Seneca Nation stands with Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota

Seneca Nation of Indians President, Maurice John, Sr.
Seneca Nation of Indians President, Maurice John, Sr.

SENECA NATION, N.Y. (WIVB)- Clashing continues in North Dakota as hundreds of demonstrators protest an 1,100 mile access pipeline.

141 people were arrested Thursday. According to State Emergency Services, one of the protesters pulled out a handgun and began shooting at law enforcement; no officers were injured.

There haven’t been any major injuries of protesters either.

Law enforcement report some protesters are setting fires on private land.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has a team in North Dakota, some of them have been among those arrested.

Seneca Nation President Maurice John told News 4 he’s proud to support the Standing Rock Sioux; the Native American nation claims the pipeline could destroy sacred land.

“It’s like if you have a younger sister that is bullied, and your the older brother. What are you going to do?” John said.

The $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline project, which began in July when it was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, would extend through four states. The pipeline would carry crude oil from the Midwest to refineries on the East Coast or Gulf Coast.

Those in support of the project argue it will make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil.

Those against ask at what expense?

“We cherish the land, we live off the land, and we cannot replace it. And it’s the same thing in North Dakota where they have buried their relatives there and there’s artifacts there that’s being disturbed,” John told News 4.

Pepper-spray, bean bag rounds, and long range sirens have been used by law enforcement to disperse protesters.

The Standing Rock Sioux is getting support from high places, including Hollywood; Actor Mark Ruffalo stood beside protesters this week.

“That land that they’re taking about, that easement, is actually treaty land. That is owned by the Native American people,” Ruffalo told media Thursday.

The Seneca Nation is showing its support not only by being on the ground in North Dakota, but by sporting shirts that read “water is life,” on the back and “No DAPL” on the front.

 

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