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Thousands March with Cowboy and Indian Alliance at “Reject and Protect” to Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

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Washington, DC - Thousands of people joined the farmers, ranchers, and tribal leaders of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance for a ceremonial procession along the National Mall to protest the Keystone XL pipeline this afternoon. The procession was the largest event yet of the five-day "Reject and Protect" encampment.

"Today, boots and moccasins showed President Obama an unlikely alliance has his back to reject Keystone XL to protect our land and water," said Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska, one of the key organizers of Reject and Protect.

Legendary musician Neil Young and actress Daryl Hannah were amongst the crowd of thousands who rallied on the National Mall and then marched past the Capitol building. "We need to end the age of fossil fuels and move on to something better," Mr. Young told the crowd.

The day's procession included the presentation of a hand-painted tipi to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as a gift to President Obama. The tipi represented the Cowboy and Indian Alliance's hopes for protected land and clean water. The formal name of the tipi is "Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish" and "Oyate Wookiye," two names given to President Obama by the Lakota and the Crow Nations upon his visit to those Nations in 2008. The title translates from the Lakota and Crow languages, respectively, as "Man Who Helps the People" and "One Who Helps People throughout the Land."

"Keystone XL is a death warrant for our people," said Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer, who helped lead the presentation of the tipi to the Smithsonian. "President Obama must reject this pipeline and protect our sacred land and water. The United States needs to respect our treaty rights and say no to Keystone XL."

Reject and Protect has helped shine a spotlight on the strengthening opposition to Keystone XL amongst ranchers, farmers, and Native American tribes along the pipeline route. Buoyed by the State Department's recent delay of the project, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance has pledged to intensify their efforts to convince President Obama to "reject" the pipeline and "protect" their families, land, water, treaty rights, and climate.    


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