Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Message to Water Protectors and Allies*
By Levi Rickert
With the impending spring thaw, several efforts are underway to cleanup and ultimately clear the encampments where thousands of water protectors have camped to show solidarity and resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline. The encampments are in a flood plain and will be under water when the thaw happens.
During times of change, rumours become rampant. Rumours often sow discord among those who have good intentions.
Yesterday, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe released the following message to help keep calm among all concerned:
Water Protectors and Allies,
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our movement as a whole are in a phase of transition and growth. The encampments brought global attention to our struggle, and now we face the task of carrying that momentum forward as we work to defeat this pipeline and other projects that deny the rights of indigenous people.
We cannot let media and social media divide us. We have always been transparent in our messages and actions; it is unfortunate when certain media take messages out of context. We must remain focused on our goals. The movement is bigger than just the tribe. It is bigger than the Chairman, or any individual. We should all be working together to protect the tenets of the movement.
One of the key tenets of any movement is being considerate about how we treat the community in which we bring our voices and respect the places where we are visitors. The community of Cannonball has every right to choose how it wants people to help them. We are still focused on defeating DAPL on all fronts.
We want to stress that we are cleaning the camps, not clearing them. We do not support or endorse any “raids.” We have not asked for law enforcement to assist in clearing camps and in fact have repeatedly told them there will be no forcible removal.
We have never stopped fighting the pipeline. There have never been any negotiations. Rumours and conspiracy theories abound in any movement as powerful as this; we cannot let media and other governments manipulate our statements and actions into a narrative counter to the truth. We cannot fall into the traps of divide and conquer—that is how we lost so much before, and Standing Rock will not let that happen again. Together we rise.
We ask our allies to be grounded in prayer in all that you do. We will prevail.