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The Native Nations Institute produced a three-part
educational video series called, “Water is Life” in honor of Native American Heritage
Month. The video series brings a Native nation building perspective to the
current conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline and features interviews with
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, former tribal historic preservation officer for the
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Eileen Briggs, a community leader from the Cheyenne
River Sioux Tribe; and Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux
Currently under construction, the Dakota Access Pipeline is an underground oil pipeline extending from North Dakota to Illinois intended to transport millions of gallons of crude oil. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has taken action to prevent pipeline construction within their treaty lands, on their reservation, through sacred sites, and under the rivers that are their sole source of drinking water.
Part 1: The Lakota and
Dakota People. A core message of this video is that the U.S. government drew
reservation boundaries, but Native nations have never ceased to fulfill their
responsibility to care for ancestral lands and waters.
Part 2: Oceti Sakowin. This video emphasizes that Native nations governed themselves before European settlement in North America. These governing systems—rooted in the people and in their lands—remain as tools for making difficult collective decisions today.
Part 3: Mni Wiconi. Native nations are taking an active part in key public policy debates, their voices and vision provide new options for addressing the challenges we all face.