Cowboy and Indian Alliance sends Obama Keystone message
NELIGH, Nebraska — The Cowboy and Indian Alliance created a crop art image, the size of 80 football fields, to send President Obama a message to protect the Heartland by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.
Tribes, farmers and ranchers are now headed to Washington, DC for a week-long series of actions called Reject and Protect. The image was created by artist John Quigley and was inspired by tribal artist Richard Vollaire of the Tongva Nation.
The crop art is directly on the proposed path of Keystone XL, which also crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears. Landowner Art Tanderup said, “This land has been in our family for over 100 years. We have always been stewards of the land. The soil is very sandy here, any leak would leach into the Ogallala Aquifer contaminating our water without any concrete plan to clean up the pollution. With this crop art we are literally drawing a line in the sand and asking President Obama to stand with our families.”
The massive crop design of a cowboy and Indian warrior includes key images of water and a hashtag made of arrows. A sun with seven rays depicts the tribal tradition of protecting seven generations and the renewable energy farmers, ranchers and tribes want to see on their land rather than a pipeline.
The aerial image was taken over Art and Helen Tanderup’s land in a crop duster plane from 3,000 ft. Art Tanderup dug the image lines with his tractor following the direction of flags planted by volunteers and artistic on-the-ground direction of John Quigley.
Aldo Seoane with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said, “The United States and TransCanada have consistently and intentionally disregarded the concerns of tribal nations and concerned citizens. We as tribal people have been here since the beginning of time and we have seen the best and worst of what people can create. This pipeline is certainly the worst thing that can happen to our land, our water and our people.”
The series of actions called Reject and Protect will take place April 22-27 in Washington, DC.