road to williston


video samples


Mending the Sacred Hoop
Trafficked: The Exploitation Of Women And Girls In The Bakken And Beyond
An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States
Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial That Forged a Nation
Idle No More
Indian Country Today Media Network : Posts about the Bakken Oil Fields
Indian Country Today Media Network : Brave Heart Women Fight to Ban Man-Camps, Which Bring Rape and Abuse
Indian Country Today Media Network : Unspeakable Poverty of Loss: Intergenerational Trauma and the Bakken Oil Fields
Honor the Earth : Resources
Honor the Earth : Impacts of Fracking on MHA Territories
This is Mandaree : A page documenting the effects of oil and gas development on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
Red Power Media : Oil & Gas Posts
Indigenous Environmental Movement
NY Times : Where Oil and Politics Mix
NY Times : The Downside of the Boom
NY Times : Bakken Crude, Rolling Through Albany (good map)
NY Times : In North Dakota, a Tale of Oil, Corruption and Death
Washington Post : Dark side of the boom
Truth Out : Hazardous Cargo: Shipping Highly Flammable Bakken Crude Oil by Rail
National Geographic : Bakken Shale Oil
Environment America : Fracking by the Numbers Key Impacts of Dirty Drilling at the State and National Level
Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation website
Fort Berthold
National Indigenous Women's Resource Center
Indigenous Nationhood Movement : Not Murdered And Not Missing
Last Real Indians : Posts by Melissa Merrick
Fort Berthold Coalition Against Violence
First Nations Women’s Alliance
Amnesty International : United States Of America: Maze Of Injustice: The Failure To Protect Indigenous Women From Violence
The Searchlight : Drug And Sex Trafficking Downside Of Bakken
NPR : Booming Oil Fields May Be Giving Sex Trafficking A Boost
Bakken Today : Bill backed by Klobuchar, Heitkamp would boost efforts to fight child sex trafficking
Bakken Today : Health care workers find their role in combating human trafficking
Bakken Today : Heitkamp says North Dakota faces challenge in dealing with human trafficking
Wagner Review : Oil and Women: Could Keystone XL Impact More Than Just the Economy?
The Women’s International Perspective (The WIP) : Recourse for Trafficked Native Women in the Duluth Harbor
Native News Online : Tillie Black Bear Walks On


by Sheila Packa

Metamorphosis (from Night Train Red Dust)

I woke as if on a dark
platform, everything departed.
Raining in the windows
into my sleep
stars or moon or mist,
I’ve travelled far,
the train erases its tracks.
It is not as if I did not know this —
is a drifting continent
stone of an iron mountain.
I turn toward it
as if my body were all voices
silenced and listening to the dark.
In the beginning
day from night and water from sky
now me
the way of all things.
The hands are feathers
they can not grasp or hold
anything but wind.

Spilled (from Cloud Birds)
for Ana Mendieta

so light
the trembling of leaves
in the water’s mirror
shadow of your contour
shoulder on shore
line of tree your spine
so dark
the stones depth cold hip
I trace the root
in the earth’s script
where you’ve cast runes
written yourself in blood
or feathers spilled and mud
taken up with gunpowder
returned what never returns
to the continent or your hands
memory of fire
that cast its spark
into the vast body giving birth
and reaching
the branch that breaks
beneath the feet
drew yourself upon a leaf
from a tree or upper story
lost with certainty
the perfect execution—
self was never the answer
only earth Road (from Cloud Birds) I was a road
traveling destinations
not my own
an escape, an exit, a promise
bringer of bridges
a story with no clear beginning
or end increased by telling
I was the merging
and lulled plenitude
with semaphore and symbol
amid miles
leading and following
opening and opening
a route of oncoming lights
rain and brakes and radio waves
way of anonymous occupants
lost in reality
crossed by the wild and invisible
not home but alternate
not vision
but place of daydream and collision

Immersion (from Echo & Lightning)

break without breaking
flow along invisible scores
course between continuous
ends, begin
touch, touch, turn
over the same skin
body around body
body of sky
body of iron
body of toss and turn
of shallow and deep
body of broken things
mud and weeds
cold and heat
body of minerals and salts
cells and sleep
body of shadows
of work and play
fall, go over
of birds in flight


heat without body
left in the breath
light without bone
shadow without night
given for deep exchange
ache by ache
birds fly through her
hands and feet
now on her knees
cold without stars
anchored adrift
deep without sides
rain without reach
rivers that either
hold or sweep
fall through her ribcage
fall from the sky
drift into sleep


snow reaches
into my body
exhales into wing
crosses rivers that split
and divide
night and its dreams
falls into dark rings
black veins
roots taut strings
in the half light
descends stairs without end
every day rises
from night's edge
comes through the gate
given to season or wind or age
disappears from the hand
in the next world received

(mary magdalene)

I poured the oil
to empty the vessel
(so much has been said)
and myself poured
until I was empty
like anyone
who needed an opening
to have a door, a solitude, a place
where I was alone
silence had a voice
that could be spoken for
would only give if I could give
would not speak
unless I sheltered it
the empty place
gave all I could
came and was not turned away
death the stone poured out
in the middle passage
where weight turned into light
and I was taken into language

Pour (from Cloud Birds)

I dance on the Divide
run against gravity
and translate the dead.
Tuesday carried me off
and sky came looking with birds.
The world reversed
and the river went the other way.
On the rapids
words flow forward —
words go back.
One deep winter in the north
it rained all day
until the ice broke free.
Maybe the star
that fell into me
the red coal
unknowingly sent the waves
away from shore,
upside down
to the old forces
that churn the molten sea.
I was iron and under siege.
Tuesday poured me out
in clouds of smoke and steam
cast me into steel beams.

media resources

film samples can be found at the on vimeo
listen to the soundtrack here
other related project audio can be found on soundcloud