Reports From an Extraction Zone

Thanks to technological advancements in hydraulic fracturing, the US state of North Dakota is now the second largest oil and gas producing state in the US after Texas. While the political establishment in the state is quick to point to the economic benefits of the oil industry in the form of jobs and tax income, the social and ecological toll that this oil boom has taken has yet to be accounted for. Over the past decade, Joletta Bird Bear, Lisa Finley-DeVille, and Jodi Rave Spotted Bear have become specialists in the devastating environmental impacts of fracking and the politics of extraction. As members of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, living on the Fort Berthold Reservation, which is situated entirely on top of the Bakken shale oil formation in western North Dakota, they have watched as the oil industry has drastically transformed the landscape, and with it, their lives. This section was commissioned by video artist and researcher Angela Anderson, following from her research into the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the US Midwest.

Joletta Bird Bear, Lisa Finley-DeVille, and Jodi Rave Spotted Bear
Edited by Angela Anderson — Jun 14, 2021

Natural gas flaring on the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, March 2019. © Angela Anderson

Earth Endures by Joletta Bird Bear

My ancestors, the Mandan and Hidatsa men and women, protected these lands for me and I carry that obligation and respect to these lands forward during these challenging times in my tribal community. In the back of my mind, the words of a song affirm what my ancestors believed: »the earth endures.« For them, this could have meant that Earth is unyielding, quiet, formidable to all storms, or that Earth is benevolent, providing for and sustaining life, or encompass both. Those few powerful words have always been in my heart and mind as I witness my community transformed into an industrialized oil and gas zone through the multitude of environmental, health, social, cultural, and economic impacts caused by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs Oil & Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling Project. 

I am a Mandan and Hidatsa grandmother, an enrolled member of the federally recognized Three Affiliated Tribes, and cofounder of the citizen action group Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights. I reside on my allotted land with my grandson, who is growing up with me. Our home is now surrounded, in close proximity in every direction, by the intrusive permanent presence of federal oil and gas wells, flares, the roaring noise of pressure, the grinding scraping mechanical noises, and associated infrastructures and numerous dusty well pad access roads. My land is held in trust by the US government, located within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Sign outside of the community of Mandaree, Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, March 2019. © Angela Anderson

The lands within the reserve predate United States and state government territorial divisions, including the formation of the six state counties that dissect our reserved lands, the formation of the North Dakota state government, and the formation of the colonial US government and its constitution. The US government entered into treaties between two sovereigns: the newly formed US colonial government and the longstanding senior tribal governments of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara. While the treaty making policy acknowledged the sovereignty of my tribes, it was an instrument used to dispossess us of at least twelve million acres of our land, which was historically and traditionally our home. As encroachment and railroad expansion ensued, executive orders were issued in 1870 that did not require tribal government consent nor congressional approval, which further reduced our holdings and created the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, resulting in further diminishment of our lands to less than one million surface and mineral acres. All these policies, the Homestead Act and the General Allottment Act, were construed to accommodate further intrusion. The General Allottment Act divided up tribal collective lands on the reserve into individual allotments, declaring the rest »excess.« The Allotment Act was a racist assimilationist policy to further dispossess us from our lands and was specifically designed to force change the original producers of foods before colonial times into postcolonial white-thinking farmers. Through this act, our best, most fertile unallotted lands were deemed »excess« lands for sale, and ownership was offered to early European immigrants under another supremacist US policy, the Homestead Act.

A significant characteristic of land holdings on Fort Berthold is that individual Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara persons own their allotted land, and those individual allotted lands represent the majority of the trust lands held, whereas my tribal government owns the smaller share of trust acreage. This is significant because the US government, through the Department of Interior (DOI) and its sub-agency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), has a treaty-based, legally mandated trust responsibility to allottees and tribal governments trust lands, and has jurisdictional authority over the allotted lands and tribal government trust lands.

Like this earth, we Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara have endured tremendous US policy pressures to change into something other than what we are meant to become, but like the earth, we endure. My teenage years, when I resided in a boarding school distant from my familiar lands, became a decisive time, a defining apex in my life when I felt the depth of love for the lands I grew up on which are called the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. I was away from home to learn, and for the most part enjoyed that challenging time; homesickness was not an option. My identity to the familiar geography, my culture, and the distance to my family solidified the framework of my bond to the lands of my tribes, the Mandan and Hidatsa. These lands of hills, gentle slopes, oak-lined draws, healing waters, swaying grass, sweet plums, sweet turnips that taste like earth, curious antelope, returning migratory birds, barking coyotes at dusk, grazing deer, and the distant song of the meadowlark were my outdoor retreat to connect to the natural sounds intertwined with quietude which I loved about my land from very early in life. These lands were and remain like a spirit in me, just like the blood of my ancestors, which sustains me and flows life within me. I knew early that our lands on Fort Berthold were owned by my parents and their paternal and maternal parents, and that there would be a day when I would own those lands.

At a 2015 US Senate hearing on the Government Accountability Office Report on Indian Energy Development, North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven stated, »I think now that if the Three Affiliated Tribes were an independent state, they would be the ninth largest oil producing state in the nation.« By then the federal DOI BIA Oil & Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling project was well underway, after its first producing trust well in 2007. The North Dakota Department of Minerals reported that a whopping 358,000 barrels a day was being produced on Fort Berthold, which represented 30 percent of all North Dakota oil production, on which the state received tax payments. An internal audit revealed that it was actually 200,500 barrels a day, or 17 percent share of the state’s total oil production. Expediency and haste were the modes of the early years of the BIA frack project, when oil companies hired local tribal members as oil landmen, who fanned out across the lands to seek allottee signatures in exchange for quick bonuses, all while proclaiming allottees would become »millionaires.« Simultaneously, tribal government leaders were quickly forming their own personal oil companies from their tribal council desks, bolstered by industry executives and some tribal landowners to drill without delay, in anticipation of quick royalty payments. Even before the industrialized pressures of underground fracturing were injected into the earth, the surface level pressure had become insurmountable and the BIA reached its own critical collapse point and approved its proposed fracturing project with complete disregard and exclusion of the required National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Impact Study (EIS). A rapid series of five tribal government Indian Mineral Development Act agreements allowed for tribes to enter into oil and gas extraction with greater expediency and less federal liability, at the cost of environmental considerations, as Indian Energy Policy was designed to streamline the process of getting trust lands into leaseholds for the economic benefit of tribes and allottees.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

ap of North Dakota by NordNordWest. CC BY-SA 3.0 DE (Wikimedia Commons)

Early on in federal agency public hearings held on Fort Berthold, tribal members requested the BIA, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and EPA, all agencies that had lead and functional roles in the proposed fracking project, to comply and adhere to the NEPA requirements of conducting an EIS and incorporate scientific and cultural-based findings in the final decision-making. The lead federal agency, the BIA, did not conduct the EIS in a way that tribal allottees and concerned tribal members had a direct role in identifying all the anticipated environmental impacts if the project were to be approved. Tribal members were not afforded that level of participation. Instead, agency officials were vocal advocates of the economic bonuses and royalties, but were completely silent about the other side of fracking. They never mentioned that the amount of our clean water that would be needed for fracking a well depended on the well’s depth and lateral length, and the need to refrack over its lifetime; that it was impossible for industry to know the actual length of a pressurized fracture injection line deep into the earth until after the frack occurs; that our communities and tribal homes were already at a public safety disadvantage because the oil industry possessed proprietary protection from disclosure of the chemicals they used, and that we would be exposed on a daily basis as they delivered them through our communities; that there would be a proliferation of makeshift man camps in our communities to house the huge influx of transient workers who were strangers to the community and did not know how to navigate correctly to the locations of the well sites they were charged with delivering these toxic oil fluids to; that extraction and production of oil also produced huge volumes of toxic and hazardous wastes, transforming the clean water provided for fracking into chemically laden, extremely saline, radioactive oil waste fluids; that these oil waste fluids posed a perpetual threat of spills that would contaminate our lands and leach deep into our earth, and that we would never receive public notice nor allottee direct notice about these spills from the lead federal agency; that radioactive filter socks were a necessary and highly toxic waste product of fracking that would pose a high risk of radiation exposure wherever the oil companies or elected tribal officials illegally dumped them; that copious volumes of natural gas would be wasted by the oil companies, despite the fact that natural gas is a mineral for which the mineral owners would be denied payment, because the oil company could simply claim it was an »unavoidable loss« while allottees watched the oil company burn the allottees’ mineral before their very eyes – everyday; that the degradation and contamination of our soil and water would happen as oil companies repeatedly proved that oil and oil waste will contaminate the ground and flow into the Missouri River because there is no leak detection in their pipelines; and, that our airshed would be degraded by the oil companies defiant and continued flaring, despite our tribal government’s resolution requiring them to capture the gas in a defined time frame.

