Giving Thanks and Remembering
As we gather with our families this Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for our friends, relatives, the food we have, and the roofs over our heads. But please, this Thanksgiving we ask that you take time out of your day to remember the water protectors who are on the front lines at Standing Rock, North Dakota. They are braving frigid temperatures as well as risking arrest and physical harm to protect tribal sovereignty and the right to clean water.
This action against the Dakota Access Pipeline is more than just the fight of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires). As Felix S. Cohen, author and editor of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, stated in a 1953 article in the Yale Law Journal,
It is a pity that so many Americans today think of the Indian as a romantic or comic figure in American history without contemporary significance. In fact, the Indian plays much the same role in our society that the Jews played in Germany. Like the miner’s canary, the Indian marks the shift from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere; and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, reflects the rise and fall in our democratic faith.
The fight for the right to clean water is all of our fight. No one person or corporation has a right to alienate or threaten a people’s access and/or basic human right to clean water.
We at the Native American Rights Fund would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and ask you to take a moment to learn of the struggle that is going on at this very moment in North Dakota. The Native American Rights Fund stands with Standing Rock!