Stand With Standing Rock -- a letter from Vance Blackfox
Stand With Standing Rock — a letter from Vance Blackfox
I can still smell the prayers in the air, as fires and pipes and shells and cans were brought to life each day, if not kept alive by fire keepers in one or many of the circles of tents and tipis that decorate the encampment. Oh, and that was just one of the three camps that has certainly become a village, a permanent site for protectors and defenders and warriors, women – the keepers of the water, men – keepers of the fire, two-spirit people – often keepers of medicine and wisdom, children – bringers of joy and purpose.
The thousands of people that have come and continue to come to the village, making home there, are there to protect the river, a river known to most as the Missouri River. All along her banks are places where people have lived for thousands of years, at places that hold their stories and are places that were created for them to pray and hold ceremony. These places remain holy and continue to hold significance to the peoples that still live near where the beautiful and sacred Missouri kisses the shore and whispers to them the stories of their ancestors over and over and over again. In this particular place it is the Standing Rock Sioux people to whom she whispers. She knows the generations, their stories, and she knows intimately the sacred sites that have honored her throughout those generations.
The Missouri has given life to countless human people and non-human people, and will continue to do so for as long as we allow her. It is we, the human people, who threaten her life and the lives of those same countless. Permitting her continued destruction with the construction of pipelines that criss cross beneath her surface, and that will one day spill into her the crude oil that will negate her purpose, is on us; the destruction, the construction, it will eliminate life, not create and sustain it.
And so we must protect her. We do this first with prayer. Chairman Archambault of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, and other holy people gathered there, continue to remind us that as defenders our battles and the war will first be won through prayer. We stay focused on the river.
Won’t you please join us? Protect with us our life-giving sister; pray with us for all the holy and sacred places along her banks that have honored her and sustained the people in those places over and over.
Vance Blackfox (Cherokee)
Visited Camp Oceti Sakowin in early September
How to Help?
Facebook pages are best and up to date places for info
Special thanks to Rev. Carmen Retzlaff for connecting Vance to AllCreation.org.