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Water Is Life : Dakota Access, Indigenous Rights, and Environmental Justice Today

November 29, 2016, 5:30 pm
Location Feliciano School of Business - Room 101
SponsorAnthropology Department • History Department • Religion Department • The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education ProjectCostFreePosted InCollege of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Come explore the nature and significance of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s ongoing resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8B fracked oil pipeline project that threatens the tribe’s sacred sites and drinking water. The Sacred Stone encampment in North Dakota, which was established to block construction of the pipeline, has sparked one of the largest indigenous-led social movements in our nation’s history.

In doing so, the tribe and their allies have triggered sharp retaliation from the pipeline industry, local law enforcement, and the state of North Dakota. Private security forces, police officers from five states, and the National Guard have mounted a military-style response against unarmed land protectors, including elders and children. The world has watched in horror as attack dogs, pepper spray, sound cannons, strip searches, and large-scale roundups have been used on a routine basis.

Our panel features local specialists in indigenous rights and environmental activism. They include: Dwaine Perry, Chief of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation (NJ); Matt Smith, Organizer for Food & Water Watch of New Jersey; and Teresa Montoya (Diné), PhD Candidate in Anthropology at New York University with a focus on indigenous social movements and the environment.

Panelists will discuss:

• How construction of the DAPL threatens the Standing Rock Tribe;

• How the Standing Rock Tribe is pairing a legal strategy with direct action tactics to protect their land, their culture, and their rights;

• How fossil fuel infrastructure projects are targeting indigenous communities and tribal lands all across the US—including here in New Jersey;

• How #NoDAPL became an international movement for environmental & indigenous rights;

• How MSU community members can support Standing Rock and other tribes defending their land, water, and way of life against similar fossil fuel projects.

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