Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Arapaho, Shoshone fight at Standing Rock

MyKennah Lott, a 19-year-old Arapaho from the Wind River Indian Reservation, looks like a normal teenager, complete with a ring piercing on her lower lip and a glint that hints at a bit of spunk. But prosecutors in Morton County allege in court documents that the slight young woman is in fact a riotous trespasser who committed two misdemeanors Oct. 10 at the Dakota Access Pipeline,. On Columbus Day, celebrated by Lott as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the teenager engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct,” that created a “grave danger of damage or injury,” prosecutors allege. For her alleged miscreant activities, she should face up to 60 days in jail and $3,000 in fines, the State of North Dakota contends. Lott, who goes by the name Little Wind, gives a different account of her arrest. She had been placing prayer bundles of tobacco on DAPL pipes at the controversial construction site. She then escorted an elder, a “grandmother,” to a tipi set up nearby. With 15 others inside, she celebrated the unity of the condor and the eagle, a religious rite that seeks to preserve native land and culture. She was not “engaging in a riot,” as she has been charged, Little Wind said. “We were praying,” she said. She has pleaded not guilty and is free awaiting a trial. The two conflicting views of the same event are emblematic of the standoff just north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Some 5,000 people were camped in a North Dakota blizzard last week in an ongoing fight to stop construction of the $3.7 billion Bakken crude oil pipeline. Builders — Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics — say they’ve met all regulatory requirements, that their pipeline will be safe, and that the most recent permitting delay by the Obama administration ignores law and curries favor “with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”...more

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