A gathering in Sidney tonight rallied in support of the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota in their fight against the construction of a major oil pipeline.
The $3.7 billion U.S. project would be the first to bring crude oil from Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, directly to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Tonight, about a dozen members of the Saanich First Nations assembled on the waterfront in Sidney to show their solidarity for the fight and the cause, comparing it to their battle against proposed LNG pipelines in B.C.
“We can’t be there to support them but we’re here to support them in prayer and in strength,” said organizer Robert Louis.
“We’re willing to share with them in their time of need, the same struggles we endure with LNG.”
It comes on the same day that a Federal Judge in the U.S. denied a temporary restraining order to halt construction of part of the Dakota access Pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe claims that it was not properly consulted before the project was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The tribe says there are burial sites and other culturally significant features in the pipeline’s path.
On Saturday, protests turned violent after construction crews destroyed American Indian burial and cultural grounds located on private land.