A Tool Box to Explain the DAPL Conflict to Friends, Family, Leaders; Ultimate Irony: Border Patrol Enlisted Against Standing Rock

sign-2The situation near Standing Rock is getting more and more desperate, with Energy Transfer Partners committed to finish drilling under the Missouri before year’s end, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issuing what amounts to an eviction order for those at the Water Protectors’ main camp.

We need to talk to friends and family, and to our political and religious leaders, to stop the violence, stop the pipeline, and to Stand Up for Standing Rock.

Here are a couple of visuals to help you get some of the main  point across quickly. Continue reading

Breaking News: Water Protectors Refuse to Leave Main Camp Dec. 5, in Spite of Army Corps of Engineers Orders

hcmc3The likelihood of increasing tension, violence, and mass arrests over the Dakota Access Pipeline is quickly increasing, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ordering the shut down of Oceti Sakowin, the Water Protectors’ Main Camp, and threatening arrests. The Water Protectors are refusing to leave.

In a nut shell, the federal government is bailing on the Water Protectors. North Dakota law enforcement has used excessive force against the Water Protectors, including water cannons in freezing temperatures and tear gas. Instead of investigating the situation or intervening on behalf of the Standing Rock Nation and its allies, the federal government is pulling the permit for the Water Protectors to be on federal land. The Water Protectors have to leave by Dec. 5 or face arrest, according to CNN and other news sources.

NBC is reporting tonight that the Water Protectors are vowing to stay, regardless of the order. Continue reading

As DAPL Moves Forward, a Reflection on the Power of Words

Words matter.

The label “Sioux,” for instance, is a derogatory term meaning “snake” or “serpent,” derived from Anishinaabe and French words. (See this article in the Lakota Times.) Those in power were able to impose that term on Minnesota native peoples through treaties and reservation names. The term “Sioux” continues to be used for historical reasons, but it is not the preferred term for many.

The proper term for the people referred to as “Sioux” is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires, according to the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center. It refers to the people of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota nations.

Oceti Sakowin also is the name of the main camp of Water Protectors trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, an effort that has brought native people together from across the country. Continue reading