Led by Standing Rock Sioux, Native Americans gather for 4-day event in D.C.

Teepees setup by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Native Nations Rise in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline are seen near the Washington Monument on Thursday. Activists have set up teepees on the National Mall as part of a four-day protest, which will include a march to the White House on Friday to oppose the Trump administration's approval of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 9 (UPI) — Native Americans from tribes across the country are converging on Washington, D.C., to begin what’s planned to be four days of protests and cultural demonstrations.

Teepees were erected on the National Mall as part of the protest. A march from the mall to the White House and a demonstration across the street in Lafayette Park is planned for Friday, organizers for the group Native Nations Rise said.

The protest comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order reviving plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has fought the project for years, and over the last several months they have created an encampment near the construction zone where clashes between protesters, security and police have at times become violent.

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The Standing Rock Sioux have said the pipeline runs over sacred burial ground and threatens their water source where the pipeline would cross the Missouri River, one mile from their reservation.

The tribe is among the leaders of the Native Nations Rise movement and have been critical of Trump for his actions involving the pipeline. Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault II traveled to Washington expecting to meet with Trump administration officials to make the case for permanently halting construction, but was informed upon arrival that the decision to move forward had already been made.

The tribe has filed suit to stop construction in federal court.

In addition to protests, those in attendance for the next four days are planning demonstrations to heighten understanding of traditional Native American culture.


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