This is not just a Native issue only taking place in North Dakota. This is a global issue concerning the drinking water of everyone on the planet.
The pollution of the oceans, and of all water, is a serious threat to our well-being, for water, as indigenous people know well, is the essence of life. Yet civilized society has an almost complete disregard for clean water.
The pipeline’s planned route takes it close to the northern boundary of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the town of Cannon Ball within it, which means it would cross the Missouri immediately upstream, endangering, protectors say, the reservation’s drinking water (and all American people's drinking water) and threatening sacred sites. At Standing Rock, they have put their bodies between the water and the oil.
Project endangers Drinking Water - Wildlife - Food- Sacred Sites - Health, water protectors say.
“We say ‘mni wiconi’: Water is life,” said David Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation sits just south of the pipeline’s route. “We can’t put it at risk, not for just us, but everybody downstream.”
He added: “We’re looking out for our future, the children who are not even born yet. What is it they will need? It’s water. When we start talking about water, we’re talking about the future generations.”
“The water that comes from Mother Earth is like her blood, which gives life,” said a woman of Anishinaabek from Michigan
“This water is sacred, and this water is important,” she said. “I’m here because that water — not only does it feed this state, it goes through many states, and it goes directly through the city I live in. I have four children of my own, and my children deserve to have clean water.” said Whitney Custer, a Cheyenne of Kansas
A leak in the pipeline, which would cross under the Missouri River twice, could decimate water supplies for peoples, Crow Ghost said. But it’s not just water supplies he’s worried about: There are also plants that live along the riverbank that are crucial for cultural reasons, and an oil spill could destroy them.
“There are cottonwood stands along the Missouri and its tributaries, and buffalo berries, sage, and mouse bean that we use,” he said. “There are so many different ones. I couldn’t even begin to name them.”