This Native American Heritage Month, Let’s Stand With Indigenous People Against DAPL

November 2, 2016

As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month this November, I think it is critical that we uplift the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline being led by the Standing Rock Sioux. This movement has put indigenous issues within top-tier news headlines in a way that has never happened before. In April of this year the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp was launched in resistance to the pipeline, which if built would carry 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day and cost an estimated $3.7 billion. Since then, the small spiritual camp has expanded into several camps reaching up to 4,000 people who call themselves “water protectors.”

While the media has focused on White celebrities speaking out against the pipeline and Facebook trends related to the cause, indigenous activists leading this movement have made it clear how they wish us to understand their demands: while this struggle is about a pipeline,  “water protecters” on the ground want us to know that it is first and foremost about indigenous people’s access to land and safety, that this movement is important because indigenous people’s lives matter, not just because “this pipeline affects us all.”


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