Standing With Standing Rock and the Right to Clean Water

By Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall

Examine the protests over construction of the Dakota Access pipeline with an objective mind (links below, basic facts here) and you’ll arrive at the conclusion that the Native Americans gathered at Standing Rock care—and shouldn’t we all.

The threat at Standing Rock is not lack of oil or loss of jobs.

The threat is to the one element that none—yes, none—of us can live without: WATER.

Protecting clean water isn’t about scenery. It’s about basic human rights. (Photo by Mary Marshall)

I realize that for most readers this is not “in your backyard,” but shouldn’t you care enough to support those at Standing Rock to protect something this vital, this important to us all?

The United Nations has recognized the human right to clean water.

Ask yourself what will it take for you to engage in the protection of this resource that makes your latte, fills your pool, allows for fishing and your morning shower, is a major ingredient in beer and wine, beauty products, your supplements and medications, vital to agriculture and many forms of manufacturing … and on and on?

What will it take?

Don’t leave the Native Americans to carry this by themselves.

Look around, ask yourself, ask your friends: What will it take and when will we engage?


Standing Rock Coverage From Across the Web

Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know (Nat Geo Education Blog)

Topic Page From Indian Country Today

Why is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe trying to stop a pipeline? (Christian Science Monitor)

Showdown over oil pipeline becomes a national movement for Native Americans (Washington Post)

A Pipeline Fight and America’s Dark Past (New Yorker)

Taking a Stand at Standing Rock (New York Times)



Changing Planet


Meet the Author
Jon Waterhouse’s destiny was foretold the moment he pushed his canoe off the bank of the Yukon River and started to paddle. That incredible 2007 canoe trip, which he christened “the Healing Journey,” began with a simple request by the native elders and tribal leaders living in the Yukon River watershed to "go out, take the pulse of the river." Waterhouse’s journey raised awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship, combined traditional native knowledge with modern science, and helped rebuild intimate connections between Yukon communities and the natural world. The journey soon stretched far beyond the Yukon and led the Native American down rivers and through cultures in distant parts of South America, Russia, Greenland, Africa, and New Zealand.