Standing Strong
Standing Strong
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North Dakota, United States

The story takes place first on the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana, then moves to the (fictional) Standing Stone reservation in North Dakota.

Present Day

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Submited by: GARY ROBINSON (Writer)
Associated to:

7th Generation/Native Voices Books

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The life of a suicidal Native American teen girl is transformed when she joins protestors trying to stop construction of oil pipeline across sacred Native land.


Inspired by events at the Standing Rock DAPL oil pipeline protest, this story focuses on seventeen year old Rhonda Runningcrane who lives on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana. After her best friend successfully takes her own life, the same thing Rhonda attempted and failed at a few months earlier, Rhonda feels hopeless, directionless. Encouraged by her uncle, the girl decides to gather food and clothing donations to take to the distant Standing Stone reservation when she learns of the large-scale protest taking place there. Arriving at the site with two of her friends, Rhonda feels immediately drawn to the whole affair. She stays and volunteers to help around the camp, relying on skills learned from her uncle. The camp population balloons dramatically as more and more people join the cause. Meanwhile, the construction company and law enforcement agencies resort to violent means to disperse protestors. Rhonda becomes even more invested in the cause when an intuitive tribal elder, the very woman who began the protest, invites Rhonda to stay with her in her RV. Finally, in the dead of winter, county and state law enforcement agencies rally to rid the project of protestors once and for all by turning water cannons on the camp and forcibly removing anyone left standing. Although defeated, Rhonda and the elder vow to continue the fight as they learn of other planned oil pipeline projects that will cross Native American lands and waterways. With a new, fulfilling sense of purpose in her life, Rhonda pledges herself to be a "Water Protector Forever."

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Cast Wish-List
  • Rhonda Runningcrane
    Female 17 Years old
  • Adam Beach
    Adam Beach as Uncle Floyd
    Male mid-forties Years old
  • Maxine Little Moon
    Female 80 Years old

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