Standing Rock was transformative for me and many others who stood in solidarity with the Native Nations. We realized the culmination of our lives had led us there. When I arrived at Standing Rock in Spring to witness a small camp of Native leaders and their allies declaring opposition to the lawless 3.8 billion-dollar Dakota Access Pipeline, I did not yet know that my experience and participation there would be a cornerstone of my life's work.
In my projects I have tried to discuss issues of politics, Justice, race, and Human Rights. Coming to Standing Rock, I was humbled by the conviction of the Water Protectors and their spiritual resistance. Their conviction and Spirit felt familiar from my experiences on other front lines but shown entirely unique unto itself and, over the months, as the pipeline would unleash an unrelenting militarized violence, the peaceful resistance would be an education in how to come in a good way to the protection of Mother Earth. As I filmed the young Native leaders and their spiritual elders from late Spring through the Winter, the camp swelled to over 12,000 allies Native and non-Native from all over the world. It is my heartfelt belief that honoring the sacred, in the way the Indigenous Youth of Standing Rock have taught us, will save the Earth from environmental destruction and ourselves from spiritual failure.
In the community of prayer, ceremonies, direct actions of peaceful resistance on the front lines, in the bright voices for justice around the wake of the big fire at Standing Rock, I found a home and a family.
Wolf & Michele at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock