Watch the video before answering at https://youtu.be/cxcYNM9o6go Interview on Democracy Now! Standing Rock Special: Unlicensed #DAPL Guards Attacked Water Protectors with Dogs & Pepper Spray Historical Context: In 2016, the largest political protest by Native Americans in decades occurred in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and representatives of more than 200 Indigenous nations from across the Americas encamped for months to block the construction of the 3.8 billion dollar Dakota Access pipeline. Its slated to carry half a million barrels of crude a day from the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois, where it will link up with an existing pipeline to carry the oil down to the refineries in the Gulf. The thousands of water protectors, as they call themselves, were joined by many non-Native allies, all concerned a leak could contaminate the Missouri River, which provides water for the tribe and millions of people downstream. The tribe also says the pipelines construction across unceded Sioux treaty land will lead to the desecration of sacred sites, including tribal burial grounds. During the protest, numerous water protectors were arrested after using their bodies to block construction of the pipeline and to protect the sacred sites. The movement spread across the country and the world, as protesters have held demonstrations at banks funding the Dakota Access pipeline. In September 2016, the Dakota Access pipeline hired a private security firm to allow bulldozers to continue to work, even though there was an order to stop construction so an environmental and historic impact study could be completed. The pipeline corporation defied that order. The water protectors attempted to defend their lands using non-violent direct action. This footage captured what the private security firm did to the water protectors. Directions: While you are watching the video, try and answer these questions: 1) Why do they call themselves “water protectors”? 2) Where do the water protectors come from? What parts of the US, what is their Tribal affiliations? 3) Listen carefully to their words. What are their political demands? Why are they protesting the building of the Dakota Access pipeline? 4) Does the scene of what happens to the water protectors by the private security firm remind you of anything else you’ve learned in class so far? Does the scene remind you of anything else in US history? 5) Does the political convergence of over 10,000 Native nations in North Dakota remind you of any historical precedents in Native America history? 6) Any other thoughts or observations you would like to share?
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