NORTH NEWTON – In 2016, the Water Protectors of Standing Rock, a small group of Native Americans, began a nonviolent protest that would bring their part of southern North Dakota to international attention.
The protest was against expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, that would transfer oil from oil fields in western North Dakota to a transport point in Illinois, crossing under the Missouri River and a lake near the Standing Rock (Sioux) Reservation, which the tribe believed threatened their drinking water supply and would desecrate ancient burial grounds.
The Kansas Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College, as part of its 2017-18 Film Series, and Mennonite Central Committee-Central States, based in North Newton, are partnering to bring the film Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock and one of its three directors, Myron Dewey, to the Bethel campus.
The 89-minute documentary screens Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.
The event is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support the two organizations.
Awake tells the story of #NODAPL, the historic, Native-led, peaceful resistance campaign at the Standing Rock Reservation, which captured the world’s attention as one of the biggest news stories of 2016.
Myron Dewey’s drone footage made him one of the most important journalistic voices to come out of the Standing Rock movement.
Founder and owner of Digital Smoke Signals, Dewey is Newe-Numah/Paiute-Shoshone from the Walker River Paiute Tribe, Agui Diccutta Band (Trout Eaters) and Temoke Shoshone. He is a professor, a film maker and editor, a digital storyteller, a historical trauma trainer, a drone operator and a journalist.
Digital Smoke Signals’ goal is “to help bridge the digital divide throughout Indian Country and indigenize media through indigenous eyes with cultural core values” (such as reciprocity, respect and family).
It was through Digital Smoke Signals that Erica Littlewolf, director of the Indigenous Visioning Circle for MCC, of the Northern Cheyenne nation, got to know Dewey back in 2004.
“We [at MCC Central States] have been wanting to bring Myron Dewey to this area for a while,” Littlewolf said. “Then someone mentioned KIPCOR’s film series” – and the partnership was born.
The KIPCOR Film Series is funded in part through KIPCOR’s Peace Lecture Endowment.
Other important contributors to the project include filmmaker Josh Fox, co-director, James Spione, and Floris White Bull (Lakota/Pueblo).