Red Cliff Group Goes To Standing Rock

Not As Protestors But As Water Protectors

Members of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa made the 12 hour trip to Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.

We bring you a different perspective through the eyes of those who made it the front lines of the Dakota pipeline protest.

It was a trip that the group knew they needed to take.

Most people know of Standing Rock from what they see on T.V. or social media- Violence, arrest, protest.

This Red Cliff group saw all that, but they went to the front lines to show love, spend time with relatives and most importantly pray.

Because most people think there’s just nonstop fighting going on,

Those new to the area needed to know that wouldn’t be tolerated, training was needed.

“When we got there, there were signs all over that if you’re new you have to go to these trainings because they don’t want aggression,” says John Helms Red Cliff Reservation.

They were specifically told one thing.

“This here was a place for prayer and piece and it was for the water,” says Carolyn Gouge of the Red Cliff Band.

So from sun up to sun down that’s what they did. They sang, and danced and prayed for the protection of the water. Each morning they woke up with a smile on their face to do it all over again.

“At 5 o’clock 6 o’clock in the morning you would hear someone up there at the main tent saying wake up good morning relatives wake up and there would be a drum and they would be signing,” says Gouge.

And they were happy to do it, protesters they were not, but water protectors they were, standing up for cultural preservation with spiritual resistance, to protect the water.

“It was just so humbling to be there with all of my relatives all of the wonderful people that are there that have dedicated their lives, dropped everything to be there to protect our water, not only indigenous water but everyone’s water,” says Hayley Johyde of Red Cliff Reservation.

This was part of their story, Friday on Fox 21 a look into what it was really like on the other side of the barb wire fence.

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