Sunday November 20, 2016

Something extraordinary is happening at Standing Rock

Standing Rock is taking a stand for water 0:41

Listen to Full Episode 49:03

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Something extraordinary is happening in Standing Rock, North Dakota.

It began in April, with a few Sioux people on a small piece of land that has grown into an international movement. Attracting thousands of people from all nations and backgrounds.   

It is a fluid population that ebbs and flows like the nearby Cannonball River. 

They are there to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock against a pipeline that would carry crude oil across Sioux territory, and threaten their primary water source.

They say they plan on staying for as long as it takes to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This week on Unreserved we head to Standing Rock to meet the people who have set up camp. 


Standing Rock camp

Campers at Standing Rock have begun preparing for winter. (Erica Daniels/CBC)

There are three different camps set up at Standing Rock. The first is Sacred Stone camp. It's located on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and overlooks the other two camps because it is up on a bluff. From the all three camps you can look up to a bluff on the south end where a house stands silent watching over the people.  

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard surveys the Sacred Stone camp. (Erica Daniels/CBC)

The house belongs to LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. Standing Rock began with her. Sacred Stone camp is on her property and from her house she can see the pipeline being built about two miles away.

Unreserved's Kim Wheeler headed to Standing Rock with some pre-conceived ideas but quickly found out a lot of the rumour and innuendo in social media was actually true. She shares her story of being in the camp alongside the water protectors.

Camping out in the cold in North Dakota is not all fun and games. Thousands of people from around the world have spent time in Standing Rock. At any given time there are up to 1500 people and tensions are bound to rise. CBC's Stephanie Cram explains  how those issues are being dealt with

Harmony Lauritzen came to the camps at Standing Rock from her home near Portland, Oregon. She only intended to stay a few days but has taken over lunch duties in one of the main kitchens. She explains how cooks at camp get creative.  

Wazhinguda Hornek

Wazhinguda Hornek (Tiar Wilson)

If you walk around the Oceti Sakowin campsite you'll discover there are plenty of youth who have traded in their modern lifestyles and gone back to the basics. Tiar Wilson brings you their reasons for being here

Those at Standing Rock say the occupation is about protecting the water for future generations. Part of how they are doing that is through ceremony. Unreserved's Erica Daniels has been connected in ceremony for many years and will explain the role ceremonies play in the camps.

This week's Playlist

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie (Matt Barnes)


Buffy Sainte-Marie - Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Neil Young - Indian Givers

stories from this episode