An Indian site in North Dakota is the scene of the biggest Native American crowd in over 100 years. The site is called the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Indigenous people from all over America are living in camps. They want their voices to be heard. They protest against a new oil pipeline being constructed.
Consequently, a new community has formed. The Native American people see water as sacred. For their people, it’s the symbol of life. And they don’t want the symbol destroyed by a pipeline.
The expensive pipeline which is in the center of the controversy is supposed to pass beneath the Missouri river and destroy a number of sacred sites from the area. One of them is a flooded forest, which used to be a burial ground.
The initially peaceful gathering, with tents, trailers and horses took a violent turn when four security guards and two dogs were injured in the aftermath of a confrontation between protesters and construction crews.
One of the security guards was rushed to a hospital nearby.
Steve Sitting Bear, a spokesman for the tribe, stated that six of his people have been bitten by the security dogs, including a young child. Over thirty people were exposed to pepper spray.
Security officer Donnell Preskey has a different story. She says no Native Indian protesters were injured.
A federal judge is going to make a decision on the construction of the oil pipeline on September, 9th. Until then, the protest continues.
The tribe believes the pipeline project could disturb sacred sites and spoil drinking water for thousands of members of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and millions who are further downstream.
Court documents by tribal officer Tim Mentz confirm that burial rock piles and historical artifacts have been found on the site.
According to Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeir, the event looked like a riot, not a protest. Individuals attacked private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles. Although the event was perceived as unlawful, no arrests were made. There is an active investigation of the incident.
It remains unclear who started the incident. Protesters say security workers used attack dogs on a peaceful crowd.
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Image Source – Wikipedia