Just as many thought the news of the Dakota Pipeline Protests would fade away after the news the Army Corps of Engineers had back downed, the son of a historic general purported to represent all veterans while asking for forgiveness.
On Monday, at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S Army General Wesley Clark Sr., led a group of veterans in a ceremony to ask forgiveness from Native Americans for the military’s crimes.
Wes Clark Jr. is the co-coordinator for “Veterans for Standing Rock,” which claims to have brought 2,000 veterans to North Dakota to join members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
While he stood in a formation with other veterans, Clark proclaimed:
“Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years.”
“We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. And we took still more land. And then we took your children. And then we tried to take your language. We tried to eliminate your language, that God gave you and that the creator gave you. We didn’t respect you. We polluted your earth. We’ve hurt you in so many ways. And we’ve come to say that we are sorry, we are at your service, and we beg for your forgiveness.”
Chief Leonard Crow Dog, a Lakota spiritual leader, placed his hand upon Clark’s head.
“We are Lakota Sovereign nation. We were a nation, and we’re still a nation,” he said. “We have a language to speak. We have preserved the caretaker position.”
“We do not own the land. The land owns us.”
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