A police barricade in Cannon Ball, N.D. (Donald Kaufman / Truthdig)

In August 2016, the United States federal government approved a new oil pipeline, the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), after seven years of protests stopped the Keystone XL oil pipeline from being built across a large part of the U.S. The $3.8 billion DAPL project was designed to transport crude oil over 1,100 miles, starting in the Bakken/Three Forks area of North Dakota and traveling through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe led a protest of Native Americans and their allies against the construction of DAPL. These opponents of the project claimed the pipeline could lead to contamination of the Missouri River and other devastating environmental impacts. Truthdig covered the NoDAPL protest until the protest camps were closed in February 2017. Now, we continue to cover the future of the “water protector” movement.


August Erich Longie: Dakota Pipeline Would Make Water the New Oil, Devastating All but the Rich The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is heading a protest by Native Americans and their allies against the newly approved line.

Sonali Kolhatkar: Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Recall America’s Historical Shame If indigenous activists manage to block the building of an oil line they consider a threat to ancestral lands, their success will be one small measure of justice in a line of injustices going back to the founding of this nation.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman: ‘We’re Standing Up and We’re Saying, “No More” ’ More than 1,000 Native American activists have traveled to Sacred Stone Spirit Camp in North Dakota to stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. The fight also is happening in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Paul Street: Water Is Life, Oil Is Death — The People vs. the Bakken Pipeline in Iowa and the Dakotas While most of the United States has been blinded by the presidential election spectacle, a grass-roots coalition has been fighting “the next Keystone XL” being pushed through—largely under the radar—by Big Carbon.

September Arrest Warrants Issued for Green Party’s Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka The presidential nominee and her running mate protested the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Now they face misdemeanor charges for acts committed during the protests.

Eric Ortiz: Brave Like Kap NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a risk with his national-anthem protest against injustice in the U.S. Other athletes have joined him, as have countless other Americans who want to overturn the status quo. Their courage can make all the difference.

Tensions Over Dakota Access Pipeline Intensify in Wake of Police Raid Peaceful protesters were met with a militarized police response in the days after the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux pleaded with the United Nations for action.

October Encampment on Dakota Access Pipeline Site Is Allowed to Remain As demonstrations against the proposed oil pipeline ramp up, the federal government announced it would not evict protesters living at the camp in North Dakota.

Truthdig correspondent Donald Kaufman reporting from North Dakota after a police attack on Standing Rock’s water protectors. (Donald Kaufman / Truthdig)

127 Arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline Site Tensions continued to escalate as police shot down a drone used by protesters to film police activity at the North Dakota site. Since demonstrations began over the summer, at least 260 people have been arrested.

Live Video: Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Reflect a Nationwide Search for Justice The Truthdig team sat down with documentary filmmaker Josh Fox to discuss the criminalization of journalists documenting the protests in North Dakota, the election and the troubling state of American democracy.

Project Urges Native American Political Involvement and Representation Beyond Standing Rock Now that the Dakota Access pipeline protest has galvanized the Native American community, the Advance Native Political Leadership group wants to build a pathway to more government inclusion.

Video Captures Saturday’s Police Attack on Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters “Many families, nearly all of them Native American, can be seen running for the hills” in some of the most compelling, eye-level footage of the months-long protest.

Filmmaker-Activist Josh Fox on Pipeline Standoff: ‘Where the Fuck Is Hillary Clinton Right Now?’ The director, playwright and climate activist was wondering why the presidential candidate wasn’t anywhere near the contested grounds where the clash over the Dakota Access pipeline appeared to be at a critical point.

Truthdigger of the Week: Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II Despite an increasingly hostile police presence, the leader of the tribe at the center of the Dakota Access pipeline protest stays focused on peace and hope.

Did a Dakota Access Pipeline Guard Carry an AR-15 Into Peaceful Protests? Demonstrators in North Dakota are still reeling from peaceful protests that led to the arrests of over 140 people.

November Sonali Kolhatkar: Battle Over Dakota Access Pipeline Should Be the Most Important Rivalry of 2016 The struggle most worth watching is decidedly not the one receiving the most mainstream media coverage and relentlessly pitting two major-party candidates against each other.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Maced, Hit with Rubber Bullets in Standoff Over Ancestral Land Filmmaker Josh Fox and journalist Erin Schrode covered the conflict between law enforcement and demonstrators on the shoreline of a creek near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

Live Blog: Independent Analyst Concludes Environmental Assessment of DAPL ‘Understates the Risk’ After hundreds of water protectors were arrested following a clash with police, waves of demonstrations have broken out in support of the #NoDAPL movement.

Donald Kaufman: The Water Protector Movement The Native Americans do not view the #NoDAPL fight as a protest but as an act of survival. It is the continuation of resistance to centuries of repression and oppression.

Anti-Pipeline Demonstrators Hold Solidarity Events for Arrested Leader in North Dakota Police say Red Fawn Fallis fired on them and have charged her with attempted murder. Video of the incident shows she was already pinned down by a number of officers when the shots were heard.

Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Weigh In on Global Warming at COP22 At the conference on climate change in Marrakech, Morocco, Kevin Hart, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Manitoba, discusses humanity’s urgent need to heed the ecological wisdom of indigenous peoples.

Our President-to-Be Has Stock in the Dakota Access Pipeline Donald Trump holds between $15,000 and $50,000 in the company building the pipeline in North Dakota that indigenous residents are protesting on the grounds that it endangers their drinking water.

Inside the Standoff Between Law Enforcement and Standing Rock Pipeline Demonstrators The self-described water protectors were hit Sunday with water cannons, mace and rubber bullets in one of the most brutal official responses yet to the #NoDAPL demonstrations in North Dakota.

Chris Hedges Meets the Resistance at Standing Rock For a special edition of “On Contact,” the Truthdig columnist travels to the North Dakota encampment to talk with those on the front lines fighting to block the Dakota Access pipeline.

Truthdigger of the Week: Sen. Al Franken, Vocal Supporter of the #NoDAPL Demonstrations The Minnesota Democrat penned a letter to the Department of Justice, urging it to protect the First Amendment rights of the water protectors facing off against law enforcement in North Dakota.

December Video: Pipeline Protector Animator Mark Fiore weighs in on the protests over the Dakota Access pipeline, which The Guardian calls the “civil rights issue of our time.”

Live Blog: 13 Sioux Officials Pen Letter to President Obama Truthdig provides real-time updates from the demonstrations taking place at and near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

Scenes of Celebration at Standing Rock Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, activist-philosopher Cornel West and others joined the water protectors in celebration of news that the Dakota Access pipeline will not pass through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Truthdiggers of the Week: The Water Protectors at Standing Rock With a Trump administration sure to spark resistance nationwide in the years ahead, indigenous activists and their allies point the way for other Americans.

Live Blog: Standing Rock Solidarity—in Snow and in D.C. Truthdig provides real-time updates from the demonstrations taking place at and near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota and across the country.

What We Expect to See in 2017 2016 is history. As we turn the page on this strange and difficult year, Truthdig editors and writers look ahead to what the new year might bring.


January Four Arrows: What Are the Dakota Access Pipeline Builders Trying to Keep Secret? An independent inspection is needed immediately to determine whether construction is continuing in defiance of an official order.

Donald Trump’s Moves Rekindle Dakota Access Pipeline Fight Indigenous leaders call for water protectors to return to North Dakota in light of new developments.

February Seattle City Council Committee Votes to Divest From Pro-DAPL Bank The groundbreaking vote comes one day after the Army Corps of Engineers is ordered to continue the easement process for the Dakota Access pipeline.

Pipeline Valve-Turners Fight for Peaceful Disobedience Ken Ward shut off a pipeline in Washington state last year to protest a government “unresponsive” to climate change. Now he and others face imprisonment.

Chris Hedges: Make America Ungovernable The window to overthrow the Trump regime is rapidly closing. We must move swiftly to make governance impossible through nationwide strikes and other nonviolent resistance. If we do not, the last vestiges of democracy will die.

Donald Kaufman: Standing Rock — Last Stand at Oceti Sakowin Camp The water protectors in North Dakota realize they may lose the #NoDAPL fight. But their resistance to an oil pipeline has sparked a movement that could lead to something invaluable.

Questioning Local Media Coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Reporter Jordan Chariton appears on a North Dakota news show to set the record straight about what’s happening at #NoDAPL camps.

Live Blog: Standing Rock Activists Take Their Cause to Hollywood Hollywood was the center of global attention for the Academy Awards — a detail not lost on water protectors and supporters of the #NoDAPL cause.

March Live Video: What Can We Learn From Standing Rock? Truthdig correspondent Donald Kaufman and the editorial team discuss the Dakota Access pipeline and the next moves for the water protectors.

Video: ‘Water Protectors’ Have a Hard Time Escaping the Anger of Some Locals With passions running high in North Dakota, a small group of Native Americans and their supporters find themselves targets in a restaurant, and a woman is struck by an infuriated, yelling man.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Leads #NoDAPL March on Washington Truthdig correspondent Clara Romeo reports from the nation’s capital as tribe members and allied water protectors rally against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Emma Niles: The Challenge to the Dakota Access Pipeline Isn’t Over: Cheyenne River Sioux Take Battle to Court As with the Standing Rock Sioux, the South Dakota tribe’s land and water supply are threatened by the controversial oil pipeline.

April Video: After #NoDAPL, ‘Water Protector’ Movement Continues With Resistance Camps Across the U.S. Truthdig contributor Donald Kaufman interviewed Native American activist Raymond Kingfisher. “These camps are resisting against pipelines, oil, fossil fuel corporations, all these different industries that are ruining our water and polluting our land,” Kingfisher said.

May Sonali Kolhatkar: Bears Ears National Monument Is the Next Standing Rock In attempting to revoke protections for the Utah site, President Trump is furthering settler colonialism of a land inhabited by indigenous people.

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