On December 4, 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers denied permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to go under the Missouri River, threatening Standing Rock Sioux sacred sites and clean water. This action was the result of a remarkable struggle led by the Standing Rock Sioux, with solidarity from other Indigenous people, climate activists, clergy, labor activists, veterans—and teachers.
Four days after taking office, Donald Trump issued an executive order attempting to green-light pipeline construction. This does not mean that the pipeline will be completed. It does mean that this struggle continues—and that it is essential for our students to learn what is at stake.
The Zinn Education Project has just posted “Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline,” a teaching article by Portland, Oregon-area high school teacher Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, along with all the role play materials, written by Wolfe-Rocca, her colleague Andrew Duden, and Zinn Education Project co-director Bill Bigelow.
The teaching activities help students grasp the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux for recognition of their treaty rights and for clean water for all. Please download these and share them widely.