Women Are the Backbone of the Standing Rock Movement
I was sitting in a coffee shop in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the night it hit me: I had to go to Standing Rock to document all sides of the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline fight. This has happened before, a film choosing me, rather than me choosing it. Also familiar was what happened just four days later when I arrived at Standing Rock and realized that the story I had set out to investigate wasn’t the one that needed to be told.
The first person I contacted was Pearl Daniel-Means, whose Lakota name is Iyoyanbya Izanzan Win, or “Bright Light.” That’s what Pearl has been in my life since 2012, when I had the honor of interviewing her and her husband, the American Indian activist Russell Means, shortly before his death. During the interview, Pearl was visibly grieving, and yet seemed to possess incredible strength.