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City Council Signs Resolution To Support Standing Rock

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Erik Neumann
The Utah League of Native American Voters' James Singer addresses a crowd of supporters in the Salt Lake City Council chambers.

On Tuesday night several hundred people gathered in downtown Salt Lake City in support of North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their opposition to the North Dakota Access Pipeline Project.  

The protest in Salt Lake City was part of a national day of action with groups around the country showing support for the tribe that’s opposing an oil pipeline planned to go under the Missouri river.

A march started at downtown Salt Lake City’s federal building where several hundred people walked through downtown ending at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Moroni Benally was one of the organizers. He’s with the Utah League of Native American Voters.

"We are here to express gratitude. But also to hold their feet to the fire," Benally said. 

For the past several months, the League worked with the Salt Lake City Council to write a joint resolution supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its members in North Dakota.

"I talked with Arvol when he was here. Arvol Looking Horse, the spiritual leader of Standing Rock. And he said to me, express to the Council in Salt Lake City gratitude. From the depths of my heart."

Inside, protesters filled the council chambers to capacity as the resolution was read by council member Lisa Ramsey Adams.

"Be it further resolved, Salt Lake City recognizes the unique sovereign relationship between Tribal Nations and the United States and discourages any action regarding the DAPL that would harm or destroy the Tribe’s ancestral lands, waters, and sacred sites," Ramsey Adams said. 

The City Council voted unanimously in support of the resolution. Both the Council and the Utah League of Native American Voters, acknowledged it’s symbolic, but described it as a gesture of solidarity.

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