If you follow the news at all, you would have seen the fight against allowing access for a North Dakota pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe made it clear that the construction of a pipeline would pose a threat to their water source. As a result, many came together to protest.
Relevant Magazine said, “Hundreds of people have been camping out and standing against the construction of a pipeline, according to reports, because they think the whole project poses a major environmental threat to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its cultural sites.”
No matter what you believe about this situation, we can all learn something!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead
When there is something you are passionate about and history or other people’s opposing views all seem to say that change is impossible, remember how these tribes came together to peacefully stand up for what they believed in hopes to evoke positive change.
Here are a few things we can learn from this protest that made it victorious:
1. Be committed.
The protestors were in it for the long haul. They brought in supplies, didn’t stop when they were faced with pushback, and committed themselves for as long as it took to be heard. Chief Arvol Looking Horse said, “They’re not going to back down, we’re not going to back down either.”
2. Effective use of social media.
Although North Dakota is a region with a smaller population than many places in the United States, social media provided an up-to-date “play by play” and brought in people from all over who wanted to know how they too could help this cause. Pictures, live videos, interviews, status updates, and even a hashtag (#nodapl) provided a way for people to feel connected.
3. Actions were kept peaceful.
Not everyone who participated in the protests were peaceful at all times, but the leaders always spoke out against violence and encouraged participants to “fight” peacefully. In a post on Facebook, Chairman Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said, “We must not resort to the corruption & violence our people have endured. If we stay true to their instructions, there are no odds we cannot beat, there is no greed we cannot overcome & there is no amount of corruption that can defeat us.”
No matter what your political stance is on the pipeline situation, I think we can all agree it was encouraging to see a group of people who have a long history of losses finally receive an overdue victory they deserved. All negative views aside, this victory gave anyone fighting against the impossible hope that they too can press on!
What injustice are you passionate about fighting against? Tell us how you fight against the injustice.
We hope you feel encouraged to keep going even when hope seems dim.