Native Voices Video Series

Native Voices Series Standing Rock Sioux
Watch our short Native Voices film.

In October of 2016, CANA Foundation’s team descended on Standing Rock in North Dakota to film with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would run underneath the Missouri River and put in jeopardy the primary source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux. Spanning central North and South Dakota, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is the sixth largest Native American reservation in the United States.

 “August 31st, 2016 – North Dakota – The #NoDAPL water protectors who have come to stand with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe took non-violent direct action by locking themselves to construction equipment. This is “Happy” American Horse from the Sicangu Nation, hailing from Rosebud.” Photo credit: Desiree Kane.

Environmental activists were on hand, too, vowing that the pipeline would add to man-made climate change and more. CANA captured footage with an award-winning photographer in order to document what was happening at this historic protest, also at the same time, showcasing native voices in the area and their thoughts on horses and spirituality. We’ve been releasing video shorts from this filming as part of a Native Voices Video series on Instagram. Check it out and watch the full video above.

Tribal historian LaDonna Brave Bull Allard led a water protectors camp and called for direct action. CANA’s team was able to interview LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, as she shared her heartfelt love of horses. Watch the video above to learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux and American Indian voices related to horses. You’ll also learn how to say horse in Lakota!

It took many years, not until June 6, 2020, that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous organizers were able to score a legal victory. A federal judge ordered pipeline owner consortium Dakota Access LLC to stop operations and empty its pipelines of all oil pending an environmental review that could take a year. 

“To put a horse over here like an animal is not in our world thought. We put a horse here with us—they are our family. They become relatives. So that’s how I know about horses is because of that relationshipright now it is the horse that is protecting us… it is the horse that is standing up for the water and the land” — LaDonna Brave Bull Allard

All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One. Peace will come to the hearts of men when they realize their oneness with the Universe. It is everywhere. Let every step you take upon the Earth be as a prayer. Everywhere is the center of the world. Everything is Sacred.”  – Black Elk

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