What are the Standing Rock protests all about?

A line of protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota head to a unity rally on the west steps of the State Capitol late Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver. Several hundred marchers walked from the four directions to the Capitol to take part in the rally against the oil pipeline. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Respecting mother nature. That’s what a local Native American said the fight at Standing Rock is all about. He recently made a trip to the North Dakota Indian Reservation.

Irving Standing Soldier from Galloway said it’s exciting to see so many standing up for his people during protests across central Ohio. He said the pipeline has to stop and that it threatens us all.

Irving is a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe. He said it’s difficult to watch what’s happening at Standing Rock.

“I can’t see my people, the women and children, old people being brutalized like that,” he said.

Last month he made the trip himself.

“I felt pulled to go. I just had to go,” he said. “All these tribes at one time fought each other and now are standing as one.”

He said to understand why Native Americans are putting up a fight you have to understand how they think.

“We don’t own the land. The land owns us.”

He said water is sacred and the pipeline puts all of us at risk.

“If it breaks how are you going to fix it? If you don’t respect mother earth she can only take so much.”

He said they’ll keep fighting until they’re heard.

“My people, we’re kind of like the forgotten people you know…”

The Native American Indian Center estimates there are 90,000 Native Americans living in central Ohio.

More protests against the pipeline are planned for this week.

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