Standing Rock – Update and Current Call to Action


“Let us put our minds together to see what kind of life we can make for our children.”
– Sitting Bull

We are living in a time of prophecy. The Anishinaabe know this time as the “Seventh Fire”, when humanity has a choice between two roads. One path is well-worn, but scorched. The other path is green.

The genocide against Native Peoples of this land – the wanton destruction of the great civilizations of the Western Hemisphere that secured the land base of the United States of America and the raw capital on which our economy is built – is a cornerstone of white supremacy. As the ranchers and landowners of the Cowboy Indian Alliance know, the death culture of white supremacy does not, in the end, hold any life sacred. Being “white” will not protect us from the scorched earth path.

Right now, members of the Great Sioux Nation are living into their own seventh generation prophecy – a time when “indigenous youth and allies from all races come together to enact a new age of healing and rebirth for Native people and Turtle Island.” White Awake is committed to providing resources and spiritual guidance to people who’ve been socialized as white that will, in the terms of these prophecies, support our participation in this age of healing and rebirth. At this moment – as Trump prepares to take office, and white people face the inherent failings of the society we’ve inherited – connecting white people with the rising leadership of indigenous nations is an important piece of White Awake’s work.

In this spirit, White Awake has prepared a collection of resources on Standing Rock. They include:

  1. heart centered stories from the Water Protector camps
  2. a focus on where things presently stand, and what is called for now
  3. an overview of what’s at stake, and how we got here
  4. a list of organizations to follow for the most current news

If you have time for nothing else, know this:  #NoDAPL is not over. People at Standing Rock are still being arrested, and the Dakota Access Pipeline could be built under Trump.

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Water Protectors dug in for the winter. Photo: Todd Seelie for Jezebel

The primary call right now is to divest from the banks who are invested in the pipeline – you can do that as part of a larger campaign via defunddapl.org  You can also give to the camps on the ground – see regularly updated list here.

May we use this dark time of the year to reorient our understanding, consolidate our resources, and align ourselves with life.

In love and solidarity,
Eleanor Hancock

Director, White Awake


Heart Centered Stories

Mni Wiconi – video

Mni Wiconi features water protectors from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies trying to stop the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline – DAPL. Interviews in the film include Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman Dave Archambault II; Jodi Gillette, former White House advisor for Native American Affairs; Ladonna Allard, founder of Sacred Stone Camp; Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth; and Cody Hall, Red Warrior Camp spokesperson.

‘We opened eyes’: at Standing Rock, my fellow Native Americans make history (The Guardian)

“Native people have survived 500 years of atrocity on this continent with the help of prayers, ceremony, and our community. We are steady in our promise to never give up on our cultural and spiritual relationship with the land and water we owe everything to. It is perhaps for this reason that despite the continuing war against our way of life, there is love, happiness and a deep spirituality at Oceti Sakowin Camp.”

They stood with Standing Rock. This is why. (CNN)

“A few of the people who helped the Standing Rock Sioux get to this point — and why they’ll keep the fight going”

The Crucial Roles Women are Playing at Standing Rock (photo slideshow)

“According to Lakota prophecy, a “black snake” will someday come to destroy Mother Earth. And, when the time comes, it will be women who emerge as the ultimate guardians and protectors of life. These predictions were long left open for interpretation. But today, the notion at Standing Rock is that the black snake resembles the 1,172 mile-long Dakota Access oil pipeline.”

Native Women on the Frontlines (video)

“Women from across Turtle Island came together at The Oceti Sakowin Camp to facilitate workshops for three days in support of healing survivors of rape, abuse, and harassment. The events culminated in a march that brought awareness to the parallels between the abuse of kunsi/unci (Grandmother Earth) and women.”

Oceti Sakowin – Sacred Stone Camp – December 2016  (video)

“This is not a video of the battles for the Standing Rock or the blockaded 1806 Highway bridge seen in this video, nor the illegally active drilling pad, but a look at some of the other events inside, and around the Oceti-Sakowin camp on those winter days.”

Why I Joined My Fellow Vets at Standing Rock This Weekend (article)

“When I joined the Marines 40 years ago, I took a vow to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That’s why I drove from the suburbs of Minneapolis to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation this weekend to join other military veterans in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Tulsi Gabbard speaking as a member of the delegation of Veterans (video)

“We have heard our mission from the leadership here – to protect water. To do so in peace and prayer. And to recognize that for however long you are here, we must put that mission first.”

Forgiveness Ceremony with Veterans (video)

“We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain… We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.” -Wes Clark, Jr.

Kandi Mossett of Indigenous Environmental Network / Dec 4 / celebratory live update after Army Corps of Engineers permit denial (video)

Josue Rivas (photographer) / Dec 4 / celebratory live update after Army Corps denial of permit (video)

Turtle Island to Aleppo / Indigenous Rising Media (video)


Latest Updates / Current Call

The primary call right now is to divest from the banks who are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Go to defunddapl.org for instructions on how to do this in a public, coordinated way. You will see the running total of money divested from the 12 funding banks – right now it’s about 35 million dollars. You will also see the photographs of individuals who have publicly divested from these banks, and have the opportunity to post your photograph as well.

