Topics: Indigenous, Politics

Hundreds pour into Standing Rock ahead of Thanksgiving

updated By Mānia Clarke

Hundreds of people continue to pour into the front-line Oceti Sakowin Camp, despite calls from the Mayor of Bismark to those opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline to return home for Thanksgiving.  Marcus Lloyd (Ngāti Porou) who is at Standing Rock says the people here won't leave, instead more vehicles are arriving in support the Standing Rock's Sioux tribe.

People continue to stand in solidarity, despite pleas to leave.

“People are not leaving, they're coming in droves, and vehicles have been arriving all day, all night.  This morning there was a group of 600 that arrived, and they're still coming in now," says Lloyd.

The message was put to protesters yesterday by Bismark Mayor Mike Seminary following Sunday's confrontation with armed authorities, where more than 500 were arrested.

Mayor of Bismark Mike Seminary says, “It's now time for them to go home to their loved ones and their families, enjoy whatever holidays are important to them.  And let us go about the process of rebuilding some likely damaged relationships locally.”

“Thanksgiving is not used very positively in the camp.  This is not a day for recognising the other story of the history here, it's about recognising what's happening here,” says Lloyd.

Marcus is part of a group of six other Māori who have been at the camp since Sunday, to support and serve the needs of the Native people.

“We've had a great day to be able to go in, we've sung, get the guitar around, and we've just hung with people.  We had a wonderful opportunity to meet Shailene Woodley and spend time with her.  And it's just been a good feeling at the moment, there is a good vibe,” says Lloyd.

The camp has been invited to attend a Water Protectors Community Appreciation Dinner at Fort Yates tomorrow.

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