SEATTLE -- Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez struck a solemn tone Monday as she briefed her colleagues on a proclamation.
"I think it's going to be bad on December 5," said Juarez, about the protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Juarez, who is a member of the Blackfeet Nation, said she's concerned about what happens next in the Dakotas.
There have been rallies and protests for months about the planned oil pipeline. It has led to multiple confrontations and a threat from the Army Corps of Engineers that the protesters have to leave by Dec. 5 or face arrest.
Juarez called the threat "ironic" given that November is National Native American Heritage Month and the reason why she issued the city-wide proclamation Monday.
She says the protesters, who call themselves water protectors, are trying to protect that heritage as well.
"The irony and the duplicity and hypocrisy of Native American Heritage Month didn't really ring true this month," she said, calling the racism "insane."
"So you're basically saying the Native people that are living there are trespassing," she said. "It's a civil rights issue, a human rights issue, and it's bigger than all of us. We should care."