Black Snake: Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Environmental Justice

Bison. Jun. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781496222664. $24.95. SOC SCI
Researcher Todrys documents the protest movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which has spent years in the headlines as a pivotal fight for clean water and environmental protection on Indigenous land. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault and Tribal Council member Dana Yellow Fat brought a civil lawsuit against Dakota Access LLC, to stop the pipeline’s construction; the suit was part of an entrenched battle regarding sovereignty, land rights, and the upholding of environmental protections. For the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the case is about the Black Hills and the treaties not honored by the U.S. government. Todrys skillfully explores the stories of four Indigenous women in the anti-DAPL movement: Lisa DeVille, Jasilyn Charger, LaDonna Allard, and Kandi (Mossett) White. Their strength and resilience built and fostered the nonviolent community of protestors (numbering over 10,000 people at times) fighting the “black snake” of the pipeline. Chapters bring readers into the heart of the movement, its triumphs, and the undeniable violence and pain the protestors endured for the Mní Wicóni (“water is life”) movement.
VERDICT A humanistic investigative documentation of the legal and political battle of DAPL. It will appeal to readers interested in Indigenous movements, environmental movements, and the historical significance of this protest.
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