In addition to defunding DAPL, allies are encouraged to organize actions and eventsdefunddapl.org includes a link to find an action, and post an action, as well as information about strategic targets.

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Photo: Rosie Haber / ACLU

A core group of water protectors are overwintering in the camps, and they need our support. If you want to donate money to water protectors on the ground, nodaplsolidarity.org maintains an up-to-date list of fundraising campaigns here.

Dakota Access Resistance Camps / Coalition Statement
On Dec 8 a statement was released by a coalition of grassroots groups living and working in the Dakota Access resistance camps along the Cannon Ball River in Oceti Sakowin treaty lands. These grassroots organizations are: Sacred Stone Camp | Indigenous Environmental Network  International Indigenous Youth Council |  Honor the EarthThis statement provides a summary of what is happening on the ground, and what is being asked for of allies. You can read the statement here.

NoDAPL Solidarity update
Also on Dec 8, NoDAPL Solidarity held a national call for allies (you can listen to the recording here), and shared this update with their mailing list:

  • The Army Corps of Engineers did not grant the final easement to drill under the Missouri River. You can read the Army Corps’ full statement here.
  • The Dakota Access Pipeline owners released a statement saying that they will complete this project regardless of the ACOE’s decision.
  • Trump and his administration have already proclaimed their desire to push projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline through. Trump takes office in 42 days.
  • A full hearing for DAPL’s Appeal will be held in February. The delay in construction is costing DAPL over 20 million a week.
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault has asked Protectors to leave because of the hazards created by North Dakota winters and the strain on local resources due to a recent blizzard.
  • However, Water Protectors have made commitments and vows to protect the Rights of Mother Earth, Indigenous Peoples and Humanity. Within that framework, Protectors will not leave until the Black Snake is dead, the water is safe and treaty rights are recognized. Watch Chase Iron Eyes statement here.
oil_pipeline_protest-surj-dc-banner-for-site

SURJ DC banner / Dec 10 rally / Photo: Alex Brandon AP

The Long Haul … and our role in Decolonization
The water protectors at Standing Rock are one manifestation of a centuries old struggle of Native peoples against the forces of a European invasion that began over 500 years ago. Part of our work, as allies, is to confront within ourselves the “fundamental questions of what it means to live on stolen land and how to transform colonial relations in a way that creates a viable and just future for all communities and the planet.” See “How to support Standing Rock and confront what it means to live on stolen land for a detailed support in living into these questions.



Overview materials

Standing Rock Is Greed Vs. Humanity’s Future  / Jane Fonda for Time

“The great hero of Standing Rock, Chief Sitting Bull, understood the white invaders when he said in 1877 “… the love of possession is a disease with them.” We must rapidly cure ourselves of this disease or it will take us all down.”

The Beginning is Near: The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines / Winona LaDuke for Indian Country

“This is a moment of extreme corporate rights and extreme racism confronted by courage, prayers, and resolve. This moment has been coming. The violence and the economics of a failing industry will indeed unravel, and this is the beginning.”

Winona LaDuke on the Dakota Access Pipeline: What Would Sitting Bull Do? / Yes Magazine

“I am not sure how badly North Dakota wants this pipeline. If there is to be a battle over the Dakota Access, I would not bet against a people with nothing else left but a land and a river.”

Standing Rock and the Battle Beyond (video) / Al Jazeera English

Fault Lines examines the case against the Dakota Access pipeline, connecting it to other fights being waged by US tribes that have helped build the growing movement at Standing Rock.

The Standing Rock Resistance Is Unprecedented (It’s Also Centuries Old) / NPR

“The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. But that history itself, of indigenous people fighting to protect not just their land, but the land, is centuries old.”

Indigenous peoples and their allies are also battling oil pipelines inWest Texas, Florida, and Minnesota (and this list is not exhaustive).

… and this it’s not just indigenous people who are affected, or who are fighting oil companies. See John Bolenbaugh about the Kalamazoo tar sands oil spill:

“I am a Navy veteran with a bronze Star, Union member, pipeline fencing supervisor, head yard boss appointed directly by Enbridge.

As a clean up worker for S.E.T environmental (subcontractor under Enbridge) I became the whistle blower for the largest tar sand oil spill in north American history. I was not an environmentalist in any way until I saw how it was making people sick. When I realized the gravity of the situation, I had to do something about it or go to hell.”

See footage from the frontlines of Standing rock, as well as John wading through tar sludge from the Enbridge spill, in his documentary short, here.

John’s truth telling about the Enbridge cover-up forced the pipeline company to re-clean several dozen areas that were signed off by Enbridge, EPA and DEQ as 100% clean.


Organizations to follow

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Tonya Stands recovers from being pepper sprayed by police / Photo: John L. Mone

follow on Facebook for most current updates:

Indigenous Environmental Network

Camp of the Sacred Stones

Oceti Sakowin Camp

Honor the Earth

International Indigenous Youth Council

Lakota People’s Law Project

Indigenous Rising Media

See also:

NoDAPL Solidarity

Sacred Stone Camp trusted media sources

Honor the Earth

Lakota People’s Law Project

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