By Alli Moran

There is a reason why Tašunká Wítko (Crazy Horse) said: “Strong hearts to the front and weak hearts to the rear!” Right before they fought Custer and the U.S. Seventh Calvary in order to protect our children, our people, and the overall prosperity of our future generations. The government took our lands – our resources, divided our Great Nation, and placed the faces of America’s iconic “Mount Rushmore” in our most sacred place, our origin place Hé Sapá (The Black Hills) of Western South Dakota.

Now they want more! They want oil, they want to run a pipeline through our lands, through our reservations, and it once again is all in the name of “progress” and nowadays “economic development” for this great country of the United States of America – a country that was built off of disrespect, greed, genocide, slavery, colonization, and assimilation of its original peoples.

It’s 2015 and we’re at it again! Fighting this Keystone XL Pipeline and essentially the government, it’s corporations and their greed. Some people may not care, they may not worry, but will take the next tribal disbursement check, and that’s okay. Some people are going to stand up and do whatever they possibly can to protect our land, our water, and our future generations, and that’s okay too. Ultimately this pipeline will no benefit us as the corporations may say, and the reality is that it will ruin our land, our water tables, and will deplete our natural resources. The corporations will fight hard to come onto our land and pass their pipeline through our state of South Dakota, and even try to turn our own people into the perpetrators in this mess of a project.

This is real and now is the time to be strong, bléhíčiya! (take courage!) and come together to work with one another in our Óčetí Šakówín (Seven Sacred Council Fires) of our Great Nation – so that our future generations of our nations too will prosper in the sake of “progress”.

Protect our land, protect our people, and protect what our ancestors fought so hard for – for us!

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