Home / #Solutions / Kaepernick Sticks to $1mn Donation Pledge — Sends $50K to Standing Rock Health Clinic

Kaepernick Sticks to $1mn Donation Pledge — Sends $50K to Standing Rock Health Clinic

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced Friday he will donate $50,000 to the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic Partnership at Standing Rock in order to “offset salaries for doctors and nurses who work at the free clinic for those who have gathered to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

In September, the athlete triggered factious debate when he took a knee during the national anthem over the issues of police brutality and oppression of minorities in the United States.

But it wasn’t a hollow act — the athlete also announced the formation of the Colin Kaepernick Foundation and set in motion a “Million Dollar Pledge” to give $100,000 each month for ten months to charitable organizations to “fight oppression of all kinds globally, through education and social activism.”

“I plan to take it a step further,” Kaepernick told the media following his quiet protest. “I’m currently working with organizations to be involved and making sure I’m actively in these communities, as well as donating the first million dollars I make this season to different organizations to help these communities and help these people.”

Now, the compassionate medical personnel at the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic — a partnership with the Do No Harm Coalition at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) — will benefit significantly thanks to Kaepernick’s foray into activism. According to NBC’s CSN, half of the donation will offset their salaries, while the “remainder of the donation goes toward offsetting building materials for the mobile medical clinic, medical supplies and liability insurance.”

Thousands of water protectors remain camped in support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members fighting to halt Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the contentious pipeline. Although water protectors — who include Indigenous peoples from hundreds of First Nations and tribes from around the world, as well as non-native allies — remain peaceful and prayerful, militarized law enforcement led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department have used brutal and abhorrent force on a number of occasions.

From tear gas and pepper spray to rubber bullets, water cannons, and more, riot gear-clad police have seemingly employed every violent tactic imaginable against the unarmed water protectors — making medical staff an absolute necessity.

Two of the most horrific injuries occurred when police began attacking water protectors attempting to clear a blockade law enforcement erected at Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge — an obstacle severely hindering the access of emergency personnel to the reservation and pipeline opposition camps — on the evening of November 20.

Militarized officers first fired rubber bullets, which attracted a crowd of around 400 irate but unarmed people. Police proceeded to unleash a barbaric show of disproportionate force, firing pressurized tear gas canisters, concussion grenades, mace, various ostensively less-than-lethal projectiles, and then — in conditions hovering well below freezing — doused the crowd with high-pressure water cannons.

During the attack, police fired a tear gas canister at a water protector known as Sioux Z, which exploded in her face, severing her retina — and it’s now highly unlikely she will regain vision in that eye. Another, Sophia Wilansky, had her arm blown apart when police launched what is believed to be either a concussion grenade or pressurized tear gas canister as she carried bottles of water to people on the front line.

Medics and first responders reported dozens of cases of hypothermia, around 20 hospitalizations, one cardiac arrest — and resuscitation — and hundreds of other injuries.

Kaepernick’s donation to the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic will help the medics attending those dedicated to protecting the Standing Rock Sioux’ water supply — but the clinic will continue after the encampments ultimately disband. According to the UCSF crowd-fund website,

“The Mni Wiconi (Water is Life) Health Clinic is a free integrative clinic that is developing with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe traditional healers, UCSF providers and students, National Nurses United, Changing Woman Initiative (indigenous midwifery group) and Global Health Care Alternative Project to provide free care to all people on tribal land in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. At the invitation of the tribe, our consortium’s goal is to create a space for the imagining and practice of decolonized medicine in order to further the health of the community in the short-term with the expanded population due to pipeline resistance and in the longterm after the encampments have dissolved.”

Appetite for Change in Minneapolis — a group installing an urban community farm plot as part of its dedication to improving the nutrition of urban dwellers — received $25,000 as part of this month’s donation. SOUL of Chicago received the remaining quarter of Kaepernick’s funds, which will be allotted for Funding for Decarcerate Chicago, “a campaign to end mass incarceration and over-criminalization of communities of color in Illinois.”

As controversial a figure as the athlete might be, Colin Kaepernick continues to back up the vow to spread his wealth to groups fighting to improve communities around the United States.

  • Phil Freeman

    Kapernik talks the talk, but walks the walk too.
    Good on him.

    • permalink

      Does this mean he will also start voting in national/ state elections?

      • Phil Freeman

        Who knows, but I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t and doesn’t.

        • permalink

          How does one change the outcome w/ out participating in the process?

          • Phil Freeman

            The better question is; What evidence do we have that participation in the political process offers any solution and based upon the evidence can one expect any solutions? The truth of the matter is we have a bank pretending to offer government services, and unless we stop using the private bank’s debt instruments as our medium of exchange nothing changes. We must return to honest weights and measures to see any real benefit. That requires an Individual choice to not use the federal reserve note, or any unit designated with the term dollar attached to it and all of its digital variants. So, a key to this is to convince the small business owners to accept anything other than the debt instruments known as dollars/FRNs. Solutions are what matter, but in order to get there one must first correctly identify the problem, blaming others is not a method to succeed. So in actuality, both the problem and the solution lie in the mirror.

          • permalink

            Why are you attempting to change the subject, instead of answering my question?

          • Zeconte

            How does one change the outcome by participating in a process specifically rigged to prevent the outcome from changing?

