I’m 13 years-old and as an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, I’ve lived my whole life by the Missouri River. It runs by my home in Fort Yates North Dakota and my great grandparents original home was along the Missouri River in Cannon Ball. The river is a crucial part of our lives here on the Standing Rock Reservation.

But now a private oil company wants to build a pipeline that would cross the Missouri River less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Reservation and if we don’t stop it, it will poison our river and threaten the health of my community when it leaks.

My friends and I have played in the river since we were little; my great grandparents raised chickens and horses along it. When the pipeline leaks, it will wipe out plants and animals, ruin our drinking water, and poison the center of community life for the Standing Rock Sioux.

In Dakota/Lakota we say “mni Wiconi.” Water is life. Native American people know that water is the first medicine not just for us, but for all human beings living on this earth.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day, across four states. Oil companies keep telling us that this is perfectly safe, but we’ve learned that that’s a lie: from 2012-2013 alone, there were 300 oil pipeline breaks in the state of North Dakota.

With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak, I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because they don’t care about our health and safety. It’s like they think our lives are more expendable than others’.

So we, the Standing Rock Youth, are taking a stand to be the voice for our community, for our great grandparents, and for Mother Earth. Join us, and sign to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Sincerely,

Anna and the Standing Rock Youth

Learn more about our campaign at rezpectourwater.com.

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    Anna Lee, Bobbi Jean & the Oceti Sakowin Youth started this petition with a single signature, and now has 556,276 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.