- Outreach & Teaching
Until a few weeks ago, most of us hadn’t heard about the lawsuit and protest of the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline project. Now the resistance is the subject of national and international media coverage. Still, there is much we do not understand about the history and stakes of what is happening at Standing Rock in terms of Indigenous rights and sovereignty, climate justice, and the struggle for energy transition. By way of comparison, Cymene and Dominic briefly discuss Indigenous resistance to energy projects in their fieldwork in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Then (11:08) we welcome to the podcast Jaskiran Dhillon and Nick Estes. Jaskiran is a first generation academic and advocate who grew up on Treaty Six Cree/Métis Territory in Saskatchewan. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Anthropology at The New School and author of the forthcoming Prairie Rising: Indigenous Youth, Decolonization, and the Politics of Intervention (U Toronto, 2017). Nick Estes is Kul Wicasa from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow, and a co-founder of activist organization The Red Nation. A winner of a Native American Journalist Association award for his writing, Nick’s research focuses on the history and politics of the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation), border town violence, colonialism and decolonization, and Indigenous internationalism and human rights. Together we discuss what led to opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, the legacies of settler colonialism and empire in the region, and the impact Indigenous youth are having on the climate justice movement. Jaskiran and Nick explain to us why what is happening at Standing Rock is truly unprecedented and why it might give us hope despite how deeply pipeline politics remain invested in traditions of settler violence. Finally, we discuss what they think will happen next and how people wishing to support the resistance can help; for those with the resources to help, donations to the legal defense fund and to support the community can be made at standingrock.org. PS special thanks to Audra Simpson for helping to make this episode possible!