Guidelines for visitors to Standing Rock
Oceti Sakowin camp site. Earchiel Johnson | PW

Cannon Ball, N.D. — When visiting the Standing Rock occupation in Cannonball, North Dakota, there are a number of faux pas one can unintentionally commit. Though water protectors (not “protesters”) encourage outsiders to join the movement, they also want visitors to be conscious of the time and space that they occupy at the encampment. Activists say the role of the water protector includes more than direct action against the police. It means being prepared to help contribute to the growth of the community. Tribal leaders encourage volunteers to help with any manual labor and medical assistance. They also caution visitors to be aware of the constant prayer and sacred rituals that occur in and around the site – many of these practices are strictly not to be photographed. People’s World spoke with a number of community members at Standing Rock to discuss some of the frequent mistakes made by visitors when arriving at the Oceti Sakowin camp site—and what it means to center indigenous voices in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Video: #NoDAPL – Some guidelines for visitors, by Earchiel Johnson and Michelle Zacarias.

 

 

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CONTRIBUTOR

Earchiel Johnson
Earchiel Johnson

Earchiel Johnson is a community activist living in Chicago. He is on the staff of the People's World, where his articles, photos and videos appear frequently. He also provides technical support.

Michelle Zacarias
Michelle Zacarias

Michelle Zacarias is a staff writer at People's World. A graduate of the Univ. of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Zacarias has invested her time in raising awareness on issues of social justice and equality. She has written and conducted research in several parts of the world; most recently Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she presented on disability awareness at the U.S. Consulate. Michelle self identifies as multi-marginalized: as a Latina, a woman of color and a person with disabilities. She considers her experiences a privilege, one that she hopes to use as a platform for spreading socio-political consciousness. In her spare time Michelle enjoys drinking pricey wines and watching old school zombie flicks.  

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