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Middle Schoolers Learn About Standing Rock and Indigenous Activism

On Tuesday, December 13, our Middle School participated in a collection on Standing Rock and Indigenous Activism organized by the Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office. Standing Rock youth have been leaders among the many thousands of individuals and groups who oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the Missouri and Cannon Ball River in North Dakota because it poses a serious threat to the water and the land.

The Middle Schoolers welcomed indigenous scholars Teresa Montoya and Angelo Baca from New York University who shared a presentation with meaningful context. Then we Skyped with two 7th grade indigenous youth organizers from Standing Rock Middle School and the organization, Rezpect Our Water –– Alice Brown Otter and Anna Lee Yellow Hammer.

BFS students also heard firsthand accounts from BFS community members who have taken action in support of Standing Rock, including 9th grader Kennedy White and parent Ted Auerbach, who recently traveled to Standing Rock, and afterschool librarian Maggie Carson. Maggie’s band Spirit Family Reunion created the song Goin’ Out to Cannonball to support the Camp of the Sacred Stones.

Our Middle School was moved and inspired by the power of youth organizing, gained awareness about the important efforts of the water protectors, and learned about a range of ways to take action through advocacy, direct service, and indirect service:

advocacy 

  • making a video in solidarity with Standing Rock
  • talking with friends and family to raise awareness
  • posting information on social media

indirect service 

direct service 

  • volunteering in our own community to support local efforts with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy

Students also received this empowering video message from Tokata Iron Eyes, one of the 13-year-old indigenous youth organizers whose efforts built the movement to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.