Mni Wiconi- Water is Life: In Memory of Caine

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

Mni Wiconi – Water is Life

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

Also:

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.

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Many Standing Rocks: Three Years and Still Fighting, by Tracy L. Barnett – The Esperanza Project)

LaDonna Allard, center, and Cheryl Angel at a march led by the women of Sacred Stone to the backwater bridge one week after a brutal attack there by law enforcement. (Photo from social media) – 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.

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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.

Impacts of an Oil Spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from February 21, 2018, so that you can see just how much is at stake.
Both stories connect you to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s website and we encourage you to have a look around. The About Us section contains lots of information about the history of the tribe and the reservation, as does the section about environmental issues.
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Next, we’re going to point you toward the Indigenous Environmental Network.
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 IEN website has a broad focus and they carry a variety of interesting stories about the ongoing fight to protect the land and water. It isn’t all just talk, though. The IEN runs several important environmental campaigns including the Keep It In The Ground Campaign run by Dallas Goldtooth. Dallas was born into an activist family and stood as a water protector at Standing Rock. He’s an accomplished activist, teacher, writer, poet and comedian who uses story and humor to tackle difficult subjects.
Here he is with his comedy troupe, The 1491’s, at Vasser College in 2018. His message is full of hope.

And finally, we leave you with a clip found on Twitter 2 days ago by rq. It’s a true message of hope from The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the it’s the perfect way to end this post.

 

Equus

One thing people may or may not know about me: I luuuuuurrrrve horses. Sorry not sorry, I do. And while some of us have had very varied experiences with them, I would like to share something that tends more towards the wondrous grace and amazing beauty of this magnificent animal.

Mari Lwyd by Rhyn Williams, at DeviantArt

Okay, okay, that’s not the subject of this post, but seeing as Halloween season is approaching fast, here’s more info via HyperAllergic on the Mari Lwyd phenomenon. (Very pagan, and I love to see these spooky traditions still maintained today.)

Anyway.

So, in short, I am both happy and sad: I recently discovered a new documentary series on HORSES! on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ha) website.

Here’s the trailer:

And oh my gosh, it’s horses, and wild scenery, and people, and dramatic music and slo-mos, and wow! I thought it was a four-part, but it’s a three-part mini-series (part one, part two, part three). Why so sad? Because the videos are only available in Canada (as anyone not in Canada might have already discovered by clicking those links). The CBC does have a youtube channel, but it’s been no more helpful, because from what I can tell, this hasn’t been posted yet (or maybe it’s because I haven’t subscribed).

The article that led me to this find is here, unfortunately for some reason I cannot find the actual article on my computer so you have to settle for the mobile version.

Our ancestors settled every corner of the planet on foot. But when we harnessed horsepower — roughly 6,000 years ago — the human story changed forever. For clever-but-slow Homo sapiens, the strength and speed of horses was a perfect complement. Horses transported us, pulled our loads, plowed out fields, herded our livestock, and carried us into battle (or sped us away from danger). In ways no other animal could, horses were our constant and irreplaceable companion.

In the age of machines, we still talk about “horsepower.” But horses have lost their central place in human life; we now keep them as pets and companions.

But while their importance in the human world is fading, there are some horse cultures that survive today. In Equus: Story of the Horse, we meet some of them.

The documentary visits Kazakh nomads, the Yakuts of Northern Siberia, the Blackfoot of the Western Plains, and the Bedouin. Some of those horses (the northern ones) are seriously cute.

In honour of all horses who inspire us (in one way or another), here’s a fusion of Mongolian throat singing and traditional Latvian folk music. It is quite something. Don’t forget to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, too!

Román Cura Mural, Part 1.

The second Román Cura mural, from Kreator: I was finally able to take decent pictures of the mural which is located in the nearby city of Rawson. It is simply titled “Román Cura,” after the author himself. As I said earlier, it depicts the story of the region that would become my province, Chubut. Click for full size!

© Kreator, all rights reserved.

Indian Country Today Is Back!

Who Will Be Our First Founding Member? The new Indian Country Today is launching a membership drive and an auction. Top bid will be forever known as Indian Country Today’s: “First Founding Member.”

Who Will Be Our First Founding Member? The new Indian Country Today is launching a membership drive and an auction. Top bid will be forever known as Indian Country Today’s: “First Founding Member.”

Indian Country Today is back! The NCAI has taken over, and this is grand news.

From September through February I have heard about the importance of saving Indian Country Today. So many people across Indian Country had the same idea:

What if … What if we all contribute?

