Kahnawake Mohawks hold roadside protest in support of Standing Rock
Residents gather to show their opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline project
Mohawks from Kahnawake are calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to put an end to the Dakota Access pipeline project before Donald Trump takes power.
Nearly 200 people gathered early Tuesday morning to along Highway 132 to protest against the controversial pipeline, which would run through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.
"The United States have a treaty with the Sioux and they should not be forcing through a pipeline," said Kenneth Deer, secretary of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake.
Later in the morning, about 150 students from Kahnawake Survival School, the local high school, blocked part of the highway for a few minutes in solidarity.
The protesters say the pipeline project will put drinking water on and off Indigenous land at risk.
"It's important to me because water is life, we live off water, the animals, the earth... water is key to everything," said student Lakota Stacey.
Some vehicles driving by honked their horns in support.
A letter for Obama
People from the longhouse in Kahnawake met with a representative at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa last week to denounce the violence that has taken place at Standing Rock in recent months.
They gave minister-counsellor Stuart Dwyer a letter for the president, calling on him to order the FBI to investigate the tactics being employed at the protests and to end to the military presence at the site.
They say police and the military have used unnecessary violence to silence the people at Standing Rock and are hoping Obama can address their concerns before Trump takes over as president.
"We have an idea of what's going to happen with Trump, but you don't know," Deer said.
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