May 21, 2016 - “Modern Day Warriors” Fight to Protect Their Homelands by Zaysha Grinnell

My name is Zaysha Grinnell. I am 15 years old and I am a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes which is located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation here in North Dakota. I have lived on the reservation all of my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I always saw the beauty in it. Which is why I am choosing to put up a fight to stop two pipelines that will be crossing through our lake. I had put together a youth group called the “Modern Day Warriors” within the last three weeks to help me bring more awareness to the pipelines.

On April 26th 2016, I brought attention to these pipelines by creating a online petition on which currently has 802 supporters.

Our lake here is named Lake Sacagawea, after the legendary woman herself. The two pipelines proposed to go through the only home I ever knew are; Dakota Access Pipeline and Lake Sakakawea Pipeline. Dakota Access will not only be going through my reservation, but reservations all along the Missouri River.

So, on Thursday May 12th, I brought attention to this by planning a run/walk/ride here for my community that cared. People from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River came to support us and unite against these pipelines. Thankful that they came is an under statement. We walked and rode horses for about 10 miles from New Town all the way out to tribal building. It was a very powerful day. We took my online petition and physical petition to our tribal council and tribal members. On both petitions all together we had about 900 signatures. The tribal council was surprised by this, and the fact that youth had stood up and used they’re voices. Probably was the last thing they were expecting.

After my youth group, Lisa DeVille, and I gave our statements, the council stopped us. Chairman Mark Fox spoke, telling us it is a good thing we are doing. That they would oppose 7 pipelines planning on going through our lake (Lake Sacagawea) and any future pipelines. We left, feeling we had victory.

It wasn’t victory for us. The council didn’t say anything about Dakota Access Pipeline. The Modern Day Warriors are still fighting, we plan on fighting, right along with Standing Rock. This week is when Army Corp. plans on the construction DAPL. My people are good, but money. “Money is the root of all evil”

I’ve been getting asked a lot why I even started this. Why? My ancestors (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) farmed. We were big farmers and we grew mostly everything. From squash, to corns. My people walked this very land that these oil companies are destroying like its nothing. I look at my lands and a flush of pride goes through me. This is where I came from. I’m not going to let Army Corp. come here, ruin our river, kill our animals, kill our sacred stories connected to the river, and let them do it likes its nothing. This is all we have left. Modern Day Warriors are ready to fight for our people. We are going to unite and support Standing Rock and other tribes being affected. Be watching Indian Country, we are about to make an impact.

Zaysha talking in front of tribal council and some of my youth group.

Youth with tribal council after they said they would oppose 7 pipelines and any future pipelines.

Youth shutting down our bridge which crosses over lake sacagawea. we seen 6 eagles while walking across. very powerful.

The run/ride/walk on may 12th 2016

The run/ride/walk on may 12th 2016

The run/ride/walk on may 12th 2016

Last Real Indians