Standing Rock’s Chase Iron Eyes, attorney Daniel Sheehan to speak in Nevada City | TheUnion.com

Standing Rock’s Chase Iron Eyes, attorney Daniel Sheehan to speak in Nevada City

Submitted to The Union

Standing Rock Sioux member and former North Dakota congressional candidate Chase Iron Eyes and constitutional attorney Daniel Sheehan are set to speak in Nevada City.

The pair will appear for a one-night forum from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Odd Fellows Lodge, 212 Spring Street.

The two will share their perspectives on the battle to stop the Dakota Access pipeline, the legal fights underway to defend water protectors who stood on the front lines, and what they are calling an illegal pattern of collusion between the fossil fuel industry, their private security forces and the government, intended to subjugate Native American populations in the Dakotas.

The two attorneys, both of whom represent the Lakota People's Law Project — a Santa Cruz-based nonprofit helping the Lakota win justice, protect their families and safeguard sacred lands and resources — said they mean to increase awareness of the ongoing situation in the Dakotas.

Iron Eyes, who faces a potential 10 years in prison if convicted on two felony counts accrued at Standing Rock, serves as the group's lead counsel.

"In the coming months, my trial and those of other water protectors falsely charged with crimes at Standing Rock will expose the illegal wedding between big oil, their militarized private security and the government intent on silencing the people and exploiting the Earth for the sake of profit," Iron Eyes said in a news release.

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In spring of 2016, a movement that grew to encompass thousands was born at Standing Rock. When the Dakota Access pipeline was rerouted from its original path north of Bismarck to the reservation, endangering its only water source, Lakota elders asked allies to rally to their cause, symbolized by the phrase, "Mni Wiconi — Water is Life."

The Lakota's struggle to protect their homeland struck a chord with people around the world. Now, as the oil flows through the completed pipeline under Lake Oahe, hundreds face jail time.

"Recent revelations of paramilitary-style tactics employed against the peaceful and prayerful water protectors of Standing Rock underscore that the soul of our democracy is at stake, right now, in 2017," said Sheehan, who serves as chief counsel for Lakota People's Law Project. "Standing Rock represents the tip of the spear in the movement to safeguard the sacred — the land and water of the Lakota people, and the right to speak freely in this time of great, grave uncertainty about the future of our country and our planet."

Admission for the event, co-hosted/sponsored by Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County, is a suggested $20 donation. Kids admitted free. No one is turned away. For more information, visit LakotaLaw.org.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Chase Iron Eyes — A citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the 2016 Democratic candidate for North Dakota’s congressional seat, Chase serves as lead counsel of the Lakota People’s Law Project and stood on the front lines of the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline. He now faces 10 years in prison if convicted on a pair of felony charges levied against him.

Daniel Sheehan — Chief counsel of the Lakota People’s Law Project and president of the Romero Institute, is among the most storied constitutional attorneys and has prosecuted many of the most important civil rights cases of our time: the Karen Silkwood Case, The Pentagon Papers, Three Mile Island, Iran-Contra Affair, Wounded Knee and numerous others. For the past 15 years, he has helped protect Native families in North and South Dakota from foster care and adoption abuse. He now leads the legal team defending water protectors Chase Iron Eyes and Holy Elk.

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