On Sunday, members of the Oceti Sakowin camp are expected share a large Christmas dinner together.
Earlier in the month, the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference raised close to US$5,000 worth of donations including essential items for the cold as well as toys for children that were delivered to the Standing Rock camp.
“We all should be spending time with our families. Our children share the same breath and the same future. Their great-grandchildren will look at these days with smiles. We all live peacefully for their good lives,” said Lee Sprague, who is currently living in the Oceti Sakowin camp, told Native News Online.
Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, thanked the water protestors who “came to the camps and put their hearts, minds, and bodies on the line,” and “the millions around the world who expressed support from afar,” in a statement via Facebook on Sunday morning.
“As we pivot our focus towards pressuring the new administration, we take this time to acknowledge that we would not have gotten here without your incredible show of support. We will do our very best to honor you, and fight onwards in solidarity,” Archambault continued.
Protestors started occupying camps in April in opposition to the 1,172-mile pipeline which Native Americans and environmentalists say will cross over sacred land and pollute the local environment and waterways. The grassroots protests have gained increasing international attention, particularly through alternative and social media.