Test Notes.


A few notes. The Jacquard Dye-na-flow colours are wonderfully vivid, and light, the consistency of ink, which also means you need to rule them out unless you are after a massive bleed effect, or willing to spend money on a fabric masking product, which of course Jacquard makes, and spend all the time masking your designs, painting, then removing the mask. I don’t have time. In spite of the thinness, the Dye-na-flow dries fairly stiff. Mixing it with textile medium retards the bleed, but it also dilutes the colour coverage.

The Liquitex soft body paint is fabulous. You don’t actually need anything else, as it’s permanent on fabric, and when dry, not nearly as stiff as regular or heavy body acrylics, but the spread and flow are enhanced by a healthy amount of textile medium, and it does soften it up a bit when dry.

The Jacquard airbrush colour is vivid, thin, and beautiful, but also bleeds and it is serious stiff when dry. This mixes better with textile medium, but it’s not ideal. Both the Dye-na-flow and airbrush colours are great when adding to an acrylic paint and textile medium mix. This deepens the colour, and acts as a thinning agent.

Oh, and fingers are best for blending.

Amnesty International Smacks Kirchmeier.

Via Facebook.

Via Facebook.

Amnesty International has turned their attention to Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, an incompetent bigot who has repeatedly run to media with reports of pipe bombs, guns, knives, and violence in the camps at Standing Rock, and has been proven wrong every time, but he continues to do this. With the last peaceful direct action being met with armored vehicles, cops in armored riot gear and wielding assault rifles at people who were planting corn and willow, he once again shows his plain desire to rain down violence and destruction on peaceful people. He managed to restrain himself to arresting 21 people. I have mentioned our surprise at seeing a monstrous, shiny, new mobile command center hulking behind silos, last week on our way into camp. Kirchmeier has all the shiny, militarized goodies, and it’s apparent that he’s just aching to use them. Not once has he or his force bothered to protect the Standing Rock Protectors, he refused to stop the attack and assault by private goons, but instead chose to run to the media with stories of those poor, beset upon goons and their vicious animals. Indians? Oh, who cares about them?

Kirchmeier has been trying, every day, to amp things up, and it’s getting very worrying now, because all it will take is one moment, one loss of control, one bullet fired. Ndakota doesn’t offer much opportunity for “action”, the kind of action a strutting chicken like Kirchmeier would like to see. I get the feeling he sees this as one chance for some of that glorious cop action, a story to end his days on. This man is dangerous because he is weak, and too in love with those shiny, militarized toys.

Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier
Morton County Sheriff’s Department

28 September 2016

Dear Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier:

Following the protests that took place at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site on 3 September, we are writing to ask you to investigate the use of force by private contractors, remove blockades and discontinue the use of riot gear by Morton County Sheriff’s deputies when policing protests in order to facilitate the right to peaceful protests in accordance with international law and standards.

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Solidarity from the South.

Left to Right: Eriberto Gualinga (Sarayaku), Franco Viteri (Sarayaku), Kandi Mossett (IEN), David Archambault II (Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman), Nina Gualinga (Sarayaku), and Leo Cerda (Kichwa, on Amazon Watch staff). Courtesy Josue Rivas/Indigenous Rising.

Left to Right: Eriberto Gualinga (Sarayaku), Franco Viteri (Sarayaku), Kandi Mossett (IEN), David Archambault II (Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman), Nina Gualinga (Sarayaku), and Leo Cerda (Kichwa, on Amazon Watch staff). Courtesy Josue Rivas/Indigenous Rising.

Indigenous leaders from Ecuador joined the protectors at Standing Rock recently to show solidarity and share information, as their community has had some victories against oil companies and politicians in the past few years.


In an interview on September 14, Viteri explained the reasons for the visit and outlined the connections between indigenous communities in the north and south. News of the struggle at Standing Rock had reached them, and Viteri and his group had been selected by the Sarayaku communities to “stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters,” the veteran activist and leader said.

