“In meeting with the mission of the FNECC and IU to create educational opportunities outside of the classroom, we wanted to invite several people in who can talk about broad and specific aspects of what’s going on with the No Dakota Access Pipeline movement,” continued Belle. “We’ve invited people from the IU and Bloomington communities, Indianapolis, and throughout the state in an effort to connect all the different people who are in support of the movement and working in Native communities, to educate people wo don’t know about it yet.”

Moderated by the FNECC’s Heather Williams, panelists included: Dr. Joe Varga, an IU Labor Studies professor with experience in labor disputes; Dr. Stephanie Kane, an anthropologist who recently worked on a project involving water rights just over the U.S.-Canada border from the Standing Rock reservation; and Nick Greven, an IU graduate student in Latin American and Caribbean Studies who focused on nonviolent direct action.

While the movement has been overshadowed by events such as the ongoing Presidential election campaign, it has gained steady momentum as various celebrities have started to lend their support and created awareness of the issues. Sitting in the audience at Tuesday’s FNECC discussion were five IU freshmen—Natalia Kuzbiel, Maggie Gates, Rachel Doehla, Arianne Kelley, and Dylan Williams—who traveled to North Dakota and volunteered at the protests.