BELLEVILLE – A local woman is collecting money to purchase portable hospital kits for those fighting against the Dakota Access  pipeline in North Dakota.
The kits feature first-aid materials as well as things like chemical masks so medics can breathe when tear gas and mace is heavy in the air, heating blankets for body warmth maintenance; use as an emergency shelter; protection from the weather and elements; reflective distress signal; protective wrap for victims of fire, accidents, exposure and shock and blood clotters which is sponges and spray and various types of blood stoppers or clotters those are the types that will be in the kit.”
The protests against the pipeline began this spring. The proposed pipeline would run from western North Dakota through to Southern Illinois through the tribal lands of the Standing Rock Sioux. 
Jaime Wilson, a Frankford resident who is Ojibway, is asking for public donations to help purchase medical kits for those injured in the pipeline protest.
“I’m just asking for money donations, even if it’s just five bucks. It actually does make a difference in the scope of things right now, the money I’m raising. I’m actually purchasing what are called portable hospitals – they are the same medical field kits that the army would use.”
Wilson got interested in the pipeline protest about six months ago when the Standing Rock Sioux had a call for people to come and show solidarity with them.
“There’s so many things going on,” Wilson said. “Whenever you’re dealing with indigenous issues or native issues, you have to look to treaties because those are the legal agreements that we have made. Like them or not, those are legally binding contracts that we have made with these people.”
The protesters are facing serious injuries, she said.
Last week, for instance, the police department sprayed water on protesters when it was below freezing outside, she said: “They were spraying them with water directly from the Missouri River for six hours. There (were) over 300 documented cases of hypothermia.”
The protesters are unable to get medical attention because of opposition from the police, Wilson said.
“The police have the highway blocked off there … so if anyone gets injured they now have to go 45 minutes around to get to the hospital. So the people need these medical supplies.”
Being able to send even one kit, which costs $700, would mean a lot to her and to the protesters. In five days of collecting money, she has raised $484.50.
With files from Buckley Smith .