Settler-colonialism and Solidarity at Standing Rock

Featured image: New York activists unite together under the #BLM and #NoDAPL movements.  Source: Ashoka Jegroo. Why Black Lives Matter is fighting alongside Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. Sept. 13, 2016.

In early April of 2016, Standing Rock Sioux organizers and activists, known as Water Protectors, launched an occupy movement in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, built to transport crude oil through several states and cross the Missouri River. The pipeline continues to reinforce settle-colonialism by threatening local Native American communities with land and water desecration.

Although, popular media erases Indigenous activism in Standing Rock and portrays it a native-only issue, the remarkable interracial solidarity, particularly from Black Lives Matter with Native peoples builds upon complex racial identities and politics in the United States. In recognizing Black Indigeneity, we can begin to forge interracial solidarity in the face of colonialism. This interrogation will inform future solidarity in the United States: a colonial nation-state occupying Indigenous lands. The instances of Black-Native solidarity demonstrated online and at camp embody revolutionary moments of decolonial possibility.


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Red Warrior Camp Photo. 2016

The image displays Black Lives Matter activists and Indigenous water protectors holding a poster reading, “Black Lives in Solidarity,” demonstrating what their solidarity might look like.

AJ+ “#BLM to #NoDAPL” November 22, 2016.

This video features Black Lives Matter activist, Tyrean, explaining how No DAPL movement is important for all communities of color experiencing oppression.


Further Reading

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is not a metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society 1, no. 1 (2012).

Sexton, Jared. “The Veil of Slavery: Tracking the figure of the Unsovereign.” Critical Sociology (2014): 0896920514552535.

Grande, Sandy. Red pedagogy: Native American social and political thought. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. http://a.co/1bAmpHS

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