“What a treat!” said the Standing Rock Sioux Falls tribe when Thomas and 92 others checked in at the reservation’s Cannon Ball Landmark. Though the tribe members weren’t expecting so many Vermont undergrads to pick up from their studies and fly halfway across the country to support a group they had never heard of until four days ago, they were nonetheless pleased to host so many “lovely, deeply empathetic individuals.”
Students at Middlebury are proud to be able to support the tribe, and are glad for this opportunity “to finally make a real difference.” One student lamented that this trip would have been much more convenient over fall break, only one week ago, but sadly, she hadn’t heard of this “pipeline thing” at that point.
Overall, it is unclear exactly when the Middlebury students will be returning to their classes. The country will continue to watch sadly as tensions grow between the reservation and the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, and tribe members risk their lives to stop its construction: but this tragedy is assuaged by knowing that the educated elite are willing to risk their Facebook status to stand up for what’s right.