USA Today: 7 history lessons that help explain the Dakota Access Pipeline protests

CANNONBALL, N.D. — There are a lot of terms tossed around at the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Reservation that the outside world might not be familiar with.

“Water is life,” — “Mni Wiconi” in Lakota — is the refrain from those opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline, who call themselves “water protectors” in reference to their concerns about leaks into the Missouri River.

The safety of the water supply is the immediate issue at Standing Rock, but the discussions at camp go well beyond Dakota Access. There’s talk of treaties, discovery doctrines, environmental racism and centuries of unkept promises undergirding the pipeline fight.

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