As you may know, almost 50 years ago, I co-founded Women of All Red Nations (WARN) with fellow the Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP) organizer Phyllis Young and several others. We formed a frontline to confront the issues we face as Indigenous women. At the time, uranium mining in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota was poisoning my people’s water and, in turn, poisoning our wombs. Our coalition mobilized to stop this assault on our reproductive health, and we successfully prevented a mining corporation from further contaminating our life-giving water.Madonna Thunder Hawk, Tribal Liaison
Now, most of us are grandmothers and great-grandmothers. But we’ve assembled once again against an imminent threat to our water: the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. Last week, TC Energy reported to a Montana federal court that it intends to begin pre-construction activities in South Dakota next month.
KXL doesn’t only threaten our water, it also threatens our women and girls. Along with the transport of toxic chemicals and machinery, oil pipelines bring man camps to our lands. These temporary housing sites near our reservations have proven time and again to exacerbate the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Big Extraction moves in to violate the earth, and in turn, our women and children pay the price.
Now #WARNRidesAgain to protect our water and women. In December, a group of matriarchs from across the Oceti Sakowin performed a symbolic horseback border patrol along the southeastern boundary of the Cheyenne River Reservation, sending a message to KXL and its man camps: you are not welcome on our homelands.
The Lakota People’s Law Project
In December, a group of women from the Fours Bands of the Oceti Sakowin— the Minnicoujou, Itazipco, Siha Sapa, and Oohenumpa— made a symbolic horse ride on the western edge/border of the Cheyenne River Reservation where the TransCanada KXL Pipeline will construct temporary workforce housing, commonly known as a “man camp.”Warrior Women Project
The ride signifies a stand against the violence and human trafficking that will increase with the establishment of this “man camp” near the border of the reservation. The ride idea originated with some of the original members of Women of All Red Nations (W.A.R.N.), a Native women’s activist group founded in 1978 to fight for and protect the lives of Native women, families, and the Earth.
The ultimate goal of the ride is to raise awareness and send a message—it’s time to wake up and be ready to protect the sovereign borders of the reservation nation and everyone vulnerable to the impact of the “man camps.” While the building of the pipeline itself is a significant act of violence to the Earth, this violence also translates directly into human trafficking.
TC Energy to resume work on Keystone XL in the United States as early as next month. Geoffrey Morgan, Financial Post, January 14, 2020
Keystone XL work camps would bring hundreds to S.D. areas with few law enforcement officers. Bob Mercer, Keloland, Jan 13, 2020
#FollowTheMatriarchs #WomenOfAllRedNations #WARNRidesAgain #WARN #BlowTheWhistle #SoundTheAlarm #KeepItInTheGround #TribalPolice #TribalSovereignty #RiotBoosting #ManCamps