Published: Nov. 12, 2018

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children," —Sitting Bull

On Nov. 1, 2018, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe renewed their lawsuit against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In light of the continued efforts to address environmental impacts of pipelines and with related news of the deaths of two individuals who worked on the Dakota Access pipeline, critical attention is turning toward the dangers associated with building pipelines and the fact that these jobs are among the deadliest in the U.S. The actions of water protectors to stop the DAPL also reaches to Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin where the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP) construction continues in spite of pending legal challenges and threats to the United Houma Nation’s drinking water. These issues in North Dakota and Louisiana parallel environmental concerns throughout the region, nation, and world.

CDE Executive Committee Member and Assistant Professor Tiara R. Na'puti has revisited the online toolkit made to help parents, educators and advocates talk with children about the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy and other issues that impact the ways of life of indigenous and local people.

The toolkit was originally created in 2016 by Executive Committee Member and Associate Professor Phaedra Pezzullo. This year, Na'puti revisited the topic in hopes of reminding people to have more compelling conversations, making Thanksgiving relevant to contemporary environmental events and honoring the best of the holiday season. A more expansive component of these materials has been created in conjunction with seniors enrolled in Na'puti’s Rhetoric Seminar course within the Department of Communication at CU Boulder.

By clicking this link to Thanksgiving 2.0 #2018, you can access and download several files that comprise an expansive toolkit. The resources include talking points, conversation guides, activities and resources that cover a range of issues such as the environment, land, recreation, and mascots. These materials also provide resources for indigenous and environmental groups working in solidarity with Standing Rock and other places where people continue to protect land, water, and insure a brighter future for coming generations.  

The Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement hopes that more parents, educators, and students will expand these resources, which are meant as a springboard for education and activities with youth and other audiences to foster dialogue about issues at Standing Rock and places with ongoing environmental concerns. These materials also encourage dialogue about the meaning of Thanksgiving.

"...I would really like us all to do our part, beyond Native American Heritage Month” —Winona LaDuke

"We are all very much committed to standing in solidarity to protect what we have” —Cherri Foytlin