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"Not since the 1973 American Indian takeover of Wounded Knee has an event galvanized and unified the indigenous community and focused attention on the issues facing indigenous people on Turtle Island the way that the 2016–2017 protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) did in North Dakota. Whatever one's stake and opinion is about this pivotal occurrence, we should all agree that it must be fairly and accurately recorded in order that it not be misrepresented or characterized as anything other than what it was: a social, political, and cultural defense of Grandmother Earth by those whose values and philosophies are based on their relationship with her. Mni Wiconi / Water Is Life has done that eloquently from the indigenous perspective."
—Joseph Marshall III, Sicangu Lakota, and author of Walking with Grandfather: The Wisdom of Lakota Elders

"Standing Rock was and is a Selma Moment for us all, a convergence of the power of people facing the power of corporations. Mni Wiconi / Water Is Life gives a space for our narratives—told through words, music, prayer, and art. We remember it all, vividly. The short-term battle over DAPL was lost to the economics of addiction; the longer-term battle over our reliance on fossil fuels in our future rages on. Through it all we know that water is life and what we lived, saw, breathed, and felt at Standing Rock helped us remember what it is to be alive, coherent, and present for the future generations. We should all be grateful for this book."
—Winona LaDuke, author of All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life

"Lest we forget, John Willis has created an extraordinary document on Standing Rock, where the Water Protectors initiated a movement that offers a fresh indigenous model for future protests. This is an important book, a striking compendium of photographs, art, and deeply moving commentaries and poems by native activists and non-native allies that reveals the daily workings of the camps and offers spiritual and political incentives to continue the struggle. The images and texts convey the inspirational immediacy of participants' experiences, resurrecting the energy that will continue to spark resistance. Standing Rock was not a failure, as some would have it, but a beginning."
—Lucy R. Lippard, author of Partial Recall: Photographs of Native North Americans

"Mni Wiconi / Water Is Life is a gift, as life is a gift—beautiful, tragic, many-layered. The story pays tribute to Standing Rock, and the book is worthy of the story and the legend. The story—in pictures, in honorary relics, and in eloquent words—is told in a way that must be listened to, as the place and struggle must be witnessed. I congratulate John Willis and all those who have participated in this collective narrative."
—Wendy Ewald, MacArthur Foundation Fellow and photographer

"As this book does, I honor all the Water Protectors. The sacrifices they made at Standing Rock were for all the people now and in future generations. In my mind, the Water Protectors were just like Sundancers, earning appreciation and respect for the great commitment they gave to protect life."
—Richard Move Camp (Wicasa Wakan), Lakota Spiritual Leader

"In Mni Wiconi, John Willis along with his contributors bear witness to the sacrifice and spiritual dedication of thousands of people who supported the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on sacred and sovereign grounds. This powerful book allows those of us who were not present to appreciate the perseverance of people committed to protecting the safety and sovereignty of an indigenous nation and local community against corporate power. Willis and his contributors honor and preserve the prophetic power of the community that came together at Standing Rock and assure that the community's message will be heard for years to come."
—George Miles, Curator, Beinceke Rare Book Library Collection of Western Americana, Yale University

"John Willis's powerful and empathetic photographs from Standing Rock are an essential and unforgettable document that let us all be witness to the injustices perpetrated on indigenous Americans, who, for countless generations, have been the guardians and protectors of their sacred lands and waters."
—Kevin Bubriski, documentary photographer and author of Portrait of Nepal and Power Places of Kathmandu: Hindu and Buddhist Holy Sites in the Sacred Valley of Nepal

"As I opened the pages of this book the pictures began to fill my memory with the life that was in the Camp. Remembering faces as I paged through kindled again the relationships that were formed as we chose to make our Stand with Standing Rock. The words on the pages fixed the pictures with thoughts, reflections and focus. This was the Camp. This was a significant part of the movement. As it memorializes everyone that came—it is not simply a record of the past, but a call to continue what was begun."
—The Rev. Dr. John Floberg, Priest of the Episcopal Church on Standing Rock (Father John was the one who called clergy of all faith to come stand with Standing Rock. He hoped he might get up to 100 to respond. In the end over 550 came in support.)

"In Mni Wiconi Water Is Life, due out in early December, Willis includes the voices of Lakota people and their allies. The resulting book he describes as "a layered assemblage of contemporary and historic photographs, stories, poems and artwork.""
—Nancy A. Olson, Landscapes correspondent, The Brattleboro Reformer (read article here)

 

 

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