Standing Rock: Water is Life

Water protectors stand together with "Water is Life" signs

Water is a transparent fluid which forms the world’s streams, lakes, and oceans, and is the major component of the fluids of organisms. In another words we cannot live without water for we are made of water. WATER IS LIFE. Water is essential for our survival and to the way of life. Water is held very sacred and is used in ceremonies and is the focus of a lot of prayer songs.

The Standing Rock Resistance is unprecedented and it is also centuries old.

The situation at Standing Rock is a Human Rights situation and it is heart-wrenching to watch from a far. My heart is with the people and I pray for them throughout the day. I wish in all regards that I could be with them, however, alas I cannot.

This situation is close to my heart because of the water situation on the Navajo reservation where the water is contaminated by coal mines, uranium mines and because of the incident at the San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico. The Navajo tribe, which is the largest tribe in the U.S., estimates that 54,000 of their people haul water from unregulated wells. Many drive hundreds of miles to get safe drinking water. The government has not studied which wells were contaminated by mining and which have naturally high levels of contaminants.

Damaged, contaminated water does affect everyone who is living. Human Beings are sacred to the Creator. It is important we stand with the people of Standing Rock, for protecting the water is protecting our very lives. I may not live there but the outcome does have a large impact not only on my life but on everyone’s lives.

When the company first wanted to put the pipeline in North Dakota which would have bypassed Bismarck, North Dakota, the people complained and had a say in not wanting the pipeline there. So the company moved the pipeline which then crossed sacred land of the Sioux nation. So why is it more important for the company of the pipeline to listen to white folks and yet will not pay attention to native folks?

The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock began in August of 2016 and it exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. But that history itself, of indigenous people fighting to protest not just their land, but the land, is centuries old.

Standing Rock is in blizzard conditions right now, the reports from the Governor has ordered for snow plows to not plow the roads to Standing Rock, and has cut off emergency services. It has also been reported that the people of Standing Rock are not allowed to buy propane as the Governor is “concerned about safety issues.” It is reported (but not yet confirmed) that he is sending in the military on “standby,” before the veterans arrive on the 4th of December. He cut off water to camp long ago. The US Army Corps of Engineers gave an evict notice for December 5th, but states they will not forcibly remove the people. The Governor however, stated he will. It is my understanding is that he is outside his jurisdiction, but hey, that hasn’t stopped him before. He’s in bed with DAPL, $$$.

So let’s summarize this Governor who is “concerned about the safety of the people and the bad weather that is to come so he wants the people to leave.”

  • He has cut off emergency services to camp (but still has full emergency services to the casino 20 minutes up the road, in contrast). Blatant misuse of power.
  • He has blocked the highway one way with large concrete barriers and razor wire, delaying anyone the people are trying to transport to the hospital themselves.
  • There are rumors he will completely close 1806 down, so the people could not get in or out, with or without emergency.
  • It is reported he is refusing sale of propane to water protectors all the way to Bismarck, the source of heat for the people.
  • He is imposing up to $1,000 fine to anyone who donates to the protectors.
  • Sheriff sprayed innocent people with water in freezing temperatures for 6-7 hours, intending hypothermia.
  • They have maced, pepper sprayed, tear gassed, shot, unlawfully arrested and tortured water protectors, put hoods on water protectors (illegal), put knees on the back of necks and chests of water protectors detained and in hand cuffs (illegal, extremely dangerous/potentially lethal). Police intermix with DAPL security, who have showed records of excessive violence against the protectors. They have released dogs on peaceful protectors, biting flesh.
  • At night, there have been planes that are like dust croppers that come and spray a white substance on the campers.
  • Journalist and news people are also being targeted, either by being maced or arrested and given a large fine for covering the story.

It seems like the police force is trying to kill the protectors. This has truly been a blatant human rights violation on multiple levels, to all races, all walks of life in one place. All to protect private oil.

Do not forget that this is a prayer camp. If you know human rights attorneys, members of Congress, Senators, anyone who is influential, now is the time to call them.

There is great concern growing. The people that are not at the camp should do everything in their power in prayer, in calling folks, in donating what they can to change this. Bless you. Love you – Victory.


[Photo of water protectors at Oceti Sakowin Camp, Standing Rock by Lucas Zhao; CC BY-NC 2.0]

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