Water protectors in North Dakota. Courtesy photo
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Native Sun News Today: 'Water Protectors' film heralds unsung Lakota heroes




CRST documentary lauds unsung Lakota heroes

By Alaina Adakai
Native Sun News Today Correspondent
nativesunnews.today

EAGLE BUTTE - The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe world premiered a documentary titled, The Water Protectors of Wakpa Waste. The film premiered at wakpawaste.com on December 21.

According to a press release from the tribe, the documentary tells the stories of water protectors who are the “unsung Lakota heroes who led the historic fight against Big Oil and corporate greed at Standing Rock and the modern warriors who are gearing up to continue this fight against the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

The film captures the tribe’s role at the forefront of the battle in “rarely-seen footage of the brutal confrontations at Standing Rock.” Unlike its sister tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux, Cheyenne River’s contributions during the NoDAPL movement has been disproportionately documented, until now.

The film aims to change the popular narrative of what took place at Standing Rock.

“These are the voices and the faces of the true heart of Indian Country—voices who have never been heard on cable news and faces that have never been featured on a meme. They are the tribal leaders, the grassroots Lakota warriors, modern lawyer warriors, and the everyday Lakota people who have devoted their lives to ensuring a clean and healthy environment for future generations,” the press release states.

It's Not Over

"The fight is not over! There's a popular misunderstanding of where we are in these pipelines struggles.... The court case is still very much ongoing." Nicole Ducheneaux, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member and lead attorney on DAPL litigation. Neither the Dakota Access Pipeline fight nor the KXL fight is over. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's new film, The Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté premieres December 21, 2017 exclusively at www.wakpawaste.com. Wakpa Wasté means Good River. Fight to defend this good clean water for us and for you. Protect these waters with us and donate now at www.wakpawaste.com

Posted by Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté on Friday, December 15, 2017
Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté on Facebook: 'The fight is not over!'

In the documentary, the tribe explains its concerns about the devastating risks both the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipelines impose on the Missouri and Cheyenne Rivers, both of which are important water sources for the tribe and other communities down the river.

The film features CRST tribal member Nikki Ducheneaux, lead attorney on the Dakota Access Pipeline litigation, as she explains the legal uphill battles and recent court victories.

According to the press release, “The fight to protect the Earth is long, arduous, and expensive, and the tribe can’t fight the fight alone,” and the tribe “calls on the American people to stand up with the tribe and join this fight, and help finance this fight.”

At the end of the film, CRST tribal member and renowned activist, Joye Braun, asks viewers to donate what they can to help the tribe with legal fees.

CRST Tribal Chairman issued a message of unity in fighting the pipelines.

“I've always said that the American government has failed us, but so far, the American people have not.  We've got to have that unity, to stay together as one.  It's the only way that we will defeat these pipelines, but also defeat poverty, racism. We've got to stick together. Because in the end, all we have is each other,” said Chairman Frazier.

The documentary was directed by Salish filmmaker, Jessi Roullier, was filmed on location on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and features interviews with numerous tribal members, including spiritual leaders, veterans, and elders.

The film can be viewed at wakpawaste.com.

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CRST documentary lauds unsung Lakota heroes
Correspondent Alaina Adakai can be reached at aadakai01@gmail.com

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