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On the Freedom SideHow Five Decades of Youth Activists Have Remixed American History$
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Wesley C. Hogan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652481

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652481.001.0001

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Mní Wičoni—Water Is Alive

Mní Wičoni—Water Is Alive

Indigenous Youth Water Protectors Rekindle Nonviolent Direct Action in Corporate America

(p.157) Six Mní Wičoni—Water Is Alive
On the Freedom Side

Wesley C. Hogan

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter traces the story of youth at Standing Rock in 2016. Indigenous youth drew from and innovated within sacred traditions, called themselves water protectors, and developed a media savvy nonviolence that drew tens of thousands of people as well as the world’s attention to Standing Rock in 2016. Their media messaging, digital engagement, and rapid mobilization techniques created crucial blueprints for other movements around the world. They also created an incredibly innovative organization, the International Indigenous Youth Council, (IIYC). Their information sharing made it possible to stall or stop industrial projects that threatened water supplies, arable land, and Indigenous burial grounds in over three hundred communities worldwide, promoting land sovereignty and challenging settler colonialism. Rallying against them were giant multinational energy companies and governments with access to huge teams of technocrats—those trained to harness the law, big data, technical expertise, and traditional political power that wanted to make sure the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – and many other pipelines and energy technologies across the world – continued to be built. The IIYC challenge to this corporate plutocracy put the world on notice: the next generation will not stand idly by watching the world burnt, cut down, and mined into extinction for the profit of a few.

Keywords:   Water protector, Nonviolence, Nonviolent direct action, International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC), Standing Rock, Dakota Access Pipeline, Land sovereignty, Settler colonialism

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