Where to start? First, find your note cup. The line of flags is now marching down 24 into Standing Rock proper, there are so many. It’s not possible to get them all in one shot. As we were on the way home on Wednesday, we passed a long convoy of cars heading to camp, with more flags piled into a couple of the cars, so there will be more when we get back next week. It was quiet when we arrived on Wednesday morning with a load of wood. We pulled around the back of the kitchen, and unloaded all the wood, then wandered into the communal area. Solar panels have been donated, and while one was in the communal area, most were up by the media tent on Facebook hill. We arrived too late to be part of the spell out – people went up on Facebook hill and laid down to spell out Water is Life and No DAPL for one of the drones, but a helicopter also flew over. We were in time to hear the roaring cheer as people got back up.
There’s heavy emphasis on recycling and trash pick up, and there are more washable plates and utensils in camp now. On a walk, we noted, with fascination, a tipi frame made with unusual material (10th photo), and realized what it was when we passed one of the tips (11th photo) – a broken tent canopy frame. That’s the same kind that collapsed and slammed into me. Perhaps I brokt it, being so hard-headed. The endless creativity of people deeply delights me. We have the potential to be such grand animals.
Okay, back to the beginning. On our way to camp (6 to 21 to 24), we noticed an unusual amount of cops. Generally speaking, cops aren’t terribly visible in Ndakota. They were certainly visible that morning. We sighed as we turned onto 24, at the realization that the cop in the gas station was most likely recording license plates. No one likes that sort of thing, we certainly don’t, but you can’t let yourself be intimidated. Right after passing the turn off for Sacred Stone Camp, we were very surprised to see a very large, very new looking mobile command center hulking behind some silos, along with assorted cop vehicles. We continued on into camp.
Right now, people are focused on preparing for winter. There were meetings set up about getting compost toilets going, and building earth lodges. There’s also some uncertainty right now, regarding the Oceti Sakowin camp (No DAPL), as the ACoE are being petty asses and making bullying noises about everyone having to get off “their” land, land to which they do not own the mineral rights. So, the whole camp may need to be moved a couple of miles up on the hill, which is Standing Rock Rez proper. We didn’t hear too much about that during our day there. Things may well have really changed by the time we get back on the 4th or so. Damn, I think I have to get to the pain clinic then. I need to keep track of appointments.
Two massive trucks filled with wood were brought in by the Tsalagi people out of Oklahoma, to cheers and applause. We had the privilege of meeting Tom Jefferson, tireless in his documentary work. While many people might not know his name, a whole lot of people will remember this particular video of Tom’s: One Of The Many Face of Racism in America, which went wildly viral. Tom is also involved with Tour de Frack.
We were fortunate to listen to a Havasupai elder speak, who was there with his 90+ year old grandfather. They were leaving the next day, so we felt particularly blessed to have been there to hear and listen. I was very disappointed to have to turn away from the opportunity to help tan two whole buffalo hides, but it required a 4 day commitment. It’s upsetting to be there, and not be able to stay.
There was a call to go up to the “front lines” and people needed rides. I considered calling Rick out of the kitchen, where he was happily slaughtering squash, but I had a very bad feeling about it, so stayed quiet. That bad feeling translated to most everyone being arrested. Phyllis Young had quite a lot to say about that, but that’s for tomorrow’s post, which will be Part the Bad.
Photos © C. Ford, all rights reserved.