Water Protector Legal Collective provides legal support, advocacy, and knowledge sharing for Indigenous centered and guided environmental and climate justice movements.  

Born out of the NoDAPL protest movement, our founding mission has been to serve as the on-the-ground legal team for the Indigenous-led resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock, North Dakota.  Since we first came at the request of tribal leadership and set up our office in a tent in Oceti Sakowin, WPLC has been providing legal defense and offense to the Water Protector Movement.

As an organization, we are guided by our shared Vision – grounded in our belief that Indigenous peoples have a unique and profoundly important role to play to stem the tide of the unfolding climate emergency we are living in. This vision is in part a result of the inspiration we draw from the transformative experiences that some of us glimpsed and others of us lived at the NoDAPL resistance camps at Standing Rock:

We envision a world where Indigenous peoples are centered and guiding the world to protect the environment for all.

After receiving requests for assistance from Indigenous-led struggles in multiple regions we took stock of what skills and experience WPLC has to offer. In addition to our core legal support work, we recognized that education and skill-development for Indigenous people is a central component of our work, as is sharing legal information as a means to building agency and power in the struggle for liberation and against environmental destruction and racism. We crafted a new mission that gives us a framework for determining our future programatic work:

Water Protector Legal Collective provides legal support, advocacy, and knowledge sharing for Indigenous centered and guided environmental and climate justice movements.

WPLC is a diverse group of people from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. The thread that ties us together is that we are called to protect those who stand up to protect the environment and climate. We remain deeply honored for the opportunity to be a part of this growing movement and to continue this important work beyond Standing Rock.

Please read more about our Mission and Vision here.


Support Water Protector Prisoners!

Please write to these Water Protectors who are serving sentences on federal charges:

Red Fawn Fallis, Prisoner No. 16358-059, Unit E, Federal Correctional Institution, 5701 8th St., Dublin, CA 94568

Michael Giron (Little Feather), Centre, Inc. Residential Transitional Re-entry Center, 100 6th Avenue SE, Mandan, ND 58554

Michael Markus (Rattler), Prisoner No. 06280-073, FCI Sandstone, Federal Correctional Institution, PO Box 1000, Sandstone, MN 55072

James “Angry Bird” White, PO Box 755, Fort Yates, ND 58538

Follow our Water Protectors Prisoners page for details and updates


Mni Wiconi!  – Water is Life!


If you were arrested at Standing Rock and need legal information or resources, please visit our For Arrestees page.

Important information for anyone who spent time at Standing Rock is available on our Resources page.

The Water Protector Legal Collective logo was created by Lakota Hunkpapa artist Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy lll