Document Type

Honors Project


A special thank you to Michael Griffin, Andrew Peterson, and John Kim


The documentary film Standing Rock is the culmination of a long-term project exploring contemporary Native American life and the continuing oppression Native peoples face in American society today. Following my previous video work with indigenous people and their efforts to preserve water and sacred sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul, I decided to travel to North Dakota to observe and document Native resistance to the latest transgressions against their land and sacred sites at the Standing Rock Reservation. Over several months of participant-observation and five trips to the sites of ongoing protests in North Dakota I attempted to learn more about current attempts to silence the voices of indigenous people and their allies and how this historic gathering--the largest since Wounded Knee--coalesced as an organic, peaceful, and effective resistance movement. The film Standing Rock explores this emergence of a new generation of indigenous environmental activism and the revitalization of cultural practices, language, and community. Following research on Native American culture, including interviews with participants and indigenous leaders, together with learning the ways of filmmaking, I have created a cross-genre documentary short that has now been accepted to three international film festivals, inspiring me to pursue continuing work in non-fiction cinema.



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