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Native American Studies Research Guide: NoDAPL


A collection of resources related to Standing Rock.

DAPL Commentary

A Native American scholar explains why so little has changed despite the apparent victory of #NoDAPL protesters

Colonialism isn't over: 5 reasons why the DAPL fight will continue in 2017Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) (Credit: Getty/Robyn Beck)

Pope Paul Offers Support

Two Native American tribes are fighting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in a federal court, and on Wednesday they appeared to get support from Pope Francis.

The pope, a longtime defender of indigenous rights, said development should be reconciled with those rights, ‘‘especially clear when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth,’’ according to a report by Reuters.

Although he did not mention the Dakota Access pipeline by name, the Vatican City news media suggested that Francis appeared to have that project in mind. ‘‘Do not allow those which destroy the earth, which destroy the environment and the ecological balance, and which end up destroying the wisdom of peoples,’’ the pope said.

This was not the first time the pope has commented on US issues. Earlier he criticized Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexico border. ‘‘In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls, but to build bridges,’’ Francis said, according to The Associated Press. ‘‘To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness. A Christian would never say ‘you will pay for that.’ Never.’’

The tribes have appealed on religious grounds, saying the pipeline interferes with the exercise of their beliefs.

Steven Mufson, "Native Americans opposing Dakota Access get a boost from Pope Francis", Washington Post News Service 



Leah Donnella, "The Standing Rock Resistance Is Unprecedented (It's Also Centuries Old)", NPR, November 22, 2016.  As resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, N.D., concludes its seventh month, two narratives have emerged: (1) We have never seen anything like this before. (2) This has been happening for hundreds of years. Both are true. The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. But that history itself, of indigenous people fighting to protect not just their land, but the land, is centuries old.

Say No to Dakota Access Pipeline

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe released a documentary Tuesday about their ongoing battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock runs just eight minutes and details the eight-month fight to stop the pipeline. “Mni Wiconi” means “water is life” in Lakota, and it has been the theme of the protests against an oil pipeline that threatens the water supply of a people living along the Missouri River. There are scenes of police responding violently to the water protectors in North Dakota, and Native people tell the story of the impact of the pipeline in their own words.

“This film tells the story of our prayerful and peaceful demonstrations by water protectors that have motivated thousands of tribal members and non-Native people around the world to take a stand,” the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s chairman, Dave Archambault II, wrote on the official Facebook post announcing the documentary.

Stand With Standing Rock

Stand with Standing Rock.


The Oceti Sakowin Camp represents a first of its kind historic gathering of Indigenous Nations. The most recent such assembly of Tribes occurred when the Great Sioux Nation gathered before the Battle at the Little Big Horn.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe supports the peaceful and prayerful message of the Oceti Sakowin leaders and desires to assist with options for the their Camp before winter sets in. The on-reservation camp will allow the tribe to explore and pursue considerations for a camp and longer term ways to meet the needs of the community that is 100% off-the-grid, featuring Solar & Wind power generation.

NoDAPL Syllabus Materials

Syllabus Materials for Teaching #NoDAPL in Ethics and Other Courses. A compilation of materials by Dr. Kyle Powys Whyte of Michigan State University.

NPR's Standing Rock Collection.

The latest

NYTs Video: “A Standing Rock Camp is Burned” (The Daily 360)

The nearly year-long standoff at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers against the 1,172-mile-long, $3.8 billion pipeline’s route came to an end as the February 22 deadline passed and most water protectors left voluntarily. Those who remained on Thursday February 23 were arrested, bringing the total above 750 since last August, when people began pouring into the camps. At their height, the camps contained about 14,000 people.

The Legacy of Standing Rock.  Article by Thomas Fitzgerald, First Nations Drum, April 28, 2017.  The Dakota Pipeline battle is over and the smoke has cleared at Standing Rock, and once again history records another injustice, one more in a long train of abuses perpetrated upon First Nations people by a North American government.

Defend the Sacred

Defend the Sacred.  A Kyle Bell Film.  2017.  via Vimeo.  A short documentary that attempts to capture the spirit of indigenous people at Standing Rock.