Standing Rock Update

Carol A. Hand

The news from Standing Rock, North Dakota, is alarming. I’m not sure if the link below will take to you to a recent video of escalating police violence, but it greeted me this morning when I visited Facebook.


The video inspired me to follow through with something I intended to do yesterday. Posted below is a copy of the letter I just emailed to the Governor of Minnesota. I hope Governor Dayton is more supportive and responsive than President Obama was when I sent him a similar message.


November 22, 2016

Honorable Governor Mark Dayton
Office of the Governor and Lt Governor
116 Veterans Service Building
20 W 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155

RE: Minnesota Police Presence in Standing Rock, North Dakota

Dear Governor Dayton,

I am writing to request your assistance. I was alarmed to discover that that the taxes I pay as a Minnesota State citizen are being used to fund a militarized police presence in support of corporate actions that disregard treaties and threaten the well-being of millions of people for short-term financial profits. Ironic, isn’t it, that the State with a name that means “sky-tinted water” in the Dakota language is now engaged in attacking peaceful Standing Rock Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Water Protectors? This is an unwise use of State revenues, and from my perspective, an immoral one.

Please address two simple questions. Is this a fiscally sound investment in the future? Instead of first considering the impact of issues involved in building yet another pipeline to ship toxic non-renewable pollution-generating fuels, Minnesota has chosen a path that can only result in the escalation of conflict with the certainty of serious costs in terms of lives and environmental destruction. Why would our State deliberately choose to support a corporate venture that threatens the very water that blessed this State with its name?

How is it wise policy to invest in expanding technologies that will soon be obsolete? Fossil fuels will ultimately be exhausted. Burning them produces toxins that result in many life-threatening illnesses. Burning fossil fuels also hastens the onset and severity of global climate change. Why defend the expansion of pipelines, a technology that has proven to be disastrous so many times in the past? Experience shows very clearly that once waters are poisoned, it’s too late. Even if corporations foot the bill for clean-up, it will take many generations, or perhaps longer, for water to be safe.

Our State can make wiser decisions about the use of fiscal resources impacting our natural resources and people. One, we can make decisions that prevent disasters. No more facking. No more pipelines. Two, we can invest in and build for the future. Why not use those same fiscal resources to retool? To build and transition to alternative energy-generation technologies? Why not invest in education for youth and those presently unemployed to equip them with the scientific knowledge and technical skills necessary for the transition to alternative energy technology?

The choices are clear. The path Minnesota has chosen locks us into outdated and dangerous technologies and threatens the well-being of the earth and future generations. It is already causing harm to our water and related resources and threatening the lives of peaceful Water Protectors. It’s not too late to choose a wiser course. Let us ask Minnesota’s police to lay down their weapons and stand in peaceful solidarity with the Standing Rock Water Protectors. Because the Water Protectors stand for all of us.

We should honor the traditional wisdom of Minnesota’s original inhabitants. “Mni wiconi” – “Water is life” in the Lakota language. “Nibi zhaawendaawak” – “Water is sacred” in Ojibwe. We owe it to our grandchildren’s children to protect the purity and pristine beauty of the “sky-tinted waters” of Minnesota.


Dr. Carol A. Hand


Here’s a link to the Governor Dayton’s website in case you wish to make your views known:


39 thoughts on “Standing Rock Update

    1. Thank you for your comments, Rosaliene. I’m not surprised to hear that you learned about this news on foreign sources. The news coverage of Standing Rock in the US is so distressingly biased on the rare occasions when it is posted.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the update, Carol. Hopefully this deplorable police violence will lead Standing Rock supporters (of which there are thousands) to speak with their feet and protest Governor Dayton’s actions directly. I think an ongoing sit-in at his office would be nice or perhaps a street protest outside his home. In the past I have found these strategies to be quite effective.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. The shocks do continue to pile up, Diane. Today a young woman will lose her arm due to escalating police violence all so corporations can pollute and profit:

          I’m not entirely sure why, but this situation reminds me of Wounded Knee and the Ghost Dance: The circumstances feel eerily similar. Two vastly different cultures collide, one with fear and weapons, and one with hope, ceremony, and prayers. Despite all of the tragic lessons of past history, I still hope that peace and love will finally triumph over brutality and fear.


