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Academy Award winner and longtime activist Jane Fonda is teaming up with 50 chefs, activists, and volunteers from around the country to feed more than 500 indigenous people and their allies protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline a Thanksgiving Dinner at Standing Rock.
According to the Dakota Dispatch, Fonda will be serving dinner and personally contributing five butchered bison and four Mongolian yurts to the protestors at the Oceti Sakowin camp. The meal is organized by Judy Wicks, a former cafe owner in Philadelphia who wrote in EcoWatch that she’s going to Standing Rock to honor Native American culture, “tell the story of the Protectors’ courage and love,” and catalyze a movement that acknowledges the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people. “As our country reels in the aftermath of a divisive election, now is the time for all people to stand together and become the America that we are meant to be,” she writes.
Though many Native Americans understandably don’t celebrate a holiday commemorating the invasion of Native lands and mass genocide of Native people, Wicks tells Civil Eats that she spoke with Tom Goldtooth, the director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, to get a green-light on the idea before proceeding. Goldtooth told her that many of his friends at Standing Rock celebrated the holiday, but more importantly this would be an opportunity to aid the protesters in their struggle and draw attention to what’s happening at Standing Rock, as Native Americans and allies fight to protect their drinking water, sacred sites, and traditional lands.
As the protests at Standing Rock continue, so does police brutality. Law enforcement injured at least 167 indigenous activists and their allies Sunday night after blasting them with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons.
Mehak Anwar is a reporter whose work focuses on LGBTQ rights, intersectional feminism, and race. Her byline has appeared in Bustle and the Huffington Post.