+

A recent wave of support seems to be reviving spirits in Standing Rock, North Dakota, as pipeline protests continue.

Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.

Since Aug. 22, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, along with many protestors, have stood their ground protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline — a 1,172-mile pipeline that will pump oil dangerously close to the tribe's water supply. Despite the fact that protestors have by and large remained peaceful "protectors of the water," authorities have injured many and arrested hundreds.


But the world's been watching, and people across the globe refuse to just sit by and witness the inhumane treatment these protestors are experiencing simply for trying to protect their land.

Support is being sent in many forms — from the tangible to the virtual.

Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.

In just the past week, hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook "checked in" to Standing Rock to help protect protestors from possibly being tracked by law enforcement. A crowdfunding campaign to help with legal and camp costs that had a goal of $5,000 just broke $1 million. Actor Mark Ruffalo delivered solar panels to the protest grounds so they had access to sustainable energy.  

One of the more resonant reinforcements to date, however, was a powerful, visual message of solidarity from the Māori — the indigenous people of New Zealand.

Māori people performing the haka at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Photo via Tylee Hudson/Facebook, used with permission.

These Māori people are doing a haka — a dance and war cry traditionally performed on the battlefield, but it is often done today as an expression of pride, unity, and strength. According to Tylee Hudson who shot the video, this group was doing an Utaina haka, which specifically symbolizes working together for the greater good.

She said she hopes the haka will remind her indigenous brethren that they're not alone in this fight. The video has more than 900,000 views. Other similar videos, like one of a man performing a haka on the front lines at Standing Rock, have started popping up too.

The message of unity across tribes has been sent loud and clear.

And thanks to Facebook groups like Haka Standing with Standing Rock, with its over 27,000 members, that message will continue to reverberate around the world. As their haka declares in its first line, "The challenge has been laid down." Now it's time for others to pick up the gauntlet and join the fight.

But the haka is more than just a battle cry and more than just a powerful expression of solidarity. It's a whole culture of people standing behind a cause that's all too familiar to them.

Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images.

The Māori tribes, like so many tribes in America and around the world, have experienced oppression akin to what the Sioux are going through at Standing Rock.

Hudson is a member of the Ngati Awa and Tūhoe Māori tribes, which he says are no strangers to government pushback.

"Our role as kaitiaki, or guardians of the land, and tino rangatiratanga, the right to self-determination, is forever contested and challenged by the government," Hudson wrote in an email. Māori tribes often debate settlements with the government over land and rights, a common tale for most indigenous people.

It's one reason so many different indigenous tribes have joined the Sioux in their fight at Standing Rock. They, more than most, know what it's like to have their rights ignored and ultimately overthrown.

Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images.

There is, however, a sliver of hope in all of this unfair treatment.

Efforts made by the Māori recently resulted in a settlement with the New Zealand government wherein human rights were granted to the Te Urewera rainforest. It's just one example of a government recognizing the importance of the land not only to the people living on it, but to the world as a whole.

It will be much tougher for the Sioux to gain ground against Energy Transfer Partners, the private company funding the pipeline. But, they've got an army of support that is fed up with this injustice and growing stronger by the day. In fact, a $2.5 million donation was reportedly just made by an anonymous donor to release everyone who's been arrested at Standing Rock.

There are many ways you too can show support without heading to the front lines.

Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images.

You can sign this Change.org petition to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. You can donate to the Sacred Stone legal defense fund, as the legal battle over DAPL is ongoing. You can also send specific, much needed supplies to the campground. Or join the Haka Standing with Standing Rock group to find out more and to enjoy the performative spirit of those uploading their own haka to show support.

The Sioux, like the Māori, and indigenous people all over the world, are fighting a war they've been fighting since colonization of their lands began. It's the fight to be treated fairly rather than pushed aside as they have been for centuries.

It's time for all of us, indigenous people or not, to stand behind them in any way we can, and shout to the powers that be with all our might — this is not how you treat people, is not how you treat the land, and this is not how you treat a culture.

There are few battles that warrant impassioned war cries more.

Watch the full Māorihaka here:

Māori Solidarity with Standing Rock Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi #standingwithstandingrock

Posted by Tylee Hudson on Saturday, October 29, 2016
via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Something joyful for everyone.

From sleepy pups to smooth skate moves, there's plenty of reasons to smile.

When the internet is full of dreary headlines, it’s even more important to balance it all out with things that spark joy.

Whether it comes from cute kids and animals, amazing art or wholesome acts of kindness, things that make us smile help remind our hearts that the world is indeed a big place, containing both the bad and the good. Sometimes it might take a little extra scouring to find what makes us smile, but Upworthy is here to make the search a little bit easier.

Without further ado, let’s get uplifted:

Keep ReadingShow less

Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

Keep ReadingShow less