Currently, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota there are thousands of people nonviolently protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Dakota Access Pipeline would put the community’s water source at risk and destroy sacred Native American sites. As for students, being so far removed from the conflict doesn’t stop them from trying to help.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, residents of Elkhart and Goshen are trying to raise funds to send to the water protectors at Standing Rock. Standing with Standing Rock: A Benefit Event will include many local and non-local musicians, artists, poets and speakers. Some of these include Goshen College’s EcoPAX club, the Social Reform club and Iconoclast Canvas, a podcast based out of Elkhart, Indiana. The evening will also feature April Gladfelter, a member of the Umonhon Nation, musician Nayo Ulloa, poet-activist Antonius Northern, Mimi Salvador Lucero, a GC student from the Kichwa Nation of Ecuador, GC break dancers Philip Chan and Nimoy Vaidya and much more.

This event is a way for everyone living in the area to get involved to help those at Standing Rock. Chelsea Risser, one of the nine students who traveled to Standing Rock over fall break claimed that “Many of us feel frustrated that we have commitments keeping us from hopping in a car and heading to Standing Rock to show our support in person, so this event has become a way for us to support the water protectors at Standing Rock and to engage our communities in the fight to resist the pipeline.”

This pipeline, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, is trying to transport crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region to Illinois. Not only does this threaten the Missouri River, but also the food and water supply of the people who depend on it. This plan also violates treaties in addition to undermining the indigenous people. This event is a chance for you to be a part of the hope and fight against this pipeline.

“I hope people will actively educate themselves about the long history of injustice perpetrated against Native Americans at the hands of corporations and the U.S. government,” said Risser. “It’s important for people to understand the connection between Standing Rock and other indigenous communities and minority groups around the world who are also fighting for their human rights and for the protection of the Earth.”

The event will be held at Fellowship of Hope on 1618 S 6th St, Elkhart, IN, on Nov. 19 from 6:30-10 p.m., with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. The suggested donation at the door is $10. All proceeds collected at the door will go towards the Standing Rock legal defense fund to offset the costs.