Tipis began sprouting up on the National Mall on Tuesday as native communities and their allies descended on the nation’s capital for a week of workshops and lobbying for Indigenous rights in anticipation of Friday’s massive Native Nations Rising march.
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The four-day demonstration was spurred by opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the fight that galvanized native people, at one point drawing members of more than 300 federally recognized Native American tribes and thousands of other supporters to the Standing Rock Sioux’s protest camps.
“This movement has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment, and future generations,” read a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Native Organizers Alliance. “Now its time to take this to the doors of the White House.”
The two-mile march on Friday will begin at the headquarters of the Army Corps of Engineers and culminate across from the White House in Lafayette Square, where a rally will “demand that Indigenous rights be respected,” which includes rescinding President Donald Trump’s recent executive order advancing construction of the 1,172-mile oil pipeline, which threatens Standing Rock sovereignty and threatens the tribe’s sacred water source.
A number of sister marches are also being planned in cities across the U.S.
The tribal opposition suffered another legal setback on Tuesday when a federal judge declined to temporarily halt construction of the pipeline, meaning that oil could potentially flow beneath Lake Oahe as soon as next week.
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