Tensions Rise as Prairie Tribes Move to Block a Pipeline Through Sacred Grounds

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Photo courtesy of BBC.

(New York Times) Horseback riders, their faces streaked in yellow and black paint, led the procession out of their tepee-dotted camp. Two hundred people followed, making their daily walk a mile up a rural highway to a patch of prairie grass and excavated dirt that has become a new kind of battlefield, between a pipeline and American Indians who say it will threaten water supplies and sacred lands. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital. This month, a line of sheriff’s officers retreated in the face of riders on horseback circling and yipping through the grass. (Tribal members said that the display was a Lakota gesture of introduction, and that they have no quarrel with law enforcement.)

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