cannonball river

On the day we call "Thanksgiving"

This is Bill. He's a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. His people have lived on and cared for this land for hundreds of years. I met him in the early morning hours on my first day at Standing Rock. His dog Angel introduced us, as dogs do. I was overwhelmed with the energy of this sacred place, and was walking towards media hill to acquire my press pass. I was unsure what the days ahead would bring. Bill's first words to me... "Thank you for being here." 

Tears immediately welled up in my eyes. "We need you," he said, "All of you. All of our allies, from all over the world. It really means a lot to us that you are here." And in that instant, I'm pretty sure my heart exploded within my chest. "Thank YOU for inviting us," I said, "It is a true honor", and I meant it from depths of my being.

Land sacred to these people is being destroyed. Again. This is nothing new. They stand in prayer. To protect the Water. To protect Mother Earth. Arms outstretched. Hearts wide open. 

This photo is from the day we call "Thanksgiving". Law enforcement was stationed on top of Turtle Island, a sacred site for the Standing Rock Sioux. Their ancestors are buried on that hill, and the police are stationed up there, parking, driving, walking all over it. There are snipers, there are guns, mace canisters in hand, fire hoses, all at the ready. All at the ready for the prayer & ceremony that is about to take place on the banks of the Cannonball River. 

Bill & his tribe, along with 300 other tribes, plus thousands of non-Native allies, are standing up for all of us. For Life. For Water. For your children. For Indigenous sovereignty. For peace. 

The Natives are fulfilling a prophecy - that the youth would rise up, and that people of all colors would stand together - to kill the black snake. Because the black snake brings with it great sorrow and great destruction. This prophecy is now - the black snake is DAPL - the Pipeline. This is happening in real time, and I still cannot quite find the words to illustrate the immensity of this movement. These are the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. This is The Great Sioux Nation. This river is their relative, and they will stand and pray until the black snake is defeated.

Standing Rock : Nov 27

"It's like being ripped from the womb", she said, and I think she was right....

Amidst tears, we packed up and drove away from Standing Rock today. I left a piece of my heart by that river. I prayed by that river. Sang songs to that river. Met people who are willing to die for that river.

The coming days, for me personally, will be full of driving and reflection. And I will share what I can as it comes to me. The coming days, for the tribes and their allies in North Dakota, will be full of prayer, of ceremony, of biting cold wind & snow, and an uncertainty about the future. 

For now what I want you to know is this... there are beautiful people all over the world, and an impossibly huge number of them are gathered at Standing Rock. 

I have been touched in ways I cannot yet explain. I am grateful. And I will do all in my power to get these voices of our Native People out into this great big world. Heart to heart. Human to Human. 

The shortest distance between a human being and the truth is a story, and I am honored to have been trusted with so many stories to share. 

Much Love, my friends. Much more to come. xo

Standing Rock : Nov 26

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I am humbled and grateful for the time I have spent here at Standing Rock. The people I have met, the stories I have heard, the wisdom that has been shared - I have truly learned so much, and I don't imagine that life will ever quite be the same. 

In the face of ongoing oppression, the Native people of these lands stand strong and brave. United. Peaceful. Prayerful. Building a community like no other. This is a beautiful movement, my friends, and I hope you will support it in whatever ways you are able. Come here. Stand with them. Divest from banks funding the Pipeline. Call the White House. Call the Governor of North Dakota. Sign petitions. Send money or supplies. Talk to your neighbors.

The coming days will be challenging, and the winter unforgiving. The camps are growing every day. The Army Corps of Engineers has issued an eviction notice for Oceti Sakowin Camp for December 5th. Hundreds of unarmed Veterans are arriving to stand with the Water Protectors on December 4th. Your prayers and your support will be needed.

Tomorrow we will hug our new friends, and begin the journey home. All your donations have been put to good use, and have been tremendously appreciated. Water is Life. And these Indigenous People, from over 300 tribes, along with their non-Native allies, are standing up for your drinking water and mine. For our Future. For the future of all life.

Water is life. Water is sacred. Water is everything. They know this, and it's time that we listen.