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Blood Memory Rising, Book Review of Standing with Standing Rock

by Brenda Norrell
'Standing with Standing Rock,' is an encyclopedia of resistance, which chronicles the Water Protector movement from the first run to Washington, and on to the camps, and the surveillance by TigerSwan, to the ultimate international divestment campaign. In its 29 chapters are poetry, essays and discussions of Indigenous rights and Treaties.
Blood Memory Rising, Book Review of Standing with Standing Rock

by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Standing with Standing Rock, Voices from the #NODAPL Movement, edited by Nick Estes and Jaskiran Dhillon, published by the University of Minnesota Press, is a roadmap to the world, the world of Indigenous resistance.

"It is prophecy," the editors begin. "A great Black Snake, Zuzeca Sapa, will spread itself across the land, bringing destruction to the land, the water, and the people."

With these words, editors Estes and Dhillon begin this monumental story, with a reminder of how a rupture of the Dakota Access Pipeline would mean catastrophe for those who depend on the Missouri River for their drinking water and a reminder that with this threat also comes hope.

"The movement reignited the fire of Indigenous liberation and reminded us that it is a fire that cannot be quelled. It provided, for a brief moment in time, a collective vision of what the future could be," write editors Estes and Dhillon.

"We waited for this," writes Sarah Sunshine Manning, Shoshone Paiute.

"Our blood memory yearned for Standing Rock. We yearned for the health and well-being of generations past… Our blood memory yearned for deep purpose and connection."

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, in an interview with Estes, recalls the names of the youths who led this movement, beginning in 2015: Bobbi Jean Three Legs, Jasilyn Charger, Takota Iron Eyes, Joseph White Eyes, Zaysha Grinnell and others.

Down in Wakpala, Bobbi Jean Three Legs, Waniya Locke, and Honorata Defender got together and said, "Let's have a run."

Then, Allard recalls, at Long Soldier, Joye Braun, Jaislyn Charger, Joseph White Eyes and Wiyaka Eagleman came to talk about Keystone XL Pipeline. Then the talk turned to Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock.

Joye said, "Is there anywhere to start a camp?"

The resistance gave birth to an international movement for divestment in fossil fuels.

Michelle Cook, Dine' human rights lawyer, describes the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegations in Europe. Cook, co-organizer of the delegations, speaks of the divestment in fossil fuels with the same passion that she spoke before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Jamaica. Cook and other Native women testified about the police abuses at Standing Rock.

In Europe, the delegations met with banks, financial institutions and members of Parliament, urging divestment in the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners.

Waste Win Yellowlodge Young, Ihunktowanna/Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said, "Our Delegation's presence puts a face to the Indigenous communities and lives who have been displaced, abused, and adversely affected by extractive industries throughout the world."

Divestment is a powerful strategy in the world of social justice movements, says Cook. She is the co-founder of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock and serves on the Navajo Human Rights Commission. She is the founder of Divest Invest Protect.

In poetic verse, Oglala Lakota Mark K. Tilsen from Porcupine, South Dakota, writes of Standing Rock and the "Young men stretching their first war whoops."

'In The Beginning,' he writes:

Hunkpapa called

And we answered.

Read this complete book review at Censored News

About the book editors
Nick Estes is Kul Wicasa, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and assistant professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico.

Jaskiran Dhillon grew up on Treaty Six Cree Territory in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is an associate professor of global studies and anthropology at The New School.

Contributors to Standing with Standing Rock: David Archambault II, Natalie Avalos, Tomoki Mari Birkett, Vanessa Bowen, Alleen Brown, Kevin Bruyneel, D. T. Cochrane, Michelle L. Cook, Deborah Cowen, Andrew Curley, Martin Danyluk, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Elizabeth Ellis, Marcella Gilbert, Sandy Grande, Jaida Grey Eagle, Craig Howe, Elise Hunchuck, Michelle Latimer, Layli Long Soldier, David Uahikeaikalei‘ohu Maile, Jason Mancini, Sarah Sunshine Manning, Katie Mazer, Teresa Montoya, Christopher Newell, The NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective, Jeffrey Ostler, Will Parrish, Shiri Pasternak, endawnis Spears, Alice Speri, Anne Spice, Kim TallBear, Mark K. Tilsen, Edward Valandra, Joel Waters, Tyler Young.

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Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News
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