Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) running a pipe line through their sacred lands and water just got assistance from a large herd of wild buffalo. Thousands of the majestic animals appeared, lining the top of the North Dakota hills. Where they came from, no one knows.
As the Standing Rock Sioux continued to protest non-violently, the police response has been escalating. Tribal leaders have been asking both the state and federal governments to recognize the constitutional rights of the water protectors. DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners, and the government have come together to implement the pipe line.
The DAPL oil pipe line will go beneath the Missouri River. A not-uncommon leak would pollute the water source for millions of people downstream. The indigenous people also ask that the militarized force’s mistreatment of the Native Americans stop.
After Governor Jack Dalrymple called a state of emergency, tanks roared in and the riot police brought out the rubber bullets, batons, and mace. Those police are beating innocent people with batons, attacking them with mace, and arresting them en masse. Then, the American bison arrived.
Native Americans honor the American bison, maintaining a spiritual tradition with the huge animals. They believe the buffalo are a gift from the Great Spirit, and the people believe that as long as the bison herd can roam freely and grow in size, Native Americans will be free and strong.
The Native Americans prayed to Tatanka Oyate for help during the standoff. The American bison is a symbol of sacrifice, since the animals provide indigenous people with shelter, food, and clothing.
Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe David Archambault II wrote a statement:
‘Militarized law enforcement agencies moved in on water protectors with tanks and riot gear today. We continue to pray for peace.
‘We won’t step down from this fight. As peoples of this earth, we all need water. This is about our water, our rights, and our dignity as human beings.’
As a stampede of bison appeared near the protest camp close to Standing Rock, the Sioux cried out and shouted in joy.
‘We call on the state of North Dakota to oversee the actions of local law enforcement to, first and foremost, ensure everyone’s safety. The Department of Justice must send overseers immediately to ensure the protection of First Amendment rights and the safety of thousands here at Standing Rock. DOJ (Department of Justice) can no longer ignore our requests.’
The large animals are very powerful symbols for American Indians. They are revered and honored in ceremony on a daily basis. The Bison Brothers represent sacred life to the Native Americans, and the abundance of the Creator’s blessing on Mother Earth.
From the White Wolf Pack:
‘To the plains Indian, our Bison Brother meant sacred life and the abundance of the Creator’s blessing on Mother Earth. The bison is powerful medicine that is a symbol of sacrifice and service to the community.
‘The bison people agreed to give their lives so the American Indian could have food, shelter and clothing. The bison is also a symbol of gratitude and honor as it is happy to accept its meager existence as it stands proud against the winds of adversity.’
The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dave Archambault II criticized law enforcement’s militarized response to the camp. He also called for demonstrations to remain peaceful, but stressed that activists would not give up their cause.
Watch this amazing video of the American bison coming and the reaction of the Sioux:
The full statement from Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is below:
‘Militarized law enforcement agencies moved in on water protectors with tanks and riot gear today. We continue to pray for peace. We call on the state of North Dakota to oversee the actions of local law enforcement to, first and foremost, ensure everyone’s safety. The Department of Justice must send overseers immediately to ensure the protection of First Amendment rights and the safety of thousands here at Standing Rock. DOJ can no longer ignore our requests. If harm comes to any who come here to stand in solidarity with us, it is on their watch. They must step in and hold the state of North Dakota and Morton County accountable for their acts of violence against innocent, prayerful people.
‘The Obama administration has asked DAPL to voluntarily halt construction until the review process has been completed, but DAPL has ignored these repeated requests. By deploying law enforcement to support DAPL construction, the State of North Dakota is collaborating with Energy Transfer Partners and escalating tensions. We need our state and federal governments to bring justice and peace to our lands, not the force of armored vehicles.
‘We have repeatedly seen a disproportionate response from law enforcement to water protectors’ nonviolent exercise of their constitutional rights. Today we have witnessed people praying in peace, yet attacked with pepper spray, rubber bullets, sound and concussion cannons. We urge state and federal government agencies to give this tense situation their immediate and close attention.
‘We also call on the thousands of water protectors who stand in solidarity with us against DAPL to remain in peace and prayer. Any act of violence hurts our cause and is not welcome here. We invite all supporters to join us in prayer that, ultimately, the right decision—the moral decision—is made to protect our people, our sacred places, our land and our resources. We won’t step down from this fight. As peoples of this earth, we all need water. This is about our water, our rights, and our dignity as human beings.’
Native Americans prayed, and their prayers were answered.