Standing Rock Cautiously Optimistic Following Denial of Easement For Dakota Access Pipeline

Story Transcript

LAURETTA PREVOST: The news that was just released is that the Army Corps denied the easement.

SANDRA LEE: How real is that? That the Army Corps denied the easement.

SPEAKER: For those of you that didn’t hear, the permit has been denied.

LEE: So, is that a temporary kind of stay?

TINA THOMAS: We have been heard. The prayers have been answered. It’s only the beginning. But I look forward to moving forward together, united.

DENAE SHANINDIIN: It’s a big victory for everyone here, everyone at home that can’t be here, for veterans arriving. It means a lot to native people. For everyone who’s been-

LEE: You hear all the cheers in the background so I hope that that’s a permanent decision.

KENNY FROST: What this does is we have over 315 Indian tribe here. We have people from around the world. What it means is it gives the power to the people. Is that what the constitution says? We the people. Because we have gathered here as one group in solidarity for all. We have never come together as one people, ever.

These hills that we see over here and especially those hills over here along the Missouri, they have burial sites. That’s why it was important. When they attacked us on September the 3rd when the archeologists gave that information to Dakota Access, they bulldozed it and we went up there only to be met by attack dogs. But when you look with the trained eye you can see the indentions and dirt. What those indentions are showing, those are burial sites that were disturbed.

JULIE KURYLOWICZ: I’ve only been here for 24 hours. I came here willing to stand on the front lines to protect people as they voiced their first amendment rights.

And here we are just a little over 24 hours later and come to find out, nobody’s going to get hurt.

SHANINDIIN: It’s been a really hard year for everyone. This year has been really h ard politically, environmentally. I remember at the beginning of the election season when Bernie Sanders was making his campaign he talked about Native people and it was the first time ie ever heard a politician really speak for native people and what they stand for and what they need and the attention that they need because native intelligence does not even come close to anything in the political system. So it’s been a really hard year but it’s also been a really spiritual awakening for a lot of people and native allies and so many people coming together and it’s been really beautiful to experience that. So we’ve won in a lot of ways.

DYLAN CHASING HAWK: It’s up to the people really. That’s what’s the real decision, if we’re really going to keep this going or not. This is your guy’s water. This is your life too. So come together. Don’t matter about color, anything like that. So we’re all human. That’s the main thing.

THOMAS: This is only the beginning of unity, the power that people have to take back the power from the powers to be that control it with the almighty dollar.

FROST: If you look at the presidential history of these presidents who make promises, I will do this, I will do that, I can change this. There are federal laws and federal procedures that no president can make those changes without congress because those federal laws are meant to taming the people. So everything that the new president will say that he’s going to do, he cant’ really do it because we as Native Americans, we as the people, we as those who reside in the United States, there’s federal laws to protect us and to protect the land.

If all of us don’t take care of mother earth, we all will perish. Not only one group but each and every one of us will perish, we’ll all suffer the same consequences.

LEE: I don’t think we’re done. I think it’s kind of the beginning. I think it’s the beginning of awareness and seeing all different kinds of nationalities here.

SHANINDIIN: Standing Rock is everywhere. We’re from the Navaho nation so there’s a lot of work to be done back home. I’m happy to be here but I’m going to, I believe that this kind of energy will then spread everywhere else here and I hope that people that come here will understand that it’s not just here it’s everywhere.

There’s a lot of work to be done.

End

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