Published October 15, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE – As hundreds of people, mostly tribal members, marched through downtown celebrating the 2nd Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday night, their voices cried out for justice. A collective voice comprised of the marchers rose above the federal and county courthouses, police station, and city hall.
Holding up signs that read “NODAPL,” “Respect Our Water and Culture,” and “End Colonialism and Imperialism,” marchers expressed support for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s fight against the North Dakota Access Pipeline construction.
Just the day before, a federal court had denied an appeal by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to block continued construction near Lake Oahe, the Tribes’ major water source and a sacred area.
“They say pipeline. We say genocide. We are here. We are standing with no fear,” the marchers chanted as they circled the urban center, several pushing baby carriages, carrying their children or holding their hands.
“What’s going on at Standing Rock is appalling to me. It’s as if our lands don’t matter. (Energy companies) should respect our sacred land and not bulldoze it,” said 22-year old Keioshiah Peter, Diné from Kirtland.
Peter said she joined the march to add her voice to the resistance against injustices like this one and ones occurring on tribal lands throughout the country.
“The voices here are coming from a place of love. We are thinking of future generations,” she added.
“I’m here to raise awareness about indigenous treatment, because it’s near to my heart. We need people to pay attention. This is not a one-day thing,” responded 18-year old Savannah Junes, Diné/Ohkay Owingeh.
“This is an exciting time to see so many indigenous people in support of the tribal actions happening around the country,” said Jennifer Denetdale, a Diné historian on the faculty of the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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