“We came from the Amazon jungle with a message of strength and solidarity for the Sioux,” Viteri said. “My people are very conscious, because of our history and our tradition, just like the tribes here, of our connection with nature, with Mother Earth; we know that this is what gives balance to life here on Earth. The transnational corporations, like those trying to build this oil pipeline, are blind because they don’t understand the language of nature.”

Viteri noted that his Kichwa community had been in contact with other tribes in the U.S. before, but not with the Standing Rock Sioux. He also pointed out that he had seen other indigenous people from Latin America at the camp, and recalled that he had spoken with a few from Honduras, Peru and El Salvador. Another Amazonian indigenous community from Ecuador will be coming, Viteri said. He closed the interview with a message for the protectors at Standing Rock and others throughout North America.

“In the name of all the children, elders, women, the birds, the large and small animals that depend on water to survive, the Kichwa people extend a greeting,” he said, “a sacred greeting of respect for nature and for the life of all the peoples of the North, because we know that if water is destroyed, life on Earth will end.”

Rick Kearns at ICTMN has the full story.

Standing Rock Camp: The Bad.



Okay, this is the 2nd part of being back at Očeti Sakowiŋ camp on Wednesday, the 28th September. First part is here. The photos are full size, click for readability. It took a considerable amount of restraint to stop myself from titling this post: White People, Please, Sit Down and Shut Up. As I have mentioned before, many times, you’d never know I was any part Indian going by looks. I’m quite white, and and right now, I’d be happier if I dyed myself purple or something, anything to be dissociated from the behaviour on the part of some white people at the camp. Standard Disclaimer: there are a lot of white folks at the camps who are terrific people, helping out, and being a good and important part of the community. Unfortunately, this does not mitigate the behaviour of other white people.

The rules, detailed above, have been in place, but they are now written out and emphasised throughout the camps, and still, white people are managing to be utterly oblivious, and continue to break them, because, well, those rules, they can’t mean me, right? Yes, they mean you, oh great white crunchy saviours.

It’s no secret that a good amount of young white people flocked to the Red Warrior camp early on, months ago. That’s fine, but white people, you really, seriously need to sit down, shut the fuck up, listen, learn, pay attention, and figure out how respect works. Respect is not something which is owed only to white people.

There were even more young blonde women in camp, sporting dreadlocks. Perhaps that’s some sort of attempted connection to Celtic roots, I don’t know, but many of these young women were waltzing about the communal area in full privilege blindness, seeming to think this was a crunchy white person nature camp. It isn’t. It’s not considered terribly respectful to walk around the communal area with one breast exposed because your two year old child might want a drink, either. A tiny bit of sense can go a very long way. A lot of young white people are duly fired up about issues, and that’s fine, but where is your respect for doing things the Indigenous way? These same young white people are continually advocating for going out to the DA work sites and protesting in a decidedly non-Indigenous manner. They talk constantly about going up to “the front lines”.

That happened while we were there on Wednesday morning. Much agitation about going out to the “front lines”. A whole lot of young people went out, and they didn’t come back. They were all arrested, with one exception. One of the very crunchy, “nature camp” young women, white, took the open mic and was trying to explain the arrests, and what happened, then backtracked to why she was there, speaking. She had taken her toddler with her, and said she was about to be arrested when she brought her child out, and asked what would happen to her. The cops decided to let her go, rather than place her child in the system, since she’s not from here. As she was saying all this, a furious young Native woman, standing by the rule boards in the first photo, slammed her hand down on the appropriate place on the board, and yelled at her for taking her small child, and not paying attention to the rules. The young crunchy woman muttered something, dropped the mic and took off. To say that white people need a lesson in figuring out respect is an understatement, to say the least. This is not your nature camp, and any retaliation won’t land on you, it will land on the people who live here. We don’t need white leaders, we don’t need white saviours, and we don’t need the damn near impenetrable shield of obliviousness so many white people walk around with.

