LADY Talks: Standing Up for Standing Rock

"Mni Wiconi"Water is Life. This shouldn't be a political issue—there should be no question that every person, no matter his or her skin tone, has the right to clean water. For decades the United States has tried to provide inspiration to other countries, acting as the leaders of "the free world," by using their influence and money to support aid missions worldwide—yet at home they exploit the land for the benefit of few and destruction of many. It should never have come down to the placement of the Dakota Access Pipeline—up river above primarily white Bismarck or down river in ancestral Sioux lands; the pipeline should never have been a possibility at all when the environmental damages were taken into account. 

By running the DAPL through indigenous lands, the villainy and greed of Energy Transfer Partners has escalated the situation to one of huge racial, cultural, spiritual and environmental implications—expanding on a five hundred year history of European immigrants taking advantage of the natives of this continent.  Every year at "Thanksgiving" we celebrate the supposed coming together of pilgrims and natives in 1621 in joy and harmony—implicit in this celebration is the genocide of the indigenous population. 

With the attack on unarmed Water Protectors in Standing Rock on the evening of November 20th it has become a human rights tragedy—over 300 peaceful protestors were injured by grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures; it is reprehensible that the current government has not stepped in to care for the Water Protectors and to end construction of the pipeline. 

During this time of extreme disquiet, when every day seems to bring worse political news than previously seemed possible, we ask you this "Thanksgiving" to take a step away from the culturally ill-advised celebrations and instead actively aid the Water Protectors at Standing Rock through donations and by calling government agencies to express your anger over the human rights and environmental abuses taking place there. 

By Laura McLaws Helms
Film by Augusta King Tigrett


If you would like to donate to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock please visit these websites:
Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund
Sacred Stone Camp Wishlist
Needed Supplies

Supplies can be sent to these addresses:
Sacred Stone Camp
P.O. Box 1011
Fort Yates, ND 58538
Sacred Stone Camp
202 Main St.
Fort Yates, ND 58538

Phone numbers to call to express your outrage over the DAPL:
White House Situation Room (202) 456-9431
Army Corps of Engineers (202) 761-8700
National Guard (701) 333-2000
ND Governor (701) 328-2200
Amnesty International (212) 807-8400
Written Submissions: