Fighting for Our Lives: #NoDAPL in Historical Context

img_0879by Nick Estes

Little has been written about the historical relationship between the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the longer histories of Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation) resistance against the trespass of settlers, dams, and pipelines across the Mni Sose, the Missouri River. This is a short analysis of the historical and political context of the #NoDAPL movement and the transformative possibilities of the current struggle.

Thousands have camped along the banks of the Missouri River at Cannon Ball in the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which promises to carry half a million barrels of heavy crude oil a day across four states, under the Missouri River twice, and under the Mississippi River toward the Gulf of Mexico for global export. Camp Oceti Sakowin, Red Warrior Camp, and Sacred Stone Camp, the various Native-led groups standing in…

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