Mni Wiconi/Water Is Life: Honoring the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and Everywhere in the Ongoing Struggle for Indigenous Sovereignty

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Product Details

George F Thompson Publishing
Publish Date
10.3 X 11.2 X 1.1 inches | 3.9 pounds

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About the Author

John Willis is Professor of Photography at Marlboro College and a co-founder of the In-Sight Photography Project ( and Exposures Cross Cultural Youth Photography Program ( He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fel-lowship in Photography after Views from the Reservation was first published in 2010. His photographs are in more than sixty collections, including the Amon Carter Museum, Center for Creative Photography, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, J. Paul Getty Museum, Heard Museum, High Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Muse-um of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Gallery of Art. His other books are Recycled Realities, a collaborative effort with photographer Tom Young (Center for American Places, 2005) and Views from the Reservation: A New Edition (George F. Thompson Publishing, 2019). His Website is
Shaunna Oteka-McCovey, a member of the Yurok Tribe, is an environmental lawyer, writer, and poet, and the author of The Smokehouse Boys (Heyday Books, 2005).
Terry Tempest Williams is an environmental activist and the author of fifteen books, including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place (Pantheon Books, 1991), Finding Beauty in a Broken World (Pantheon Books, 2008), and The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2015).


"Lest we Forget, John Willis has created an extraordinary document on Standing Rock, where the Water Protectors initiated a movement that offers a fresh indigenous model for future protests. This is an important book, a striking compendium of photographs, art, and deeply moving statements by native activists and allies that reveals the daily workings of the camps and offers spiritual and political incentives to continue the struggle. The images and texts convey the inspirational immediacy of participants' experiences, resurrecting the energy that will continue to spark resistance. Standing Rock was not a failure, as some would have it, but a beginning."--Lucy R. Lippard, author of Partial Recall: Photographs of Native North Americans
"John Willis's powerful and empathetic photographs from Standing Rock are an essential and unforgettable document that let us all be witness to the injustice perpetrated on indigenous Americans who for countless generations have been the guardians and protectors of their sacred lands and waters."--Kevin Bubriski, documentary photographer and author of Portrait of Nepal and Power Places of Kathmandu: Hindu and Buddhist Holy Sites in the Sacred Valley of Nepal
"In Mni Wiconi, John Willis and his contributors bear witness to the sacrifice and spiritual dedication of thousands of people who supported the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on sacred grounds. Their pictures and words allow those of us who were not present to appreciate the perseverance of people committed to protecting the safety and sovereignty of a local community against corporate power. They honor and preserve the prophetic power of the community that came together at Standing Rock and assure that the community's message will be heard for years to come."--George Miles, Curator, Beinceke Rare Book Library Collection of Western Americana, Yale University
"it has impressed me as a very important and timely book, and also one which is to be lauded for its inclusion of many voices"--Photomonitor