Oglala Lakota tribal member Michael Markus (Rattler) was charged alongside 5 indigenous water protectors...

...that aided others in the resistance camps engaging in nonviolent direct action to stop the desecration and construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) near the Standing Rock reservation in the years 2016-2017.

RattlerHe's currently incarcerated at FCI Sandstone (federal prison), serving a three year sentence from a non-cooperating plea for Civil Disorder, a charge that has mainly been given to those engaging in resistance movements (American Indian Movement, Black Liberation Movement, Anti-Vietnam War protestors, NoDAPL Water Protectors, etc.)

Rattler served as Akicita, a continuation of a traditional role among the Lakota that protect the peace and hold their own people accountable of their responsibilities for the collective. He gave necessary knowledge of militarized police tactics, scouting of DAPL, aided de-escalation during nonviolent direct actions, and helped those within camp to be safe and sober.

He's a Marine veteran. His Lakota name is Mato Tanka (Big Bear). He pledged five years ago to dance the sacred Sundance and carry a sacred pipe (Canupa) for all life that coexist together. His own statement can be read below:

"My understanding of being a Sundancer is you're giving of yourself for the People; you sacrifice yourself for the welfare of the People. Being Akicita in camp was the best sacrifice I've given so far. It's not only for ourselves but the next generation...I consider it an honor because my Great Great Great Great Grandfather is Chief Red Cloud (Mahpiya Luta) of the Oglala Lakota People. Once you're Akicita, you're Akicita for life. I hope I honor my ancestors by doing this, and carrying on this tradition.

The Bismarck Unitarian Universalists and the federal defendant's families are actually working with us, the federal co-defendants from the Standing Rock camps, so false info and resources don't get put up...to make sure support goes directly to us.

I want to thank everyone for the support given to me and all the federal co-defendants; be it letters, five bucks, we appreciate everything you all are doing. I love you all.

The best thing I can say to you is even with these federal charges, I'm not afraid to go back out there...This is for future generations. What are you going to leave them? Are you going to leave them a legacy they'll be proud of? What kind of world do you want your grandchildren to live in? When I get out, the fight isn't over. I'm gonna jump right back in. When I get out, I've got your back.

I don't want credit for anything...you know, I'm just a flea like everybody else, and us fleas gotta stick together to make the big dog ITCH."

September 27, 2018, the day he was sentenced to three years imprisonment: "They may lock me up, but thousands will take my place."