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Navajo Nation raises flag at Dakota Access Pipeline blockade camp

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CANNON BALL, N.D.-On Tuesday, Aug. 30, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez traveled to Cannon Ball, N.D., to speak with Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, show their support for the tribe’s opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and present the blockade camp with a Navajo Nation flag.

“Tribes from other nations are going there to show their support,” President Russell Begaye said. “As tribes, we all face encroaching environmental and spiritual destruction. We need to support each other in carrying on the fight. If we don’t, no one else will do it for us.”

The Standing Rock Sioux opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline has elicited the support of many Native American tribes across the nation who have chosen to stand in solidarity with the tribe.  The opposition has sparked nationwide media attention.

The Navajo Nation has donated $1039.45 to support the needs of those occupying resistance camps, many include Navajo tribal members. The donation went toward purchasing water, toiletries, plates, utensils and food for the blockade camp that is set up near the disputed project site, which is only miles from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

The proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline would carry more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the Bakken region of western North Dakota across South Dakota and Iowa to connect with an existing pipeline in Illinois.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a complaint in federal court which states that the construction and operation of the Dakota Access pipeline threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being.  The complaint also states that the pipeline would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the Tribe.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is also concerned that digging the pipeline under the Missouri River would affect the tribe’s drinking water supply.

“We were very honored to have had the opportunity to visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and raise our own Navajo Nation flag,” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “President Begaye and I wish the best for the Standing Rock Tribe and hope their efforts will not go unnoticed. We stand with you Standing Rock!”

Last Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Office of the President and Vice President issued a letter supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“In defending their traditional homeland against development that could potentially harm their lands and the purity of their natural resources, the Navajo Nation stands in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,” President Begaye said.