Native Americans and ranchers march, ride on horseback against Keystone XL

The 22nd of April, Earth Day, marked the opening ceremonies of Reject and Protect. Reject and Protect is a combined Native American and small farmer/rancher mobilization to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from crossing and destroying their land.

Video of opening march on foot and horse

Stirring Video of raising of ceremonial tipi

DC Media Group Youtube Video featuring some of the speakers

During the morning opening ceremony at the Capitol Reflecting pool, Casey Camp of the Ponca Nation shook hands with Piscataway Indian Nation Chief Billy Redwing Tayac. All of Capitol Hill, in fact this whole region, is Piscataway land. When formal ceremonies ended, Reject and Protect saddled up and marched from the Capitol Reflecting Pool back up to 12th st on Independance Ave, then back to the tipi camp on the Mall.

Shortly after everyone was back in camp, the central ceremonial tipi was erected among the seven others. Much symbolism accompanied this. The whole event is organized by the Cowboy-Indian Alliance, as both are at risk of being wiped out by spills from the Keystone XL. First, the central tripod of three poles was set up, Next, the ranchers handed the other poles one by one to the Native American crew assembling the frame of the tipi, After that the cover was put on, and finally the last two poles for the smoke flaps.

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