On behalf of Running Strong for American Indian Youth and its national spokesperson, Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, we stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its leadership who are fighting to protect their drinking water, irrigation water, their community health and sacred lands.
Our national spokesperson, Billy Mills, just returned from the main camp, near the Missouri River, where several thousand brothers and sisters are in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribal nation.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, which would cross The Missouri River with in a ½ mile of the Standing Rock Reservation, poses a serious threat to the future of the communities on the Reservation.
And to quote “Mark Trahant, My View” posted August 22, 2016:
“The regulatory process was largely through state commissions and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and far less stringent than the successfully opposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe clearly has the moral high ground. An earlier proposal for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck, N.D. was scrapped because it threatened the capital’s water supply, so the very decision to move the route South was to sacrifice Native communities.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline poses a significant additional burden to a community that is already working hard to overcome serious problems. Like many American Indians, the children on the standing rock reservation grow up with some of the highest rates of poverty in America….the poverty rate in standing rock is over 40%. The Standing Rock community is working to address high unemployment, health problems, and discrimination. Running Strong for American Indian Youth is a proud partner with tribal communities in that fight. Over many years of working with tribal nations, we have seen how resilient, committed and caring these communities and leaders are, despite the challenges they face.
We stand with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in their desire for a peaceful demonstration and urge the Army Corps of Engineers not to build the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation.
If the rule of law in the courts is followed, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe wins, and if the moral and ethical fiber of America prevails, the planet and humanity wins.
Billy Mills, on behalf of Running Strong for American Indian Youth