Saskatoon

Saskatoon woman to join Standing Rock Sioux in pipeline protest

A Saskatoon woman is gathering resources and is hoping for reinforcements as she prepares to journey south and join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest in North Dakota.

Melanie Mistickokat inspired to act after Husky Energy spill

Hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This photo shows the encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on September 4, 2016. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

A Saskatoon woman is gathering resources and is hoping for reinforcements as she prepares to journey south and join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest in North Dakota.

Melanie Mistickokat was inspired to act in the wake of the Husky Energy oil pipeline spill. In July, 200,000 litres of oil — the volume equivalent of about two railcars' worth — spilled into the North Saskatchewan River.
Melanie Mistickokat is trying to raise money to join the Standing Rock Sioux as they try to stop the construction of a pipeline. (Submitted by Melanie Mistickokat)

"I'm kind of an environmentalist. I care about Mother Nature and protecting her," she said.

The Standing Rock Sioux are trying to block construction of a four-state oil pipeline near their reservation, which straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

Mistickokat wants to join that fight.

"It's just something I feel like I should do, to go and support them."

Originally from the Canoe Lake First Nation, she has now started a GoFundMe page to raise the money needed for the journey from Saskatoon, and Mistickokat is thinking big. She's hopeful that others will join with her in opposing the pipeline. 

"We could rent a charter bus or something like that, if there is enough interest."       

Effort now a national movement in the U-S

Mistickokat doesn't think the mainstream media has been doing a good job of reporting on the showdown, but thanks to the power of social media, it has slowly become a national movement for Native Americans in the United States. 

"The past few weeks it really wasn't getting much coverage, just the social media video posts that were getting shared and stuff, but there are more celebrities that are starting to go there," she said

The protest even found support from U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

Mistickokat intends to join the Standing Rock Sioux as soon as she raises enough money to make the journey.

"I believe that good will come out of this. Hopefully others will follow me."

The fundraising page can be found here. 

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