Hundreds of people gathered on the lawn outside the North Dakota Capitol in Bismarck Friday afternoon for what was supposed to be a protest over construction of the $3.7-billion Dakota Access pipeline.
Dozens of state troopers lined up on the lawn in riot helmets, prepared for the possibility of violence. But the mood was joyous. People danced and sang and chanted, celebrating a surprise victory.
Even Miss Indian World, Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, made sure to come home for the event. Since earning the title at a powwow earlier this year, she’s been traveling the world speaking out on topics like suicide prevention and now, the pipeline.
To her, Friday’s event – in a word – was a gathering.
“It doesn’t feel in any way like a protest,” said Finn, who’s a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
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