Veterans & Native Americans Come Together For A Powerful Forgiveness Ceremony At Standing Rock

1 month ago Michael Dubinsky 0

We are a new blog intelligently reporting and analyzing current events through a leftist lens. We are trying to combat the digital media trends of clickbait and fake, misleading “news” with no substance. If you want to see more journalism like this, please like us on Facebook.

Just yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a drilling permit to Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. This marks a significant victory for the Water Protectors, who have been camping out and protesting the pipeline for months. If the project had proceeded as planned, it would have continued to decimate sacred Native American land and possibly contaminate the water supply for millions of people.

The announcement came as thousands of U.S. military veterans arrived at Standing Rock to help defend the Water Protectors from the police, who have been using increasingly violent tactics in recent weeks.

At a celebration ceremony in Standing Rock, veterans came together to ask forgiveness from tribal elders for the military’s history of killing Native Americans and stealing their land. General Wesley Clark Jr. got into formation with other veterans and knelt before Native elders. Clark then shared the following words, making a call for reconciliation:

“Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faced of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.”

Chief Leonard Crow Dog granted forgiveness and made a call to work together for world peace.

Of course, the Dakota Access Pipeline battle is far from over. As Standing Rock Sioux spokeswoman Phyllis Young said, “The black snake has never stopped and if they didn’t stop at desecrating our graves of our ancestors, they’ll stop at nothing. So there will be a motion filed by the Energy Transfer today to continue the pipeline … We are a peaceful movement, but we may have to make a move to protect our territory.”

Energy Transfer Partners has already issued a defiant statement against the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision. And, surprising precisely no one, President-elect Donald Trump spoke in support of the project’s completion earlier today.

Although it is a tenuous victory, it is still proof that dissent leads to change. And the energy from this moment should be harnessed and funneled into more protest and resistance against the growing forces of oppression. We must continue to actively build coalitions like the one being formed between these veterans and Native Americans. The fight for collective interests has never been more pressing.

For more on the history of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and what they reveal about the contemporary USA, read this.

Featured photo by Josh Morgan via Huffington Post

We are a new blog intelligently reporting and analyzing current events through a leftist lens. We are trying to combat the digital media trends of clickbait and fake, misleading “news” with no substance. If you want to see more journalism like this, please like us on Facebook.