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How the Women of Standing Rock Inspired the World (


Documentary filmmaker Shannon Kring first heard about the protests at Standing Rock while she was living and working in Honduras. Her parents, back in Wisconsin, sent her a link to Amy Goodman’s coverage on Democracy Now! Kring was struck by the “gross abuses of power” and unfettered violence police were inflicting on unarmed water protectors. “I needed to do what I could to help get the story out there, because it was clear to me that it was being ignored by the mainstream publications and broadcasters,” Kring recalls.

Within 48 hours, the Emmy Award-winning producer and director was on the ground in North Dakota, ready to listen. But sharing these stories was no easy job. “People at Standing Rock were so damn good at working social media,” Kring says. “They were really telling their own story and getting it out there, and that to me was so inspiring because once I got there, I saw what it took to get word out.”

Kring says it was a 26-minute drive to get to the nearest spot with reliable phone coverage. And most days, she would drive another 1 hour and 24 minutes one way to get to the nearest UPS or FedEx facility to mail her footage to protect it from being seized or scrambled. This theme of protecting one and all was prevalent in the camp, she says, and was borne of a leadership that was decidedly feminine in its approach.

“It became clear to me after the first day of filming that it needed to be a story about the women,” Kring says. “Women were really the backbone of the entire operation.”

In the resulting film, End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock, Kring’s co-producer Pearl Daniel-Means says: “Every day, we have 10, 12 other nations coming in to stand in solidarity with us. And we’re showing the world who we are, in a nonviolent manner. That’s all we’ve ever wanted, is to be respected, left alone. A nation isn’t defeated until the hearts of the women are on the ground.”

So the women of Standing Rock fought on. And in the process, they inspired the world. Kring spoke of Indigenous women with whom she’d collaborated in Honduras and Scandinavia, who told her that Standing Rock changed what seemed possible.

To read more of Breanna Draxler's article, please click here.

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A little over a month ago, a visitor here in the 'Upper Valley' returned from Standing Rock, and we spoke with each other at length. He had been taken as an infant, from a 'residential school' ... to a parking lot [in the South Bronx], where a 'forged birth certificate' was 'issued...

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