Water is life, but what’s a DAPL?


What is DAPL? It’s all over Twitter and Facebook, and I’m not sure what’s going on.

  • DAPL is the Dakota Access Pipeline, which  is meant to transport 450,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois.
  • It crosses streams and bodies of water over 200 times, and snakes through private property  (thus avoiding federal regulations).
  • Three of the major waterways are Lake Oahe, Lake Sakakawea, and the Missouri River…

(Isn’t the Missouri River the longest river in the US? So it poses a threat not only to wildlife, land, and drinking water, but the entire nation?  YES.)

  • This pipeline is currently referred to as the black snake (zuzeca sape), because it literally is the actualization of the old Lakota prophecy, where a black snake will cross the land, bringing destruction and devastation in its path.


Oil spilling from barrels by olle svensson on Flickr, CC


Well why isn’t it on the news?

I’m glad you asked. The reason IS NOT because nobody cares or that it’s a worthless cause. Some of the reasons why there is little to no media coverage are as follows:

  • There are police check points blocking off routes to the camps (making them difficult to access).
  • To access some of the camps, people must go over private property (where they are then being taken into custody for trespassing).
  • Reporters and media outlets are not being treated as  bystanders, which means they receive the same treatment as protesters.
  • Now that the temperature is dropping and snow is ever looming, the media is extremely unlikely to venture out to the camps for coverage.


Screenshot of public Tweet of violence against protestors


What’s happening now?

  • Police blocked off the main route to one camp, creating a safety concern – when protestors went to clear the road, they were sprayed with tear gas and then hosed down with high pressure water hoses in freezing temperatures (26 degrees Fahrenheit), forcing some to leave camp to receive medical treatment for hypothermia.
  • Protesters are being attacked with “less lethal ammunition” AKA rubber bullets, which cause blunt trauma.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is telling campers they must be gone by December 5th, or they will be arrested for trespassing (thus, the U.S. Government is taking claim of treaty land granted to the Sioux nation)… isn’t that illegal? Apparently not.
  • A Norwegian bank withdrew DAPL funding  (10% of DAPL’s total funding), in support of indigenous people’s rights.


What about that celebrity who is participating in NODAPL? She got arrested, isn’t that newsworthy?

  • Well, yeah. Her name is Shaliene Woodley, and although her actions and support are great, most of the time she speaks FOR Standing Rock’s Sioux tribe, rather than allowing them to speak for themselves.
  • (In case it went over your head, NODAPL is “no Dakota Access Pipeline”).


How can I help, then? This seems like an important cause.

  • Before you start donating to the first link you see, check the official Sacred Stone Camp website. There are individuals using this movement to scam people (who don’t fact check) with fake fundraisers.
  • December is #NODAPL month,  where “every day is a #nodapl day of action.”
  • Ask sheriff departments to withdraw from the camps (here are the numbers)
  • Urge those who are funding DAPL to recede (aka call the banks!)
  • The least you can do is follow Standing Rock on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook – that way you actually hear the news!

nodapl screenshot.png

Screenshot of public Tweet of protests for banks to stop DAPL funding

Featured image photo credit here.

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