Court Update: Two October 22nd Cases Resolve With One Acquittal, One Conviction

With Zero NoDAPL Cases Remaining on the Court Calendar, WPLC Concludes its Criminal Defense Program in North Dakota Water Protector Katrina Silk and WPLC Cooperating Attorney Patricia Handlin after trial at the Morton County Courthouse (Photo by Teena Pugliese) WPLC Cooperating Attorney Patricia Handlin defended Water Protector Katrina Silk against five misdemeanor charges in two Read More

WPLC Concludes NoDAPL Criminal Defense Program in North Dakota

Organizational Milestone; Legal Harms Reduced for Hundreds of Water Protectors A statement from WPLC Board President Daniel T’seleie follows this release Frances Madeson, Communications Coordinator,, 412-616-0109 Learn more and sign up for our newsletter at Tuesday, February 5, 2019 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________   The Legal Tent at Oceti Sakowin where Water Protector Legal Collective was Read More

Press Release: 45 NoDAPL Cases Dismissed – Warrants Quashed Upon Review Ordered by Judiciary

ND prosecutors abandon dozens of cases due to no “good faith belief that the underlying charges can be proven”   (Bismarck, ND) On December 7, 2018, Water Protector Legal Collective received an early winter solstice gift that we have had to keep confidential until now. On behalf of the judiciary in the South Central Judicial Read More

New Bills Target Protesters, First Amendment

Part of the fallout from the NoDAPL resistance at Standing Rock is legislative. Two concerning bills have been introduced in the North Dakota State Legislature this session and are analyzed in this High Plains Reader article: SB-2044, which expands criminalization against protest and ‘conspirators’ and SB-2209, which helps private and public interests operate in the Read More

Beyond Standing Rock: WPLC Adopts New Vision and Mission Statements

WPLC board president Daniel T’seleie attending the two-day retreat from Radili Ko (also known as Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories) via video conference. Our retreat was facilitated by Jordan Marie Daniel of Wopila Consulting.   WPLC’s Board of Directors gathered with staff in Bismarck, ND for a two-day facilitated retreat at United Tribes College on December Read More

WPLC Publishes Inaugural Issue of Newsletter

Download it here: WPLC Inaugural Newsletter Over our two plus years of existence we’ve been the recipients of a good deal of press, some of which we’ve posted on our Media Coverage page. In each instance it’s been an opportunity to learn how others interpret the story of our work coordinating the mass legal defense for Read More

Court Update: Standing Rock Sioux Akicita James “Angry Bird” White Sentenced to Two Years of Supervised Release for Civil Disorder

James “Angry Bird” White at the Oceti Sakowin NoDAPL resistance camp (Photo by Jonathan Klett) Bismarck, ND: James “Angry Bird” White was sentenced in federal court on December 5, 2018 to time served plus two-years of supervised release and a $100 assessment pursuant to a non-cooperating plea agreement. Though the prosecution had requested a term Read More

Court Update: Citing Last Month’s Jessee Decision, ND Supreme Court Serves Up Another Big Win for Water Protectors

Mark Hebert and April Olson after his appeal hearing in federal court in Bismarck Bismarck, ND: Today, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled in favor of Water Protector Mark Hebert, reversing his lower court conviction arising out of a November 15, 2016 prayer walk in commemoration of missing and murdered Indigenous women. He had attended Read More

Court Update: Last Child Camp Case Dismissed; Judge Says State’s Case ‘Fails to Meet the Smell Test’

All Charges Dismissed for Water Protector Waste’Win Young, former Historic Preservation Officer for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Waste’Win Young (third from left)  with her WPLC defense team, family and friends after the 1st of 2 hearings on her Motion to Dismiss, held on October 5,  2018. North Dakota District Judge David Reich today dismissed Read More

Take Action Against Colonialism: Support Indigenous Prisoners

I ask, what must we do to be a good caretaker of this land, to be a good relative, to protect all things sacred, to ensure that our future generations carry love, strength, compassion and the knowledge of how to care for the earth, for each other, and for their future generations?. . . Our Read More

Press Release: WPLC Receives 2018 Arc of Justice Award

North Dakota Human Rights Coalition confers award for ongoing legal defense of Water Protectors Mandan, ND: At a ceremony today in Fargo, ND, an award was conferred by the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition upon Water Protector Legal Collective for championing the human rights of Water Protectors arrested in the NoDAPL resistance at Standing Rock Read More

Press Release: Water Protector Wins Appeal at North Dakota Supreme Court

UPDATED on December 2, 2018: WPLC Cooperating Attorney Melinda Power called the Jessee decision: “a good victory for… everyone arrested on November 15th…”. Power was right. Another of her clients with the same charges from the same day,  Water Protector Brian O’Keefe, who’d been scheduled to stand trial on November 27, had his charges dismissed by Morton Read More

Press Release: Chief Judge Daniel L. Hovland Grants Downward Variance: Dion Ortiz Sentenced to 16 Months for Civil Disorder

Dion Ortiz at home in San Felipe Pueblo, New Mexico Bismarck, ND: Dion Ortiz was sentenced on October 22, 2018 to a 16-month federal prison term pursuant to a non-cooperating plea agreement, becoming the fourth Water Protector arrested in relation to the DAPL pipeline resistance at Standing Rock to be sentenced to a substantial prison Read More

Press Release: Michael “Rattler” Markus Sentenced to 36 Months, Will Self-Surrender in November

Photo: Michael “Rattler” Markus with partner Olive Bias (on left) and WPLC attorney Sandra Freeman after yesterday’s sentencing hearing in federal court in Bismarck Bismarck, ND: Michael “Rattler” Markus was sentenced yesterday to a 36 month federal prison term pursuant to a non-cooperating plea agreement, becoming the third Water Protector arrested in relation to the Read More


For Immediate Release MEDIA ADVISORY FROM WATER PROTECTOR LEGAL COLLECTIVE September 25, 2018 For More Information or to Arrange Post-Sentencing Interviews, Please Contact: Frances Madeson, Communications Coordinator Cell: 412-616-0109 Email: WATER PROTECTOR MICHAEL “RATTLER” MARKUS TO BE SENTENCED FOR CIVIL DISORDER, JUDGE DANIEL E. HOVLAND PRESIDING Under his non-cooperating plea agreement, the Use of Read More