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Standing Rock Funding

Long post about the current controversy about Standing Rock funding including the tribe’s decision to use some of the donated funds to address deficits from impact of the legal and logistical issues around the protest.

How we share resources is our biggest challenge today. The cause of most wars, our fight for clean water, protection of the earth, is all about those who wish a bigger piece of pie for themselves, sometimes the whole pie. In traditional indigenous cultures a core value is taking care of those in need. Those who have more, share, and it lifts everyone. Simple concept, but one we have gotten away from as modern life and the culture of self has supplanted the idea of care of others. The future is endangered by the 1% who use their wealth as power to produce more wealth at the expense of water and the earth and those who live upon her. It is the heart of colonialism. Money is power, and as the NoDAPL movement grows economic pressures are going to be essential to long term victory.

Standing Rock donations have come in from around the world providing vital support we would not be able to function without. However, as a movement, we are still in a gestational stage, working without traditional leadership, developing organically, and a source of pain as we labor right now revolves about money, donations, and how resources are allocated. We are trying to figure out a way to do things differently, that is more inclusive, less hierarchical, less based on colonial models.

At Standing Rock we are a microcosm of society as a whole, and as such are facing avarice, selfishness, egos, and competing agendas. There has been misuse of donated funds, I know people who raised money specifically for the Wellness space at Rosebud and not one dime reached us. There has been theft and resources not used or ruined because of a lack of organization and proper stewardship. But there also has been tremendous generosity, not only from those donating money or supplies, but those giving their time to do fundraisers and organize political events at home, and those who work so incredibly hard at camp. I have seen so many people give up well-paying jobs, put school and their lives on hold, all for Standing Rock. It gets into your soul and becomes the only thing that matters. I get it, I have a small business before Standing Rock making and selling herbal products. After I was gone months, had to lay off my part time staff, and no longer have the time to make products, and truthfully making and selling stuff is not how I want to spend my time, as my work with Standing Rock is so much more important to my grandchildren’s future.

I was a part of the Occupy Movement and see so many similarities with the early support and enthusiasm, then personalities, egos, lack of leadership and focus, the movement crumbled as much from within as from without. I was a midwife for 30 years, my role was support the natural birth process, yet be aware in case intervention was needed. Sometime intervention is simple sometimes complicated, but if not done in time, consequences can be devastating. As one of the many midwives helping birth this movement that started with Standing Rock, I am listening to the heartbeat with concern. While I am concerned about the misuse or theft of funds, I believe a greater threat is the infighting about it. The finger pointing, the accusations, the negativity, the divisiveness can sweep up good people as well as the bad. I have seen from personal experience how unfounded accusations, haters and Internet trolls can destroy someone’s life and important work. Transparency and accountability is important. We can make a full accounting with receipts for all the funds donated to either my Gofundme page or to, and will continue to do that. The Medic and Healer Council is in the process of organizing a separate nonprofit which will do the same.

While people are still braving the weather and a protest camp will remain at Standing Rock until the pipeline is gone for good, longer term sustainable community projects, including an integrative health clinic, a birth center, are all in the planning stages, and can result from some of the positive energy generated for this cause. We still need support and help from the global community to fight the black snake and protect the water for all of us. The Standing Rock tribe has incurred a lot of expenses and losses from this protest, monies donated will not go to any one person or family, and that is more than I can say for a lot of other fundraising efforts.

I see one of the biggest needs right now in terms of funding is paying the fines and legal fees of arrested water protectors. While there are specific camp needs such as firewood and propane we are still working on, we are now looking other protest camps in Texas, Cheyenne River, British Columbia, & Florida. At both the Medic Healer Council and Zaniyan, we are looking at how to allocate resources to best serve the most people.

Standing Rock needs continued support as well as a healthy discussion of donated funds and how best to use them. What we don’t need is people from outside, who do not know all the facts or whole picture making judgments or accusations that can result in funding being pulled entirely. Facebook is powerful weapon, use it responsibly. Let’s focus on what is needed, where, how it is best used, and how to have transparency. #nodapl #waterislife#divestbank

Protectors on horseback patrol the perimeter of the camp

October 24, 2016 | A scary day in the Rosebud/Sicangu camp

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.

#waterislife #nodapl

October 22, 2016 | The tipi donated by Bug Gi from Eugene

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!!”

#waterislife #nodapl

October 22, 2016 | Eighty-three (83) peaceful Water Protectors arrested today

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….”

#waterislife #nodapl

October 20, 2016 | Pipeline protests batten down the hatches for North Dakota winter

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.

#waterislife #nodapl


October 19, 2016 | Thank you Erika Kightlinger

Thank you Erika Kightlinger! The stoves and the work you and EarthWin are doing is so critical!

October 19, 2016 | These midwives are awesome

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:

October 19, 2016 | Wind Cloud is building an earth sheltered house out of driftwood

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.

#waterislife #nodapl

October 18, 2016 | A note from Kate Harnedy

From Kate Harnedy:

“One of the highlights of my trip to Standing Rock was spending time in the Zaniyan Wellness Space. Daphne Singingtree is providing teas, herbs, and wellness advice for the community.

“Her “Immuni-Tea” is not only warm and soothing, but quite helpful in keeping the Water Protectors’ immunities strong as the seasons change. She’s also providing a wonderful educational opportunity for some aspiring young herbalists!

“With so much work to be done, spaces for people to come relax and heal are so essential and sustaining the cause!

“Thank you Daphne for the good work you are doing!”