After the U.S. Army Corps halted the Dakota Access Pipeline project, a group of U.S. veterans celebrated the victory with Native American tribes with a moving gesture.
Led by Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., a group of veterans asked for forgiveness from tribal elders for the U.S. military’s brutalities against Native Americans throughout history.
“Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years,” Clark Jr. began. “We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.”
Chief Leonard Crow Dog accepted the plea for forgiveness and urged for world peace.
“We do not own the land, the land owns us,” he said.
The emotional ceremony took place at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.