Oyate Wahacanka Woecun [Shield the People] is a project of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) and the Sicangu Oyate Land Office (SOLO). The primary objectives of the Historic Preservation Office are to protect the integrity of the:

● Land

● People

● Tradition

● Culture

 We apply our ancestral knowledge along with our academic understandings to ensure the preservation of the Lakota ways of life for future generations.

What we are doing?

Oyate Wahacanka Woecun is helping to build alliances in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.

In May 2013, at a proposed Consultation Session between indigenous tribes and the U.S. Department of Interior, the tribes of the Oceti Sakowin walked out and refused to enter discussions.

In August 2013, at a Protect the Sacred Conference held on the lands of the Ihanktonwan, a need was recognized among the tribal membership in attendance. That need is for a central office through which all tribes and landowners concerned with the Keystone XL pipeline could maintain contact and organize their own efforts in collaboration with the growing resistance among other organizations.

At that Protect the Sacred Conference, the representatives of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) stepped forward to offer resources for a start-up organization. In this manner, funding was pooled and project resources were made available by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO), and the Sicangu Oyate Land Office (SOLO).

On Friday, September 13, the first organizational meeting of this newborn project was held in Rosebud, SD. During that meeting, the name Oyate Wahacanka, or Shield the People, was chosen. Upon further introspection, the term “woecun” was added to the name. Taken literally, the project’s name is translated to mean Shielding the People:

Oyate = people

Wahacanka = shield

It is the addition of the term “woecun” that brings the project to life, as the term refers to activities taking place and things that are being done. We are taking action!

Since then, Oyate Wahacanka Woecun has joined forces with Nebraska Bold and Cowboy & Indian Alliance and has staged actions along the pipeline route, in Washington DC and when President Obama visited South Dakota.


Why are we taking a stand?

There are many reasons we choose to stand our ground against the Keystone XL pipeline:

• The potential loss of clean drinking water

• The violation of treaty rights

• The increased levels of violence that have been associated with the “man camps”

• The increased rates of cancer affecting residents near the pipeline

• The loss of crops and insect life caused by the hot pipes

The problems associated with the KXL are too complex to define in a few sentences but the solution is simple: we must stop the expansion of the Keystone pipeline. We need to stand together as indigenous people and as people who share the same drinking water. Already, the First Nations of Canada have made their opposition to the Tar Sands expansion known. We must stand in solidarity and support each other!


Kolapi / Allies