It’s not an easy place to live. The environment is harsh, with cold winds and dropping temperatures. The tension is high as folks feel the urgency to prepare for the coming winter, as they are constantly monitored by drones, small planes and helicopters, and as they are work to discern the next best peaceful, ceremonial actions to stop the “black snake” – the oil pipeline.
But Standing Rock can also be seen as a place of great hope, energy, and passion. It is what Joanna Macy might call evidence of The Great Turning – the shift from the industrial growth society to a life sustaining one.
It is almost inconceivable that a small band of Native elders could possibly stop a multi-billion dollar pipeline, an essential component of the fossil fuel industry. Yet, somehow, up to this moment, they have managed to slow down the completion of this project.