Singular Sentiments On The Standing Rock Victory

Co-Written by Rachel Olivia O’Connor and Richard Martin Oxman
We won’t state the obvious points about what was accomplished, or anything concerning who should be praised. Rather, below, I give you sentiments not being discussed much, if at all, related to the work to be done now that a monumental victory as been won in North Dakota at Standing Rock.
In no special order:
a. When Dave Archambault II says, in a Rolling Stone article, that he hopes that the incoming Trump administration and other potential challengers (who might threaten the inroads carved out by the indigenous people) will honor the decision made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (and the complexity that led to it), we must immediately acknowledge that the ideal (desired) scenario is not going to unfold without further protest. Meaning, a Plan B must be put into effect post haste.;
b. At least some of the veterans who, clearly, had much to do with pressuring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt their momentum, need to participate in some new movement in solidarity which addresses their commitment to “explore alternative routes” for delivering the oil. Meaning, it’s one thing to do the right thing vis-a-vis what is dear to the hearts of indigenous people (in their immediate area), and it’s quite another to be dealing with the Big Picture of what we’re all up against with corporate oil interests.;
c. Whereas it’s admirable and proper (perhaps) for Sioux Tribal Chairman Archambault II to “commend… the courage it took” on the part of the powers that be to see to it that “the course of history” was altered, there’s a undeniable need for supporters of the Standing Rock protesters to continue engagement with indigenous people to address their other collective crises, which include everything from what’s behind the record suicide rates for indigenous youth to the release of Leonard Peltier.
There’s more of course, much more. But perhaps less is more at this juncture. Meaning, we think that it might be counterproductive to inundate readers with the multiple issues germane to treating indigenous people humanely right now. Right now there’s a lot to celebrate, and it should be clear that if anyone wants to explore alternative activist routes… they can contact us for suggestions.

Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at  Richard Oxman has been an educator and activist for over half-a-century. He can be reached at [email protected]

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