DON’T MISS: Activists Unite

By on January 2, 2017

See what’s next for water protectors at Standing Rock and learn how to join the fight.

Under the watchful eye of law enforcement, hundreds of water protectors peacefully assemble on Thanksgiving Day in front of Turtle Island, a sacred burial ground for natives. (Photo: Jessica Sell Chambers)

Under the watchful eye of law enforcement, hundreds of water protectors peacefully assemble on Thanksgiving Day in front of Turtle Island, a sacred burial ground for natives. (Photo: Jessica Sell Chambers)

Jackson Hole, WY — Locals will have the chance to hear from prominent activists involved in efforts near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota Tuesday, January 3 at the Pink Garter.

Susana Sandoval and Aldo Seoane will Skype in for the free event. Sandoval is an immigrant rights activist from Chicago who works with Harmony Keepers. Seoane, co-founder of the Native American activist group, Wica Agli, rallied against the Keystone XL oil pipeline and has appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Tuesday’s event will provide information about the camp and ways to plan a trip there. Discussion will also center on organizing a Standing Rock delegation to join the Women March on Washington event January 21 in Washington, DC, and organizing a camp cleanup this spring, explained event organizer Miller Resor.

In addition to a Q&A session with Sandoval and Seoane, several local people who have traveled to Standing Rock will speak, including journalist Angus Thuermer, as well as Penelope Saltido, Max Mogren, Lucas Ayoub and Resor.

“The goal is to get people in touch with first hand information,” Resor explained. “There is a need for continued awareness about this poignant issue.”

The Standing Rock Indian Reservation has been the site of a massive, ongoing encampment protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Water protectors, as the activists are called, warn that the pipeline would disrupt sacred burial sites and threaten water quality for reservation residents as well as residents of nearby communities.

In December, construction of the pipeline froze when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the section of the pipeline to be built beneath the Missouri River in North Dakota. But water protectors worry this will change when President-elect Donald Trump takes office. He said he supports the pipeline and he also happens to own stock in companies involved in the project.

Thousands of people have traveled to Standing Rock over the past year to show solidarity, replenish supplies, and work in the camp. A number of Jackson-based contingents have traveled there, including a group led by Resor. Locals like Mayor-elect Pete Muldoon and Chris Christian, who ran for Wyoming State House, are also among those who have made the journey to show their support.

Initially drawn to advocating for Standing Rock out of environmental concerns, Resor emphasized the larger issue at stake. “I think the most important thing for people to know is that, first and foremost, this is about Native American rights being disregarded over and over again,” he said.

Muldoon echoed Resor. “Protecting our precious clean water is important, but more importantly, we have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with indigenous people who have been shamefully treated by the US throughout its history.”

Stand with Standing Rock in the New Year, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 3 at Pink Garter Theatre. The event is free.

 

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About Meg Daly

Meg Daly is a freelance writer and arts instigator. She grew up in Jackson in the 1970s and 80s, when there were fewer fences, but less culture. Follow Meg on Twitter @MegDaly1

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