Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
ALLENDALE, MICHIGAN - "We, the Oglala Sioux, oppose the proposed pipeline that could come right on top of our water sources that could be hurt by a leak," author Aaron DeSersa told a group of 115 students at Grand Valley State University campus in Allendale, Michigan on Wednesday.
(l to r)Aaron DeSersa, Vice President Nikole LeCompte and President Stacey Ettawageshik of the Native American Student Association at GVSU
DeSersa, a great grandson of the famous Lakota medicine man, Black Elk, is co-author of "Black Elk Lives." He was on campus as part of Grand Valley State University's Native American Heritage Month lineup. DeSersa spoke at a program called "Collision: Traditional Lakota Values and Contemporary Life."
"People have to realize these types of pipelines can spring a leak that can leak out 500,000 gallons of oil and destroy our water sources," stated DeSersa, who live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Manderson, South Dakota.
The Keystone XL Project is a 1700 mile long crude oil pipeline that would transport between 700,000 to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The 1700 mile long pipeline will extend from Alberta, Canada and pass through six states on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, including the state of South Dakota.
Author Aaron DeSersa
The proposed pipeline coming down through the Plains states has caused great concern, particularly among the Oglala in South Dakota. The proposed pipeline route is right though the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. It will cross the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in two places.
“Water is our number one medicine,”
said DeSersa, who discussed other aspects of Lakota values. "The Lakota belief system deals with 'what is here.' It is what is natural. Those are the medicines we use. We watch the animals, the four-legged; they know what the natural medicines are."
DeSersa encouraged students to contact their elected officials to voice opposition to the Keystone Pipeline XL.
posted November 10, 2011 8:20 am est
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