This was a scary day today here in the Rosebud/Sicangu camp. Following all the arrests yesterday, there was a call for everyone to move to the front line camp. Roads were blocked, and if you went into town, you may not be able to get back.
The Medic/Healer teams have been busy with injuries and psychological trauma from yesterday. I have not been doing medical or first aid on this side of the river, just herbs and learning with traditional healers here, but since I arrived, I have been working to set up a medic station that follows safe practices and would be warm. I have been coordinating with the other Medics/Healers, but progress is slow. Everyone here is working hard under really difficult conditions. Volunteers often stay such a short time, coordination is challenging.
We were in the process of moving to the new space when the call came in that I needed to get the big canopy ready for injuries if the military raided. The canopy was being used for storage and has no heat. We were also told to be ready to evacuate to Sacred Stone Camp, as it is private land. Fortunately, two ER nurses showed up and quickly helped to get the station ready. Dr Erica Rotondo also returned, so we were prepared but not needed, which is better than being needed and not prepared.
There is a lot of uncertainty here about the moving of camps. The beautiful thing about tipis is that they are easily movable. But I am safe, and I don’t believe that the military will invade camps with elders and children; we come to them to be arrested.
In addition, two Naturopaths from Seattle arrived. So it looks like there will be enough help that I can go home and tend to my neglected real life.
It is hard to leave. I feel very appreciated here. It took a while to be accepted by the local people, but they help me every day. People are fasting and praying here. Water Protectors are what warriors look like.
Pictured here is Linda Black Elk and family in front of the tipi donated by Bug Gi from Eugene. Thank you so much! Tipis are one of the few structures here that can withstand the winds and snow.
From Bug Gi:
“To know that my tipi now belongs to Linda Black Elk and family just made my heart explode and eyes fill with tears. Thank you Water and Earth Protectors and thank you Daphne Singingtree for doing all that you do. So much love and gratitude!!”
Eighty-three (83) peaceful Water Protectors were arrested today. Ten were injured, many more maced, and journalists and medics were also targeted and arrested.
Don’t let this be your America.
“…We walked to the work site where our comrades locked themselves down to equipment to prevent any more work being done on the Black Snake. They took action because the Black Snake must not be built, the risk is too high and a devastating spill is an inevitability, we went because we too recognize our duty to take action. We went because we have had enough of Energy Transfer Partners and this pipeline, and so have all of us here at Oceti Sakowin, we have had enough of the heavy handed terrorism so casually deployed….”
An excellent video from some journalist students. My friend and colleague, Joel Preston Smith, working on the medical healer team saying wonderful things about tipis. My quote: “It’s cold.” Seems like I say that a lot.
Bitter consequences: Pipeline protests batten down the hatches for North Dakota winter from Medill Reports on Vimeo.
Thank you Erika Kightlinger! The stoves and the work you and EarthWin are doing is so critical!
These midwives are awesome and they have been so much help to the camp already.
“Thousands of people have flocked from across the United States, Latin America and Canada to join the resistance camps opposing the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. Most are Native Americans representing hundreds of tribes from across the Americas. The ongoing encampment is considered one of the largest gatherings of Native Americans in decades.”
See the video and read the article here: http://m.democracynow.org/stories/16718
My neighbor at Sicangu/Rosebud camp Wind Cloud is building an earth sheltered house out of driftwood from the river and dirt. I see him digging every day in all kinds of weather. No money for materials, just what can be found. One of the many aspects of the slower pace of this side of the river.
A bunch of folks from Ashville, North Carolina just showed up, bringing yurts and good chocolate. We are moving the Zaniyan Wellness Space a bit up the path, as the big canopy left by the midwives won’t winter.
We are putting in a first aid station next to the herb and healing space. Got solar power, a structure, the wood stoves. Just working on getting a wood floor (pallets and plywood) in the car canopy, tarps, blankets, insulation with what we can find. Making a tent a suitable space to treat hypothermia seems counter intuitive, but we work with what we have. We keep hearing about donated artic tents, a permanent clinic is in the works. In the meantime Sicangu/Rosebud makes do. Unlike the other camps, Rosebud has no funds, just what people bring.
I am moving the big tipi over, getting people and systems in place to continue when I am gone. So many people from so many tribes, it is exciting and historic and I love the work. But darn, I miss my warm house, garden, family, and now appreciate the ease of my life.
Most people come and go here, but the dedication is inspiring. We need building materials, stovepipe and materials to put wood stoves in tents and tipis. We need fire extinguishers. And we need all of you. If you can handle the harsh conditions, come, camp, if not, please keep supporting.
A note from Sarah Huenecke:
“A Standing Rock call for all those that are able!!! You are needed!!!
“Heading back soon, if feeling the call to go, we are forming a caravan/carpool out of Minneapolis to join in solidarity! Comment or private message if interested 😊💗🙌
“Here are some photos from being there last weekend. No way to capture the embodiment of the experience, but here are some goodies nonetheless.
“With love, truth, and open hearts, we can change the world forever.”
Generosity. That is what strikes me most about my experiences here at the Zaniyan Wellness Space at Sicangu/Rosebud camp.
A group of school children in Rhode Island made up little paper bags with art on them, most we gave out before I got a photo. Inside each bag was a Water Protector Wellness Kit, with lip balm, calming teas, and herbal salve.
The guy holding the bag, Christopher, came in for tea, got a bag, and asked what we needed. I said, plastic organizer bins and a stove pipe elbow. He drove into Bismarck (over an hour away) bought them, and brought them back tonight.
Angels, helpers, supporters, more than I can name. I have a small herbal product business. I know how little money is made and how much time goes into each product. So many wonderful herbal medicines are sent every day.
A Facebook group of midwives sent a whole canopy full of needed supplies. The list goes on.
Beauty, commitment, courage, resilience, all are here. But generosity from the world sustains us not just in body but in spirit.