Dozens of citizens gathered in a prayer circle on the Courtenay courthouse lawn Tuesday at noon, to show support for the Standing Rock land defenders.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies have been protesting the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline for months.
The Dakota Access Pipeline project is a nearly 1,200-mile underground pipeline that will ship crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing through South Dakota and Iowa to reach its destination. The Standing Rock Native American Reservation cradles North and South Dakota. Standing Rock Sioux is one of many tribes concerned about the possible land and water contamination as a result of any flaws with the pipeline.
November 15 was earmarked as a National Day of Action, to show support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Similar peaceful rallies to the one in Courtenay were held in centres across the United States and Canada.
“We are actually creating a prayer flag, to send to Standing Rock,” said Kristy Bell, organizer of the We Stand With Standing Rock rally, and one of the members of the grassroots group CV Rope For Hope. “The movement was founded on prayer, so we are going to continue to do that, and show our solidarity in the Comox Valley.”
Attendees of the rally were invited to add a strand to the prayer flag (material was provided), with personal messages for the land defenders at Standing Rock.
The CV Rope of Hope is a community initiative, originally created to show local support for the Attawapiskat youth crisis.
“The CV Rope of Hope is a project that creates community – a project that is celebrating what your hopes are for your community,” said Bell.
The visual project is a rope of flags with personal messages, similar to the prayer flag that will be sent to Standing Rock.
More information about the local prayer flag can be found on the CV Rope of Hope Facebook page. Volunteers will be working on sewing the flag together all month, with hopes of sending it to those at Standing Rock in early December.
“If people want to be part of it and want to make their own flag and attach it to the community flag, they can contact me and I can come and pick it up,” said Bell. “Once our group of women get together to sew (the community flag), we will make sure that it is incorporated.”
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