Perhaps the only silver lining behind the heinous situation going on at Standing Rock is the number of people flocking to North Dakota to support the water protectors. Not only are a group of US Veterans on their way to offer their assistance, but Matt Musselwhite, a carpenter and woodworker from southwestern Oregon, has just delivered three insulated and heated tiny homes to shelter a few of the protestors.
The Standing Rock protest began in April when members from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe began to protest against the $3.7 billion oil pipeline that would cross over native burial grounds and most likely contaminate their primary source of drinking water.
Along with most of the world, Musselwhite and his neighbors in rural Oregon were appalled after seeing authorities attack the DAPL protestors with rubber bullets, tear gas, concussion grenades, and water cannons. In response, the close-knit Yale Creek community organized a fund-raising event, Shelter for the Storm, to build three wooden cabins with stand-alone solar systems to deliver to a few of the protestors.
With temperatures already below freezing, Musselwhite and his team worked quickly to build the shelters. Good samaritans donated and milled five trees, which were either already dead or dying, for the lumber, and local businesses donated additional materials. In just three weeks, the team built three 144-square-foot modular homes.
Musselwhite hit the road with a volunteer Teamster trucker, who drove the materials on a 35-foot flatbed truck. Three days and 1,500 miles later, the duo arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota with the shelters, along with three donated woodstoves, a stand-alone solar energy system donated by True South Solar, and a variety of food donations. Once they arrived, onsite volunteers began to assemble the structures while others passed out food and coffee.
The first shelter has already been designated for Mni Wiconi, the first baby born at the protest site. Her name is the Lakota phrase for “Water is Life”.
Via Yes Magazine