FEATURING MICHELLE COOK – The struggle to protect water resources from extractive industries is not over with the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota. A delegation of indigenous women leaders is globalizing their activism, traveling to Europe to push for financial divestment from pipeline projects.
The women met with political leaders and representatives in banking and insurance in Norway, Switzerland, and Germany, to demand that nations with high standards for human rights refuse to fund extractive industries in the United States, especially when the impacts of those industries are felt most by indigenous and vulnerable communities.
The Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation included LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Sacred Stone Camp and a member of the Standing Rock Tribe, Tara Houska, tribal attorney and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders, as well as my guest Michelle Cook.
Michelle Cook, indigenous human rights lawyer and a current SJD candidate at the University of Arizona’s Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. She is writing her dissertation on international law, indigenous people’s human rights, gender, sexuality, and indigenous transnationalism. She is a founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective, the on the ground legal team which provides legal services to those arrested at the Standing Rock encampment.