There are very few words profound or deep enough for the unbelievable injustices done to our First Nations peoples. Residential Schools, the Trail of Tears, and the truth about Columbus are all becoming more talked about. While these things haven’t quite made it to our children’s history books yet, history is happening every minute of every day, as our government refuses to protect its own citizens. In 2014, the Dakota Access Pipeline was proposed–threatening a precious ecosystem, water supply, and the very livelihood of the indigenous people inhabiting the Standing Rock Reservation, which lies on the border of North and South Dakota. End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock celebrates the women who were on the forefront of the anti-DAPL protest movement held at Standing Rock. Women were the first to stand to protect their land and their existence, while continuing life as we know it–raising (and giving birth to) babies, feeding their families, working, and maintaining the intricate and beautiful traditions of a people that most ignorantly believe to be lost to time. Their culture is strong, and drives them to protect what is true–a land that doesn’t belong to the white man or to the indigenous man–but to Mother Earth herself, to time, and to nature. Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota–the tribal names of Sitting Bull’s people of the Sioux tribe–all mean ally, or friend. If the prefix “Wo-” is added, as in, “Wolakota,” it symbolizes peacemaking–a symbolic and deep bond–a reaching out of one hand to grasp another in peace and friendship. Through their rage filled tears, these women continue to reach out peacefully–in hopes that someone will hear their cries. The strength of these beautiful women is palpable, in poignant interviews with filmmaker Shannon Kring, even as they shed sorrowful tears, or tears of anger, at the horrific injustices being committed against them. Non-violent, meaningful protests of prayers and dances are interrupted by police dogs and tear gas. Sacred burial sites are ransacked. All for the sake of oil–the “black snake” sent to poison Mother Earth that the ancestors warned about. End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock is a solemn tribute to the women–the protectors and guardians–that breathed life into the Standing Rock movement. A love letter to the warrior women who fought tirelessly to protect their land and water. The daughters and granddaughters of survivors, and victims of boarding schools, forced sterilization, and abuse. Descendants of warriors. Heroes, in every single imaginable way. Their spirit and drive is something to behold–and something that they will pass down to the generations beyond them, as they continue their fight for their people.
End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock premiered at at Slamdance 2021. For more information about the women and how you can help, go to www.endofthelinefilm.com
Makeup Artist, Monster Maker, Educator, Producer, Haunt-lover, and all around Halloween freak. When Miranda isn't watching horror films, she's making them happen. When she's not doing either of those things, she's probably dreaming about them. Or baking cookies.