Using Notions of Sovereignty to Fight for Mother Earth
Great Plains Action Society (formerly known as Indigenous Iowa) was created in August 2016 out of the No Dakota Access Pipeline movement in largely fought at the Standing Rock reservation and throughout Iowa. However founder, Christine Nobiss, had been working on building an Indigenous organization in Iowa for years, She has also been organizing in Canada since childhood and in the US since 2005. During the Standing Rock #NoDAPL sovereignty fight, Christine created a Facebook page called Iowa to the Camp of Sacred Stone in order to gather donations for the Standing Rock camps. With the integral support of the rest of the Indigenous Iowa council, the page grew into what is now a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. The council held its first official meeting on October 15, 2016
Great Plains Action Society is a part of the Indigenous resistance and was formed out of concern for Iowa's environment and for the future of earth’s people. Using notions of Indigenous sovereignty and traditional ideologies, we strive for environmental and social justice which are two issues that cannot be separated. As our climate changes, more people will suffer and our mission is to help prevent the atrocities that are occurring to our Mother and the people she nurtures.
One of our main goals is to raise awareness about the devastating effects that fossil fuels and Big-Ag have on our environment while simultaneously promoting the development and implementation of renewable energy and sustainable farming. Thus, we strive to educate and stop world conglomerates that have not yet woken up to the devastating reality that they have created for the rest of us inhabiting Mother Earth. We are also concerned about our home, Iowa, where farm and animal runoff have poisoned our land, air, and water. Iowa is the most biologically colonized state in the country and the number one contributor to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico due to Big-Ag and commercial infrastructure projects. Iowa is the only state bordered by the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers, the two largest rivers on Turtle Island. Though it is a unique and beautiful river valley, unfortunately, runoff from this state has a direct line to the Gulf of Mexico.
There are more than 14,000 Native Americans from various nations living in Iowa, but only one settlement- the Meskwaki. Due to the fertile and productive quality of Iowa's soil, settlers were very extreme about moving Natives Americans out of the area. For that reason, Great Plains Action Society seeks to coalesce the Native people and their allies in this state so we may act and speak with a collective, Indigenous-minded voice. Our aim, as the Seventh Generation is to work from traditional, cultural, and Indigenous perspectives thus recognizing that we are stewards for Mother Earth. We are constantly forming alliances with archaeologists, attorneys, tribal leaders, and other organizations passionate about environmental and social justice in order to bring our goals to the forefront of settler descendant society.