TULSA, OK (KSWO) – Nearly a thousand people gathered at Guthrie Green to show their support for tribes in North Dakota battling the construction of a cross-country pipeline.
Protestors have dedicated months to stopping and raising awareness the Dakota Access pipeline, the dangers associated with pipeline spills and the necessity to protect the water resources of the Missouri river. The current route of the DAPL will cross over the Ogallala Aquifer (one of the largest aquifers in the world) and under the Missouri River twice (the longest river in the United States). The possible contamination of these water sources makes the Dakota Access pipeline a national threat. The water of the Missouri River is essential to life on the Standing Rock Reservation as well as all of the nations and states downstream.
Many tribes believe that the Dakota Access threatens farming and drinking water, entire ecosystems, wildlife and food sources surrounding the Missouri. The nesting of bald eagles, piping plovers, wild rice and sweet grass are just a few of the species that are listed as at stake. That area is of utmost cultural and spiritual and environmental significance to tribes in the area.
Tulsa's News on 6 was at the protest and interviewed many of the Oklahoman's that were standing with Standing Rock.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe supporter, Lynette Blalock-Seward said, "To see all these different people gathering to support the Sioux Tribe is just awe inspiring. It kind of gives you a lump in your throats. We are with you. We are all fighting with you."
"I felt like this was my opportunity to stand up for what is right, and it's something I've always wanted to do for my people," said Cherokee Nation citizen, Zaccary John.
John said it's the younger generations of natives that need to get involved with their tribes.
"We're the future," he said. "Our grandparents and our parents have fought and fought and fought for our rights and it's time that we start fighting for our own rights."
Many Oklahomans have made the drive to North Dakota to the protestor.
A federal judge in Washington will rule on the continued construction of the pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux asked the judge for an injunction because of the sacred burial sites.