It was about this time last year that Internet was eventually established at Standing Rock in North Dakota:
— Geeks Without Bounds (@GWOBorg) November 18, 2016
In the video below teacher and Geeks Without Bounds Director Lisha Sterling gives an epic breakdown of the process by which said Internet was established at Standing Rock (as well as many of the circumstances of the standoff at the time). The video includes a bunch of images and pictures that I had never seen before – pictures that only someone on the ‘front lines’ can take. I thank Lisha for sharing her story, and for publishing this talk on the LinuxFest Northwest YouTube channel:
Before October, the only Internet at the main camp at Standing Rock, Oceti Sakowin, was via mobile phone on “Facebook Hill”. Geeks Without Bounds and Red Cloud Defense Network reached out to leaders at the camp to ask if they’d like something a little more robust, and that started an adventure in culture, politics, and computer networking. This is a story of listening to the desires of the community, building compromise and consensus, wading through unfamiliar political processes, and fielding the constant emails from outside telling me that they could get internet into camp “really easy”. It’s also a story about Ubiquiti gear, Linksys routers, Baufeng radios, and renewable power. Oh, and a book, with a dog on the cover, that flew to Tanzania.
This is a talk that straddles both the human side of things and infrastructure. The technical side is not too deep, so it is good for any technical level.