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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Never-Ending Indian Wars

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The world has been shocked by North Dakota’s violent, militarized reaction to 
the oil pipeline resistance at Standing Rock. For the better part of a year, people watched via social media, then increasingly with conventional media, as heavily armed law enforcement officers and private security agents used dogs, rubber bullets, mace, tear gas, batons, and water cannons deployed in sub-freezing temperatures to attack unarmed civilians. 

A volunteer medical team of doctors, nurses, EMTs, homeopathic physicians, herbalists and others cared for the many hundreds of injured. More than 100 were hospitalized, and more than 700 were arrested as they protested the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Standing Rock may have revealed this violence to a new generation of observers, but for Native people, the brutality is nothing new, says Wendsler Nosie Sr., San Carlos Apache leader of Apache Stronghold, a group that seeks to prevent mining from obliterating Oak Flat, a tribal sacred site. “Federa…

Voices from the Movement for Native Lives

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This story first appeared on In These Times magazine's website in October 2016. 

As reported in “The Police Killings No One Is Talking About,” Native Americans are shot by police, or die in custody, at the highest rate of any group. Yet the general public has almost no awareness of this. Or, as Darleen Tareeq (above, second from right), whose fiancĂ© Philip Quinn of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe was shot and killed by police in September 2015, puts it, “Everyone is cool with it.”



In a recently released study of this national blind spot, Claremont Graduate University researchers Roger Chin, Jean Schroedel and Lily Rowen agree, writing that the minimal coverage of the issue indicates that Native people are ignored and their issues devalued. As Black Lives Matter, Idle No More and other social justice movements have proliferated, “Native Lives Matter” has been taken up as a rallying cry by Natives grieving the loss of loved ones to police violence, as well as those calling attention …

The Spirit of Standing Rock Is On the Move

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This article first appeared in Yes! magazine in January 2017. It covers not just Standing Rock, but additional places where Native people and their allies are calling out environmental crises that will impact all of us. The rest of the article is here.


Sometime last year, the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota became not just a physical location but an iconic challenge to the national conscience. Like the Selma civil rights marches in 1965 or the Frank’s Landing tribal fishing rights demonstrations in 1970, Standing Rock’s water protectors, as they call themselves, transformed ideas of advocacy and resistance. They built coalitions across movements for tribal sovereignty, defense of natural resources, resistance to expanding energy infrastructure, and cultural survival. They showed the world a culture grounded in stewardship and connection to the earth. 


The resistance that persisted even through the cold and dark of the North Dakota winter, with ongoing injuries and arrest…