• Pawhuska veteran to walk to North Dakota in protest of Dakota Access Pipeline

    By: Greg Brown

    Updated:

    PAWHUSKA, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • Christ Turley says he's walking from Pawhuska to the Standing Rock Reservation.
    • Turley, a veteran, says he's standing in solidarity with protesters there.
    • FOX23 is set to follow Turley's story as he begins his journey.

     

    A local veteran says he's heading to North Dakota on foot to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    Chris Turley was wounded in in Afghanistan. After he suffered damage to his knee, he needed a lot of therapy just in order to walk again.

    Now, he's walking all the way from Pawhuska to the Standing Rock Reservation to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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    SEE MORE: Local support and reaction


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    Turley said he's leaving from the Chief Bigheart state Saturday morning at 7 a.m.

    His first major stop is planned for the Pottawatomie Reservation north of Topeka, Kansas.

    Turley said he is not sure how long it will take him to travel the more than 800 miles between Green Country and the Standing Rock Reservation, but he expects to learn once he gets a good idea of his pace.

    FOX23 found that the trip could take over 260 hours of walking.

    He said the walk is to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and raise awareness for Native American veterans and suicide prevention.

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    SEE MORE: Continued coverage


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    The Standing Rock Sioux argue that they were never consulted about the controversial pipeline’s route, including portions that will run under the Missouri River and within half of a mile from their tribal lands.

    The tribe and its supporters, including environmentalists, fear that if the pipeline were to malfunction, leak or break open and spill, the oil would seep into tribal land, and pollute water used for farming, drinking, cleaning and religious purposes.

    Many of the organizers in North Dakota have reportedly been arrested, maced, pepper sprayed and beaten by police in military gear as they fight to end or reroute the pipeline.

    The Obama Administration asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to try to find a route away from the controversial area to end the dispute, and a corps environmental impact study said the threat of the pipeline impacting the environment was minimal.

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