The tribes of the Oceti Sakowin are united in the mission to stop the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). This series describes the conflict from the point of view of the Native resistance. You'll always find the latest "Dakota Water Wars" chapter at the top of this blog, followed by all others in order from the first.
Chapter 12: 1868 Treaty: Supreme Law of the Land
The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie provided the Lakota water rights to the Mni Sose — the Missouri River. Today, mining projects and other interests look to divert our water, even as the climate crisis threatens not just our homelands, but all of Unci Maka, our Grandmother Earth.
Chapter 1: United Against DAPL
With organizing help from the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance, Standing Rock Nation leads a gathering to strategize about the best approach to stopping the DAPL.
Chapter 2: Honor the Treaties
Hundreds of years of colonization — forced migration, broken treaties, flooding our territory, and the refusal to return our homelands — has led us to this moment. We won’t stop fighting for what is right, for our People and for Unci Maka, our Grandmother Earth. Honor the treaties.
Chapter 3: Money Against a Prayer
DAPL threatens Standing Rock’s sole source of fresh drinking water, transporting more than a million barrels of oil per day under the Mni Sose, the sacred Missouri River, all without a valid permit. Meanwhile, to legally sweat in certain places at the river’s edge, Native People are required to have … a permit. The contrast couldn’t be more clear. That’s why we must stay strong and keep fighting.
Chapter 4: Free, Prior, and Informed Consent
Neither the oil company nor the U.S. government cares that Native people never gave our consent for DAPL. In the U.S., the standard for moving forward on such projects is “tribal consultation,” but in practice, that’s not a standard at all. Simply sending us an email isn't consent. We insist on a higher standard, one that values our perspective and doesn’t subjugate our people based on meaningless words from the colonizers’ handbook.
Chapter 5: Ignoring Tribes, Ignoring Laws
In this chapter, we explore the disconnect between what’s happened with the pipeline — its illegal operation and crossing just to the north of Standing Rock under the Mni Sose — and what should have been done. Bottom line: DAPL should not be operating without Tribal consent and full compliance with the law.
Chapter 6: I Can Still See It
South Dakota tribal leaders explore the spiritual power of the #NoDAPL movement and the way it has brought tribes together from all over the country in support of Unci Maka, our Grandmother Earth.
Chapter 7: Delegation to D.C.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairwoman Janet Alkire leads an important delegation to Washington, D.C. to visit with Senate and congressional leaders, including Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.
Chapter 8: Taking Our Truth to D.C.
While in D.C., Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairwoman Janet Alkire tells it like it is: In order to win justice in the fight against DAPL, Washington’s leaders must face hard truths and find compassion for the tribe and all others threatened by this illegal, dangerous pipeline.
Chapter 9: Conflict of Interest
Legal and technical experts discuss how putting a Big Oil-affiliated firm in charge of DAPL’s environmental review creates a rigged process with a predetermined outcome that ignores tribal concerns.
Chapter 10: Sacrifice Zones
Let's talk about a paradise lost. Medicinal plants and the vast majority of wildlife and timber are among the terrible sacrifices tribes like Standing Rock were forced to make as the Missouri River was dammed seven times since the 1940s.
Chapter 11: Worst Case Discharge
We look at the oil company’s refusal to honestly address the worst case scenario when the Dakota Access pipeline inevitably leaks under increased capacity. As demonstrated Dec. 8 after the Keystone pipeline increased its flow, pipelines grow more devastating when they carry more oil — with real consequences for the land, animals, and people.