A Monthly Awareness Song and Blog by Kristin Hoffmann
“Hymn for Standing Rock”
In solidarity I stand
With Standing Rock and her rightful lands
Where the eagle cries, and the prayers of mothers
Ask us to rise, dear Sisters and Brothers
We can tame the greed of Man
With the strength of peace, walking hand in hand
To the end of the line, where the black snake poison
Threatens the heart of all that is Human
We are called to stand as one
For the health of future generations
Oh, Water is Life, and we caretakers
Of Mother Earth and all that is sacred
In solidarity we stand
With Standing Rock, her Dakota lands
Where the buffalo roam, and prayers of grandmothers
Ask us to rise, dear Sisters and Brothers
Don’t turn your eyes, dear Sisters and Brothers
Rise, dear Sisters and Brothers
It’s hard but to see the irony; that as most folks in the US prepare to celebrate another Thanksgiving this week, our Native American Brothers and Sisters are having to battle, with peacefully determined strength, yet again, for the rights to their land and health.
I’m sure at this point, most of you are at least vaguely familiar with the current abominable happenings at Standing Rock, in North Dakota. In a nutshell, a few years back, the Dakota Access Pipeline made plans to run a new 1,200 mile crude oil pipeline from production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, crossing the Missouri river just 1/2 mile upstream of the Standing Rock Reservation. DAPL made no efforts to discuss or make plans known to the Sioux people of Standing Rock, who discovered the proposal for the pipeline in 2014 and immediately, and understandably, became deeply concerned about the future health of their water, sacred lands, and generations to come. The Missouri River is the main water source for millions of people…and running an oil line under the river, as proposed, is like playing a gigantic game of Russian Roulette. As we have all become increasingly aware in the past 10 years, oil pipelines do burst and break…and when they do, the damage is not pretty. It would only take one mishap near the Missouri river to detrimentally effect the lives of millions.
After hundreds of years of being forced into smaller and smaller pieces of land, and countless promises and treaties with indiginous peoples illegally broken by the United States Government, the people of Standing Rock and their supporters are saying “ENOUGH!!!” The Standing Rock Sioux and allies, known as “Water Protectors,” who’s motto is “Water is Life,” have been camping out along the Missouri River for months, in peaceful protest, saying “no” to DAPL and calling for a re-routing of the oil line.
Actions against water protectors, by local police forces, have become increasingly hostile as of late; including attacks with large rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas, and water cannons in 26 degree weather. Hundreds of people have been badly injured, and President Obama has yet to speak about the issue, leaving many to wonder “why?”
Nearby the active protest areas, on reservation, the Oceti Sakowin Camp has emerged as a “historic gathering of tribes, allies and people from all walks of life standing in solidarity to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline.” Thousands of people have traveled to show their support and volunteer their services at the camp. Kitchens have been set up where women work around the clock to offer free food to whomever is in need. Prayer circles and deep conversations about human rights, peace and unity are in full bloom, despite the cold, early winter temperatures. Oceti Sakowin is a living example of peaceful/prayerful protest in action.
At a 3 day peace workshop back in October, at Peace Village in the Hudson Valley, hosted by America Meditating Radio, I had the pleasure of getting to know a truly remarkable woman and ally of Standing Rock, film-maker Shannon Kring. While working with indigenous people in Honduras, she suddenly felt a deep calling to go to Standing Rock and film a documentary in order to help spread awareness around the issue. While her initial intent upon arrival to Oceti Sakowin was to take a broader documentary approach, upon interviewing, Shannon noticed a new theme emerging; and it focused around The Women of Standing Rock. She realized quickly that it is the women who are forming the backbone of this movement, providing the deeper strength, courage and longevity needed to continue the peaceful fight for rights and health…”The women of Standing Rock are willing to risk their lives to stop the pipeline construction that desecrated their ancient burial and prayer sites and threatens their land, water, and very existence,” Shannon observes.
One 37 year old mother of 4 wisely shared, “Unci Maka is Mother Earth. The land is not a resource. It is an entity that you have a relationship with and you respect, like your grandmother, mother, and aunts. We have to be good stewards. We have to take care of the land. We have to feed her and offer her prayers. In return, we are blessed with good health. Everything comes full circle.”
Women understand the art of nurturing and healing…and at this point in our human development, these precious virtues are being called for at an all time high on Planet Earth. If we are going to survive, and thrive, as a human species, I believe that we must fully, and swiftly, embrace female guidance and wisdom. Testosterone driven, aggressive war mentality threatens to lead to the destruction of us all, if allowed to continue on the current Earthly stage.
Mirroring this sentiment, Shannon notes, “interview after interview, the women of Standing Rock said that we are at the end of the patriarchal era of competition, aggression, and force. [One Lakota woman], Pearl, explained, we are now in a new era called the Fifth World by the indigenous peoples of North America. ‘It’s a refined, heightened energy. That energy resonates with the highest frequency, which is love. Compassion. Nurturing.’”
Shannon’s team has been working tirelessly to edit all of her footage from Standing Rock into a powerful documentary entitled, “End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock.” She is committed to sharing this critical story now, so that these wise women’s voices can reach us, and call us to action, before it is too late. (Please see links below to support Shannon’s important mission. Plus, all download donations I receive for “Hymn of Standing Rock” through end of November will be donated to help complete “End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock).
This is not just a Standing Rock issue, or a North Dakota issue…this is a HUMAN ISSUE. We are being called to listen deep into the heart of what connects us all as co-caretakers of this beautiful planet. In these times of change, we are asked to raise our voices, in our own unique ways, and stand up for our rights and those of our fellow Earth travelers.
During this week, as those around you are celebrating “Thanksgiving”…I implore you to remember…remember the deeper truths behind this day…that those who were here long before the Europeans were decimated by our hand…and that the suffering and wound continues today, in real-time.
We have a new opportunity now for healing, for forgiveness, for unifying in Sister and Brotherhood…we each have something of value to offer to this important conversation…and for that, yes, we can truly be Grateful.
“End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock” Indigogo Campaign: www.indiegogo.com/projects/end-of-the-line-the-women-of-standing-rock-environment
“End of the Line” website: www.endofthelinefilm.com
An incredibly helpful visual map by cartographer, Carl Sack:
5 MINUTE ACTION STEPS:
Here are 4 PHONE CALLS EASY ACTION to help our Brothers and Sisters at STANDING ROCK. ***Thank you to my dear friend Tina Malia for sharing this info:
GOVERNOR is Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200
Senator Heidi Heitkamp 202.224.2043
Amnesty International – 212-807-8400
And Michael Goldstein just shared these with me:
White House 202 456-1111
Justice Dept. 202 353-1555
Heidi’s office is feeling the pressure from our phone calls. She is issuing a statement, but I urged the office to do something NOW and told the office that we are watching. The phone calls are making a difference.
Listen, if you cannot be there…take 5 minutes and leave messages with these people. This is ACTION we can take to support our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock.
If you don’t know what to say, try something like: We are watching the atrocities that are happening to the peaceful protestors at Standing Rock. These people are exercising their first amendment right to protest peacefully and are being shot at with rubber bullets, water blasts and sound grenades. This is all being documented by the people. We urge you to take action now.
Thank you for 5 minutes. It can help a lot.
CLICK HERE to learn more.