Melina Laboucan-Massimo is a member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation. She is the Suzuki Foundation Knowledge and Climate Change Fellow, a solar power community advocate and activist to end the epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. She has written numerous articles on the tar sands and produced short documentaries on water issues and Indigenous cultural revitalization.
Having grown up in the oil sands region, she witnessed first-hand the impacts of oil sands development on her Nation’s people, culture, and land. She now spends most of her days traveling inside Canada and around the world to share her family’s stories and realities with a larger audience.
Anisha Desai most recently served as Director of the New Leaders Initiative (NLI) at Earth Island Institute, which raises the profile of young emerging environmental leaders in North America and provides them with skills, resources, and relationships to lead effective campaigns and projects. The NLI also confers the Brower Youth Awards, the premier North American awards honoring bold young environmental leaders. Anisha has a long history of work in youth leadership and social justice, and was formerly the Executive Director of the Women of Color Resource Center in Oakland and the Program Director of United for a Fair Economy in Boston.
She graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a Masters in Human Development and Psychology, and from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, English Literature and Secondary Education.
For over Nine years, Layha Spoonhunter has been a strong advocate for American Indian youth. A member of the Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho and Oglala Lakota, he has been inspired to lead others by learning about the great chiefs and warriors like Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Washakie and Black Coal. Spoonhunter served in 2008 as the youngest Native American delegate for then Senator Obama. He danced in the 2009 and 2013 Inaugurations of President Obama representing both the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes.
Kyp Malone is a multi-instrumentalist and member of the bands TV on the Radio, Rain Machine, and Ice Balloons. His lyrics racism, corporate America, and politics and humanity.
In 2016 he visited Standing Rock. Later that year, he organized two musical events - Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles, California - and gathered an all star line up of incredible artists to raise awareness and support for Seeding Sovereignty and other organizations.
In 2017 he created a viral film meme to Free Red Fawn. Kyp continues to use his music and art to support numerous social justice causes.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard-Ta Mak’a Wast’e Win (Good Earth Woman) is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. From the Dakota and Lakota Nation of the bands of Ihunktonwana, (Upper Yanktonais) Pabaska (Cuthead), Sisseton and Russian/German on her father’s side, Hunkpapa, Sihasapa (Blackfeet) and Oglala on her Mother’s side. She was raised in Cannon Ball, North Dakota and currently lives in Fort Yates, North Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation.
She is the former tribal historian and has compiled the history of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for the last 23 years, including battlefields, sacred and ceremonial places and done the historical research for different projects and the history of the Oecti Sakowin people. She has also complied all the genealogy for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe which includes other area tribe’s genealogy.
Ladonna studied the history of her people her entire life and in 2016 the Dakota Access Pipeline was built through the land she grew up on. Sacred Stone Camp was the first occupation camp to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline and Allard encouraged the youth to start it on that land she grew up on. She played a major role in calling the world to stand with Standing Rock and now she believes it is our turn to travel and spread the seed/message of Standing Rock and Indigenous people from all over the world. It is time for the women and the youth to step forward and guide us, for it is their time to bring the people together and teach them how to heal. Each year through International Native Tradition Interchange, she speaks on the issues of our people at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues urging them to bring an indigenous vote to the UN. It is time for human rights violations against indigenous people to be acknowledged and stopped and for the indigenous people of the world to have a voice and opinion on what is happening to their own people and land. To speak on environmental issues, indigenous rights and call international banks to divest from fossil fuel companies that violate Indigenous peoples’ rights as well.
“I stand with those who's voices have been ignored, silenced and oppressed. We will no longer be silent, I come from a line of big mouthed women and for that I am grateful. They will not stop me from standing up for our people, Unci Maka or our youth. Mni Wiconi, Wopila.”
She graduated in 1990 from the University North Dakota (UND) with a BS in History/Indian Studies and attended UND Graduate School for historical research until 1992. In 1993, she started working for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in cultural preservation planning as the Cultural Preservation Planner and developed the Tribal Historic Preservation Office for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in 1996. She was on the Executive Board of The American Indian Alaskan Native Tourism Association (AIANTA 2013-2017), she developed the Tatanka Ohitika Historic Tour throughout Standing Rock, and was a Tribal Advisor for Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Events. She partnered with the Sitting Bull College to develop the National Native American Scenic Byway compiling the historical research for the sites on Standing Rock. She worked with ATTA-Alliance of Tribal Tourism as the past and current vice-president and marketing manager and was President of North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance (NDNTA 2010- 2011). She helped in the development of the Sitting Bull Visitor Center which opened May 2013.
She has been a Historian Consultant for Whitestone Hill, Little Big Horn, Killdeer Mountain, North Dakota State Historical Society and the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices. Shew worked as a researcher in many books,“Crazy Horse” by Kingsley Bray, “Inkpaduta” by Paul Beck, “Murdering Indians'" by Peter Beidier, “Gall” by Robert Larson, “Josephine Waggoner Witness” by Emily Levine to name a few as well as many documentaries on Sitting Bull, Sakakawea, the Dakota Wars and the history of Standing Rock. She is also featured in Unicorn Riots Documentary "Black Snake Killers" which followed the no DAPL movement.
