –
“PBPN Supports Standing Rock”
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is currently in a fight to protect their land, their water, their sacred sites and their lives. The environmental threats to the Standing Rock Sioux community have been validated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, who have all called for a full Environmental Impact Statement to determine what threats exist and to mitigate those threats where possible.
This is an Indian issue and most importantly it is a human being issue. The potential impacts to other communities, both Indian and non-Indian is real and still unknown. Also of concern is the fact that there was a distinct lack of government-to-government consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
PBPN Chairperson Liana Onnen stated, “If we, as Indian nations, do not stand with Standing Rock, then we imply that this lack of consultation is acceptable not only for Standing Rock, but for all Indian nations and it is not. With the recent revelations that easements were not properly obtained by the Corps of Engineers, it is important to continue to monitor and support their efforts.”
With this in mind, the PBPN sent an official letter of support to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and drafted a resolution declaring our opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Nathan Hale, PBPN Boys & Girls Club director and Chago Hale, PBPN Road & Bridge director were also dispatched to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota with a pallet of water and other supplies donated by members of the community on August 28, 2016.
They arrived late Sunday evening and were welcomed by everyone they encountered. Several volunteers were there to help unload the food, water, clothing and various other donations. The duo also delivered the PBPN flag to be added with the other tribal flags of the tribal nations that have contributed to the protest effort.
“There was a great vibe and sense of community there. It was awesome to see so many different groups of peoples and tribes come together in such a way,” said Nathan Hale. The two were asked to introduce themselves to the camp through a PA system and Chago Hale spoke, expressing their thanks and support for what was happening in Standing Rock and closed by singing a song.
Monday they were able to visit the initial protest site where the pipeline is planned to come through and later followed the convoy through the police barricade impeding the flow of traffic to travel south to the reservation from Bismarck. Nathan Hale relayed that the barricade, “is said to be in place to protect the protestors but is more like a method of economic sanctions against the Standing Rock Sioux tribe by blocking easy access to their casino.”
The two men traveled to Bismarck and witnessed the peaceful protest by camp members in front of the Fredrickson & Byron law offices, the legal outfit representing the pipe line before returning to Kansas. Both Hales agreed it was an amazing experience and they feel that this movement could be a major historical turning point for indigenous people.
For anyone that may be interested in showing their support, Standing Rock is accepting monetary donations at the website www.standingrock.org. Click the “Donate to Dakota Access Pipeline Fund” link in the upper right hand corner to make a donation.
Prairie Band Casino & Resort Warehouse Supervisor Eric Otero loads a pallet of water into
the PBPN Boys and Girls Club Trailer for Nathan Hale, BGC Director to deliver to Standing Rock.
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation General Manager Kristen Aitkens assists Nathan Hale, BGC Director with
loading the trailer with food and other non-perishable supplies.
Next to the camp at Standing Rock hand crafted messages were displayed along the fence.
Flags sent by all the Native American tribes supporting Standing Rock were also displayed on the fence.
The camp members from Cannon Ball traveled to Bismarck to peacefully protest outside of
the Fredrickson & Byron law office; the legal outfit representing the pipe line.