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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Releases Documentary - Urge Obama to Listen

In the midst of federal government deliberations over the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has released a short film titled “Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock,” a new, eight-minute film exploring the nearly eight-month battle to stop construction of the pipeline on sacred tribal lands.

The short documentary can be viewed on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Facebook page or website.

“This film tells the story of our prayerful and peaceful demonstrations by water protectors that have motivated thousands of tribal members and non-Native people around the world to take a stand,” said the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman, Dave Archambault II in a release. “In it, you hear the voices of people fighting for their lives, because water is life.”

Some of the topics touched on in the film include:

Construction of the pipeline has destroyed sacred burial grounds, prayer sites and cultural artifacts, and will potentially contaminate the tribe’s water supply and impact more than 17 million Americans downstream.

The pipeline was rerouted through tribal lands when other citizens of North Dakota rejected it to protect their community’s water. It’s another example of the environmental racism that tribes have experienced since colonialism.

More than 300 tribes across America and millions of people around the globe have pledged support for Standing Rock. Many celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Shailene Woodley and Susan Sarandon have spoken out to show solidarity.

Those Interviewed in the film include Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman Dave Archambault II; Ladonna Allard, founder of Sacred Stone Camp; Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth; and Cody Hall, Red Warrior Camp spokesperson.

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Mni Wiconi was directed by Lucian Read, with Karim Hajj and created by Divided Films. It was funded in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which is committed to healing the profound racial gaps and inequities that exist in our communities, so all children thrive.

The Standing Rock’s Facebook page states the following requests:

We are asking dozens of individuals and groups to share a new short film, found here: Facebook or website.

Please share with all your followers – Facebook or website – so people around the world understand the gross injustice taking place against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.

We need to keep the pressure on President Obama. He might be our last hope.

Here are a series of potential social media posts the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is suggesting readers share:

  • #StandwithStandingRock - Watch and share this new short film – Facebook or website– about the tribe’s fight against energy development and injustice. #NoDAPL
  • Ask President @BarackObama to deny the easement! Call Obama at 202-456-1111. #StandwithStandingRock #NoDAPL
  • Mni Wiconi, Water is life. Tell Obama DENY the easement by calling 202-456-1111. #StandwithStandingRock
  • Watch this story about why it's critical we #StandwithStandingRock. Obama MUST deny the easement now. #NoDAPL
  • We all #StandWithStandingRock. The time is NOW to say #NoDAPL. Call Obama at 202-456-1111.
  • No more delays, no more excuses. Get on the right side of history and say #NoDAPL. Deny the easement! #WaterIsLife

Here are links to share:

Learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at For ongoing updates, please follow our Facebook page at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow’s and Sports Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling