In 2016, the world turned its eyes to the people of Standing Rock as they formed a coalition to defend their land and water against the threat of the Dakota Access Pipeline. An inflection point for human rights and environmental justice, the #NoDAPL struggle became a rallying cry for Indigenous people everywhere to take a stand against centuries of land theft, imposed poverty, and cultural erasure. ‘Oyate’ elevates the voices of Indigenous activists, organizers, and politicians as they offer their perspective on that complicated history, contextualize the #NoDAPL movement, illuminate the interconnectivity between the issues facing Indian Country today, and look towards a more sovereign and sustainable future for their people. Woven together with exclusive interviews, decades-spanning archival footage, and personal moments on the ground with our subjects, ‘Oyate’ immerses viewers who might be new to the Indigenous experience. What results is a story that is both grand and intimate in scope.
Genre: Documentary, Independent
Director: Brandon Jackson, Emil Benjamin
Producer: Brandon Jackson, Emil Benjamin, Sandra Evers-Manly, Jennifer Martel
Cast: Phyllis Young, Chase Iron Eyes, Tamara St. John, Sally Jewell, Deb Haaland, David Silverman, Stuart James, Sam High Crane, Tokata Iron Eyes, Julian Bear Runner, Ruth Buffalo, Steve Vance, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Joel Clement, Andrea Carmen