Honors College Pulse Series Features Students' Experience at the Dakota Access Pipeline

The next Honors College Pulse discussion will focus on the Pipeline Protest.
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The next Honors College Pulse discussion will focus on the Pipeline Protest.

In early March, honors students Austin Jackson and Madeline Williams jumped in their car and headed to the Sacred Stone Camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota and into the center of the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline.  

Jackson and Williams will share their experience on a panel with three U of A faculty members from 6-8 p.m. this Thursday in the Honors Student Lounge, Gearhart Hall Room 130. The panel will be followed by pizza and conversation as part of the Honors College Pulse Series. 

Jackson, from Mulberry, Arkansas and Williams, from Waco, Texas, are dual history and international studies majors. A human rights course with Jared Phillips, a clinical professor in international studies, inspired them to travel to North Dakota as part of a research project on how human rights issues play out on the national stage. Their goal was to immerse themselves in everyday life on the reservation. 

Williams said, "We saw firsthand what it was like to live in fear and trepidation, and were able to attend community meetings and see the implications of the pipeline construction." 

Jackson added, "We worked to help Sacred Stone move their camp off contested land and lived alongside those in the camp. Our experience has helped us approach our research in a different manner and given us a deep desire to learn more about the human rights struggle of the Native Americans."

Three U of A faculty members, all leading scholars of indigenous communities in the United States, will join Jackson and Williams to add their perspective. Stacy Leeds, dean of the School of Law, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and scholar of American Indian Law, will moderate the panel. Dean Leeds will be joined by Elliott West, Alumni Distinguished Professor of History and acclaimed scholar of the American West, and Sean Teuton, Cherokee Nation citizen, associate professor of English and director of the Indigenous Studies Program.

The Honors College Pulse Series encourages all U of A students to come together and discuss contemporary controversies from a variety of viewpoints. A November panel focused on student reactions to the presidential election. Future panels are planned for next year.


John D. Treat, director of development
Honors College
479-575-6775, jdt015@uark.edu

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College
479-575-2024, kcurlee@uark.edu

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