Today was a beautiful day at Oceti Sakowin Camp. The snow is melting quickly. This photo shows where our winter tent had been. We were able to clean up around the area fulfilling my first obligation to be here. Many familiar faces greeted us. The people worked busily trying to clear the camp with everything available to them. Of the 10,000 people who walked through this camp over the past several months, only a few hundred are here now to restore the natural beauty. Winter, rumors, and fear drove many away. It is hard to hear local media slander the Water Protectors and not report on the stellar effort and commitment that is being made.
When concerns grew today and people moved toward the #1806 bridge to see why police were moving the barricade, people talked to one another in calming voices, offering support to stay peaceful. I was reminded of the dignity and kindness that I witnessed here in months past. They expressed gratitude that the ambulances might be able to move more readily back to town, shaving thirty minutes off the drive. Of course, it would have been helpful had the authorities made contact with the camp before moving the barricades…we still hope and pray for mutual respect.
It had been difficult to be away from this camp over the past few weeks. It was hard to listen to social media feeds and read statements of police harassment, racist profiling, instigated chaos and inhumanity. It was confusing at times. It was disheartening at times. But the prayers and the people standing for the water and for their sovereignty never wavered. A voice would speak out in the darkness, lighting the way. It was not always the same voice. It did not come from one leader, one organization or one tribe. The voice of clarity was carried among many people and continued to guide. And the prayers brought me home again.
My hope to be here is to give support to the clean up. To support those who are facing court cases (please sign and share this petition), and to be witness to the ongoing effort of these very fine people who are battling numerous odds asking for our humanity to be restored and for the water to be protected.
Here is my new podcast site, Humanity Rising, with the first two episodes on the stand at Standing Rock. I hope to add some interviews while I am here.
Oh, and we will be there for Honoring Our Grandmothers, this Saturday, February 18 at Cheyenne River Camp.
I will do my very best to give you the most accurate and updated information daily. Best to you always; keep up the Good Fight. Love wins.
Thank you again Ryan of Standing Rock Rising for the great photo!