WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As hundreds of members of native tribes protest the installation of the Dakota access pipeline in North Dakota, some area protesters took to the streets in West Lafayette Tuesday.
Purdue students along with others from the Greater Lafayette area met in Purdue’s Stewart Center to discuss what is happening at the Standing Rock Indiana reservation in North Dakota.
Speakers discussed the history of the protest and the pros and cons of the pipeline. One guest speaker just returned from Standing Rock and shared her experience.
Purdue grad student and member of the Lakota tribe Janelle Cronin says even though the situation is grim right now, there is hope for the future.
“Every time you see an elder, every time you see a child — that’s hope,” Cronin said. “That’s who we’re fighting for. It’s for the future of our drinking water. Our children’s future. And so with every indigenous baby born, that’s, that’s a fight against colonialism and genocide and it proves that we’re still here.”
Cronin also just returned from North Dakota. She says none of the tribes want violence, but the pipeline cannot continue.
“The message that was spread around the camp this past weekend was it’s time to heal. It’s time to forgive,” said Cronin. “This isn’t going to be the only pipeline that’s going to come through. This just so happens to be the one where we say enough is enough.”
In a sign of solidarity, the attendees of Tuesday’s event marched down to the Wabash River chanting Mni Wiconi or water is life. They then made an offering of clean water to the river to show they are united with Standing Rock.