Aspen joins Standing Rock march

Mar 9, 2017

Law enforcement and activists square off this fall near the Standing Rock Reservation.
Credit courtesy photo/Deanne Vitrac-Kessler

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is leading a march in Washington D.C. Friday to demonstrate their continued efforts to meet with President Donald Trump. Locally, the valley’s Ute Tribe representatives will gather to show their solidarity.

Deanne Vitrac-Kessler is the founder of the Aspen Ute Foundation. She made several trips up to the Standing Rock Reservation last fall and was present as police and activists clashed over a proposed oil pipeline that may threaten a critical water supply.

“It was very traumatic to witness that because there we were Americans together to protect the water for everybody's rights,” Vitrac-Kessler reminisced. “It was almost like a civil war where it was Americans against Americans, and that was very sad.”

Vitrac-Kessler said she also witnessed a diverse community standing in unison in support of Native American’s civil rights, and she hopes to recreate that today in a show of solidarity with the larger march in the capitol. The demonstration begins at Aspen’s Paepcke Park at 12 p.m. and will conclude in Wagner Park.