Essential #NoDAPL Viewing

Though it’s only gained attention in recent months, the controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline dates all the way back to 2014, when Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access released their plan to build a 1,168 mile pipeline across four states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois). In many places, where the land was not willingly turned over, eminent domain was used to secure access to the necessary territory to build the pipeline.

At the heart of the #NoDAPL conflict is a portion of land in the path of the pipeline that lies upstream of the Standing Rock Reservation; the pipeline threatens to pollute the Standing Rock Sioux’s source of water. Much like the Keystone XL pipeline, there is a serious risk of spills and leaks, which are not only detrimental to human health, but to the environment as well. Beyond its environmental implications, the Dakota Access Pipeline also highlights the injustices Native Americans have long faced in the United States, and has brought to the fore questions of who has access to what land.

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Below, we’ve put together our three essential videos for understanding #NoDAPL. For those who’d like to take direct action– or want to know how they can help– visit the Sacred Stone Camp website, which has links to all the relevant legal funds, websites, and facts. And if you’re a skeptic thinking oil is an inevitable evil, keep an eye on Native Renewables, an indigenous-led organization that aims to develop (with the help of federal agencies, tribal governments, and investors) low cost, clean energy solutions for Native American communities.

“Mni Wiconi”

Hear the story of the Standing Rock Sioux in their own words, in this beautifully edited short, full of sweeping landscape shots and interviews with those affected. The video is a comprehensive retrospective on how #NoDAPL evolved, and what its historical implications are. “This film tells the story of our prayerful and peaceful demonstrations by water protectors that have motivated thousands of tribal members and non-Native people around the world to take a stand,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman, Dave Archambault II, announced with the video’s release.

“Standing Strong”

Presented by Camp of the Sacred Stones (which brings Oceti Sakowin and allies together to protect the water from the Dakota Access Pipeline), “Standing Strong” is a very short video that highlights the people of the Standing Rock movement– who they are, why they’ve come, what this means to them– alongside basic information on the origins of the #NoDAPL movement.

“We Are Still Here”

Indigenous Rising Media— who has been at the heart of the on-the-ground #NoDAPL coverage– draws on mythology to create the moving short “We Are Still Here”. The film ties the importance of the land to cultural mores, and identifies how the local community see themselves as protectors of the land.


For new and continuing updates on the status of the Standing Rock crisis, follow the event as protests unfold at @IndigenousEnviroNet on Twitter.

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