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Cottage Grove Among National Protest Sites Against Pipeline

Brian Bull

Activists against the Dakota Access oil pipeline development in the Midwest held an international “Day of Action” today.  Among the dozen protest sites in the Pacific Northwest, was Cottage Grove.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

A small band of activists stood on the corner of 7th and East Main, with signs expressing support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, or calling for an end to further pipeline construction.

Donnie Sevilla is a Cottage Grove resident who claims Cherokee and Choctaw ancestry.

Credit Brian Bull
A group of people in Cottage Grove demonstrate against the Dakota Access oil pipeline coursing through the upper Midwest.

“I’m hoping this is the beginning of the change that we are all hoping for in our world," Sevilla told KLCC.

 "And it’s our Native American brothers and sisters that are standing up now, under duress.  A company wants to build a pipeline directly across where their water intake is. That’s not healthy for them, it’s not healthy for any of the people downriver.”  

Nearby, Annie Odin tapped a drum.  She says it’s also about tribal sovereignty.

“There are native nations in the United States, and they need to be recognized.  And they are standing up for the sacred.  We need to stand in solidarity with them, that’s why we’re here.” 

Meanwhile, the Standing Rock Tribe has vowed to keep its protest going, even through the harsh cold winter.  The Obama Administration has paused construction while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reviews the tribe’s concerns. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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