The Native American protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), to which some in our Meeting contributed winter wear, not only persists but is growing. In raising awareness not only for environmental risks but also for the long history of oppression of native peoples on this continent, the “NoDAPL” movement reminds many of the Native American protests of past decades. Perhaps the most famous was the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, led by the same Oglala Sioux tribe along with the American Indian Movement. As described in a recent article in The New Yorker, “..at Wounded Knee the movement found its symbolic apex: the U.S. Marshals surrounded the occupiers, evoking the start of the massacre that had killed more than a hundred and fifty Lakota people in 1890.”
Observers have noted significant difference between the current standoff and that in 1973: now there are thousands, instead of hundreds, gathered; the participants come from many different native tribes from across the country; and the heart of this movement at Standing Rock adheres to nonviolent principles.
For a snapshot of the current protest, read the New Yorker article by Sierra Crane-Murdoch.