Ojibwa Montrealer driving to North Dakota to join pipeline protest
Timothy Armstrong is making 2,500 km trip to join Standing Rock Sioux in fight to protect Missouri River
Timothy Armstrong embarked on a road trip with a purpose Monday.
He's been watching the goings-on in North Dakota, where members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been fighting to halt the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
The multimillion-dollar project is supposed to transport light sweet crude oil from the Bakken oilfield, south of the Saskatchewan border, to Illinois.
The pipeline will pass north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, cutting through land the tribal members consider sacred and through burial grounds.
There are also concerns that a leak would contaminate the Missouri River which runs along the entire western edge of the reservation.
Armstrong decided it wasn't enough for him to voice his solidarity from Quebec. So he's driving the roughly 2,500 kilometres in order to join the protest in person.
"There's strength in numbers," he said in an interview with CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
Support goes both ways
Armstrong said there are at least a dozen people from Kahnawake already at the protest in North Dakota.
He's been told it's a little late to head to North Dakota, but he said with the media coverage the cause has been getting, now is the perfect time to go.
"We're going to bat for everyone else," he said.
On Friday, the Sioux scored a win when the U.S. government temporarily suspended construction on the project, saying that the case "highlighted the need for a serious discussion" about nationwide reforms "with respect to considering tribes' views on these types of infrastructure projects."
In a statement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe called the federal order "a game changer."
Armstrong said TransCanada, the company behind the proposed Energy East pipeline project, should take note of what's happening south of the border.
"We expect just as much solidarity from them coming north as we are heading south," he said.
With files from The Associated Press