The following is a letter from Anna Lee Rain YellowHammer, a 13 year old member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is based in Fort Yates, North Dakota:
Iím 13 years old and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Iíve lived my whole life by the Missouri River. It runs by my home in Fort Yates, North Dakota, and my great-grandparentsí original home was along the Missouri River in Cannon Ball. The river is a crucial part of our lives here on the Standing Rock Reservation.
But now a private oil company wants to build a pipeline that would cross the Missouri River less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Reservation. If we donít stop it, it will poison our river and threaten the health of my community when it leaks.
Today Iím asking for your help to stop this destructive pipeline.
Oil pipelines break, spill and leakóitís not a question of if, itís a question of where and when. But the Army Corps never took a hard look at the impacts of an oil spill on my Tribe, as the law requires.
Earthjustice is standing with us to oppose this pipeline. Will you join us?
My friends and I have played in the river since we were little; my great-grandparents raised chickens and horses along it. When the pipeline leaks, it will wipe out plants and animals, ruin our drinking water, and poison the heart of community life for the Standing Rock Sioux.
In Dakota/Lakota we say ďmni Wiconi.Ē Water is life. Native American people know that water is the first medicine not just for us, but for all human beings living on this earth.
The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day across four states. Oil companies keep telling us that this is perfectly safe, but weíve learned that thatís a lie: In 2012-2013 alone, there were 300 oil pipeline breaks in the state of North Dakota.
With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak, I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because it doesnít care about our health and safety. The industry seems to think our lives are more expendable than othersí.
So we, the Standing Rock Youth, are taking a stand to be the voice for our community, for our great-grandparents, and for Mother Earth.
Join us and Earthjustice to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline once and for all.
May 18, 2016 Action Alert ID# 375
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