A trio of Saskatchewan women are determined to do what they can to preserve and protect the water in North America not only by supporting those in Standing Rock, N.D. – but by raising awareness locally.Naomi Ryder-Sioux, one of the founders of Keepers of the Water, said things are at important juncture and everyone needs to start standing up to preserve and protect the water and the land for future generations.She along with Danna Henderson and Sherrie Bellegarde, the other two founders of Keepers of the Water travelled to Standing Rock and returned more determined to support the efforts in North Dakota — where the tribe and supporters are opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that will go underneath the Missouri River — and raise awareness about the situation in Saskatchewan.On Tuesday the water protectors from Standing Rock are calling for an International Day of Solidarity.Ryder-Sioux said the group is asking for people around the world to take a closer look at their own communities and look at ways to preserve and protect their own lands and water from further destruction.She said with the recent U.S. election, things have become more urgent.“Things have gotten much more critical,” said Ryder-Sioux. “People are not sure what is going to happen.”When they were in Standing Rock last month, there was already a high military presence and the water protectors are calling for more people to join them.She may not be able to answer the call for bodies, but can do other things to raise awareness and support for those south of the border.On Tuesday, starting at 6 p.m. the group plans to gather at the site of Andrew Scheer’s constituency office located at 160 C Broadway Ave. W. in Fort Qu’Appelle even though it is closed.“We want to do it in a peaceful way,” said Ryder-Sioux. “We are going to start off with a pipe ceremony. Then we are going to get up and speak about our concerns.”Mission Lake, near Fort Qu’Appelle, LORI COOLICAN / SASKATOONScheer and Premier Brad Wall are pro-pipeline and the group is concerned about what kind of impact that will ultimately have on the environment, she said.In addition to the peaceful protest, the group has sent Scheer a letter that outlines their main concerns.“We wanted to ask him some questions on his pro-pipeline stance,” said Ryder-Sioux. “We were wondering why he was supporting short, temporary jobs. Sure there will be jobs, but what about the future?”Some of the other questions they are asking are why is the province not looking at renewable energy options like solar and wind power, will First Nations be included in the consultation process when it comes to pipeline projects and are there plans in place to deal with possible pipeline breaks.kbenjoe@postmedia.com

Source: Sask. residents hosting Day of Solidarity for Standing Rock | Regina Leader-Post