Legacy of Leadership. Oceti Sakowin Water Protector Camp

The following beautiful video is from Chase Iron Eyes’ #NoDAPL Trial Archive.
A Legacy of Leadership. Oceti Sakowin Water Protector Camp. At the end of this article is a petition you can sign to tell president-elect Joe Biden to stop DAPL once and for all and keep his promise to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL).


Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez  [May 16, 2019, Washington DC.  D-NY  14th District]

I would not be here today if it wasn’t for Oceti Sakowin If it wasn’t for Standing Rock. That was a point of spiritual transformation for me. And the closer our car started getting to Oceti it felt like we were nails and like it was a magnet, it felt like that it felt magnetic. And it was in a way a homecoming. It felt like in part like a spiritual homecoming as well.

Julian Bear Runner [Nov. 15, 2018]

There was so much good. Like every day that we were there at the camp. People singing, people praying, people laughing, kids playing, birds chirping. I mean, it was just a great environment, and it was so good that every day felt the same.

Deb Haaland [Dec 13, 2018. New Mexico. D-NM 1st District]

I was happy to be at Standing Rock. It was September of 2016. i happen to know the sister of chairman Archambault and so i was able to connect with her and feel like i was a part of things. I felt that it was important for me to go there and take that stand with them. And let them know that they weren’t alone. That they were doing what a lot of us could relate to for a long time. Right? We have our own sacred land that’s under attack here in New Mexico. And I feel like when, you know, when we all rise up and we come together on those things that get, you know, we share the strength.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

And to be in that camp and to see people who came and had the intention of coming for just a few days then go back home, sell their car, sell all their worldly possessions just to be there. When i heard these stories of people doing this, i was like this is crazy. But then when i got there i couldn’t think of any more important place to be. I couldn’t think of any more important way or thing to contribute to. And i think that that is that is not only inside all of us but that is that is growing. The urgency of that feeling is growing and while I always cared about things before, while I always organized around things before I was at camp. And one of the things that was very transformative was just the generosity with space with the taking in I didn’t have to prove myself i didn’t have to be anything. What made that transformative was that while i was always willing to give, it wasn’t until i was ready to give everything that then these opportunities start to present themselves.  

Deb Haaland

You know there’s so many issues that Native Americans have suffered through that that we could all probably find a reason to get out and protest to make things right.  

And i feel like that that stand sort of helped native people to understand that we do have common interests.  We do care about each other. We should stand together on these issues and fight for what’s right.

Julian Bear Runner

So i need to go home.  I need to seek a leadership position. I need to do my part to prepare my people, to strengthen my people, to help them to stand up, to help.  There’s so much things that need to be done. We need to prepare, we need to strengthen ourselves, we need to unite ourselves.  We need to we need to pray.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This is about changing ourselves and people would think that that is hopeless but you all created a space where tens of thousands of people were able to change themselves. And so that it is first and foremost a spiritual battle, a spiritual transformation that is in front of us. And that is the problem, why so much of this has been ignored and this climate and environmental battle has been failing for so long. Because it’s been so reliant on JUST science, facts, figures. This is the empirical argument for change. We need that empirical argument for change. We need all of those things but that is not what moves people. What moves people is to see themselves improved and transformed as we improve and transform our ways.

Julian Bear Runner

I never thought there would be a day that we as people had to stand up against a pipeline. But we have a life to live. We have things that we need to preserve. We have generations yet that we have to look out for. And here i am.


In 2016, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent time at Oceti Sakowin camp protesting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Her experiences at camp led to her campaign for Congress in 2018.

Julian Bear Runner. Oglala Sioux Tribe President, 2018-2020. In 2018, Julian Bear Runner became the second-youngest President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe

Deb Haaland . Biden Nominee for Interior Secretary. She would be the first Native American to hold a U.S. cabinet-level position.


Tell Biden: End KXL and DAPL now!

Tell president-elect Joe Biden to stop DAPL once and for all and keep his promise to cancel KXL. Protect the planet and the Lakota people. No mancamps. No destruction of the earth. No endangering our water. Mni wiconi — water is life.

Dear president-elect Biden,

It’s time to stop the desecration of sacred lands with unwanted, unneeded pipelines which endanger critical, life-giving water systems in Lakota Country. Please keep your campaign promise to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL), but don’t stop there. It’s also time to end the illegal Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) once and for all.

DAPL poses a critical threat to Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, the primary source of fresh drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and millions of others. KXL’s completion would create a similar threat to the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides most of the water for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and many other residents of America’s heartland.

Please take what steps you can to decommission these pipelines immediately upon taking office. This would provide a counterpoint to President Trump’s executive orders to fast-track them in his first days as president. DAPL’s oil continues to flow even as its environmental approval process has been ruled insufficient by a U.S. District Court. KXL is also mired in legal wrangling over environmental concerns. Use the power of your office to work closely with Native Americans and show that you take Indigenous concerns seriously.

Your nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior was a meaningful step in the right direction. Please listen to her, to the leaders of tribal nations, and to people the world over when we say: no more pipelines; no more desecration of sacred lands; respect our water and our lives.

Stop KXL and DAPL for the good of all Americans and our allies all over the world. It’s time to replace outdated, dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure with renewable energy. You can build the world of tomorrow and a sustainable future for the generations to come.

With respect and in hope for a better future.

https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/biden-pipelines


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