  2. Carol, I’m struggling with this. I am facing a wall. The reality is that they don’t speak for us, they don’t care for us and they don’t care for future generations either. We think we are dealing with a fair “other”, that they need more information, or to be more ethically accountable, but that’s not what I see. What I see is people who speak one thing today and one very different tomorrow as they see fit for their purposes. They know there’s no real future in renewables unless we all (including the elites) commit to a descent in the use of energy and resources, which means tight limits for everyone in consumption and population growth. They know it, they know renewables would never deliver the same as fossil fuels do with the same amount of profit. So they are playing with us, they are extracting the last drops to enjoy their moment in this planet and couldn’t care less for the rest. That’s the reality, no matter how inclusive, compassionate and loving we want to be, we need to start by acknowledging who we are dealing with. Check this video of Obama, talking about this same pipeline only a few years back…he is not responding (or delaying in responding) because he knows his time is gone now…time for the next puppet to run the show for the real powerful. The video is here. No words:

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I face the same wall, Silvia. Still, I need to try giving voice to crucial issues even though I have serious doubts about the efficacy of rational and moral arguments. What I write may not persuade people in power, in fact I seriously doubt my simplistic letters will have much of an impact on them at all. But perhaps what I write and do will encourage others to act and give voice to their concerns and visions of a kinder world. None of us alone can tackle the breadth and magnitude of the threats we all face. But each of us can take action on the issues in front of us at the moment. So today, in between grading papers, writing to the Governor was what could do. I felt compelled to share the letter with others so I would be able to concentrate on the tedious work I need to complete for students whom I care about and hope will carry on necessary advocacy in the years ahead. But I know you already know this and live it every day, dear friend. ❤

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments, JoAnn. Running for office is not in my future. Many years ago a dear friend of mine in a State legislature told me I should never hold a public office because I am unwilling to compromise my values. It’s true. Even though I really can see the value of compromise, there are things that I just can’t accept. But I can write, teach, and support others who are willing to enter the competitive arena. And sometimes take on advocacy challenges from outside of the system…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Clear, compassionate letter, Carol!
    I’m inspired to write one or more
    letter myself.
    Heartbreaking that these
    brave efforts to protect life
    are either being censored
    or met with resignation & apathy.
    May we wake up in time
    to hear their calls for survival.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Standing Rock has become news in the UK Carol and is gaining positive support. What times we live in eh? I just shared your November winds poem on Facebook, it`s beautiful. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Helen. I’m grateful to know people in the UK are supportive. Standing Rock gets little news coverage here in the USA, and what is published is usually biased in favor of police and corporations. And thank you for your kind words about the poem. 🙂


  5. I reposted Carol A. Hand. I am looking close at the words that Kelly Warren says, which he has softened on. He literally in one of his interview said he will not comply and defy permits to continue. Sounds to me like the last time bunch of rich people we know them, tried a Coup d’ Tate on FDR 1930.

    The cops are security firms, not like we think they are ex Ops, one of them is G4S and BlackWater, as far as I am concerned they have there own Paramilitary boots on ground in USA to hurt our civilians. This if not a coup it’s a Bo-Bo I can do what I please. And President Elect is a donor to BigOil.

    I am ashamed to say these goings on are in America Still.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I as a Native American I am ashamed today because I realize that we as a people have been telling everyone that would listen about what man the white man has been doing to our mother Earth with all the pollution the garbage the cutting down of the trees the sewage in our rivers and oceans and what do we do as a people in return we do exactly the same thing and that makes it hundred times worse I’m talking about all of the brothers and sisters of all the tribes that were out there on the front lines with standing Rock I watched in disbelief when I seen all of the disgusting garbage that was left in the camp when Indian sister was heard to say it was the white man’s fault no it wasn’t the white man it was us the caretakers of our land we left it that way and we are the ones that should be ashamed remember the next time you go to one of these protest remember what you’re protesting for and remember you are one of those caretakers so the next time you want to leave the place is dirty and nasty and disgusting is that last at standing Rock think before you do something that you’ll regret later just my thought from 1 California, Indian


    1. Thank you for sharing an important perspective, Daniel. We all do need to “walk our talk” if we want our our actions to be guided by love and healing energy. Only then will our words and silences carry the power of truth.


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