5 real ways to show support for Standing Rock as the situation escalates for protesters
Thanksgiving is a great way to stuff your face and get a long weekend, but we often forget that the history of Thanksgiving and the whole “pilgrim and Indian” thing is totally fucked up. It’s especially important to remember this year, as Native Americans are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline that runs near their land and could potentially harm their water supply. But you can do more than just tweet a meme and be angry. There are many ways to help the Standing Rock Sioux and the protesters that have joined them in North Dakota. I mean, it’s certainly gonna take more than a one-off donation to right all of these wrongs, but it helps to do something tangible rather than just talk about how horrible people are being treated.
It’s more than a little twisted that authorities have used tear gas and sprayed water on Native American protesters in freezing temperatures (that’s torture) on Thanksgiving week. It’s even more twisted that centuries later, the American government is still exploiting Native Americans on their own land. Almost 200 people were treated for hypothermia. One woman might lose her arm. How do you swallow your turkey knowing that?
Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, told ABC News, “We live with so many broken promises, there’s no reason for it. We understand what lands we own, and what lands were illegally taken from us.”
Here’s how to actually help.
Donate directly to the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund
The situation at the site is getting insane, as the use of tear gas and water cannons (the same water protesters are trying to protect BTW) makes very, very clear. Donate to the legal defense fund to help protesters who might be arrested and need an out. You can donate to their fundraiser, but if you want to save the fees the platform charges, you can also donate directly to their PayPal using [email protected].
Donate directly to the tribe
The Standing Rock Sioux are also taking general donations. They have a donation page, or you can donate via PayPal. You can also send a check if you like, made payable to “Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – Donations” and mail it to: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Attention: Donations, PO Box D, Building #1, North Standing Rock Avenue, Fort Yates, ND 58538.
Donate to Sacred Stone Camp, where everyone is sleeping
This the most pressing, probably, since it’s cold AF. The protester’s camp has an official GoFundMe account, which pays for water, food, propane, blankets, and everything else needed to sleep outside in the name of the environment. They have a list with things like firewood, sleeping bags, or even just a banner you made that they can use. (There’s also a call for “young warriors,” so at least we know morale is still good.) There’s an Amazon Wishlist, too, with big ticket items, like generators and Amazon gift cards, so they can order stuff they need.
You can send things directly to: Sacred Stone Camp P.O. Box 1011, Fort Yates, ND 58538 or 202 Main Street Fort Yates, ND 58538. By the way, if you have friends out there and want to send something directly, you can use the same address, but include a phone number or way to contact them on the package.
Donate to the health clinic
In the wake of police brutality, some of the protesters are organizing the Mni Wiconi (Water is Life) Health Clinic, which will be free and volunteer based. If you want to help them get set up, give them money. There’s also the Standing Rock Medic + Healer council, which organizes medical supplies and other resources throughout the camp, and it could use your help and money, too. Or apply to volunteer there and have a purpose when you land.
Call your lawmakers
There are real ways to help the Standing Rock Sioux stop this pipeline and most of them are just one click more than checking in on Facebook. Don’t forget about everyone out there this week.