AMA-G @ STANDING ROCK
Friend, we still need your help.
Last week you helped send the Nine Muses crew to Standing Rock to document for the history books. Our documentary team spent time with the legendary native activist Winona LaDuke on White Earth reservation before following her to the banks of the Missouri in the glaring white of winter near the CannonBall, North Dakota. We interviewed Winona and Tara Houska - native american advisor to Bernie Sanders - just moments after victory was declared. We stayed on to interview many of the veterans who showed up in mass to form a human-shield against an aggressive police force, and the many civilian allies from #blacklivesmatter that are now converging with this indigenous movement. We bared the severe weather and filmed a stunning, albeit dangerous, landscape and spent time in victory circle as elders led the camp in celebration.
Our team started documenting Winona in 2015 when we produced FOOD + WATER | EARTH. That short doc captured her in the midst of a battle to stop a $7.5 billion dollar pipeline, called the Sandpiper. It would have carried Bakken crude from North Dakota, across native lands in Minnesota to giant storage tanks along the banks of Lake Superior - Earth’s 5th largest freshwater resource. Winona shocked us all when her efforts brought that project to a stand still, sending shockwaves through the oil industry.
Those same companies, however, turned around and bought the Dakota Access pipeline - within six days of losing the fight in Winona's territory. Determined to ship fracked oil from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota to refineries in the midwest, they again routed their lines through native territory. In reality, one of these companies is responsible for the largest in-land oil spill in U.S. History; and negligence charges because they unnecessarily dumped over a million barrels of tar sands into the Kalamazoo river in Michigan in 2010 and destroyed and massive ecosystem.
Winona pursued the cause to protect our natural environments for future generations. She followed those companies as they moved from Anishanaabe to Lakota-Sioux territory and since April of this year has orchestrated a relentlessly patient and non-violent campaign to curtail their expansion plans. After months of harassment and abuse, the Morton County police broke their own honorable codes and committed human rights abuses against american citizens, not only natives. They facilitated private business (some foreign) while they desecrated our land and ignored our people's protest. Our government played its part by supporting extremist fossil fuel interests, at the expense of our own civil liberties.
Believe it’s a thin line, and once it’s been crossed there’s no telling where and when it will be crossed. At the height of the Dakota Access struggle the opposition was led in large part by Winona LaDuke and Honor The Earth. Then, in the face of federal ‘eviction’ notice they managed to rally some 5,000 military veterans and over 6,000 more civilian allies - nearly 20,000 people in total -- to take their frontline. The police state stood down on the eve of that confrontation, unwilling to cross that line.
Dec. 5th, 2016, may have seemed to pass peacefully but the human effort that did occur on the ground changed everything forever. The story continues and we will keep you informed. Thank you for you lending your energy and support, time and money, it’s going a long way. We are returning to the frontline in coming weeks and hope you’ll help us again - by giving and by sharing. This is the story of when real citizens united and reclaimed an environmental future; when we stood for life and spared our future generations the pain of pollution and fear.
All our best,
Maggie Wachsberger | Founder Nine Muses | Founding Board Member AMA-G
P.S. On December 5th there was not a military stand-off at Standing Rock, but 150 miles there was, tragically, an oil spill. Nearly 176,000 gallons of crude oil … [add this in..] This is why so many are taking a stand, to stop this from occurring. Thank you for taking a stand as well.