Native nations plan march on Washington this week
WASHINGTON — Tribal nations are joining the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in a march on Washington, D.C., this week, calling attention to indigenous rights in response to President Trump's approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Thousands are expected to participate in the Native Nations Rise event, including several busloads from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, said Kandi Mossett, a member of North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes and an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network.
"The goal is to bring the messaging that we want consent not consultation, and to recognize indigenous people's rights," Mossett said.
Events began Tuesday, March 7, with a tipi camp set up on the National Mall that will feature a water ceremony, cultural workshops, speakers and performances through Friday. The events culminate on Friday with a march that starts at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office and concludes at Lafayette Square near the White House.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II is among the speakers scheduled to participate.
"We must march against injustice — Native nations cannot continue to be pushed aside to benefit corporate interests and government whim," Archambault said in a statement.
Five busloads traveled to Washington from North Dakota, Mossett said. Youth from Standing Rock and the Fort Berthold reservations will be among the speakers, she said. Lobbying efforts will be underway during the week.
The opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock has sparked a larger movement to advocate for indigenous rights and promote more renewable energy projects, Mossett said.
"It's not just one issue for one tribe. It's over 300 tribes coming together in solidarity to say that it's not over. It doesn't end with one fight," she said.