Family members of Caddo Nation chairwoman Tamara Francis-Fourkiller said an anonymous donor paid $2.5 million late Saturday afternoon to release everyone arrested on Thursday at the Dakota Access Pipeline site.
The project, which would transport crude oil from the Bakken oil field to a refinery near Chicago, first sparked demonstrations in April, when members of the Standing Rock Lakota and other Native American nations rode on horseback and established the Sacred Stone “spiritual camp”.
Thousands of activists have since traveled to Cannon Ball, North Dakota, including members of tribes from across the US, launching a huge and continuing protest that has become a rallying cry for indigenous rights, climate change activism and environmental conservation.
Leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux say the pipeline, a project of the Texas-based corporation Energy Transfer Partners, threatens the water supply and cultural heritage and would destroy sacred lands.
Chanting “Water is life!” Saturday, the Oklahoma demonstrators hope to rally people from around the country to stand with those in North Dakota and stop construction on the pipeline project.