“We exist. We resist. We rise.”
This powerful statement was boldly brought to the White House, through protest signs and spirit, on March 10 as part of the Native Nations Rise protests.
Thousands of Native Americans from tribes across North America marched to the White House to rally for Indigenous rights and environmental protection. The protest was in response to President Donald Trump’s recent actions targeting Indigenous populations.
Native demonstrators and their allies gathered to condemn the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Recent approval to construct these pipelines by Trump and his administration, according to tribal leaders, are in violation treaty law protecting Indigenous land.
The Native Nations Rise protests emphasizes that consent from Indigenous nations, not mere consultation, is essential from President Trump and congressional leaders for any fossil fuel projects.
The protest was organized by Standing Rock Sioux water protectors — the leaders behind the highly successful #NoDAPL movement, along with the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Native Organizers Alliance.
“We have brought the storm to D.C., and the fire does not go out,” Dallas Goldtooth, a campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, said during the protest. “As Indigenous peoples, we have descended upon D.C. with a collective energy to bring lasting change. We’ve been heard and now on to the next great steps to resist and build sustainable, renewable nations.”
In the days leading up to the march, seven tipis originally erected at Standing Rock were moved on to the National Mall. At the temporary camp, Indigenous leaders met with senator Bernie Sanders, senator Jeff Merkley and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
The March 10 protest began at the Army Corps of Engineers office, moved to the Trump Hotel and ended with a rally in front of the White House. While at the Trump Hotel, marchers erected a 14-foot tipi to symbolize taking back stolen land.
Some photo curation by Haley Hamblin.