People gathered at the Dakota Tipi First Nation in Manitoba on Saturday to show solidarity with Standing Rock.
First Nations leaders organized a protest near the First Nation, located along Highway 1, about 90 kilometres west of Winnipeg. The gathering was to show support for the Standing Rock Sioux and the tribe's allies who have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,900-kilometre, four-state pipeline.
"They are our brothers. They are our sisters. We are from the same blood. We are all Dakota, Lakota people," said Dakota Tipi First Nations Chief Keith Pashe.
"We are from the United States, but we never put the border crossing there. It was all one open space. We lived together, we worked together, we helped one another, we trapped together, we fought in wars together, we battled together — all Lakota, Dakota people."
- U.S. Army Corps says Standing Rock camp to be closed by Dec. 5
- Energy Transfer Partners, builder of Dakota Access pipeline, to merge with another firm
On Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the main camp used by the people opposed to the pipeline will be closed by Dec. 5. The protestors have stayed, despite dropping temperatures and a violent clash with police on Nov. 20. More than 500 people have been arrested in demonstrations since the summer.
Pashe said members of his community have been appalled watching the treatment of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its members.
"Our people need help down there, so I'm going to stand with them … and support them. The violence has to stop. They have to stop doing what they are doing to our people. It's 2016," he said.
Pashe said he and other leaders are prepared to join the Dakota south of the border if they are needed, but will wait for tribal leaders to ask them to join.
- Wab Kinew stands with Standing Rock at Manitoba Legislature
- Social media captures chaos at Standing Rock as police, anti-pipeline demonstrators face off
Joe McArthur drove four hours from Saskatchewan to join in the demonstration.
"It just seems so wrong, the force that is being used by defenseless people down there, unarmed people," he said.
"There was something at the core of my being that I had to show some sort of support personally to what is going on down in North Dakota. I just had to be here."
The protest began at 10 a.m. and RCMP closed down one eastbound lane to traffic for a couple hours.