Tensions surrounding the Dakota Access pipeline continued Sunday. This time with a bit more of a somber tone.
Police responded to reports of traffic backups during a peaceful march along 1806 around 5 p.m. today.
The march was about 1 mile long from the protest site at a sacred area.
A ceremony took place there with representation from more than 200 tribes around the nation and the world.
Hundreds were in attendance.
Elders encouraged a non-violent peaceful approach after yesterday’s violent behavior resulted in injuries to a little girl and a pregnant woman according to witnesses.
We were there today to talk with one mother with the job of blessing everyone before the historic ceremony.
According to Cheryl Angel, a prayer ceremony like today’s hasn’t been performed in nearly 100 years.
“All the people who have come have an opportunity to participate in ceremony. So we are in prayer and that’s why I have this bowl of sage because we do bless everybody.”
That included children and allies of their cause.
Cheryl, who is the mother of Happi, the protester that chained himself to pipeline equipment last week, says the best way to protest is by peace.
“So we’re not about us against them. There is no room for violence. Violence is does not have a home here.”
Sunday, it was her job to provide the blessings to the diverse group of supporters.
She used a bowl of sage and other spices – a tradition she says is passed down from generation to generation.
For her, the violent behavior that erupted Saturday by Dakota Access’s security and protesters was intolerable.
It took the attention away from the true purpose of their mission – to save the water.
“The only win-win is when the water is free to be pure – when the water is free for all humanity,” she says.
Angel says the group will be holding prayer events throughout the week as the September 9 federal injunction decision deadline approaches.