Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Water is life

Name: Anthony Running Horse
From: Riverside, California
Grade: 11th Junior (12th grade 2016-2017)
School: Sherman Indian High School
Votes: 0

My name is Anthony Running Horse, I am an Oglala Lakota from the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation. The area I have chosen to volunteer in is
standing with my people in North Dakota fighting against the big oil
industries and presumably the U.S government. I stand with my people
to protect the water and to protect our rights promised to my people
by the U.S constitution and various treaties made and signed by the
U.S Congress. I chose this because it is wrong to unlawfully go to
people’s land and tear it apart along with sacred burial sites just
for personal profit and to overexploit earth’s natural resources. The
state and federal governments treated my people especially our elders
with great disrespect, by letting attack dogs on us, shooting us with
rubber bullets, disturbing our prayer ceremonies, beating us with
batons and other police harmful weapons, and spraying us with a water
cannon in the freezing temperatures of night. I went to one of the
camps and stayed three long weeks, but everywhere I go I inform
people of the tragedies that go on there. My biggest responsibilities
as I was there were to be a protector of the water because the world
has seen the damage caused by pipelines in Flint Michigan and through
all the pipelines breaking in the ocean destroying habitats and our
drinking source I feel I am responsible for the future youth of our
surrounding tribes. I believe my biggest challenge has been to keep
the peace and stay full of hope. The most satisfaction I have seen is
all the various tribes coming together to stand for this cause. I
learned that greed will always be the downfall of man. My career is
aligned with my volunteer work because I want to become a lawyer and
continue to fight for my people. Looking in the future I know my
people will never give in, we never have. “Forward looking” means
to prepare for the future to me. The change I wish to seek is that
people will see the beauty in earth because she is the only one of
her kind, and no amount of money can compare to that. Coming back to
this in the future I think my efforts would have been influential
enough to stop this pipeline and protect our water from any
contamination and eliminate that risk as well and to wake the world
up to see just how bad my people have been treated by the U.S
government and just how greedy they are. I only seek to provide a
sustainable future for the next generation.

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