Dakota Access Pipeline: Construction Resumes, More Arrests, Sanders Speaks Out; Two Rivers Gallery Opens New Exhibit

Screen capture of video showing Shailene Woodley's arrest.
Screen capture of video showing the militarized response to those working to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect the land and water near the Standing Rock Reservation.

On Monday, Energy Transfer Partners again started work on the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. It followed a Sunday ruling by a federal court judge that allowed construction to resume. The work began in spite of a federal request for a voluntarily pause in construction, according to a story in Minnesota Pubic Radio.

The renewed work triggered peaceful civil disobedience and 27 arrests of those trying to protect the land and water. Anna Lee, Bobbi Jean and the Oceti Sakowin Youth who are working to stop the pipeline posted an update with a video of the arrest for criminal trespass of Hollywood star Shailene Woodley (it’s long, look around the 1 hour, 59 minute mark). The video has stunning images of the militarized response, with helicopters, armored trucks, and heavily armed men in camouflage.

MRP reported today that Bernie Sanders and four other Democratic U.S. Senators asked President Obama to intervene and stop the project until a complete environmental review can be done. Energy Transfer Partners plans to finish the project by the end of the year.

Ways to Help

Many groups continue to collect donations to support those working to stop the pipeline. One example is the American Indian Student Cultural Center at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. They are collecting non perishable food items, coats, gloves, warm clothes, tarps, etc. They can be dropped off at Coffman Memorial Union Room 234.

Also, Anna, Bobbi, and the Oceti Sakowin Youth created an “Amazon wishlist,” seeking help with “gear for sleeping, staying warm, lighting our camp, and organizing our group. We’re hoping for tents, lanterns, phones for communicating between groups, and more.” Here’s the link to the wishlist if you want to help.

New Exhibit: Dakota Isanti: Reclaiming Identity

Two Rivers Gallery in the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave., has opened a new show: “Dakota Isanti: Reclaiming Identity.” The gallery hours are Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It will be on view through Nov. 25.

Here is the gallery’s description:

Dakota Isanti: Reclaiming Identity brings together a vibrant cross-section of contemporary Dakota and Lakota artists whose work explores what it means to be Dakota/Lakota in Mni Sota Makoce and in our contemporary world.

The word “Isanti” in Dakota means “people who dwell with the knife, people who dwell by the knife in the lake and the first friendly people”. Mni Sota Makoce are the Dakota Isanti Native homelands and include Bdote, the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers and the areas surrounding this confluence, hence, what is now considered the greater Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Despite facing Manifest Destiny, conquest, and exile from Mni Sota Makoce, the Dakota Isanti maintain ties to this place as home. This exhibit celebrates reclaiming Dakota Isanti identity in what is considered for Dakota people to be a place of genesis–and a place of genocide.

Whether through painting, photography, poetry, or other media, each of the featured artists makes bold statements about Dakota/Lakota identity incorporating traditional values and ways in their art-making and lives.

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