Standing Rock Reflections

I am home, held within the sweet caress of my husband. I am warm, I am resting, and I am grateful. I am overflowing.

It all feels a bit like a dream. Standing Rock. My brothers & sisters there are now living within a winter that has arrived with a fury. Just 24 hours after our departure, a foot of snow covered the ground, and the cold there will bite you to the bone.

I have much on my mind and in my heart. Overflowing. Much to share, and not exactly sure where to begin. Many who are headed to Standing Rock are asking for advice - and I think it makes sense to write a blog post specifically geared towards addressing those questions - not as any voice of authority - but only to share what I experienced, and to aid other allies in their preparations to the best of my ability. Expect that soon. xo

The situation on the ground there is changing daily. The Army Corps of Engineers has issued an evacuation notice for the main camp, known as Oceti Sakowin Camp, for December 5th. There are currently thousands of people camping there, and they have no intention of moving. There are over 2100 unarmed Veterans arriving on December 4th to Stand in Solidarity with the Water Protectors, and to act as a "human shield" between the lawless law enforcement and the Water Protectors. Various authorities in North Dakota have 1) asked local shops in neighboring towns to refuse service or supplies to anyone who is a part of the camps, 2) stated that emergency services will not be available to anyone in the main camp after December 5th, and 3) stated that law enforcement will be ticketing & fining people upwards of $1000 for delivering supplies the main camp. 

Whether or not you like pipelines, whether or not you drink water, regardless of how you feel about this whole situation, at the most basic human level, this is WRONG. Peoples lives are in danger. This winter can kill. Cutting off supplies in the dead of winter. Forceful eviction. Violent attacks during prayer and ceremony. Treating human beings this way is wrong on every level, and unfortunately this treatment is nothing new for our Native Americans. It's time we stand up. It is time that we Listen, Learn, and Lend a Hand, in whatever way we are able.

As members of the human race, we have a right to protest. We have a right to free speech. And our Native Americans most definitely have every right to pray, on their own land, to hold ceremony, and to peacefully assemble. They are standing up for YOU. They are praying for our Mother Earth, for our water, and for YOU. If there is no clean water, there is no life. They are asking us to listen, to forge a new path, to build a new future.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for joining me on this journey. Thank you for listening as I process. Thank you for divesting your money from banks funding this madness. Thank you for calling those responsible for these crimes against humanity. Thank you for being you. 

If you would like to follow the story, as it progresses on the ground, I recommend following any/all of these folks.... Dallas GoldtoothKandi MossettIndigenous Environmental NetworkIndigenous Rising MediaJohn Wathen.

More to come. Much Love, y'all. xo

Standing Rock : Nov 23

I'm not sure that I have words for today, but I'll try.... and I'll begin with gratitude. Gratitude for the invitation to come here, to be able to answer the call for "moccasins on the ground", to stand with these brave and Peaceful Water Protectors. Gratitude for the opportunity to learn about a history that has been hidden, erased. Gratitude for Rosebud camp, for the sacred fire and for the Elders who graciously share their wisdom and stories. Gratitude for this community. Gratitude for life, and water, and friends, and the opportunity to stand here and stand up for future generations. Gratitude.

I am exhausted. In the best way possible. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and most of us in the United States will give thanks and feast on beautiful food. Gratitude is important, and knowledge is power. I am beginning to learn how dark a day Thanksgiving is for our Native Americans. And I challenge you tomorrow to dig deep, seek knowledge of erased histories, seek answers, talk about the hard stuff, and practice compassion - on yourself and others - on a day that, for our Native Americans, is quite different from the one that we, as non-Natives, are accustomed to.

I am truly amazed at the power of this place and this sacred ground. Community is the answer, my friends. Our shared future depends on our shared present. We must work together, every day, to foster Love, and to create a world in which there is room for all of us, not just some of us. I am gathering stories here, I am crying, I am praying, I am humbled, and I cannot wait to share these moments with you. 

I miss my sweet husband and my family terribly, but I cannot think of a better place to spend Thanksgiving of 2016 than right here. Right here - alongside a movement like no other. Over 300 tribes have gathered here in solidarity - to stop the black snake - to protect our water, our lives, and our future. This is huge, my friends, and I am honored for the opportunity to share this time and this space with such beautiful people. Truly. 

With all my love & gratitude. Water Is Life. Mni Wiconi.