Winnipeggers march to show solidarity with Standing Rock
Dozens of protesters walked peacefully down Portage Avenue Sunday
A group of Winnipeggers marched down Portage Avenue Sunday, in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.
The reservation is currently fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a multibillion-dollar project that would see crude oil transported from a Bakken oilfield near the Canadian border to Illinois.
The community says if the project goes ahead, it will destroy sacred sites and put a river at risk that's a source of drinking water for millions.
A mini-city has sprung up at the reservation, populated from people out of town to amplify Standing Rock's protest.
Bear Rodericks, also known as Chef Bear, helped organize the demonstration in Winnipeg. He said friends of his are among those who travelled down to Standing Rock. Rodericks said his friends told him a protest in Winnipeg would help the cause.
"They have asked for nations all over the world to come together and show their support," said Rodericks.
"That way, if we hear them here, there's no reason why their government can't hear them there."
While the Dallas, Texas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer says it intends to finish the project, the U.S. federal government is reviewing construction permits and has temporarily halted construction of part of the line.
Rodericks said Standing Rock's fight to protect drinking water resonates with many northern communities here in Canada where entire reservations are living under boil water advisories.
Water is a "gift brought to us by the creator," he said, and we put our futures in peril if it's not protected.
"If we don't respect that now by the time it's all said and done, there will be nothing left," he said.
Rodericks plans to organize more protests in the coming months, including a concert in Winnipeg in support of Standing Rock.
with files from the Associated Press and Courtney Rutherford