Foundational Stories: DAPL beginnings

[Note: This is a continuation of a series of posts about the evolution of my foundational stories, which are related to the intersection between my Quaker faith, protecting Mother Earth, and photography. The following occurred when I was living in Indianapolis.]

The previous post described how those of us trained to bring attention to the Keystone XL pipeline connected with Joshua Taflinger and Brandi Herron of the White Pines Wilderness Academy. They wanted to support those at Standing Rock who were praying to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).

This photo was taken the first time we gathered at the Wilderness Academy, 9/8/2016. They had already made that great sign that was brought to all our gatherings, including the first one on the Circle in downtown Indianapolis the next day. The second photo from the same evening shows me inside the Academy making additional signs. The next morning sign making supplies were brought downtown where people made more of them.

Gathering at White Pines Wilderness Academy to plan first action related to the Dakota Access Pipeline, Indianapolis
Me making NODAPL signs at White Pines Wilderness Academy

Making signs at a gathering in downtown Indianapolis

That gathering downtown on 9/9/206 was the first time Native Americans joined us. Sage was burned and there was drumming.

Burning sage

Drummers on the Circle, downtown Indianapolis

These are some photos from that gathering. Joshua is in the first photo.



On November 15, 2016, we gathered to go to the two banks in Indianapolis that were involved in funding DAPL, which were PNC and Chase. We stood outside each bank in silence as those who had accounts went in to close them. $110,000 was withdrawn that day.



I had my own experiences when I was living in Indianapolis, at the downtown Chase bank, where I closed my account.



Divestment is a strategy that has been used in many instances related to funding fossil fuel projects. In November 2015, several of us went to the Indianapolis offices of Morgan Stanley. We had a polite conversation with the manager about funding coal projects.


On February 3, 2018, Super Bowl weekend, Ed Fallon organized a van trip to Minneapolis to call attention to USBank’s funding of fossil fuel projects. USBank’s headquarters are in Minneapolis, and the game was played at the USBank stadium.

Although we had communicated by email, this was the first time I met Ed. Among the others involved were Sikowis (Christine) Nobiss and Donnielle Wanatee. It was a beautiful day with falling snow.


Defunding projects continue to this day. This was a gathering at a Chase bank in Des Moines in December 2021. Peter Clay and Jon Krieg were present.

Des Moines, December 2021

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