With cold weather approaching and the pipeline unfinished, donations are being sent to those protesting the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Protests of the pipeline have been in effect since 2014, but recent media coverage has created a large support system of those who are standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Recently, water cannons used by police forces caused skin wounds and hypothermia in the cold weather, according to the New York Times.
Tear gas and rubber bullets were used against protesters as well.
Native Americans, celebrities and other active citizens have traveled to the Dakotas to protest in person. With the weather becoming dangerous, donations are needed to keep the protesters safe and healthy in subzero conditions.
Joe Paoletti, senior natural resource major, visited Standing Rock recently and said cold-weather gear is highly sought after.
“People should donate winter gear or winterizing gear or materials for tents and shelters,” Paoletti said.
Sleeping bags, warm clothes, boots, hats and mittens are all items that could be donated.
Car batteries and jumper cables along with food and health items are always needed as well.
The resilient but peaceful protesting at Standing Rock has caused the Army Corp of Engineers to further review whether or not to finish the last 10 percent of the pipeline, according to PBS NewsHour.
“The Army continues to welcome any input that the Tribe believes is relevant to the proposed pipeline crossing or the granting of an easement,” said the Army in its statement.
According to Time Magazine, there is a real possibility the pipeline could leak into the Missouri River if completed and utilized.
The leaked oil would cause the Missouri River to become toxic with oil, which would then flow into the Mississippi River and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.
The pipeline involves the violation of human rights and environmental rights. If one chooses to visit and volunteer at the reservation, know that it is a serious situation.
Paoletti said that protesting in person is not something to do just because it sounds exciting.
“To anyone thinking of going, please remember that this is not a music festival,” Paoletti said.
If anyone does wish to visit you can expect to cook, attend to medical care or set up wind turbines.
If someone does not have the means to donate items or visit the reservation, online donations are always accepted.
Standingrock.org offers an address to mail checks and a link to pay with a debit or credit card.
Without donating money, letters could be written to members of the government or to companies that support the pipeline. As the Army Corp of Engineers said, input about the pipeline is welcome.
Especially with the holidays coming up, Paoletti said talking with friends and family can start conversations to open minds and take other thoughts into consideration.
Paoletti said, “If people want to make an impact they can turn around and convince their parents and friends that environment issues and social injustices affect us all.”