Liz Perez Halperin: Why this warrior stands up for Standing Rock

Staff

Liz Perez Halperin, a veteran and member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, explains why the #NoDAPL battle is so important to Indian Country:

For years, I have maintained the silence and learned to keep my mouth shut about the true story of Native American history in America. I have loyally served our country as a U.S. Navy 9/11 Combat Veteran, but as a Native American from the North Fork Rancheria (Mono Indian) tribe located near Yosemite, I am well aware of our people’s generational struggle. (My Native American name is Pia (pronounced Pi-Ya), which means water). And, despite the harsh treatment of Natives for centuries, the U.S. Native American population claims the greatest number of people per capita who have served in uniform. We, yes, WE, stand when the national anthem is played and WE stand together at “Standing Rock” because this was our land before it....

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