It takes a village — students support water protectors at Standing Rock


Taoseños came together to support a people and a cause very close to their hearts — Standing Rock's peaceful water protectors in North Dakota.

The students in the fourth, fifth and eighth grades made banners and t-shirts in support of the students that are busily protecting our most precious natural resource — water.

This was all done as part of TISA's new STEAM program created by Agnes Chavez. The idea was to design and print banners and t-shirts that would be delivered to the school that has gone up at Oceti Sakowin Camp. Joining them in facilitating their plan was artist Jason Rodriguez of ARTAOS, and Chris Lujan of Taos Pueblo, who shared his experience on the front lines at Standing Rock.

The students used banners donated by The Taos News, and with the help of Rodriguez's expertise and fully equipped printing studio, they transferred images of his designs onto the banners. Lujan helped facilitate the generation of ideas and slogans for the banners by sharing his first-hand knowledge of the issues surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline. After his presentation, the students wrote slogans and painted them upon the banners.

Statements such as, "Water is Life-DAPL is Death," "Earth is Us Don't Destroy It" and "Oil Without a Soul, Water with a Heart," were just a few of the sayings the students came up with.

The final community involvement came in the form of Chavez, who was on her way to Standing Rock and brought the banners, delivering them safely into the hands of the youth warriors. Chavez kept the TISA students in the loop by sending back images and video of the Indigenous Youth Tribal Council at Standing Rock holding the banners and thanking TISA for the heartfelt work.

The students all agreed it filled their hearts with pride having helped fellow youth by taking time out of their lives to protect our earth for all.

TISA is the Taos Integrated School of the Arts.