Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

At Standing Rock, tribes convene to oppose pipeline -- and vow to stay until goal is met


From the two-lane county road that cuts a ribbon through the smooth, dark green hills of southern North Dakota, the Standing Rock Sioux encampment sprawls into a massive community. Nestled between the asphalt on the west, the Missouri River on the east and the Cannonball River on the south sit hundreds of campsites, cars parked next to tents, canvas shelters and teepees.

The main entrance to the controversial site is a stretch of packed solid earth, lined on both sides by dozens of tribal-nation flags that produce a steady, muted rumble in the prairie wind. The camp, where hundreds of people, representing more than 250 tribes from across the world, have gathered to oppose the construction of a nearly 1,200-mile oil pipeline, is now considered home for many of the people.

“This is not a powwow,” said Angela Bibens, a Denver-based attorney at law, who is volunteering with a legal team based on the camp. The law tent sits next to the school, a large canvas tent housing stacks of childrens’ books where Bibens is working to ensure the curriculum meets educational standards so students get full credit. “This is a powerful and profound expression of tribal sovereignty, the likes of which we have never seen before.”


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