SAN ANTONIO -- A team from San Antonio is gearing up to head to North Dakota in solidarity with the Native American tribe who is trying to put a stop to a major pipeline project. The local team is hoping to provide key medical care and water to the Native Americans.
For close to two weeks the tribe has been protesting the project that will be built under the Missouri River, saying it will harm the water supply. Herbal Medics and The Human Path of San Antonio plan to take about ten people to the state to help the Sioux.
"This is a theme of energy non-sustainable energy that takes apart an economy, and takes a part of the community for the short term, but destroys it for the long term," said Sam Coffman who is the co-founder of Herbal Medics and The Human Path, and is spearheading the trip up north. "To help provide some medical care and water and the ability for them to be able to continue to stay and work with the protest they are working on right now."
The protest of a four-state, $3.8 billion oil pipeline, turned violent when the tribe accused construction crews of destroying American Indian burial sites on private land in southern North Dakota. At one point work was stopped, but when protesters got word that work had resumed they rushed the construction workers. In the process, a few protesters ended up being sprayed with mace.
Others attached themselves to an excavator using PVC pipe, chicken wire, chains, duck tape, and grease.
Coffman wants to help too, but in a non-aggressive way, by teaching about sustainability.
"Whether it's a small neighborhood or small community because we feel that is much more of a likely way to create self-sustainability for even a huge urban area if every neighborhood has some self-sustainability involved," Coffman said. "The long-term answer is how do we work with long-term alternatives and sustainable fuel sources and energy sources."
A hearing about the pipeline is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Washington D.C.
(© 2016 KENS)