Justice and Sovereignty

Photo by Lucian Read

Drop the Charges!

Defend the sacred. Protect the protectors. Sign the petition asking North Dakota to drop all charges against the peaceful and prayerful water protectors of Standing Rock.

Upholding Native Rights

For five decades, from Wounded Knee to Standing Rock, our leaders have championed indigenous justice. Now, our chief counsel, Daniel Sheehan, is defending LPLP lead local counsel Chase Iron Eyes and other water protectors charged with serious crimes for their peaceful and prayerful stand against the Dakota Access pipeline. Through this case, we will expose the collusion of state and federal governments with the fossil fuel industry—and their mutual goal to silence the people for the sake of profit.

Pipeline Battle Shifts to Courts

The Fight Continues

Chase Iron Eyes pleads not guilty to all charges. Water protectors worldwide call for people to divest from the banks that fund DAPL.

Caption: Photo by Toben Dilworth, Rainforest Action Network

#NoDAPL Fight Begins

In the spring, members of the LPLP team — including lead counsel Chase Iron Eyes and tribal liaison Madonna Thunder Hawk — become involved in resistance camps on 1851 Oceti Sakowin Treaty land formed to stop the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). LPLP provides media support on the ground and begins circulating petitions in opposition to DAPL, which violates Lakota treaty rights and threatens Standing Rock‘s water supply.

Daniel Sheehan Asked for Assistance

Voices of Women, Parents Who Care Coalition, and grandmothers from across the state approach constitutional trial attorney Daniel Sheehan of the Romero Institute, and request that he investigate egregious abuse in non-Native treatment facilities and foster homes.


American Indian Movement (AIM) activists protest federal government policies in relation to the tribes. LPLP Tribal Liaison Madonna Thunder Hawk is present at the occupation of Alcatraz.

The movement comes to a head at the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. 200 Native activists seize control of the town, where in 1890 U.S. Cavalry massacred 146 Sioux, to demonstrate their growing discontent over relations with Tribal president Richard Wilson. From 1974 to 1976, the state attempts to break up the occupation. Violence erupts, resulting in the deaths of sixty AIM activists and two FBI agents. Activist Leonard Peltier is arrested and charged with—and later convicted of—the murders of the FBI agents.

Boarding School Era Begins

The first Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School opens with the goal to “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Hundreds of thousands of Native children are placed in white-run boarding schools, where they suffer abuse, neglect, and forced assimilation.

Second Treaty of Fort Laramie

The US government fails to enforce the 1851 treaty after it is broken by settlers. Instead, they ratify a new treaty that grants ownership of the Black Hills in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana to the Lakota, Yanktonai Dakota, and Arapaho Nations—in exchange for ending Red Cloud’s War. A provision in the treaty calls to “ensure the civilization” of Native children by providing them with an “English education.” This marks the beginning of the American Indian boarding schools and the formal process of cultural genocide.