The Dakota Access Pipeline is a “$3.8 billion, 1,100 mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction” (NoDAPLSolidarity). This project has been organized by some of the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies and banks. These include Energy Transfer Partners and their subsidiary Sunoco Logistics, Enbridge, Phillips 66, and Marathon, as well as Citigroup, TD Securities, and Mizuho Bank, according to the No DAPL Solidarity web page. If completed, it would reach from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois – crossing Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where it would travel beneath the Missouri River. The DAPL could endanger Standing Rock’s fresh water, as well as that of the 8 million people downstream. Additionally, it would affect sites that are sacred to those at Standing Rock and other indigenous communities.
Indigenous opposition to this project has been seen for several months. The Camp of the Sacred Stones was established in April of 2016 – on the edge of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers (on the SR Reservation) to resist the DAPL (NoDAPLSolidarity). The protesters have labeled themselves “water protectors” to emphasize that they are non-violent. Their motto is “mni wiconi,” which means “water is life” in the Lakota language.
Indigenous women are particularly connected to the role of water protector. While all communities along the Missouri River have the possibility of being impacted by an oil-spill or other environmental harms from the DAPL, women have more to lose. When women drink contaminated water or live on polluted lands, they can experience pregnancy losses, pregnancy complications, and have children born with disabilities. For example, in the Navajo Nation (where many mines are located), “childhood reproductive cancers have occurred at rates 17 times higher than in the US as a whole” (Rewire).
Reproductive justice exits when we “have political and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about our genders, bodies, and sexes for ourselves, for our families, and for our communities” (BlueStockingsMag). When bodies, spirits, and communities are unable to live healthily due to environmental injustice, reproductive autonomy is taken away. Confronting issues of reproductive justice involves collaboration – we need to listen to women, queer, and trans* people of color from the frontline in our conversations.
#NODAPL is not only an issue regarding the respect of tribal sovereignty and it is not just an issue regarding environmental justice. This movement is an issue of reproductive justice as well. This is why Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota stands with Standing Rock.
You can help the #NODAPL movement by donating to the Legal Defense Fund for Sacred Stone Spirit Camp or donating to the Camp’s general fund. Also, there is a Red Warrior Camp meant to help guide nonviolent direct action resistance. You can donate to the Red Warrior Camp or directly send supplies to the Camp via their Amazon wish list.
Additionally, PPMNS is asking for Fargo/Moorhead community donations of menstrual products (tampons, pads, etc.) to be taken to the Sacred Stone Camp at a later date. For more information, please contact Briana Rabenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org