Anti-Keystone Pipeline group uses controversial video to raise money

The Native American activist at the center of the controversial video of a confrontation with students at marches in Washington, D.C. is known to some who are fighting the Keystone XL pipeline.

And the fact that Nathan Phillips, a member of the Omaha Tribe was there playing a drum and chanting is being used by a Keystone XL opposition group to  raise money.

Bold Nebraska, the anti-pipeline group led by Jane Kleeb has sent out emails asking for donations to continue the fight and at the same time pointed to its connections with Phillips. It was also reported Wednesday by the Catholic News Agency that Phillips had attempted Saturday night to disrupt a mass at a Washington, DC Catholic church.

“While chanting and playing ceremonial drums, a group of Native American rights activists reportedly led by Nathan Phillips attempted Jan. 19 to enter Washington, D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during a Saturday evening Mass.

The group of 20 demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass, according to a shrine security guard on duty during the Mass,” reported CNA.

But Bold Nebraska went ahead with its endorsement.

“In the face of racism and hatred on Saturday in our nation’s capitol, veteran and Omaha Tribe elder Nathan Phillips exhibited courage and calm that has inspired a national conversation,” is what she wrote.

The incident happened Friday on the National Mall in Washington where there were crowds of demonstrators from the Indigenous Peoples’ March as well as the March for Life.

Initially the media reaction and coverage focused on the boys from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky. One boy wore a “MAGA” cap and immediately many mainstream reporters accused him of racism.

But when the full video was shown, there were retractions because it was Phillips who confronted the teens as they were being taunted by members of the Black Hebrew Israelites.

And now, BOLD Nebraska has turned the incident and video into a fund-raising opportunity. Phillips, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran had performed at the Harvest the Hope concert in 2014 in protest of the Keystone project.

The group asked people to donate money for cultural resource surveys, which will be used to determine if there are native sites in the path of the pipeline. Phillips isn’t quoted in the news release.


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