Allard sees special significance in the fact that today’s movements are being led by young people, the Seventh Generation, and will continue to support and empower them to change the world. She hopes to encourage other indigenous women and youth from around the world to know their history, culture and to embrace their truth. To not be afraid to stand up and take action for what they believe in.
Katheryn Erbe is an actress, role model and substance abuse mentor for Indigenous youth who strive to be alcohol and drug free. She offers her honesty, experience and compassion and has been a supporter of Indigenous communities and youth leadership.
Katheryn is best known for her starring role as Detective Alexandra Eames on the NBC/USA Network series Law & Order: Criminal Intent. After graduating from New York University, Katheryn joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has starred in many of their productions, including A Streetcar Named Desire and The Grapes of Wrath, that won the 1990 Tony Award for Best Play. She earned a Tony Award nomination in 1991 for her portrayal of Mary in The Speed of Darkness. She has starred in films including What About Bob?, Stir of Echoes, Rich in Love, and the independent films Dream with the Fishes, Love from Ground Zero, and Entropy.
Linda Black Elk
Linda Black Elk (Catawba/Mongolian) is an ethnobotanist and science education instructor at Sitting Bull College. Her research and activism focuses on fighting extractive industries that destroy our water, air, soil, and plant foods & medicines. Linda is also the Director of Traditional Medicine at the Mni Wiconi Clinic and Farm on the Standing Rock Nation. The MWCF is a free, integrative medicine clinic focusing on decolonizing the healthcare system. Linda currently lives on the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation with her husband and three sons.
Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes
Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes is a leading Psychologist with a long term practice in New York City. She works with both adolescents and adults and is a renowned expert in the field of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes has been a trauma expert for national disaster first responders including 9/11 World Trade Centers, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She is a charter member of the Division of Trauma Psychology of The American Psychological Association and has been appointed to the Committee of Disaster Response. She is currently working on setting up remote video trauma relief counseling programs.
Amanda is a documentary filmmaker and activist whose mission is to fight against exploitative corporate power structures and help put the planet back into healthy balance. She produced the documentary, The Trial of the St. Patrick’s Four that follows the federal conspiracy trial of four anti-war peace activists using civil disobedience. She directed the documentary American Psychosis based on an interview with Pulitzer-prize winning Journalist Chris Hedges about modern day consumerism, totalitarian corporate power and living in a culture dominated by pervasive illusion. It has screened in film festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards and was most recently nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Raindance Film Festival in London.
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Robert Kennedy, Jr. is an environmental lawyer, activist and President of Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit focused on grassroots preservation and protection of waterways worldwide.
In 2016, he joined thousands of concerned citizens and Native Americans from numerous tribes at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In May of 2010, he was named a "Hero for the Planet" by Time.com for his work with Riverkeeper, helping to restore the Hudson River. Kennedy has written ten books, including two The New York Times best-sellers, and three children’s books. His articles have appeared in anthologies of America’s Best Environmental Writing, Best Science Writing, Best Crime Writing, and Best Political Writing for his article “Crimes Against Nature” published on November 24, 2003 in Rolling Stone.
Kip Andersen’s awakening as a filmmaker came as a result of the groundbreaking climate change film An Inconvenient Truth. After seeing the film, he dramatically changed his lifestyle and believed he was doing everything he could to help the planet. But his life took a different direction when he found out animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change and environmental destruction. His film "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" exposed how the environmental movement has ignored the role corporate animal agriculture in harming our water, land and air. His second film, "What the Health" highlighted the same for food and the role that corporate America plays in keeping us uninformed.
Nick Estes is Kul Wicasa from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is a writer, historian, and an Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. His research engages colonialism and Indigenous histories, with a focus on decolonization, environmental justice, anti-capitalism, and the Oceti Sakowin. In 2014 Estes’ co-founded The Red Nation, an organization dedicated to Native liberation. His work with The Red Nation focuses on advocacy for unsheltered relatives, abolishing police violence, off-reservation discrimination, anti-extraction campaigns, and Indigenous youth organizing.
Estes is the author of the forthcoming book Our History is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019), which places into historical context the Indigenous-led movement the stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. He edited with Jaskiran Dhillon the forthcoming volume #NoDAPL and Mni Wiconi: Reflections on Standing Rock (University of Minnesota, 2019), which draws together diverse perspectives from leaders, scholars, and activists of the Standing Rock movement. Estes’ writing has been featured in Jacobin, Indian Country Today, The Funambulist Magazine, High Country News, and La Jicarita. In 2015 his extensive reporting on racial discrimination against Indigenous peoples in border towns, the white-dominated settlements that ring Indian reservations, won an award from the Native American Journalism Association.
He was a historical consultant for the episode “Standing Rock II,” for Vice’s 2017 award-winning documentary series “Rise,” directed by Michelle Latimer. Interviews with Estes have appeared on Native American Calling, Cultures of Energy Podcast, and in Policing the Planet: Why Policing the Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), a book edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton.