“Planning on coming to Standing Rock? There are questions from non-native supporters and allies if they will be welcome in camp. All good people are outraged by the abuses of the police and their oil corporation influenced overlords. We need everyone’s help. However, please be aware that is a native led movement, and we need support, not people to rescue us. This started as a political protest at Standing Rock against the pipeline, it has become more, it is the birth of a movement of native people to protect the water and the earth, to respect tribal sovereignty, and for the right to peacefully protest. As a midwife for over 30 years, I see this movement like a woman giving birth to a child that will grow, evolve and change. The early days was enthusiasm and excitement. After Sunday, the real pain of hard labor has begun. Like any laboring mother, support is needed, not only those physically present, but all the people with knowledge and skills in the background. A woman in labor needs to be respected and be autonomous. Ultimately, a woman gives birth alone, this movement needs to be led by native people. This is a historic joining of intertribal forces for political activism. But ultimately we will need to figure it out. There is some chaos and disorganization in this process. People are not always listening to elders and leadership. There is not always good or fair use of resources. Mistakes have been and will be made. However, labor is hard, it is painful, it is messy, involving sweat, tears, and blood. But it is also empowering, showing resilience, strength, and courage. Allies & supporters can bring experience, supplies, skills to help insure a healthy birth. After giving birth, this child movement will take many years to develop, but it will be influenced by kin, community and culture. People can bring the diversity of knowledge and skills including nonviolence political activism and sustainability which will help not only to support the water protectors, but enrich this community long after this protest is finished. We need everyone to join us. Water does not discriminate. The Earth is being raped by the corporate masters who only care about profits, all of us need to join together to stop it. We all have ways we can do that, be political at home, fundraise, make calls, change banks. For those called to come to Standing Rock, ask yourself where you can do the most good. Consider to sponsoring indigenous people that want to come to support the frontline. If you do decide to come, please be self-sufficient in extreme cold & harsh living conditions,if you have special dietary needs (including vegetarian) plan on bringing your own food and a way to cook it. Unless it is a four season tent with heating and extra tie downs, tents are inadequate shelter. While there are areas and camps you are not likely to be arrested, maced, or even killed, there are no guarantees. You will be coming to a war zone. We need everyone, but not those who are there because fashionable, think it is a festival, are not willing to work hard, endure much, and sacrifice to serve the water. If you do decide to come please read this.”
This morning, I woke up to a beautiful Facebook post written by Daphne Singingtree, a retired Midwife, Medicine Maker, Traditional Practitioner and Standing Rock Lakota.
The Indigenous Resistance of our Native family matters. While this movement benefits us all, as decent human beings, it’s important we avoid the colonial urge to be the White savior… or as I like to say, Captain Save a Hoe [p.s., Sorry for the language, Grammy].
Follow the lead of our Native family. As Ms. Singingtree says, in her post below, our Native family does not need rescued; our Native family needs to be supported.
Please, follow her lead.