Libraries Respond: Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Libraries Respond logo

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");


In Spring 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux began a protest of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL for short, on their lands in North Dakota. DAPL is slated to connect the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota with other pipelines in Illinois and was mapped to go through lands belonging to Native American nations, including the Standing Rock tribe. The tribe and its supporters are demonstrating against the desecration of sacred lands, the abrogation tribal rights guaranteed by the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851), and the potential damage to the water supply.

For the members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the impact of the Dakota Access pipeline will be devastating environmentally, economically, and culturally. The Dakota Access pipeline, which is expected to dump 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois will taint the water supply, destroy the sacred and ancestral lands (including burial and prayer grounds) of the Sioux, and will add to the ongoing economic challenges the tribe currently faces. The fight to protect native and indigenous land is no new thing; however, the Dakota Access pipeline will further disenfranchise a group who already faces a myriad of challenges such as a devastating percentage of unemployment (86%) and a population (40%) living below the federal poverty line.

While the protests started at the grassroots level in March 2016, they did not garner national and international notoriety until September as law enforcement continued to utilize militarized tactics to confront the demonstrators. You can see how others reacted by following #NoDAPL.

Update: On July 7, 2020, a federal judge ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Pipeline until a more extensive review is completed.

DAPL on Intersections

"I started seeing posts and photos of protest about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in late August. I was surprised to learn the Dakota pipeline’s proposed route is only a few miles shorter than the more well-known Keystone XL pipeline but was receiving little media coverage. Some people called the lack of coverage a media blackout. I saw the conversation was larger than the pipeline itself because the issue was bringing Native people together in solidarity. I wanted to do my part to share current and relevant information about this important human rights issue that affects everyone, not just Native Americans." - Sarah Kostelecky, Education Librarian, University of New Mexico (read her full article in ODLOS' Intersections blog)

Follow the #noDAPL conversation with #librariesrespond

Libraries Respond - DAPL

Share your response and stories and join the ongoing conversation about #noDAPL on social media! Use the #librariesrespond hashtag when posting.


DAPL in Libraries

The Dakota Access Pipeline: Native American Perspectives - A LibGuide developed by Sarah Kostelecky, Education Librarian at the University of New Mexico that collects information about the DAPL protests, prioritizing resources written by Native people.


NPR "Stories About Dakota Access Pipeline"

Take Action - includes links to sign the petition, call the White House to voice your support, and donate to the Standing Rock fund.



Questions, concerns, and suggested resources are always welcome! Please email us at

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");