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New Entertainment Events Planned to Benefit Standing Rock Sioux

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The Oneida Indian Nation, working in coordination with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota, announced today that it is helping organize a series of benefit concerts across Indian Country to demonstrate solidarity with Native Americans and their allies who are peacefully and prayerfully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to raise money needed to fund the legal efforts and general support necessary to protect their civil rights. In recent weeks, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its supporters have demonstrated peacefully against the Dakota Access Pipeline in a critical flashpoint in the fight for equality and their children’s future.

The Standing Rock Sioux is a nation whose sovereignty rights preexist the founding of the United States. The United States has officially recognized Standing Rock Sioux sovereignty for nearly 150 years, yet federal and state authorities are helping a major corporation build a pipeline that encroaches on their most basic rights. Native Americans who are protesting this intrusion have faced brutal intimidation tactics, including harassment from private security forces and militarized police who have targeted them with tear gas, rubber bullets and police water cannons, despite freezing temperatures. Many hundreds have also been assaulted and arrested for protesting the pipeline project.

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter pledged that the Oneida Nation’s award-winning destination resort, Turning Stone Resort Casino, will launch a large-scale benefit event to help protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Further details will be released in the coming weeks, including the name of the benefit gathering, the dates, and the list of performers and guests.

“It is absolutely critical that we stand alongside the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against this egregious overreach by the federal and state governments,” said Halbritter.

The benefit concert at Turning Stone, and others to follow across the country, will raise funds for the American Indian Action Fund, a not-for-profit organization being formed to defend the civil, legal, economic and political rights of this country’s 5.2 million Native Americans. Indian Country is a diverse and vibrant part of this nation, spanning more than 500 Indian nations and tribes. Over centuries, this community has faced myriad challenges—from ethnic persecution, to economic dislocation to political disenfranchisement.

In this time of continued social and cultural upheaval, the American Indian Action Fund will recognize the unique challenges facing Native Americans, and works to make sure that Native Americans are treated as equals. The money raised by these events will help the organization raise awareness about what is happening in Standing Rock and hire civil rights defense for those who have been detained and harassed peacefully and prayerfully opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Indian Country Today Media Network is a division of Oneida Nation Enterprises.