What if I step up to make certain Indian Country has solid, accurate, fair reporting?

Is it worth it to save this voice? A national media platform for Indian concerns?  And how much will it take?

Yes. Yes. And the answer is a lot  — or perhaps a few tax-deductible dollars if we all contribute together.

We are building a new Indian Country Today on a public media model. We will have some advertising, but most of our resources will come from members, tribes, enterprises, and non-profits.

We need you.

We are launching a membership drive and an auction.

The membership drive will solicit help from our “members” as $100 Founding Members, $500 Sustaining Members, and $1,000 for Premier Members.

Unlike public media we don’t have nifty gifts as a thank you. No t-shirts. No coffee mugs. Just a better news report. We want to use the money to build our news operation, a multimedia reporting platform about what’s going on across Indian Country. We’ll stretch your dollars by partnering with other organizations, and amplify our reporting by letting others repurpose our editorial content.

We will serve.

This is great news, but to work, ICT needs help from people. If you can drop a few dollars into the fund, please do, and if you can’t do that, please, please, spread the word, get it out everywhere! You can read more by Mark Trahant at Indian Country today, or go straight to the membership drive. This is so very important, it’s vital for Indigenous peoples to have a voice.  Also, be sure to check out the new edition, there’s all manner of interesting reading!

ETA: I should point out that it’s possible to donate $5.00 to the membership drive, which is all I can manage right now, but I’ll be dropping more fives each week.

Sunday Facepalm.

© Marty Two Bulls.

© Marty Two Bulls.

A trio of youtube nazis, oh pardon, white nationalists, have decided to stop pretending they aren’t nazis. Ooops, white nationalists. My keyboard just keeps slipping. These three chuckleheads are not helping me out of a current case of Benderitis (kill all humans).

Faith Goldy, a former Rebel Media reporter who has grown ever closer to the alt-right, joined Red Ice host Lana Lokteff and 4chan YouTube muse Lauren Rose in a video uploaded yesterday to deliver full-throated endorsements of ethno-nationalism, a movement that seeks to promote white supremacy in Western nations.

…“Civic nationalism perpetuates that it’s OK to bring foreign people into your country as long as they’re a bunch of tolerant egalitarians. That’s how I see it personally. It doesn’t take anything else into consideration like religion, race, ethnic group. As long as you’re tolerant and have egalitarian values, that seems to be OK,” Rose said, going on to say that she, Goldy and Hargraves have recognized that “when you replace the founding stock of a nation, you replace the entire nation.”

Golly, what a group of geniuses we have here. A little further on, they talk about knowing history well. As you can see, their actual knowledge of history is quite impoverished. Okay, let’s pretend all the immigrants to Turtle Island are cattle. Or dogs, whatever. If you start with a specific stock, and breed from that stock, and continue breeding, you aren’t replacing the initial bloodline (stock). Now, if you let your stock die out, or kill them, and get something completely different, then yeah. Exactly how you’re applying this to Amerika, I’m not sure. There was one wave of immigrants after another, which resulted in a massive tangle of people from all over the place. Many of the people who emigrated here could not be described as ‘tolerant egalitarians’, and all manner of immigrants were treated like they were lower than shit on a shoe. It was a sort of bigotry free for all.

Later in the interview, Goldy claimed that civic nationalism was invented as “an answer to ethno-nationalism” and that she didn’t care “what anyone thinks about ethno-nationalism” because detractors of the white supremacist movement have “not properly studied history” and don’t realize that “ethno-nationalism was the greatest propeller of human history when determining the maker or breaker of empire of civilization. This is what rallies men and gets them moving.”

I can name three people who have not studied history at all, let alone properly: Faith, Lana, and Lauren. There is no one “empire of civilization”. Empires come, empires go. Eventually, all empires decline and fall. That’s a thing you can find when studying history. Propeller is quite the interesting word choice. Oh yes, the notion of “hey, let’s go conquer” has been a long held rally cry of sorts. Generally speaking, all the men who had to get moving in history had to do so under the orders of assorted royalty and the ruling classes. Mostly, they were cannon fodder, winning lands for people who could not give one hearty fuck about them. Some things just don’t change.

Goldy continued, “It is a natural tribal instinct for human communities to go with their own. So the question is, are we going to continue to work against nature and try to rise above it even though we’re 40, 50, 60 years into this experiment?”

