Project Calls a Halt to Mis-Representation of Indigenous Peoples, Continued Indoctrination, and Brutalization
“We’re going to tell our own stories” says Lakota Elder Germaine Tremmel
It has been two months only since the Dakota Access Pipeline project ripped through the prairie at Standing Rock, desecrating sacred cultural markers and resources alongside traditional burials.
In the time since, we have witnessed a militarized police response, arrests of journalists, clergy, and Native elders in prayer.
We have seen mace, and dogs, blood dripping from their mouths, tear gas and tasers, shotguns with bean bag ammo, rubber bullets and snipers presumably locked and loaded with the real thing, targeting peaceful protectors of the water on traditional lands, never ceded to the United States.
We have seen protectors tossed in dog kennels, strip-searched and humiliated.
These are the tactics of war, against a people whose ancestors were decimated by war and disease at the hands of the United States once already.
It’s time to stop.
As a filmmaker I was asked to help out with media, and in particular because I had helped craft, litigate, and document a series of lawsuits targeting government agencies and energy companies, over similar projects in the California deserts.
Laws Have Been Broken
Though agencies are required to consult with tribes concerning projects like Dakota Access, the facts on the ground in California and North Dakota provide evidence to the contrary.
It has become clear to this observer that the continued brutalization of people, and abrogation of legal responsibility by authorities in North Dakota, underscore the mis-representation of Native peoples in the media and in the popular imagination, one that perpetuates 18th and 19th century stereotypes, stereotypes that resulted in genocide.
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