A water protectors in North Dakota has been growing by the busload and organizers now call it the largest gathering of Native Americans in modern times.
It’s estimated that members of 60 tribes have gathered at an encampment overlooking the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers, the Bismarck Tribune reports.
More than 150 tribes so far have sent resolutions and letters of support to show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and the Seven Council Fires of the Lakota’s efforts to stop the pipeline.
The Yakama Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Lummi Nation, Puyallup Tribe, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Hoh Tribe traveled with a large delegation from the Pacific Northwest with a sacred totem pole to demonstrate spiritual support. After a blessing at the Standing Rock camp near the river, the totem pole will be permanently raised at the Turtle Lodge on the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba next week.
“Yakama is humbled and honored to stand beside our brothers and sisters of the Standing Rock Sioux. We’re observing a peaceful and prayerful gathering to move an entire country. We stand united in solidarity with the natural laws of this land, advocating for responsible decision making and honorable communications,” said Yakama Chairman JoDe Goudy.
The peaceful camp near the river is the first time since 1875 that all the Lakota tribes have gathered at the Cannonball River. Their efforts to save their water have inspired hundreds of tribes, celebrities and activists from across the country to show their support. Numerous tribes have written letters to President Obama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking them to fulfill their trust obligation to tribes and reconsider the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.