Native Women Bring Shovels to North Dakota Cemetery to Highlight the Destruction of Sacred Sites

Story Transcript

SPEAKER: Did you shed tears while burying them in fair view? Did you cry for your grandparents when they put them in the ground?

OGLALA SIOUX: We’re at the oldest graveyard.

SPEAKER: We were born and bred to be warriors.

SIOUX: They can’t do this anymore. It’s disrespectful. How would they like it if we dug up of their graves? Dug up one of their grandpa’s, their great grandpa’s, their great grandma’s. We’re sick of it.

TATE TOPA WIN: Today right now, we come to remind the people this gravesite that’s behind me, what if we went, dug up all their bones. What if we did that? What atrocity and madness you’ll probably have.

SIOUX: One of our great ancestors was a chief. A chief for Standing Rock. They dug him up and just dug him up and tried to put the pipeline through there.

WIN: But when it comes to our sites, it seems like it’s with ease you could do that. That’s wrong. That’s very wrong.

SPEAKER: To defend the land, the water, the air, that nourishes us. All that gives us life we defend and protect. That is our way. It will always be our way. We will offer prayers here. For your ancestors to bring compassion. To bring compassion into your hearts [inaud.]. But you need to remember you already broke spiritual law. You already desecrated those graves.

WIN: Our voice will be heard.