The pipeline may be hundreds of kilometres away, but hundreds of people showed up in Regina on Saturday night to raise money for the Standing Rock Sioux protestors in North Dakota.
The protestors have been in the headlines for months as they oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing a water source in the area.
Laura Lodge is one of the organizers of the event, called Saskatchewan Stands with Standing Rock. She said they had musical performances, artists, bake sales, and silent auctions.
“We were trying to get every angle to try and raise as much money for them as we could,” said Lodge.
Lodge didn’t have exact numbers on Sunday morning, but she said at least 200 people showed up to the event, and more than $3,000 was raised.
“We were really overwhelmed with how well people took it, how involved people wanted to get. We had a ton of volunteers that came out,” said Lodge.
“We were really humbled by the whole experience and how much people care about this and feel like it’s a good cause.”
All the money will be sent to the Standing Rock tribal office. Lodge said it’s meant to be used for whatever the tribe needs, though she said what they need right now is money for legal fees.
Lodge said she and the other organizers were a bit nervous when they began planning the event, seeing as Saskatchewan is oil country and many here support pipelines. However they were surprised at the reaction they got from those who didn’t share their views.
“They weren’t argumentative, they didn’t say what we were doing was wrong, they just said that they were in disagreeance (sic) with us, but they wished us well,” said Lodge.
Lodge has lived in Regina for several years, but is originally from Vancouver Island so she’s very passionate about pipeline issues. She hopes the Standing Rock protest will help people in Canada stand against pipelines here.
“If they’re the catalyst that makes the change, I think they’re the ones that are going to lead the way for the people that are going to go against (Line 3), the people that are going to go against Kinder Morgan and say we can’t do this anymore, we need to stand up against this.”
Late Sunday afternoon it was announced the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers would not grant a key permit for the pipeline, but Lodge said they’ll still be sending the money that was raised to Standing Rock.