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The Making of the Standing Rock: Understanding a movement for future generations


It has been nearly three years since a group of Native Americans set up a camp in North Dakota at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to begin what would become one of the greatest acts of resistance seen this century.

This very grassroots movement organized under the hashtag of #NODAPL sought to halt The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from being constructed by the Canada Energy Transfer Partners. 

And while the battle would be lost once President Trump took office, reversing President Obama and our U.S. Corps of Engineers’ denial of the easement needed for construction of the pipeline under the Missouri River, the national conversation over water and indigenous rights is far from over. Even today, many smaller and just as important protests have sprung up everywhere from Florida to Michigan ever since showcasing a nation’s growing concern over access and preservation of fresh water, which is essential for all life on our tiny planet.

On Monday, Jan. 21, one of our residents, Levi Rickert, publisher/editor of Native News Online, will provide a lecture titled "The Making of the Standing Rock Photo Exhibition" to go along with the opening of a brand new exhibition at the Grand Rapids Public Library, “Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement.”

Rickert, working alongside Grand Valley State University's Kutsche Office of Local History, curated from his more than 1,600 photographs to showcase a fresh new look at that protest. The result is a new traveling exhibition that will debut locally in Grand Rapids and provide for others — Native and non-Native peoples — an opportunity to better understand this uprising that was also a form of modern awakening for many around the world. 

There will be a brief reception in the Local History Department starting at 6:15 p.m. with Rickert starting his lecture at 7 p.m.
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