The mounting evidence to act brought to life the Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights, a volunteer citizen action group that aimed at reducing the tonnage of natural gas wasted by the flaring, venting, and leaks happening on Fort Berthold. Our first priority was finding federal regulations on oil and gas and familiarizing ourselves with the language. In 2016, we learned that the Bureau of Land Management, the primary federal agency responsible for the physical fracking activity, had proposed to revise the 1940 NT4LA, which was the government policy regarding fracking on federal lands. We knew that our participation as concerned tribal members and allottees was necessary in this discussion and organized fellow Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people to drive between 70 and 90 miles one way to Dickinson, North Dakota to testify at the BLM Public Hearing. Never before had a federal agency experienced the level of interest and participation that was entered into the record that day; we had come to support the proposed BLM revision of the NTL4A because it required oil industry to stop wasting natural gas, to stop dumping unburned natural gas (methane) into our airshed, and to actively inspect and repair oil industry’s leaky infrastructures populating our communities. We lined up one after the other behind the microphone and spoke, propelled by our instilled value to protect our lands, directing the BLM to approve the proposed regulation because we could already see the waste that oil companies were bringing to our communities.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Horizontally drilled oil wells, Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, April 2021. Image source:

Epilogue to our journey: The BLM 2016 Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalites, and Resource Conservation rule that we supported was put into effect January 17, 2017. When Trump took office, he issued E.O. 13783 only three months later, which halted further implementation of the beneficial regulation. The real battle ensued and continues; Fort Berthold POWER have become plaintiffs in the legal fight for clean air on Fort Berthold.


Joletta Bird Bear is an enrolled Mandan Hidatsa tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and a member of Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights.

Living with Oil and Gas by Lisa Finley-DeVille

I always knew that one day, oil and gas would be here on the Fort Berthold reservation. My grandmother would tell me this when I was little. »I do not know what will happen to the land, air, and water,« she would say. One day we were picking june berries and plums, and she said »you may not have any plums or june berries if oil is here.« My grandmother would always tell me to get an education, »because long ago your ancestors didn’t know what they were signing, so they would put an x down for their signature.« I was told that our purpose here is to protect Mother Earth, who provides all we need to survive, to honor those who have past on and to protect the water, and give thanks.  

Fall of 2010 is when the red tape was cut by the incoming tribal administration on the Fort Berthold Reservation for industry to run all over us. »Drill baby drill,« is what I call it. There was no environmental impact statement, and no baseline studies were done. None of our leaders, at any level of government, informed our tribal members or the people of North Dakota of the aftermath of oil and gas extraction. They never explained anything to our tribal elders, yet they let them sign the oil and gas leases. When industry came to negotiate leases they gave the elders very low royalties compared to the white men off the reservation. 

This was about the same time I was called by a woman who lives behind the community of Mandaree, who told me that the snow was yellow around her house. When I got there, I saw the yellow snow and looked around to see where it could have come from.  What I saw was a huge flare burning behind her house, and there was something like ash coming off the flare. I started to ask Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation departments what this was. No one had any answers for me. This was the beginning of my advocacy work, monitoring the environmental effects of the oil and gas industry on Fort Berthold.

