READ: Tribes Across the U.S. Continue Fighting Against Industry Interests

By Yessenia Funes Jan 25, 2017

The battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota is reigniting now that the new White House administration pushed through a presidential memorandum yesterday (January 24) to approve the 1,172-mile long pipeline.

However, the Native struggle for tribal sovereignty, sacred waters and land rights stretches far beyond the plains of North Dakota. YES! Magazine explores seven battles across the United States for its latest special report, “The Spirit of Standing Rock on the Move.” The piece sheds light on Native organizing in Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Nebraska, Utah and Oregon.

While each tribe faces its own unique obstacles, a thread weaves them together: “[E]ach tribe faces its own struggle against government and industry, with decades of destruction and injustice behind and years of fighting ahead.”

For instance, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs, Michigan, is challenging not a new but an old pipeline. They’re worried about aging infrastructure and demanding that the Enbridge Line 5 that runs beneath their Great Lakes be shut down. In Arizona, the San Carlos Apache Nation has been organizing to protect a sacred landscape, Oak Flat from mining. 

The report states:

Certainly the Standing Rock campaign has inspired wider interest in Native struggles, agrees Judith LeBlanc, director of the Native Organizers Alliance and member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. “People everywhere are talking about Standing Rock, which has magnified the reality of other situations like it,” says LeBlanc. She calls the awareness a “Flint moment” for Indian Country.

Readers can find more details on this nationwide challenge here.