Comanche Nation Tribe reacts to North Dakota pipeline decision

Comanche Nation Tribe reacts to North Dakota pipeline decision
(Source Nolan Tahdooahnippah)
(Source Nolan Tahdooahnippah)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A big celebration in North Dakota this weekend after the U-S Army announced it will *not allow developers to build part of the Dakota Access Pipeline underneath the Missouri river. Several members of Comanche Nation were among those protesting the project across the country.

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and hundreds of others have pushed for the pipeline project to be scrapped. 
The Tribe expressed fears that the pipeline carrying crude oil would one day leak into the river, poisoning the drinking water of millions of people. 
On Sunday  with just 5% of the pipeline left to be built the Army Corps of Engineers halted the project to take a look at its projected path. 

Nolan Tahdooahnippah , who is full blooded Comanche  said he was overjoyed when he heard the news, calling it victory for "all of Indian Country."  
He said he's glad to be a part of Native American history and to stand for something that means so much to more than 500 Native American tribes across the country, veterans, and others who stood with them.

"Our voices were heard, you know they heard our voices. All the fundraisers and everything we did to raise money to go up there, not once but twice, all the sacrifices we did to get up there it made it all worth it. I just felt so glad for the Sioux Nation up there, they actually accomplished their mission", said Tahdooahnippah.

The entire experience was spiritual journey for him, something he said he will never forget.

"It makes me look at thing different now that I am away from there. It was just like it was a feeling like, you actually have to be there to get that feeling to be around the teepee's and the fires, the sweat lounges and the praying. It was just like a big prayer meeting and real spiritual uplifting is what I come away from it", Tahdooahnippah.

He's has traveled to North Dakota twice. First with 35 other Comanche Indian brothers and sisters and tribal members from a handful of other tribes back in September. In October, he went back,  with 75 others. He said when they arrived the Sioux Tribe welcomed them with open arms and treated them like family.

"They knew we was coming. They were prepared for us. The reception we got its something I will never forget for the rest of my life. The way they welcomed us and they way they treated us it was unbelievable to me that they treated us with high respect and they let us know that they appreciated that we traveled a thousand miles to go up there and stand with them", said Tahdooahnippah.

One of the highlights was taking a Comanche Nation flag to Standing Rock. While Nolan raised it, his brothers sang The Comanche Nation Flag Song.

" It was a real strong feeling to know that the whole camp was watching us while we raised our new Comanche Flag. It was a great feeling for not only us that was up there but representing the whole Comanche Nation", said Tahdooahnippah.

He's thankful for all of the support people from different cultures, and veterans showed them over the last few months.

"I would like to them to know how grateful that we are, how grateful that I am and thankful that they was to go up there at Standing Rock and defend against this and just be there and stand with our Sioux Brother and it means a lot", said Tahdooahnippah.

He said he's waiting to see what President- Elect Trump will do once he takes office next month.
The concern is that he may reverse the decision.If that happens, Nolan says he will head back to North Dakota in the spring to support the Sioux Tribe.

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