Santee Sioux Nation stands with Standing Rock Tribe
"The American Indians are finally standing up and we're not going to sit back down until we stop that black snake that's going to go across the United States of America," said one Santee Sioux Tribe member.
Sunday evening tensions escalated between police and protesters against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the midst of all this chaos, dozens of Dakota Santee Sioux Tribe members are sending their support.
"Santee Sioux Nation stands with Standing Rock," said Redwing Thomas, member of the Santee Sioux Tribe.
During their solidarity ceremony in front of the Ohiya Casino in Niobrara, Nebraska, members of the Tribe say this isn't about indigenous people and sacred land, but it's about protecting the water.
"That water is life and without it we can't live. We can live without oil, we can live without money, but we can't live without water," said Thomas.
The confrontation Sunday evening involved more than 400 protesters, including 21-year old Sophia Wilansky. Wilansky's arm was seriously injured at the event and during the ceremony she was honored for her sacrifice.
"All non-native brothers and sisters who are putting themselves in harms way to protect the water, we are praying for you and want to let you know you are not alone," said one Santee Sioux Tribe member.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its supporters have been protesting the project for months and with harsh winter conditions coming up member of the Santee Sioux Tribe, Redwing Thomas, hopes they'll continue to fight.
"Do not stop, do not give up, do not falter, stand strong reinforcements are on their way from the Santee Sioux Tribe," said Thomas.