The Public Sphere
INDIANA — On Wednesday afternoon, Indiana University of Pennsylvania students and faculty members rallied in support of a simultaneous event near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. As IUP students held signs outside Stapleton Library, protesters in North Dakota were leaving an encampment they had occupied for nearly a year in an effort to prevent construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Associated Press reported.
Anthropology professor Abigail R. Adams, chair of IUP’s Native American Awareness Council, organized the campus event.
“I think it was helpful for many of us involved in native issues to make a public statement,” Adams wrote in a Wednesday email. “This is one of the most significant pan-native movements in our nation’s history, and I really wanted the student body to be aware of the ongoing struggle of indigenous peoples.
“For me, this is environmental racism 101: A majority white city (Bismarck) rejected the original pipeline route that would have placed it near their community, and it was re-routed straight through sacred native lands.”