Idle No More: Vantage Pipeline

July 1st there are two groups meeting at the Canada/US border south of Regina, Saskatchewan and northwest of Williston, North Dakota. One will be coming from the south and our group is coming from the north. This area we are meeting at has rock formations in the shape of buffalo, thunderbirds and circles that anthropologists mistakenly call “tipi rings“.

Vantage Pipeline is planning on going through this area, and the Canadian anthropologist has stated by letter that these formations “are not made by human hands and that they are random scatterings left behind by the last ice age.”

We’re making a stand and we hope to generate worldwide attention to the continued abuse of our people at the hands of the government on both sides of the border.

In Manitoba we have 10,000 children in care, and 8,000 of these are native children.

We have thousands of homeless and hungry people. Every day the soup kitchens in the bigger cities have hundreds of people lined up to eat.  Our native communities are under-funded.  Our people are dying from suicides, murder and some just disappear. We have over 600 murdered or missing women that haven’t been solved because a majority of these women are native.

Men are supposed to be the protectors of our women and children. Friday June 28, Gus Hi Eagle will start at the Buffalo tree between Virden and Canupawakpa.  Start time hasn’t been determined yet, but later that afternoon we will be coming into Carlyle, Saskatchewan to meet up with our brothers and sisters from White Bear and Pheasant Rump.

Saturday and Sunday we hope to meet up with people from Ocean Man, Carry the Kettle, Wood Mountain, Standing Buffalo, Piapot, Pasqua, and the other native communities.

This isn’t just a Dakota vs Canada fight anymore; it’s all of our native people vs  [the government of] Canada.

So take the weekend off to come walk, ride, bike, drive, pull, push or whatever means of transport you wish to use. We have to save our land and our children and grandchildren.

That border isn’t ours, and we don’t recognize it.

This is our land. We have never surrendered it.

Craig Blacksmith
Brandon, Manitoba

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