Tribal sovereignty is a concept that even some of the protesters may not be familiar with. But it’s important. This article by German Lopez at Vox does a fine job of clarifying some key issues and history about tribal sovereignty: The big, nearly 200-year-old legal issue at the heart of the Dakota Access pipeline fight – Vox
Tribal leaders generally applaud President Barack Obama’s designation of sacred sites Bears Ears and Gold Butte as national monuments: Sacred Bears Ears and Gold Butte Designated as National Monuments – Indian Country Media Network.
However, not all Natives, let alone many locals, are applauding:
Besides frostbite, what did people take away from there? This was probably the first time many non-Native people had been on a reservation, or in the presence of Native ceremonies. That’s a positive. The more people understand that Native Americans have their own religious rituals and objects of veneration—which to many non-Native people are simply features of the landscape—as well as cathedrals and churches, the better. Understanding the natural world as more than just a resource for energy, or a recreational opportunity, or even a food resource, gives moral weight to the effort to contain catastrophic climate change.
Read what else Louise Erdrich has to say about the Standing Rock protests here at the New Yorker: Holy Rage: Lessons from Standing Rock – The New Yorker
As Western standoffs go, the Bundy brothers episode featured comic book cowboys. But for the Standing Rock Sioux, a pipeline is an existential threat. Timothy Egan sets a larger context–i.e., whose land, says who?–for two contemporary standoffs in the West: Fake Cowboys and Real Indians – The New York Times
Many say the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance is beyond anything they’ve experienced before. But there are preludes in Native American history, and you don’t have to look too far back to find them. Read Leah Donnella’s post at NPR here: Native Americans At Standing Rock Participate In Centuries Old Protest Tradition : Code Switch : NPR
Today at The Junto, Rachel Herrmann looks at settler colonialism in Hamilton and its relationship to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. This is fine historical thinking about the past in relation to the present: “Daddy” Schuyler, Hamilton, and the Dakota Access Pipeline « The Junto
Here’s an astute report from Brad Plumer at Vox on the Dakota Access Pipeline protest: The battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline, explained – Vox