Communicating from the Front Lines | Sacred Places

Although Standing Rock resistance camp ended, the Elders have called on us all to spread the spirit of Standing Rock to Standing Rocks and resistance camps of frontline communities that have emerged to fight fossil fuel extraction to protect mni wiconi their water while advocating to end the fossil fuel era. 

It is our organizational goal to share communication skills honed at the largest camp of Standing Rock, directly from a key member of the Oceti Sakowin Camp media team, in order to develop communications hubs in key areas, drawing connections between whatʻs happening in oppressed communities to continue building awareness overall. We hope to empower and enable oppressed communities to record and share what is happening in their homelands to effectively create social change and continue awakening the world. We will do this by offering integral learning sessions on effective photography, videography and maintaining a communications strategy in slow times, and high pressure situations.

There have been efforts devoted to teaching indigenous youth media skills. However, without a camera
available the skills go unused. Without a computer capable of editing content collected footage may go
unused. Without the trust of elders, youth may be discouraged to lead and not included in policy
decisions. 

Effective communication is one way to address this, dividing the process into phases.

Phase 1. Skill-share and develop a scaleable system, providing essential tools for regional points of
defense, to hold the communication front-line. Develop a network and strategic pattern of narration,
demonstrating resonate success, and building intergenerational and cross-cultural trust. We will start with
basic effective photography, videography and editing.

Phase 2. Build resonance with the content and conversations that are coming from sovereign nations.
Foster intergenerational dialog. Help the youth format information in a way that independent and
corporate media will pick up, quote and share. Encourage sovereigns to get selected footage from
independent media who visit them, before they leave the area, so that sovereigns are immediately able to
tell their own story in their own way, communicating with visuals and video that the outer-world responds
to. By crediting the original artists, this will foster further partnership.

Phase 3. Cultivate outer-world support. Encourage influencers who will share these messages, carrying
this truly sovereign movement into the sphere of general social understanding.

The job of effective communication is a big one. We anticipate these first youth learning these methods
will delegate and seek support from others. Our goal is to leave the gear needed for the job with
designated community centers. In this way other youth can share in the workload and skills
development. Those we are working with are part of the International Indigenous Youth Council, and
other influential community groups. As their methods adapt they will be able to strengthen
communications within these other groups, letting the integral-learning ripple out to other leading voices
in this movement to honor the rights of the Earth.