by Marsha Rakestraw
For weeks now, thousands of members of more than 200 First Nation tribes, and many other supporters, have joined the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL), which threatens to contaminate water supplies and destroy land held sacred.
While the protests, which have been supported by protests and rallies around the US, have been largely peaceful, the official response has not. Water protectors have been attacked by dogs, teargassed, arrested, and harassed. Just recently 21 water protectors were arrested after participating in prayers at two DAPL construction sites.
This campaign isn’t just a reaction to a single issue, but rather a response to hundreds of years of genocide, colonialism, discrimination, broken treaties, and other harms.
Engaging students in exploring such important current issues is vital to helping them become thoughtful, compassionate citizens.
Here are several resources to help you get started in teaching about Dakota Access Pipeline issues.
Indian Country Today Media Network: Dakota Pipeline – News, commentary, and updates on the #NoDAPL campaign from a Native perspective.
Twitter #NoDAPL Hashtag – Keep up with the latest news, commentary, actions, and images about the campaign.
Democracy Now: Dakota Access Pipeline – Offers coverage of the resistance to the DAPL.
Rezpect Our Water – Standing Rock Youth have created this site to promote their campaign (and petition) to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
Youth Activism and the Dakota Access Pipeline – The Choices Program has created a discussion lesson plan for looking at the role of youth activism in this campaign.
Helping Students Connect With Standing Rock – Dr. Amanda Morris, on the Teaching Tolerance website, offers suggestions for helping teachers of different subjects bring issues related to DAPL to their students.
“I Want to Win Someday” – The New York Times offers a brief discussion activity based on an article about Native American resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Dakota Access Pipeline Facts – Energy Transfer Partners, the company largely responsible for the DAPL, has created a website with their own input about the DAPL.