After the arrests, Phyllis Young had something to say. She started out by saying she was going to go easy this time, apparently, the day before, she had been absolutely infuriated by all the front line talk and more. In particular, she seriously dislikes front lines. I agree with her, front lines is a term of war. Ms. Young talked about understanding warmongering, she was a warmonger in her youth, she was at Wounded Knee in the ’70s. That’s not what is happening here and now though, or at least, it’s not what is supposed to be happening here and now. Ms. Young talked about white people playing saviour, and that in doing so, they had only one frame of reference, that of war. The collective memory of white America is nothing but war. There’s nothing else. This is not in any way helpful to all the people at the camps, it is not in any way helpful to all those who actually live here, and who will have to live with the consequences of stupid actions. Ms. Young wanted to know who was going to come up with the bail money, who was going to get everyone out of jail. Who was going to pay the court costs, the fines that will be imposed. I’m willing to bet it won’t be the wannabe white saviours. There’s also the issue of young Native people ending up with a criminal record. White people might consider that some sort of badge of honour, but need to remember they are white. A record won’t impact them nearly to the same extent it will affect a person of colour, especially a person of colour living on a reservation. FFS, is it all that much to ask white people to bloody think?

There have also been pro-pipeline infiltrators in the camps, white people, natch. Again, there’s some young white person agitating, talking about needing to go out to the “front lines” and setting up a time and place. A second person sits up on a hill with a telescope, and informs the cops of the destination. The cops get there first, everyone gets arrested, and no one makes it back to camp. As I mentioned in the first part, the presence of cops has been seriously amped up, and they have a monster mobile command center just past the turn off to Sacred Stone Camp. They have militarized vehicles, SWAT, and are running around with assault rifles. Indigenous people know we cannot afford to make this a war, cops and others are just waiting for an excuse. White people may see all that as a challenge, but that’s entirely the wrong point of view to have at the camp.

In conclusion, white people, please, I fucking beg of you, stop. Just fucking stop. Sit down. Listen. Learn. Pay attention to the rules. Understand that you are an ally, but also understand that you have no particular stake in what happens at Standing Rock. After this, you get to go home and pat yourself on the back for being a “good” white person. Before you deliver that pat, it would be useful to figure out what constitutes a good white person, a good ally. Understand that it is not your camp. Understand that this is not a war, and it’s certainly not up to you to make it one. Understand that you are not a saviour of any kind, nor are saviours being sought. Understand that you are still thinking in a completely colonial way. Understand that colonialism got us into this situation, it won’t help get us out. Learn respect. And please, stop being so damn embarrassing.

For all you wonderful people who are making things or have things to send, this is where:

For those of you who have things to send, this is where:


Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
attn: Johnelle Leingang
North Standing Rock Ave
Fort Yates, North Dakota, 58538

Much, much, much love, thanks, and appreciation. It might be a small thing to you, but it’s in no way small at all, your generosity and love shines through.

Indigenous News Round-up.


The Immortal Mr. Plastic.

Excerpts only, click links for full articles.

barack_obama On My Final White House Tribal Nations Conference, by President Barack Obama:

This week, I hosted my eighth and final White House Tribal Nations Conference as President, a tradition we started in 2009 to create a platform for people across many tribes to be heard. It was a remarkable testament to how far we’ve come.

It was just eight years ago when I visited the Crow Nation in Montana and made a promise to Indian country to be a partner in a true nation-to-nation relationship, so that we could give all of our children the future they deserve.

winonaladuke-e1336873224811  Slow, Clean, Good Food, by Winona LaDuke:

In an impressive fossil fuels travel day, I left the Standing Rock reservation and flew to Italy for the International Slow Food gathering known as Terra Madre. A world congress of harvesters, farmers, chefs and political leaders, this is basically the World Food Olympics. This is my fifth trip to Italy for Slow Food. I first went with Margaret Smith, when the White Earth Land Recovery Project won the Slow Food Award for Biodiversity in 2003, for our work to protect wild rice from genetic engineering. This year, I went as a part of the Turtle Island Slow Food Association- the first Indigenous Slow Food members in the world, a delegation over 30 representing Indigenous people from North American and the Pacific. We have some remarkable leaders, they are young and committed.

