#WaterisLife: Why Standing Rock Matters
Photo by Josue Rivas
By now you have probably heard about what’s happening at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota: an oil pipeline is being built over protected land and will also go under the MIssouri River, which is a source of water to over 18 million people, including the Native Americans who live on the Standing Rock Reservation. The construction also requires the desecration of sacred sites and burial grounds to the Sioux Tribe.
This is an incredibly important moment in the history and culture of Native Americans, the U.S. and the entire world. We have seen an incredible uprising in support and solidarity for the Standing Rock water protectors, not just in the U.S. but all around the world.
Over 200 Native American tribes have united together to oppose the pipeline in North Dakota. This is the first time since 1876 that Sioux Tribe leaders representing all Sioux groups have been present!
One of our tribe members, Shailene Woodley, has been actively supportive of Standing Rock from day one: she ran 2,000 miles with the Native American Youth to the Democratic National Convention back in August, has been able to share the voice and the mission of the Water Protectors, and has been brave enough to be at the front lines, which led to her arrest last month. Other notable figures like Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Josh Fox, Phoebe Dykstra, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Pharrell Williams have also joined the water protectors in North Dakota. Recently, the UN stepped in to ask the American Government to halt the pipeline and is also investigating human rights violations in the treatment of the water protectors.
Tiffiny, our marketing manager, attended a solidarity walk last week through downtown Denver, CO with hundreds of water protectors, children, and people of all races who support clean water access and wanted to stand with Standing Rock.
Photo by Tiffiny Costello
Events like this are happening all across the nation, and people are joining together and standing with the water protectors.
So why should this matter to you?
- Clean water: the Missouri River is not just a watershed to the 9,000 souls living on the Standing Rock Reservation - it will affect 18 million people's’ drinking water if and when an inevitable oil leak occurs. This is a fight to provide clean water for generations to come.
- Cultural respect: the pipeline construction has required the desecration of sacred burial sites and ritual locations of the Sioux Tribe. How will the culture of the Native Americans in the U.S. continue if parts of their historical culture are being destroyed?
- It’s a chance for the U.S. to pivot towards renewable energy, rather than relying on fossil fuel exports.
If you are wanting to get involved but can’t make it to Standing Rock or don’t know how, we’ve outlined ways to help in our previous blog post and we will also be donating 25% of our sales to support the water protectors this month!