Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Releases New Documentary “Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté”Tweet
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Tells the Untold Stories of the Real Warriors for Grandmother Earth in The Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté Premiering December 21, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Remi Bald Eagle, Intergovernmental Affairs
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Eagle Butte, SD (December 21, 2017) –On this year’s Winter Solstice, the new documentary film, The Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté, will make its world premiere exclusively at www.wakpawaste.com. Produced by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and directed by Salish filmmaker, Jessi Roullier, the film tells the untold story of the Tribe at the forefront of the battle for the future of our planet.
The documentary includes rare footage from the brutal confrontations at Standing Rock in 2016 and was filmed on location in South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, known in Lakota as the Wakpa Wasté Oyanke (the Good River Reservation).
This beautiful and endangered landscape is also a land of crippling poverty after more than a century of government oppression that continues today with the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline to the north and the Keystone XL Pipeline to the south. These pipelines threaten the Tribe’s only source of clean drinking water, the Missouri River, as well as the pristine Ogallala Aquifer. Together, these two crucial water resources provide drinking water and agricultural water for more than 22 million Americans and countless wildlife downstream.
As the film shows, in spite of the hard life on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and the Tribe’s meager resources, the Tribe and its members have committed their bodies and souls to protecting the lands and the waters that give us all life … because the Lakota people believe they were put on this Earth to protect it. Indeed, they call themselves the Water Protectors. We must inform our fellow Americans of the need to join them, because there is too much to lose.
The film features the unsung Lakota heroes who led the historic fight against Big Oil and corporate greed at Standing Rock and the modern warriors who are gearing up to continue this fight against the Keystone XL Pipeline. These are the voices and the faces of the true heart of Indian Country—voices who have never been heard on cable news and faces that have never been featured on a meme. They are the tribal leaders, the grassroots Lakota warriors, modern lawyer warriors, and the everyday Lakota people who have devoted their lives to ensuring a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
Unfortunately, as The Water Protectors of Wakpa Wasté depicts, the fight to protect the Earth is long, arduous, and expensive, and the Tribe can’t fight the fight alone. The film calls on the American people to stand up with the Tribe and join this fight, finance this fight, because if they don’t, they too will lose more and more of this Earth that sustains them.
As Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe explains in the film: “I’ve always said that the American government has failed us, but so far, the American people have not. We’ve got to have that unity, to stay together as one. It’s the only way that we will defeat these pipelines, but also defeat poverty, racism. We’ve got to stick together. Because in the end, all we have is each other.”