Standing Rock And Media Through History’s Lens

Award-winning American Indian journalist Jenni Monet was one of the first reporters on the ground to document Standing Rock’s protests of an oil pipeline that cut through the Standing Rock reservation, destined to intersect with the Missouri River, an important source of drinking water for the tribe. Photo by Connor Murphy/UND Today.

Two phone calls bookended Jenni Monet’s last hours covering the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

The first was to fellow American Indian journalist, Mark Trahant, then and now the Chuck Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at UND. The second, she says, was to her lawyer after a nearly 30-hour detainment in a cold storage garage of a North Dakota Sheriff’s Office.

“I think we’re going to get hurt,” Monet told Trahant in that first call, as she left her base at the Prairie Knights Casino & Resort. She was headed north to the last remaining NoDAPL camp – just before law enforcement moved in to shut it down.

Monet needed to alert someone to the gravity of the situation. She chose Trahant.

On Thursday, Monet, this year’s Jack Hagerty Lecturer, joined her old friend, Trahant, at UND to recount her story. Monet’s talk was part of a daylong “Standing Rock & The Media” symposium, which Trahant brought to campus to investigate the craft of journalism and its role in the NoDAPL saga. The event was part of Time Out Week at UND, a celebration of American Indian art and culture that leads up to the annual UND Indian Association powwow, or Wacipi.

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