Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 9:00am - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 1:00pm


Videos Available Below

“Defend the Sacred” by Ryan VizzionsEvents at Standing Rock from April 2016 to February 2017 altered the media landscape, created new ways to protect the water and land, and launched a resurgence of indigenous-centered leadership.  In May 2017, participants from the year-long encampment at Standing Rock, including two of the co-founders and some of the organizers of non-violent direct actions opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and indigenous media makers convened at UCSB to celebrate and discuss this unprecedented gathering and its relevance to our shared future.

Photo Credit: "Defend the Sacred" by Ryan Vizzions 

For profiles of our distinguished speakers and videos of the panel presentations, visit this page.

Wednesday May 17, 2017 /  7:30 PM

Red Lightning Dome, Visitor Center Lawn

SCREENING: Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock with filmmaker Myron Dewey

Click here for information on this Tribeca-selected documentary

Thursday May 18, 2017 / 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Red Lightning Dome, Visitor Center Lawn


A Presentation and Discussion with Johnnie Aseron, main facilitator at the Oceti Sakowin Camp Red Lightning Dome

Click here for more information about this event, and other Dome Events

Friday, May 19, 2017 / 12:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Girvetz 1004

CONFERENCE: “Water Is Life: Standing with Standing Rock”

12:30 PM:   Welcomes by Chumash elders and conference co-organizers

1:00-2:30 PM: Protecting the Land and the Water (click here for video)

Moderator: Margaret McMurtrey

Panelists: Mark Tilsen, Jasilyn Charger, and Joye Braun

3:00-4:30 PM: Media (click here for video)

Moderator: Todd Darling

Panelists: John Bigelow, Paula Antoine, and Myron Dewey

5:00-6:30 PM: Decolonization and Indigenous-Centered Leadership (click here for video)Photo by Brendan Byrne

Moderator: Paula Antoine

Panelists: Terrell Iron Shell, Joye Braun, and Michael Cordero

Saturday May 20 / 10:30 AM 

Anisq’oyo Park (Isla Vista)


Walk to the Red Lightning Dome, followed by words from our Standing Rock guests and local Chumash leaders, prayer, music, and dance

Water Is Life is presented by the Carsey-Wolf Center, the American Indian & Indigenous Collective, the American Indian Student Association, the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and Red Lightning (, and has benefitted from the generous support of the following co-sponsors: the American Indian & Indigenous Garden Alliance, the American Indian Graduate Student Association, the Center for Nanotechnology in Society, the College of Letters and Sciences, the Critical Issues in America theme “Climate Futures: This Changes Everything,” the Environmental Humanities Initiative, the LGBTQ Studies Minor, the Mellichamp Global Dynamics Initiative, the MultiCultural Center, the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Office of Student Affairs, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Art, the Department of Asian American Studies, the Comparative Literature Program, the Department of English, the Department of Environmental Studies, the Department of Feminist Studies, the Feminist Studies Hull Chair, the Department of Film & Media Studies, the Film & Media Studies Parks and Walker research funds, the Department of French & Italian, the Department of German & Slavic Studies, the German & Slavic Studies Weber research fund, the Department of History, the Department of History of Art & Architecture, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Lupi research fund, and the UCSB Faculty Association.