For the past eleven years I have witnessed the increase of oil and gas industrialization along with its environmental impacts. I live with my family in Mandaree, North Dakota, the most extracted community on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Mandaree and the reservation are special to me because this is where I was raised, and my ancestors are buried here along the shores of Lake Sakakawea. Being Native American, this is the only land that we have left that is our own. We were relocated several times in our history as a people. When my ancestors were intentionally infected with small pox we were forced to move from our ancestral lands along the Missouri River. And a second time when much of the Fort Berthold Reservation was flooded to build the Garrison Dam as part of the Pick Sloan project.

We’ve been living with oil and gas for just over a decade and we did not know that there would be so much environmental destruction with fracking. Every day we witness the environmental, health, and social impacts of living on the front lines of oil and gas extraction. Our quality of life is diminished by the rotten-egg smell of the polluted air, the constant roar from the gas flares, the light pollution that obliterates the night sky, and the rumbling of the earth beneath our homes from the drilling operations.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Water tanker on oil service road, Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, March 2019. © Angela Anderson

In 2011, we were informed that our local post office was going to be closed. I thought »this cannot happen,« because the oil traffic is too dangerous for our people to go get their mail 30+ miles away, especially for our elders. I went door to door with my husband Walter gathering signatures, and at the same time we heard about people’s concerns with the impacts of the oil industry. We then conducted a local assessment of people’s issues, which indicated that most people in our community were experiencing negative impacts because of the oil development. 

In July of 2014, a pipeline operated by Crestwood Midstream Services Inc. broke and spilled one million gallons of produced water just uphill of Bear Den Bay and our drinking water intake. Not long after, in August 2014, another Crestwood pipeline broke and spilled 250,000 gallons in the Independence area east of Mandaree near Lake Sakakawea. Crestwood was not held accountable, nor were they fined. Pipelines continue to spill in the Mandaree area, and the grasses, shrubs, and trees stand dead around those 2014 pipeline spills, and the salt contamination continues to spread.

Every direction you look here there are gas flares. Every year the oil and gas industry releases millions of tons of methane into the air in North Dakota. Between 2009 and 2014 alone, oil and gas producers on public and tribal lands vented, flared, and leaked about 375 billion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s enough to supply more than five million homes for one year. Our air is being polluted and our state and tribal tax dollars are being burned or vented into the atmosphere. In North Dakota, oil development has overwhelmingly outpaced gas capture due to lack of infrastructure, a major oversight that has left reservations and public lands open to unnecessary flaring; and the oil industry has been given a free pass to wilfully waste a valuable, finite resource.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Pipeline markers with drilling rig, Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, March 2019. © Angela Anderson

Methane is the second largest contributor to human caused global warming after carbon dioxide. It has a global warming potential that is 86 times greater than carbon dioxide. In addition to methane, natural gas leaked and vented from oil and gas development also contains volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants such as benzene, a known carcinogen. Long-term exposure to these emissions result in health impacts such as asthma, cancer, neurological damage, pulmonary reduction, coronary problems, endocrine disruption, and headaches. The impact can be devastating if we’re breathing in carcinogenic material that is a result of the oil and gas production.

Creating and strictly enforcing environmental laws and policies to regulate oil and gas development is very important. Environmental racism is real. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a prime example, because when the white community of Bismarck said no, it was rerouted to just north of the Standing Rock Reservation. Right now in North Dakota, government agencies under tribal, state, and federal leadership, together with industry are destroying the earth for money. We need monitoring, research, testing, and studies that show the environmental and human health impacts of exposure. We were taught that if you destroy Mother Earth, you destroy yourself. The intruders can leave whenever they want; we don’t have that option. We will have to deal with the aftermath of the irreparable environmental destruction. These white people are only here to profit off our oil, which is another flood of the same invaders who came to our lands centuries ago. We have continuously been forced to assimilate to live how their society thinks is the only way. Everything has been taken repeatedly, every promise broken. And we have to accept it. Our lands have been taken, mined, and extracted of resources that will never be available again because of white man’s GREED. It’s destroying us.