:facepalm: Forty to sixty years? Seriously? Holy shit. So, this whole ‘civic nationalism’ has only been going on since 1957, has it? Yes, people have a tendency to gather together when in an immigration situation, because there’s comfort in people who come from the same place you do, share a culture and language. That does not mean that people don’t expand outwards, learning other languages, customs, and becoming a part of their adopted homeland. Y’know, if you have this stupid idea that people at large need to be kicked out, that means you too, because none of the Indigenous people who were already long here on Turtle Island ever invited any of you.

Lokteff went on to remark that she thought “it’s really funny that a lot of these civic nationalists that we hear popping up, that they claim to be more on the right side, it’s only white people talking like that. Sure, you might have a few blacks or Latinos in there, but it’s like a white ideal, you know? What’s going to happen when they’re a minority? Seriously.”

Gosh, you could, oh I don’t know, fucking deal with it. So terrified of losing your privilege and power. Tsk. I can’t speak for anyone else, but from my viewpoint, we aren’t going to be running out of white people anytime soon. All this fretting over nothing. Whipping up fear for no good reason.

Goldy said that middle-class white men are “literally committing suicide” because immigration policies have made those white men feel like “strangers in our own backyard.”

Uh huh. A lot of white men can’t seem to manage to kill themselves without first slaughtering as many people as possible. Perhaps if these fellas who feel like strangers in their own backyard could do something truly radical, like saying hi to their neighbours. Maybe have a barbecue or something, what with that being such a white dude tradition. Get to know people a bit. Might work wonders.

“Some of the white guys are kind of mad right now when they’re literally on the shit list. They’re last in line for schools, for loans, for jobs, for grants. They’re blamed for all the problems in the world. They can’t be in politics. I have a son. I don’t want him to grow up in that kind of world where he’s on the shit list and later on he’s a minority,” Lokteff said. “How do you think they’re going to be treated when that happens?”

Such fucking idiocy. If you could wave a wand, and turn everyone in Amerika whitey-white, white men would still moan, whine, and hate each other. That happens when you raise people up with the idea that everything and everyone on the planet belongs to them, that they are entitled. There are a whole lot of people who are last in line for schools, loans, jobs, and grants. The majority of them are not white, and not male. They aren’t exactly thrilled to always be on the shit list which all minorities are consigned to, and here again is the one true thing you fear: that you will be treated the way you treat others. Be nice if you figured out just why that scares you so damn much.

As you’re looking for someone to blame (as always) about no good jobs, etc., raise your eyes to the filthy rich. Raise your eyes to shit regime you ushered in.

Rose agreed that white men are the “most under-attack group right now” and claimed that liberals began importing immigrants from developing countries because it “ensures their power.”

Immigrants are people, you flaming doucheweasel, they aren’t products. No, liberals are not in business importing people. People who immigrate here do so because of various reasons, with one important factor: they want to do so.

She said “whites are going from this vast majority of our nation—the face, the founding stock of our countries—and are now going to become minorities in less than a century. And people think that this is going to all be OK because we’re all tolerant, right?”

The ‘face’ of our nation is due for a change, I’m good with it. And no, Ms. Rose, we are not all tolerant. You certainly aren’t. That said, I’m not a fan of tolerance. I prefer acceptance.

She continued, “I think we should take whites and we should move to a foreign nation and start voting as voters and voting for our own interests and then the government will start to benefit whites rather than the natives. And then when they start complaining that their new system is benefiting us and not the natives, we can call them privileged bigots.”

You have no idea how favourable I find this cunning plan. Although, I hesitate to inflict you assholes on any other nation; every one has enough problems of their own.

“There is still a white majority and I think that any sort of movement that we have going forward has to appeal to that majority, as Donald Trump did implicitly whether he wants to admit it or not, but he did,” Goldy said.

Yes, a white majority. Fancy that. Here’s hoping that most white people are not stupid, bigoted nazis like you.

Lokteff elaborated later in the interview, “We want the natives to be the majority. There will be some people that aren’t of that native stock, but they need to be a smaller percentage of the population, correct? Right?”

Goldy agreed, “For me, I put it very, very plainly. For me, just a simple majority. Let’s start there.”

:snort: You want natives to be the majority? Great! When are you all leaving? I’ll come to the airport and wave bye. You fucking hateful assholes are not. native. stock. You are not natives. You are fucking immigrants, the descendants of criminals, thieves, and genocidal maniacs. Also, all the people in this country who are not white, but their families have been here for generations upon generations? They are just as ‘native’ as you are, whether you like it or not. There isn’t enough fuck off in the universe for you all.

RWW has video, if you wish.