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At the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, this young Cherokee man describes to his Australian interviewer his approach to the use of drone technology, in terms quite different from how it’s described by the majority of drone enthusiasts.

“The power of the drone…allows my spirit to be free. I don’t feel oppressed and I don’t feel the the resistance of us trying to take back our land because they might have built a big wall…blocking all the Protectors from going over, with razor-sharp wiring and five- to fifty-foot walls and five- to six foot-deep trenches but that does not stop me from exposing the truth, because once that drone…goes up, it gives me the freedom to see whatever I want to see and to be wherever I want to be and to document everything – and it’s truth…

Interspersed with cinematic panoramas of the Great Plains and wild buffalo, we see images of Water Protector encampments, fenced off with razor wire and deep trenches dug around them, along with images soaring over the half-constructed Dakota Access Pipeline.

“There is no audio. It’s not manipulated. The video just speaks for itself…

“I don’t call it a drone, I call it ‘High Hawk’, I gave it a spiritual bird name. And we don’t call it the ‘pipeline’, we call it ‘the black snake’ [from the Lakota prophecy about the arrival of a “Black Snake”, which will signal the end of the world].

“And when we’re flying over there, we don’t call it a ‘mission’, we call it a ‘journey’, ‘vision’ or ‘dream’. So, when I talk about drones I talk about in a spiritual sense; how my ancestors taught..so when they try to infiltrate us or antagonize us about who’s flying those drones, when you speak that language, it in that way – they don’t understand, you know?

“I give so much respect to these drones that, like I said, we bless them before they take off.”

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BREAKING: on late Sunday afternoon, December 4th, President Obama denied the issuance of the permit that would have allowed Energy Transfer Partners to drill beneath the Missouri River, in order to complete the final part of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). This is a great victory – but the story is far from over.

DAPL will obviously try to sue the federal government for their decision, while looking for other possible routes for the pipeline. Also, incoming President, Donald Trump has a conflict of interest in this case, with $2M investment of his own money in this project. So the Water Protectors and their supporters will have to remain vigilant until all of the above factors are played out.

The big story here, is that the voices of Native Americans were heard by a large segment of the US population. Thousands of supporters of the Lakota Sioux cause came to stay at the encampments in North Dakota, from all over the North American Continent, from veterans of the US Armed Forces, to members of other indigenous peoples, who formed the largest gathering of Native American tribes in the US, in over 100 years. All were unified in support the water rights of of the indigenous Lakota Sioux.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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