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Standing with Standing Rock

Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement

2019

Nick Estes and Jaskiran Dhillon, Editors

Standing with Standing Rock

Dispatches of radical political engagement from people taking a stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Amid the Standing Rock movement to protect the land and the water that millions depend on for life, the Oceti Sakowin (the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota people) reunited. Through poetry and prose, essays, photography, interviews, and polemical interventions, the contributors reflect on Indigenous history and politics and on the movement’s significance. Their work challenges our understanding of colonial history not simply as “lessons learned” but as essential guideposts for activism.

As our songs and prayers echo across the prairie, we need the public to see that in standing up for our rights, we do so on behalf of the millions of Americans who will be affected by this pipeline.

David Archambault II, from the interior

It is prophecy. A Black Snake will spread itself across the land, bringing destruction while uniting Indigenous nations. The Dakota Access Pipeline is the Black Snake, crossing the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The oil pipeline united communities along its path—from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois—and galvanized a twenty-first-century Indigenous resistance movement marching under the banner Mni Wiconi—Water Is Life! Standing Rock youth issued a call, and millions around the world and thousands of Water Protectors from more than three hundred Native nations answered. Amid the movement to protect the land and the water that millions depend on for life, the Oceti Sakowin (the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota people) reunited. A nation was reborn with renewed power to protect the environment and support Indigenous grassroots education and organizing. This book assembles the multitude of voices of writers, thinkers, artists, and activists from that movement.



Through poetry and prose, essays, photography, interviews, and polemical interventions, the contributors, including leaders of the Standing Rock movement, reflect on Indigenous history and politics and on the movement’s significance. Their work challenges our understanding of colonial history not simply as “lessons learned” but as essential guideposts for current and future activism.



Contributors: David Archambault II, Natalie Avalos, Tomoki Mari Birkett, Vanessa Bowen, Alleen Brown, Kevin Bruyneel, D. T. Cochrane, Michelle L. Cook, Deborah Cowen, Andrew Curley, Martin Danyluk, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Elizabeth Ellis, Marcella Gilbert, Sandy Grande, Jaida Grey Eagle, Craig Howe, Elise Hunchuck, Michelle Latimer, Layli Long Soldier, David Uahikeaikalei‘ohu Maile, Jason Mancini, Sarah Sunshine Manning, Katie Mazer, Teresa Montoya, Christopher Newell, The NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective, Jeffrey Ostler, Will Parrish, Shiri Pasternak, endawnis Spears, Alice Speri, Anne Spice, Kim TallBear, Mark K. Tilsen, Edward Valandra, Joel Waters, Tyler Young.
Standing with Standing Rock

Nick Estes is Kul Wicasa, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico; cofounder of The Red Nation, an organization dedicated to Indigenous liberation; and author of Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.



Jaskiran Dhillon is a first-generation anticolonial scholar and organizer who grew up on Treaty Six Cree Territory in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is associate professor of global studies and anthropology at The New School and author of Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention.
Standing with Standing Rock

As our songs and prayers echo across the prairie, we need the public to see that in standing up for our rights, we do so on behalf of the millions of Americans who will be affected by this pipeline.

David Archambault II, from the interior

There is no alternative to water. There is no alternative to this Earth. This fight has become my life, and it’s not over. I think this is only the beginning for me, for all of us. Do you want a future for your children and grandchildren? If you want them to have a future then stand with Standing Rock because this is just the beginning of a revolution.

Zaysha Grinnell, from the interior

We will put our best warriors in the front. We are the vanguard. We are the Hunkpapa Lakota. That means the horn of the buffalo. That’s who we are. We are protectors of our nation of Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires. Know who we are.

Phyllis Young, from the interior

Standing with Standing Rock

Contents


Introduction: The Black Snake, #NoDAPL, and the Rise of a People’s Movement


Nick Estes and Jaskiran Dhillon


Part I. Leading the Resistance


1. Badass Indigenous Women Caretake Relations: #Standingrock, #IdleNoMore, #BlackLivesMatter


Kim TallBear


2. In the Beginning


Mark K. Tilsen


3. “This Fight Has Become My Life, and It’s Not Over”: An Interview with Zaysha Grinnell


Jaskiran Dhillon


4. Traditional Leadership and the Oceti Sakowin: An Interview with Lewis Grassrope


Nick Estes


5. Taking a Stand at Standing Rock


David Archambault II


Part II. Living Histories


6. “They Took Our Footprint Out of the Ground”: An Interview with LaDonna Bravebull Allard


Nick Estes


7. Mnisose


Craig Howe and Tyler Young


8. Mni Wiconi: Water Is [More Than] Life


Edward Valandra


9. The Great Sioux Nation and the Resistance to Colonial Land Grabbing


Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz


10. The Supreme Law of the Land: Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline


Jeffrey Ostler and Nick Estes


Part III. Legal and Sociopolitical Landscapes and State Violence


11. Striking at the Heart of Capital: International Financial Institutions and Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights


Michelle L. Cook


12. Beyond Environmentalism: #NoDAPL as Assertion of Tribal Sovereignty


Andrew Curley


13. Resolutions


Layli Long Soldier


14. Centering Sovereignty: How Standing Rock Changed the Conversation


Elizabeth Ellis


15. Counterterrorism Tactics at Standing Rock


Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, and Alice Speri


Part IV. Environmental Colonization


16. Heal the People, Heal the Land: An Interview with Freda Huson


Anne Spice


17. The Financing Problem of Colonialism: How Indigenous Jurisdiction Is Valued in Pipeline Politics


Shiri Pasternak, Katie Mazer, and D. T. Cochrane


18. What Standing Rock Teaches Us about Environmental Justice


Jaskiran Dhillon


Part V. Education and Critical Pedagogies


19. Red Praxis: Lessons from Mashantucket to Standing Rock


Sandy Grande, Natalie Avalos, Jason Mancini, Christopher Newell, and endawnis Spears


20. For Standing Rock: A Moving Dialogue


Tomoki Mari Birkett and Teresa Montoya


21. A Lesson in Natural Law


Marcella Gilbert


22. Standing Rock: The Actualization of a Community and a Movement


Sarah Sunshine Manning


23. #NoDAPL Syllabus Project


The New York City Stands with Standing Rock Collective


Part VI. Indigenous Organizing and Solidarity in Movement Building


24. Lessons from the Land: Peace through Relationship


Michelle Latimer


25. Wake Work versus Work of Settler Memory: Modes of Solidarity in #NoDAPL, Black Lives Matter, and Anti-Trumpism


Kevin Bruyneel


26. Threats of Violence: Refusing the Thirty Meter Telescope and Dakota Access Pipeline


David Uahikeaikalei‘ohu Maile


27. Decolonize This Place and Radical Solidarity: An Interview with Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain


Jaskiran Dhillon


28. Death of Hydra


Joel Waters


29. Mapping a Many-Headed Hydra: Transnational Infrastructures of Extraction and Resistance


Katie Mazer, Martin Danyluk, Elise Hunchuck, and Deborah Cowen


Acknowledgments


Contributors


Publication Information


Index