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Gathering to take place in Spokane Friday in response to Dakota Access Pipeline

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On Friday the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is expected to rule on whether construction can continue on the Dakota Access Pipeline.  In response, local Indigenous leaders and community groups will be gathering in downtown Spokane, starting on Friday at 4 p.m.

“The pipeline threatens our sacred lands and the health of 17 million people who rely upon the Missouri River for water. There is a lot at stake with the court decision tomorrow. We call upon all water protectors to greet any decision with peace and order. Even if the outcome of the court’s ruling is not in our favor, we will continue to explore every lawful option and fight against the construction of the pipeline,”  Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Archambault II said in a press release.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is $3.7 billion project that would cross four states and change the landscape of the U.S crude oil supply.

Those who oppose the pipeline say it would cause a renewed fracking-frenzy in the Bakken shale region and endanger a source of fresh water for the Standing Rock Sioux and the 8 million people living downstream. It would also impact many sites that are sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous nations.

Dogs have been used on protesters prior to the North Dakota National Guard being prepared in advance of this decision. Additionally there is a statewide recruitment of available law enforcement officers and state patrolmen who are rallying outside Mandan, ND.

The gathering , called “Water is Life” will take place tomorrow in response to court’s decision will take place at the north entrance of Riverfront Park near the Spokane Arena in downtown Spokane.  A prayer gathering will be held on Canada Island, an area of the park recently transferred symbolically to the Spokane Tribe in a ceremony observed by the city of Spokane, the consulate of Canada, and the Spokane Tribe.

Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Lecture of Strategic Communication at the University of Idaho.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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