Cannonball River, Standing Rock (image via

On February 23, law enforcement officers cleared the Oceti Sakowin camp, one of the loci of the months-long Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest at Standing Rock, which Hyperallergic visited and covered extensively; dozens of remaining water protectors were arrested there. Another camp, Sacred Stone, has been emptying out this week after the Standing Rock Sioux asked protesters to leave. And with the Trump administration poised to approve the final DAPL permit, the situation looks grim.

But it isn’t over. The Standing Rock Sioux continues to fight in court, filing a new lawsuit several weeks ago against both the builder of the pipeline and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And in truth, even if DAPL is allowed to proceed, there will be many more pipelines and many more environmental battles to come — alongside Native Americans’ continuing, centuries-long struggle for equality, rights, and respect in this country.

All of this is the context for Words for Water, a gathering of “stories and songs of strength by Native women” happening at the Whitney Museum on March 4. The event will spotlight a host of indigenous women creators and activists, among them Mojave and Pima Indian poet Natalie Diaz; Muscogee/Creek poet and musician Joy Harjo; and poet Deborah A. Miranda, who’s a member of the Ohlone Castanoan Esselen Nation of California. It’s intended as a celebration of the power of art, but also, just as importantly, “a call to action and awareness around protection of sacred sites, cultures and languages, and our water, air, and earth.”

When: Sunday, March 5, 4–6pm
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)

More info here

Editor’s Note: The event was livestreamed on Facebook and it is available to watch here.

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art and politics but has also been known to write at length about cats. She won the 2014 Best...