Standing with and Understanding Standing Rock

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Decolonizing Thanksgiving

The last time we wrote about what’s happening at Standing Rock and the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, the unarmed water protectors (the term the Indigenous folks there use for themselves) had been attacked by dogs and pepper spray. We are writing about what’s happening there again after more violent attacks on the water protectors this past week with water cannons and concussion grenades. What’s happening there has been getting more mainstream coverage, assuming The View is relatively mainstream. We wanted today to highlight two resources to learn more about what’s happening in Standing Rock currently and to understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the protests:

  1. Dr. Adrienne Keene visits our favorite podcast to speak about her visit to Standing Rock (before the water cannons and concussion grenades) and describes what’s happening there and provides a larger context for the protests, explaining terms such as settler colonialism. Dr. Keene writes the blog, Native Appropriations, which you should all check out. (Anita was lucky enough to attend her convocation talk earlier this month at Carleton.) (Adriana is jealous, but plans to watch the video soon.)
  2. Check out the #NoDAPL syllabus created by a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and activists to understand the current resistance against the pipeline in the long history of colonialism and racism.

Education matters, but action should follow. Here are concrete ways for you to take action to support the water protectors:

  1. Call North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200. See phone scripts here.
  1. Donate items from the Sacred Stone Camp Supply List: http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list/
  1. Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414.
  1. Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund: https://fundrazr.com/d19fAf
  1. Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand that they reverse the permit: (202) 761-5903
  1. Sign petitions asking President Obama to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Here’s the latest – https://act.credoaction.com/sign/NoDAPL
  1. Write to the 17 banks funding the pipeline and consider moving your accounts if you have any at these banks:

http://www.commondreams.org/…/how-contact-17-banks-funding-…

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Back to life, back to reality

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Photo credit: Kat Chma (2016)

Note: We’ve decided to stick with the format of alternating our original blog posts with posts highlighting others’ work in the spirit of collaboration and community…and in the spirit of being real about our lives and schedules!

We’ve spent the summer traveling, doing research, writing, breaking toes, hanging out with family and friends, reading for work and for pleasure, and learning that the American national anthem has a racist third verse. We come back to this space, wanting to acknowledge our solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Indigenous communities standing strong against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. If you haven’t been following what’s been happening there, get caught up by: reading a summary of what you need to know; getting the big picture of Indigenous rights issues; following @SacredStoneCamp if you’re on Twitter; choosing whatever way makes sense for you to support the folks leading the #NoDAPL fight.

We also want to give a shout out to some of the books by women of color authors we read and enjoyed this summer:

A House of My Own (2015), Sandra Cisneros (a lovely gift from a lovely neighbor!)

The Blue Between Sky and Water (2015), Susan Abulhawa

The Farming of Bones (2003), Edwidge Danticat

The New Jim Crow (2010), Michelle Alexander

Scenes of Subjection (1997), Saidiya Hartman

Lots to read…before our next original blog post next week!