Lisa Finley-DeVille is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. She is cofounder and creator of grassroots group of Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (POWER), a board member of the Dakota Resource Council (DRC) and of the Western Organization of Resource Council (WORC) and a member of DRC Oil and Gas Task Force. She served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) in Washington, D.C.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Active oil and gas producing wells, Fort Berthold, December 2017. Map by Tanya Sand-Driver and Lisa Finley-DeVille

Acknowledging Disillusion by Jodi Rave

I live in a little community on the south side of the Little Missouri River. My home sits atop a high bluff overlooking the little river before it flows into Lake Sakakawea. When I look across the river channel, I’m glad I don’t live on the other side of the water. It’s the land of fire.

When I cross the water, I see hundreds of natural-gas burning flares. This is the land of oil and gas fields, the Bakken shale formation. My little community of Twin Buttes is located on the south side of the Fort Berthold Reservation. We see significantly less oil production than the north side. I think I’m spared from living next to battalions of flares and oil pump jacks, but there’s a lot more happening that I can’t see.

Oil companies drill using a process called hydraulic fracking – a chemically-laden, technically-invasive practice used to extract oil in tight shale formations miles beneath the earth’s surface. The process not only unlocks oil from rock, but also unleashes byproducts like natural gas.

The gas gets burned in flare stacks which emit air pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, and soot. Natural gas is typically burned because there is not enough infrastructure to capture it. Instead, it’s set on fire and burned into the atmosphere. The process of extracting oil from shale also releases ethane into the atmosphere. The Bakken oil and gas fields extend across North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan, Canada.

University of Michigan researchers found that oil and gas production in the Bakken emits about two percent of global ethane. While ethane emissions had been decreasing across the planet, drilling in the Bakken has led to a global ethane spike. Ethane, like methane, is a greenhouse gas, which can damage air quality and effect climate. Oil production in the Bakken releases 250,000 tons of ethane per year, according to the Michigan study.

My son, James »Jimmy« Brugh, and his family live on the north side of Lake Sakakawea. Like many families who live on Fort Berthold, my son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren feel the direct brunt of massive oil production. Their home is located in a »sweet spot« of the Bakken oil shale deposit, an area with some of the highest producing wells in North Dakota.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Jayley, Max and Alexandrea Brugh observe the pump jacks and fl ares from the deck of the family home in the Four Bears community on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. © Victoria Windy Boy

The Brughs are surrounded by oil rigs, pump jacks, gun-toting security forces, semi and truck traffic, light and sound pollution, oil field trespassers, natural-gas burning flares, and transient workers. After years of drilling and fracking new well sites, oil companies have turned Fort Berthold and my son’s backyard into an industrial zone. All his family members have ongoing health concerns related to the hydraulic fracking operations and burning flares that surround them.

More than 19,034 wells have been drilled in western North Dakota since the Bakken oil boom began. The state is now the second largest oil producer in the United States. I’ve seen my son physically and emotionally stressed because of the constant drilling, fracking, and flaring activity on the reservation and within the Four Bears community.

As a mother, I try to help my son the best I can. I see him having a hard time coping with devastating natural resource extraction and all the associated risks. I’ve often told Jimmy to write about his experiences hoping it might help him unwind. One day, he surprised me. He called me and said he wrote some poems. He inspired me to do the same.

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

A fire burned more than 8,000 acres on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota in early May 2021. © Jodi Rave Spotted Bear

Land for Sale by James Brugh

I damn sure ain’t Crazy Horse
But, I know how he felt
His world went to hell
On this thought, I do dwell

The land is for sale
Your souls are as well
Laws will not save you
They’re written to fail

Fight for your freedom
They’ll give you a cell
Put trust in your people
They’ll try to haul you to jail

Seems that these days
Honor is frail
I damn sure ain’t Crazy Horse
But, I know how he felt

Heart of a Warrior by Jodi Rave

Son says he ain’t no Crazy Horse
Yet, he carries a bow
Modern-day fur traders, oil corporations, hire security forces, armed with assault weapons,
Greedy men have to put on a show

Natural-gas flares dominate the Missouri River, the Badlands, the prairie
Goliath’s torches scorch the air
*VOCs, just what are we breathing?
Why treat us like the miner’s canary?

