An alliance made up of both Native Americans and Cowboys, including ranchers, farmers, tribal leaders and supporters gathered to push President Obama to reject or veto the Keystone XL Pipeline and protect mother earth.
By H. Nelson Goodson
April 27, 2024
Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, thousands of Native Americans and supporters gathered at the Washington National Mall to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline. An alliance made of both Cowboys and Native Americans want President Barack H. Obama to the reject or veto the pipeline project.
They set-up a tipi encampment for almost a week. They also marched to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to deliver a tipi as a gift to President Obama.
One message says, “We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. The Keystone XL Pipeline and the dirty oil that it transports creates an urgent threat to our collective future and poses the greatest immediate risk of contaminating our sacred waters, land, air, our communities and our way of life as the People of the Earth. In time, we will reconcile our differences, but for now we must come together for Mother Earth,” Chief Arvol Looking Horse stated about the pipeline controversy.
The Reject and Protect org. who organized the six day encampment, rally, march and protest released the following report, the five-day Reject and Protect encampment began with a march and opening ceremony on Earth Day, April 22. On Wednesday, members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance met with the White House to voice their concerns about Keystone XL and tar sands expansion. On Thursday, the Alliance hosted a protest at the Lincoln Memorial where Rosebud Sioux member Wizipan Little Elk and Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup risked arrest by walking into the reflecting pool with a sign that read, “Standing in the water could get me arrested, TransCanada pollutes drinking water and nothing happens.” On Friday, the Alliance hosted an interfaith prayer ceremony outside Secretary of State John Kerry’s house, before marching through Georgetown and holding a round dance in the middle of the M St. and Wisconsin Ave. intersection.
Legendary musician Neil Young and actress Daryl Hannah were amongst the crowd of thousands who rallied on the National Mall and then marched past the Capitol building. “We need to end the age of fossil fuels and move on to something better,” Young told the crowd according to Reject and Protect.
Reject and Protect has helped shine a spotlight on the strengthening opposition to Keystone XL amongst ranchers, farmers, and Native American tribes along the pipeline route. Buoyed by the State Department’s recent delay of the project, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance has pledged to intensify their efforts to convince President Obama to “reject” the pipeline and “protect” their families, land, water, treaty rights, and climate.
The event ends on Sunday morning, but protests and awareness of the possible devastation the Keystone XL Pipeline will do to the region will continue ny the Cowboy and Indian Alliance until President Obama rejects the project and protects mother earth.
Photos courtesy of Reject and Protect org.