You are here

Our History is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance

Author: Nick Estes

Verso, London, 2019, pp. 320

This book is an account of the prolonged and multi-faceted Sioux resistance to the 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) which in 2014 was rerouted through their territory, threatening their ancestral burying grounds and archaeological sites. In addition to violation of their rights over the land, the Sioux Nation feared that oil spills would pollute their land, and especially the water supply. The protest began in April 2016 with the setting up of a camp as a centre for direct action and the expression of spiritual resistance, and was supplemented by a social media campaign. Surrounding Native American communities joined in the protest, as did many environmentalists, so that thousands were involved by the summer. The local police were criticised for using unnecessary force against protesters and there were many arrests. The story of Standing Rock is set within the context of the much longer history of indigenous resistance to colonization and struggle to maintain their culture.

See also: Treuer, The Heartbreak of Wounded Knee (under Vol. 2. B.1.d.) which includes an account of Standing Rock at the end of the book. 

See also: 'What is Standing Rock and Why are 1.4m 'checking in' there? - BBC News, 2 Nov. 2016.

Protesters were worried that they were being individually traced by the police through social media (denied by the local police) and asked for supporters to check-in to the SR Facebook site to overwhelm police efforts to identify protesters that way.