Tribal members gather in Portland for pipeline protest - KPTV - FOX 12

Tribal members gather in Portland for pipeline protest

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Around 125 people marched from Tom McCall Waterfront Park over the Hawthorne Bridge to the East Bank Esplanade Saturday morning, hoping to send a message of support to North Dakota,

The group, many of whom were from Native American tribes in Oregon, called for those in attendance to stand up with the Standing Rock Tribe, the North Dakota tribe that for months has been protesting a 1,200-mile oil pipeline currently under construction.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would span from North Dakota to Illinois, and the tribe contends construction of the pipeline will destroy burial sites, prayer sites and affect its drinking supply.

"We all drink water, we need it," rally attendee Victor Noguerola said. "It is proven that if we jack it up, we don't get it back."

After marching over the Hawthorne Bridge, the group gathered under the bridge on the East Bank Esplanade where they listened to Native American music and heard from tribal leaders as they talked about the pipeline. 

They also were working to raise money for a caravan to send more people to Standing Rock to join the protests.

"We got a lot of things going in our favor," tribal elder John Nelson said. "A lot of it is starting to turn our way but we are fighting a lot of money."

Last Monday, the Army Corps of Engineers stopped work on the pipe, writing in a news release:

"The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property."

Many at the Portland event say they feel their concerns are being heard but they still have a way to go.

"I had a buddy who knew nothing about it last week so I thought it was really important today to come out and you know stand in solidarity with them," Noguerola said.

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