by Jenni Monet
When opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline galvanized the support of hundreds of U.S. tribes, it became an unprecedented show of Indian Country unity and resolve.
Now, it’s a global indigenous movement.
Members of tribal communities from around the world have joined in activism led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. A Sami group from Norway was the latest to arrive on Friday. This resistance campaign, many say, has emerged as part of a greater global crisis—a united struggle in which indigenous lands, resources, and people are perpetually threatened by corporations and governments often using military force. Integral to this shared narrative is the routine ignoring of treaties.
In their continued struggle, the Lakota Sioux are advancing an Indigenous agenda that calls for governments to acknowledge the unique and inherent rights of First Peoples.
While Indigenous Peoples reflect only about 5 percent of the world’s population, they represent roughly 15 percent of the global poor. With the exception of majority populations in places like Bolivia and Guatemala, Indigenous Peoples are typically the minority in their respective countries.
But they have land. And their tribal territories are among the healthiest ecosystems on the planet—and under constant threat from mining, logging, and dam and oil development.