Clark College to feature course on the Océti Sakówin Encampment

Mature Learning program class begins Jan. 9

Clark College’s Mature Learning program is offering a five-week winter course entitled “The Return of the Great Sioux Nation,” taught by journalist Jacqueline Keeler, a member of the Oc?ti Sak?win (Standing Rock Sioux tribe). Keeler is currently reporting directly from the Dakota encampment.

Despite the news that the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline was halted and not granted an easement, the project will be affected by a new administration in January. This class offers an opportunity to see next steps unfold directly from sources at the site.

A variety of guest speakers who have been to the encampment will offer stories and testimony as well as an exploration of the painful and difficult history of American Indian tribes and their broken treaties with the United States. Clark College’s Native American Culture Club and staff member Anna Schmasow of the Standing Rock tribe are contributors to the course.

The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota are all a member of the Océti Sakówin — the seven council fires.

According to Keeler, the 1,168-mile-pipeline extending across four states from North Dakota to Illinois has sparked a prairie fire of united Native American resistance not seen since Wounded Knee, and is seen as a “return of the Great Sioux Nation.”

Protestors against the pipeline have been encamped in North Dakota since Sept. 1, sparking a movement across racial, geographic and generational lines.

The line, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, had been complete except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

The five-week course will be held Mondays at 1:30 p.m. from Jan. 9 – Feb. 13, 2017, at Columbia Tech Center, 18700 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. The registration fee is $58.

The mature learning program offers educational and cultural enrichment for adults 55 and older.

To register by the Jan. 9 deadline, call 992-2939, or visit