Today, I saw this tweet from President Trump:
Signing orders to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines in the Oval Office.
At first I was in shock, until I read this post from the clergy standing with Standing Rock:
From Oceti Sakowin
Warriors, Water Protectors,
You have demonstrated your strength of spirit, your conviction, on every level. We know that you see the enemy clearly before you and you want to throw everything at it, this is the fight for life. The battleground has shifted, though the fight is still the same—to protect our Mother Earth. To protect the water and the coming generations we need you to direct your energies elsewhere. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) approved a resolution requiring all Water Protector Camps to close in thirty days. The presence of Water Protectors will not be allowed on tribal land after February 19th, 2017.
The ceremony that called you here has ended—the sacred fires have been put to sleep. The Oceti Sakowin fire will be relit in the future. In the meantime you carry it with you, in your hearts. The Horn, representative of the Great Sioux Nation has asked people in camp to go home. Elders have asked people to go home. Now both Cannon Ball District and SRST have officially asked everyone in all the camps to go home.This effort has exhausted the resources of this region.
The spiritual focus and cultural strength of the Oceti Sakowin Camp enabled us to overcome oppressive conditions, giving us pure purpose. This ceremony is over now, the culture is following its natural pattern and all tribes are returning home to family, to recover, to heal, and to prepare for assaults on the sacred—mini wiconi.
The Oceti Sakowin never gathered for this long in one place, and we have experienced many of the things the ancestors did, shifting leadership that changed with the waves of opposing force meant to break us. As devastating as our experiences have been, our strength in diversity has come to the surface—we have witnessed much darkness surface as well. We have the opportunity to let go of what does not work and move now with currents that have a chance of working. Do not let anger guide you, let spirit lead the way.
Surely we have all made mistakes here. We can look forward to criticism and new challenges, and tests to the things that matter to us most. The council’s vote today must be respected, as we respect the interests of our brothers and sisters in the communities that were our hosts. They have expended much to defend these waters and ancestral ground against DAPL. In this time all people face the oppression of spirit delivered in the messages and false promises of this failing system. Delivered to us through the news, through marketing, through media of all forms people are guided to destroy the planet and exploit each other. If we do not stand together our efforts and sacrifices will be diluted—we are seeing this already, we have seen it all along. Our prayers are stronger though. We need to stand together, and right now all the support is being withdrawn, we see this and know this. The resources are gone or soon will be.
Many of us will have to return for legal cases, for those arrests that we endured, at this time our Prayers are UP for ways to help those Protectors who made this sacrifice.
We are calling you warriors to go in a good way now, and if you have the spirit to fight, turn it to clearing and cleaning the land we have defended, for the sacred act of protecting these waters from the materials left here. Turn it to the process of changing the system we are in, and asserting Tribal sovereignty by ensuring the impacts to the environment are fully assessed in the EIS. This study will address public concerns and set a precedent for other struggles in other tribal territories. We can help our brothers and sisters who came here to stand with us assert their sovereignty in this way.
To stay here is not peaceful. To stay here invites violence and may hurt all the First Nations who sacrificed so much with us to protect the Earth.
We invite those in camp who have valuable skills to contribute to other struggles, to travel to these places and help them as you helped us. Help our brothers and sisters struggling for Indigenous rights, care for the land, and protection of Mother Earth. Share the lessons and experiences you’ve had with them, how we worked together in a good way, the way of giving. Help them understand the power of people who the assembled at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
As I studied to be a warrior, and true disciple of Jesus, I remember this phrase:
“You have never ever submitted to authority, until you have first of all been not in agreement with authority”
Jesus submitted to the will of the Father, even though He shed drops of blood in prayer in the garden before He went to the cross. I too, will have to face the cross of Jesus in my own heart, as I weep over how this has gone.
Somehow, a resolution has come to this stand-off. May it end peacefully….
The water protectors clearly do not appear to intend to allow DAPL through native lands.