A member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, Young drove 2,100 miles to join the protests and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.
Nantinki Young, 27, Santee, South Dakota: ‘I support the camp by providing energy and strength through the meals we prepare each day. I make sure everyone that comes here has something to eat even if it’s just a snack in between meals.’
It’s not our tribe, I’m not from here, but we’re all Native Americans and we stand together.” Nantinki Young
Since March, thousands of Native Americans, environmental activists and their allies — including some UC Berkeley students — have gathered at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to oppose the ongoing construction of the pipeline, which is intended to carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois each day.
The project’s proponents say pipelines are a safer, cheaper alternative to trains and trucks for transporting crude oil. Despite promises by Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, that it will employ technology to limit the possibility of leaks, activists opposing the pipeline argue that any oil that escapes from the pipeline would contaminate Standing Rock’s main water source, Lake Oahe.
“Water is life,” Welch said. “Everybody needs water, so everybody needs to start paying attention.”
Everything you can think of I have in my shed that’s over there. We have a refrigeration unit now so we can take everything that’s coming in,” says camper Nantiki Young.