Movement or isolated protest? The Water Warrior stand against the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plant is becoming the former according to Dakota Case of the Puyallup Tribe. “This is our movement, you can’t stop this,” he explained. Dakota is showing strong leadership and is standing up for his tribe in a good way.
His passion is obvious to anyone that meets him. He explained, “You can disrespect us, threaten our lives and throw us in jail, but you will never stop this.”
Attacks and Escorts
The Wednesday, June 28th theme was unity. Dakota had approached the Tribal Council about an incident that had happened the previous night. A car belonging to the Pipeline company had, in his view, swerved towards him, missing him narrowly. Because of the concern for the safety of tribal members, an escort was provided in the form of a Puyallup Tribal Police Officer and his squad car.
While rejecting leadership in the traditional sense, Dakota is part of a ‘Water Warriors Council’ (WWC.) In this council, all have an equal say. Dakota is the only man in the group which is made up entirely of members of the Puyallup Tribe.
Each member of the WWC takes part according to their talents and time. They represent a continued trend of indigenous leadership in environmental matters. It’s clear, however, that all who are actively involved in this moment, in any capacity, are considered Water Warriors.
This is a grassroots movement and many of those involved have day jobs and other commitments. The songs and drums went deep into the night. It’s hard not to be inspired by the sacrifices everyone is making