This segment originally aired Oct. 28, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Thousands of activists have been camping out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s objection to the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which they say would cut through tribal land and could pollute drinking water. The protest has united disparate Native American tribes and bridged generations in what’s become the most vocal defense of native land rights in decades.
“In our culture, no one can own the water,” Cheyenne River Sioux Jasilyn Charger said. “No one can own the land. It’s not something you can own. It’s something alive.”
Protests at the pipeline construction site have escalated recently. Hundreds of protestors have been arrested and relocated. Police used pepper spray and bean-bag rounds, and demonstrators burned police vehicles in response.
“For a while there, I thought that we weren’t making enough noise,” Charger said. “But now, it’s amazing. There’s so much noise going around, it’s echoing across the world.”