Tribal leaders eat greasy steaks
Dine alongside corporate cowboys, what can we do to please you?
Toxic spills poison the lake
Kleptocracy, Oligarchy rules, we’re here at your leisure

Who is the real wasicu? The fat taker?
Indian land for sale, sold to the capitalist bidder
Mother wills her son the beating heart of a warrior
Hold your bow high, son, be wise, consider

*Volatile Organic Compounds

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Drawing by Jayley Brugh, age 9

Ringside at the Fire of Affliction by Jodi Rave

Dad’s in the boxing ring,
Not such a shocking thing
Go Dad

Fight, Fight, Fight

Capitalists erect intrusive oil rigs, ‘Drill Baby Drill’
Family’s outside, trying to chill,
Cook a few hot dogs, put some burgers on the grill

Fight, Fight, Fight

Another round with Marathon Oil
Dad, please, don’t let your blood boil
It’s not easy to bear witness, to feel the recoil

Fight, Fight, Fight

Take a rest, Dad
Don’t get too crazy
Now’s not the time to be pushing up daisies

Fight, Fight, Fight

Oil field workers here to make a quick buck,
No cares, no worries, carry on like a schmuck
If Dad was in charge, they wouldn’t run amok

Fight, fight, fight

Back in the boxing ring, swinging,
Next round, no one to stop the bell from continually ringing
Sometimes, watching ringside can be an alarming thing

Fight, fight, fight

Dad, bring this match to an end
Mom’s bringing home a baby,
Remember who she is

A good mom
A good woman
A good lady

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

The Burden by James Brugh

Oil companies, tribal leaders,
You put a gun to my head
And tell me it’s for my own good
Am I better off dead?
Or do I fight like anyone would?
I cling to life
As you throw it away,
Shedding tears as I watch
You lead us to our graves
I wonder and pray
Do I fight for what’s left?
To let you ruin it anyway?
Or do I take from you
Your power to destroy what love remains?
I’ve been burdened long enough,
It’s time for you to go
I have more to live for,
More than you’ll ever know
While my trust in you has vanished
Resilience and strength have grown,
It’s time for things to change
In due time it will be shown

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Natural gas fl ares burning in Mandaree, North Dakota on the Fort Berthold Reservation, 2020. © Jodi Rave Spotted Bear

Goodbye Settlers by Jodi Rave

Euro-immigrants arrive upon the Indigenous lands of the Americas
Far away, they’ve left behind the bones of their ancestors

Colonizers wreak havoc in the Land of Plenty

Men without consciousness,
Men without souls,
Men who defy the meaning of damage control

They arrive bearing small pox, full throttle genocide
Unquenchable thirst for riches
Pumping Mother Earth with viciousness

Colonizers wreak havoc in the Land of Plenty

Men without consciousness,
Men without souls,
Men who defy the meaning of damage control

My relatives, keep your faith, this shall all pass
Native sons, Native daughters, this is our land
We’ve been here for many a millennia, we’re the Center of Mass

Colonizers wreak havoc in the Land of Plenty

Men without consciousness,
Men without souls,
Men who defy the meaning of damage control

One day they’ll walk the path of the dead – so long
Goodbye invading settlers, barbarians of nature,
You’ve never been welcome, cheerio – be gone

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Reports From an Extraction Zone

Drilling rig as seen from my house. Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, 2021. © Jodi Rave Spotted Bear

Daughter Come Home by Jodi Rave

Beautiful Indian woman
Gone, #MissingMurderedIndigenousWomen

Dad searches for daughter,
days turn to months
She’s at the bottom of a lake,
lifeless woman in a truck

Sacagawea blankets her with moonlit tears
Ancient ones lift her to the Spirit World

Oliva Lone Bear, #MMIW
Babies miss mama


Jodi Rave Spotted Bear lives on a high bluff overlooking the last stretch of the Little Missouri River before it flows into the big Missouri. She is the founder of the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance and publisher of Buffalo’s Fire, a digital news site. She is currently a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Knight Science Journalism Fellow and is writing about oil production on the Fort Berthold Reservation in western North Dakota. James Brugh is her son.

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