Washington, DC–Indigenous tribes from across the country have set up a camp of seven tipis right across from the White House. Led by the Standing Rock Sioux, who have been in a battle with the federal government over the placement of a pipeline on their ancestral lands, the tribes says they are here to demand that rights of indigenous people everywhere be respected.
Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous Environmental Network said the camp is the next step in a continuation of a movement not only to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, but to energize a global movement against fossil fuels.
“Dakota Access, win or lose, has always been about keeping fossil fuels in the ground,” Goldtooth said. “I don’t think the fight’s over. The fight’s not over. It’s not over until we develop safe and dependable forms of energy production.”
The camp is also a statement to the Trump administration about the inherent right to self-determination for indigenous people, according to Goldtooth.
“Were not just fighting against oil and gas pipelines,” he said. “We’re fighting the entire system.”
The week of prayer circles, water ceremonies and teachings will culminate with a march on Friday at 10 am. Their message: protect the earth for future generations by keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
Hundreds visited the camp on its first day, with busloads of participants from tribes around the country expected to arrive tomorrow.