The standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline project has put the spotlight on a tiny public radio station in Little Eagle, S.D., that has become a hub of news and information for the Standing Rock protesters gathered near the flashpoint sites in North Dakota.
KLND-FM bills itself as “the Lodge of Good Voices” and serves the areas of South Dakota’s Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Indian reservations. The NPR affiliate has signed on to simulcast the benefit concert on Sunday in Fort Yates, N.D., that will feature Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, Joel Rafael, and John Trudell’s Bad Dog.
The station’s presence has become vital to protesters amid complaints that the Standing Rock protest has drawn minimal coverage from the mainstream news media. Actress Kristen Wiig drew attention to the cause by wearing an “I Stand with Standing Rock” T-shirt during her hosting stint on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend.
Clashes between local police and protesters heated up on Sunday night as about 400 protesters sought to cross a bridge that has been shut down by authorities. Police use of water cannons to turn the group back has sparked outrage as the temperature dropped below freezing level on Sunday night. About 17 protesters were treated for hypothermia, according to local reports.
“I’m proud to be standing in support of the courageous and dedicated Water Protectors at Standing Rock. This movement is growing by the day with solidarity actions happening around the country, yet the media isn’t covering it nearly enough,” Raitt said in a statement. “Our hope is that this concert will help bring more awareness and media attention to the issues being raised at Standing Rock, and to put pressure on The Obama Administration to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline until protection of sacred sites is ensured.”
As many as 2,500 protesters and supporters have gathered at camps set up near Cannon Ball and Fort Yates along the Missouri River in North Dakota in an effort to block the work on a mile-long stretch of tunnel needed to complete the oil conduit designed to run from North Dakota to Illinois. President Obama delayed completion of the $3.7 billion project in September in order to give the company behind the pipeline more time to negotiate with local tribes.
KLND launched in 1997 as a project of the non-profit Seventh Generation Media Services Inc. It is the first radio or TV station to serve the tribal areas of South Dakota.
The station carries a mix of music, news, and lifestyle programming. On Wednesday afternoon, deejays were sending out dedications to residents including those in the protest encampments. Among the tunes were the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Wild Horses.”