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  • shad182

    While I applaud Mr. Kaepernick’s generosity I have nothing but disdain for his disrespect for our nations flag. You can hate your “government” ,…but, you can never hate your country. Our flag represents the people, our sacred constitution, not the criminals in our government. There are American bodies, young and old, buried in beaches all over the world to preserve our people and our constitution. If our leaders are not acting in our best interest then it is our own fault for letting it happen. When our constitution is being assaulted and our people taken advantage of it is not your country, but your government out of control. None the less I thank him for even a small part of his million dollar pledge.

    • Peace and Love

      Ever heard of the 1st amendment? Explore your american flag cult mind. The biggest thing eroding our constitution right now is Barry Obama and people like you who think a “flag” represents anything. The flag represents a piece of cloth to me. Go to youtube and watch: “Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick”. The American bodies buried in beaches all over the world preserved rich men’s money. That is all.

      • doucyet

        “The American bodies buried in beaches all over the world preserved rich men’s money. That is all”.

        Remember WWII? That war was fought to stop madman that had already conquered most of Europe. While I agree with you about many of the wars since the Korean War, some wars are actually fought in defense to preserve a nation and a way of life.

        I believe also the “flag” is just a piece of cloth, but Kap was disrespecting the National Anthem, the people that fought and died for you and I, the flag, the country and just about everything that those people and “symbols” represent. He could have chosen a different platform for his protest.

        But then like Meryl Streep, when you’re handed the mike and the stage it’s hard to resist such an audience. I say not very well played. Perhaps that’s why Kap spends most of his time on the bench.

        • Peace and Love

          Those madmen from WWII were funded by Americans. Ford built their vehicles, Prescott and George Herbert Walker Bush financially assisted the Nazi party, and on and on. Rich americans wanted Germany’s steel mills, factories and ports. They chose a psychopath (Hitler) who was a nobody and put him in power– they (rich 1% of americans) were his business partners. They built concentration camps to use the Jewish people as slave laborers.

          Sadly, this information has been kept out of our history books. The American flag is a symbol used by them to evoke emotion and get innocent (poor) people to fight their wars so they can have more power and make more money. I’m happy people are waking up to the truth about the psychopaths running our country. Good for Kap and Meryl Streep. Oh, and I’m an honorably discharged veteran.

          • doucyet

            I have read a little about the Herbert Walker Bush and his Nazi Party connection, but much like the Russian hacking conspiracy that’s flying around today, who knows what’s entirely true and what isn’t.

            Men have murdered for power and control ever since the dawn of man and in the grand scheme of things we are today, no different. I can’t imagine it’s for money though. Back in the day when gold was money and you had to have physical possession of it, sure, but not today. It’s the same players that are in power that are printing the money. It’s all theirs anyway. It has to be for total control.

            Regardless, we peons will always be caught in the middle and be cannon fodder for the rulers, it’s always been that way and will no doubt continue that way. As long as men’s hearts are filled with greed and lust for power, I see no change.

            I love my country and I love the idea of freedom which our constitution “promises”. Unfortunately greedy men twist it to their advantage. I still think it was grandstanding by Kap. Then again, maybe his heart was in the best place and his actions mistaken.

          • Peace and Love

            I agree with you. Please watch the youtube video “Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick”. It’s not opinion, it’s all factually based. Opened my eyes for sure, and I’m skeptical about everything.

          • doucyet

            I’ll check it out P&L. See ya around……..

      • tvsgael2

        Thanks for the link. I’m downloading it.

      • shad182

        Up until WW2 you may have a point. But again I reiterate….our own fault. “Give me your mandate, and I will give you peace and security” Adolf Hitler 1935 (the Enabling Act). We never learn from history do we.

    • Zeconte

      GIven the nature of our government, it is literally impossible to hate our government without hating the majority of voters who elected said government. You said it yourself, it’s OUR OWN fault for letting it happen. We, the people of this country, are to blame for our government, so how can you hate the government without hating those who elected them? Who do nothing but continue voting for them? Who, when given the choice for a real change, decided to go with “more of the same” or “even worse” and then settled on “even worse” instead? You shouldn’t hate the ideals this country was founded upon, but you can definitely hate the country and the people in it for never living up to those ideals, starting with the compromise that allowed slavery to remain legal and only rich, land owning white males to be considered men worthy of equality. And in that regard, Kaepernick has every right, and is very much in the right, to protest the symbols that represent such a failure to live up to the ideals this country was founded upon until a point in time where the country and the people in it no longer fail to live up to them.

      • shad182

        Maybe your right,….they elected Obumer not once, but twice!

        • billdeserthills

          Yes, the same way that hillary recently did so well in her own election, with plenty of illegals and other
          libs voting multiple times. I don’t really believe obama was elected a second time and even if he was he
          hasn’t even ever proved he was eligible to run in the first place, which should have negated his entire administration. I want the last wasted 8 years of my life back, dammit

    • billdeserthills

      Hows about if you do your thing your way, and other folks do their thing in their way–
      does that threaten your little comfort zone? I’m not asking you to befriend muslims

    • CC Crimcops

      “There are American bodies, young and old, buried in beaches all over the world to preserve our people and our constitution.”
      Yes, and part of that Constitution if the 1st Amendment which affords every American the right to freely express his disdain for his government.
      “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.
      “You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. “

      • shad182

        And the right to have disdain …

        • CC Crimcops

          Yes you have the right to express your disdain for his actions, just as I have the right to express my disdain for those who value the flag more than they value the ideals of the country that flag represents.

  • MrRetloc

    Change begins IN one heart.

    • permalink

      So Colin Kaepernick will start voting in national/ state elections now?

  • shad182

    If you hate your country, then you hate the people in it and thus by extention……….you hate yourself.