My great-grandmother on my mother’s side was a Cherokee medicine woman, or so I’ve been told. Regardless of the truth of this statement I have always been proud of my Native American heritage, and the negative impacts that “colonization” has had on the native peoples of what is now America has always troubled me deeply. I am also a tree-hugging nature loving Pagan who believes we live in a far too advanced society to be dependent on the destruction of our planet for resources. Simply put, I do not agree with the Dakota Access Pipeline that oil companies have decided to put through lands that belong to the Sioux tribes of the Dakotas.
On my Facebook I have been very vocal about this, and the same goes for my Twitter account when I access it. Due to the fact that I have been extremely busy over the last month or so, I haven’t had the time to really sit down and write a blog post about the DAPL. The other day on my Facebook feed an article showed up that made me decide that I needed to sit down and make the time to write about this.
For those of you that don’t know the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) is an underground pipeline that is scheduled to be put through sovereign tribal lands in North Dakota. It has already caused the destruction of land that was a sacred burial ground to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and presents a huge risk for the contamination of the Missouri River from which millions of people get their water.
Dakota Access LLC. (the constructors of the pipeline) have already attacked members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters by unleashing dogs on them which left resulted in the mauling of a toddler. This company has used pepper spray on the water protectors as well.
Now they have involved not only local and state police from North Dakota, but also police from other states as well as the National Guard. All to protect the profits of their pipeline while continuing to violate treaties that the United States government signed with the native peoples giving them sovereignty.
Towards the end of October police arrested 141 water protectors on private property in regards to the DAPL. These individuals were then put in dog kennels and had numbers written on their forearms.
During the holocaust, the prisoner’s kept in Auschwitz were tattooed in a similar manner. After it became impractical for chest tattoos the Nazi’s began to tattoo the prisoners in Auschwitz on the outer side of their left forearm. (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007056)
I have read police claims that they put the water protectors in a temporary holding facility, and I call bullshit. Recently, while I was at my local Tractor Supply Inc. getting rabbit feed I found what the police were holding our fellow native brothers and sisters as well as their supporters in. They were dog kennels, they weren’t temporary holding cells, or anything other than enclosures designed to hold animals.
When is enough going to be enough? President Obama has refused to step in to reiterate that the lands that Dakota Access LLC are treading on are private lands of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The water protectors are being assaulted daily on private lands by police, and the media is silent.
Recently a group of over 500 people of different faiths and backgrounds marched at Standing Rock in solidarity with our native brothers and sisters, and the images from that march are quite moving.
The time has come for us to stand up as one to speak out against this inhumane treatment of Native Americans, protect a water source for millions of people, and to protect sacred burial grounds. Since I cannot make it to Standing Rock personally, I am doing everything that I can to spread awareness of what is happening there. Together as one, we can make a difference.