According to the prophecy of the Seventh Generation, after seven generations of living in close contact with Europeans, the Onkwehonwe (the Mohawk’ belief that everything is part of a circle of life) would see the day when the elm trees would die, the birds would fall from the sky and the fish would die in the water. Man would grow ashamed of the way they had treated their mother and provider, the Earth, and the youth would take it upon themselves to lead the revolution towards a better planet.
This prophecy was declared by the native American Lakota people around the late 1900s when their leader Sitting Bull led the resistance against United States governmental policy, a policy that displaced and massacred thousands of native americans and their beliefs. Sitting Bull was killed by US military in 1890 at the Standing Rock Indian reservation, North Dakota. Many Indians from the Sioux tribal nations (Lakota, Nakota, Dakota) still travel, sometimes far distances, to Standing Rock each year to commemorate the violent passing of their leader.
Nowadays, Standing Rock is not only well known for this event. In 2016, a movement of young Sioux, stood up against another potentially fatal governmental decision: the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. This underground pipeline is due to travers through Sioux territory, including the Missouri river, upon which these communities are dependent for clean drinking water. If this 1886 km long pipeline were to leak oil, it would be a catastrophe for both biodiversity and humanity and the environment. On top of that, it is breaching treaties that were signed with the ancestors of the people living there now. The movement against #NADPL created global outreach after a group of young Sioux ran from Standing Rock to Washington DC in a cry for attention. When the group returned to the reservation, thousands of people from all over the world had gathered at Standing Rock to support the cause. The coming together of people on site and support from a distance has not stopped the planned construction completely, but authorities are performing research into the possibilities of a leak happening – which are estimated to be very high risks.
One of the pioneering youngsters of the Standing Rock movement was, at the time, 17 year old Jasilyn Charger. She speaks about the importance of her generation and peaceful resistance for the future of their territory in this video below:
We are sharing this with you today because it is of importance to look at what we can all do to support communities like Jasilyns’ in their struggle against capitalism and bureaucracy, their struggle to maintain their ways of living and preserve our provider Mother Earth. Dutch film-maker and friend of our organization Robert Bridgeman took it upon himself to travel to Standing Rock and made a documentary about the movement at its peak, More Than a Pipeline. The result is a moving documentation of very determined people with a peaceful strategy and the effects of social media on creating global awareness, it gives us hope for the potential of our generation and generations to come. More Than a Pipeline can be viewed for free online, right here: https://morethanapipeline.com/moviemtapldef/. Please let us know your thoughts after watching it.