At Indigenous Peoples March, different reservations, same stories

By Keerthi Vedantam
Cronkite News


Special to the Times | Ruth Kawano
Former Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull of First Nations Canada speaks about missing and murdered Indigenous Native women at the Indigenous Peoples March and Rally in Washington, D.C. In the background is the Washington Memorial.

Nataanii Means spent part of his childhood on the Navajo Nation with little electricity or running water, while energy companies mined coal and uranium nearby.

He said those operations left the water polluted and undrinkable.

Means brought that experience to the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington Friday where he heard the same story with different roots: People from South Dakota, Minnesota and Washington talked of pollution caused by mining or leaking oil pipelines on their reservations.

“It’s our duty as indigenous people to … be conscious of what’s happening in the world,” said Means, who now lives in northern Minnesota where he fights against a proposed pipeline. “To be a protector.”

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