A year ago today our community was devastated by the death of our beloved Caine. The team here at Affinity struggled with how to honor Caine on this day and we finally decided to carry forward her message to love and honor the planet. Caine stood with the tribe at Standing Rock in their struggle against the DAPL and today we’re passing on a few stories about the continuing struggle of Indigenous communities to protect the land and water. We are in no way qualified to speak about Indigenous culture or history, but we do so today with great respect.
First, a few reminders of the meaning of Mni Wiconi – Water is Life.
Mni Wiconi – The Stand at Standing Rock
Hear the message of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Honor tribal sovereignty and the Earth we inhabit by telling President Obama to deny the easement by calling 202-456-1111. We need every person to call Obama this week before Dec. 5th. Please share. For more information visit standwithstandingrock.net#NoDAPL#StandwithStandingRock#standingrock#bankexit
Posted by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Tuesday, November 15, 2016
In an article on Indian Country Today, Woonspe—Education Gives Meaning to Mni Wiconi—Water Is Life they tell of the origin story behind the meaning of Mni Wiconi.
An origin story of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires, which make up the Lakota, Nakoda, and Dakota people, tells us that the blood of First Creation, Inyan, covers Unci Maka, our grandmother earth, and this blood, which is blue is mni, water, and mahpiya, the sky. Mni Wiconi, water is life.
The entire article is worth reading and the above link will take you right there.
Many Standing Rocks: Three Years and Still Fighting, by Tracy L. Barnett – The Esperanza Project)
So water is in danger, globally. Right now Indigenous communities are still at risk, and they are standing up, because they have to stand up. When you finally realize — WATER IS LIFE — you understand why you can’t sit back down.
People keep saying “after” Standing Rock – but I’m still of the same state of mind, I still have the same passion for the water, it has to be protected. It was when I was at Sicangu Wicoti Iyuksa that I learned about the aquifers that were in danger and when I was at Standing Rock I learned about the rivers that were in danger.
We encourage you to read the article. Cheryl Angel passes on wisdom from a lifetime spent in activism for the planet. Her reflections on the movement at Standing Rock are insightful, as is her take on the ongoing struggle to protect water and land resources.
Next, we’re providing links to 2 reports on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s website.
SRST – No DAPL Remand Report Final, from February 5, 2019.
This first story is a damning and infuriating report on the deficient Corps of Engineers Analysis of the environmental impacts of the DAPL. The courts finally sided with the Standing Rock Tribe, but then decided that since the pipeline is already built they will let the oil flow.
IEN is an alliance of Indigenous peoples whose mission it is to protect the sacredness of Earth Mother from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws. Adopted in 1994 by the IEN National Council, Denver, Colorado
The #StandingRock Sioux Tribe proves once again why they're one of the most resilient, powerful, and innovative communities. They didn’t let the Dakota Access Pipeline defeat them. Instead, they turned their anger into action 🔆♻️ pic.twitter.com/8rjYFLTKfS
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 5, 2019