In the past few months, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has gained international attention for their efforts to protect the Missouri River from possible (if not probable) contamination by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Success would mean preserving their remaining sacred burial grounds (some have already been destroyed) as well as their drinking water and that of millions of people downstream on the Missouri. Standing Rock has gained support not only from other Native Nations, but by non-Native water protector allies from all walks of life from the United States and beyond. These people have already endured much through the summer months and are due to endure even more now that the Earth has turned to fall and will soon turn to winter.
Though non-violent, the water protectors and their allies have experienced violence done unto them. At the time of writing, the water protectors' most recent torment came from a barrage of concussion grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, and high-pressure water, all at 26 degrees Fahrenheit on an enclosed bridge from which they were unable to escape without either suffering the attacks of the riot police or trampling each other in an attempt to escape. Taking the attacks head on meant hypothermia, ruptured ear drums, nausea, vomiting, incontinence, and excruciating wounds. One specific example of the most severe injuries lies in Sophia Wilansky, one white female ally from New York. Graphic imagery confirmed she sustained injuries that tore through flesh and exposed bone. If you'd like to support Sophia's GoFundMe to help with her medical bills, click here. I can only hope that, had a Standing Rock member sustained such injuries, their maiming would have been equally publicized and condemned, their GoFundMe given equal support. The peril and the importance of this mission are real.
Now we stand on the doorstep of Thanksgiving, that holiday in which a group of sincere Natives put aside the strife they shared with a group of European colonists in the spirit of peace and mutual exchange. In my mind, the massive support from non-Native water protector allies is--whether consciously or not--an act of atonement for the mass genocide of Native Americans since the arrival of white Europeans on this continent. Indeed, many Native people consider Thanksgiving a day of mourning since the promise of peace they believed to be reciprocating with the European settlers in that landmark celebration was later broken by murder. Send blessings of healing, safety, and success to Standing Rock as you enjoy your meal this Thanksgiving. Their fight isn’t for the rest of us, but their work is direly important to all of us. Standing Rock and all Indigenous Americans deserve more respect and atonement than they have yet received.
MaYarising wants to stand with Standing Rock’s work and help make reparations.
Here's how you can join us.
If you have felt passion for this cause, but haven't gotten to contribute (and even if you already have!), here is an opportunity.
From Black Friday (11/25) through Cyber Monday (11/28), we will donate 8% of our sales to Standing Rock.
This will help feed, shelter, and clothe the Native Water Protectors and their allies who have been doing a great service for us all. But, we can only do it through your support. Will you join us?
Why 8%? 8 is the number of infinity, abundance, and power. This is our intention for Standing Rock.
In solidarity with all that is sacred, in solidarity with our Earth Mother, in solidarity with all our elders, brothers and sisters, the original Americans, Mni Wiconi: Water Is Life