It is a moment in history for food, as we watch the largest corporate merger in history- Bayer Chemical’s purchase of Monsanto for $66 billion; with “crop protection chemicals” that kill weeds, bugs and fungus, seeds, and (likely to be banned in Europe) glyphosate, aka Roundup. Sometimes I just have to ask: ‘Just how big do you all need to be, to be happy?’

tribal_chairman_jeff_l-_grubbe_agua_caliente_band_of_cahuilla_indians_main_0  Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Donates $250,000 to Standing Rock Legal Fund:

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is donating $250,000 to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s legal fund, citing the need to keep pushing for proper consultation even after the Dakota Access oil pipeline issue is decided.

“We support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s effort to ensure the United States Army Corps of Engineers, or any other agency or department of the United States, strictly adheres to federal environmental review and tribal consultation requirements prior to authorizing any projects that may damage the environment or any sites that are of historic, religious, and cultural significance to any Indian tribe,” said Agua Caliente Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe in a statement on September 27, calling on President Barack Obama to make sure consultation is thorough.

3-fiesta-protest-woman-with-sign_dsc0508_widea  Natives Speak Out Against the Santa Fe Fiesta – The Bloodless Reconquest:

A loud group of about 50 mostly Native protesters disrupted the Entrada kickoff event of the Fiestas de Santa Fe. This is the annual reenactment of Don Diego de Vargas’s “peaceful reconquest” of Santa Fe in 1692 as produced by Caballeros de Vargas, a group which is a member of the Fiesta Council, and several current and past City of Santa Fe Councilors are members of the Fiesta Council or played parts in the Entrada over the years. So these are layers you must wade through when people ask questions and protesters demand changes. And changes or outright abolishment of The Entrada are what the groups “The Red Nation” and “In The Spirit of Popay” are asking for.

climate_news_network-binoculars-flickr-aniket_suryavanshi  Dire Climate Impacts Go Unheeded:

The social and economic impacts of climate change have already begun to take their toll—but most people do not yet know this.

Politicians and economists have yet to work out how and when it would be best to adapt to change. And biologists say they cannot even begin to measure climate change’s effect on biodiversity because there is not enough information.

Two studies in Science journal address the future. The first points out that historical temperature increases depress maize crop yields in the U.S. by 48 percent and have already driven up the rates of civil conflict in sub-Saharan Africa by 11 percent.

big-pix-rick-bartow-counting-the-hours ‘Counting the Hours’ By Rick Bartow:

Rick Bartow, a member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot, walked on April 2, 2016, and had suffered two strokes before he passed. The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts reports that those events affected his work, and it can be seen in his collection as “exciting examples of Bartow’s production since his stroke… that evidence a new freedom of scale and expression.”

Born in Oregon in 1946, Bartow was never formally trained in the arts, though his artistic nature was encouraged and he did graduate from Western Oregon University with a degree in secondary arts education in 1969. Right after that he served in Vietnam from 1969-1971, and it was demons from that war that he spent his early years in art exorcising. He says he was “twisted” after Vietnam and his art can be described as disturbing, surreal, intense, and visionary; even transformative.

harney_peak_renamed_black_hills_peak_-_ap_photo  Celebration of Forgiveness at Black Elk Peak:

On a recent Autumn Saturday in the Black Hills, a handful of men and women gathered at around 9 a.m. at the Sylvan Lake trailhead just below Black Elk Peak. By 10 a.m., they numbered close to 80.

“The focal point of our gathering was to have family members of General Harney have an opportunity to apologize to members of the Little Thunder family,” said Basil Brave Heart, Oglala Lakota, an organizer of the event. Brave Heart initiated and led the effort to change the name of this highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains from Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak.

Among those standing in a circle that morning was Paul Stover Soderman, a seventh-generation descendant of General William Harney, known as The Butcher of Ash Hollow, and to the Lakota as the architect of the same conflict, known to them as the Massacre at Blue Water Creek. Soderman had come to apologize to Sicangu descendants of Chief Little Thunder, the Brule leader of those murdered in that conflict, and to seek forgiveness and healing.

All this and much more at ICTMN.

Standing Rock, Back at Camp: The Good.












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.

The Easy-peasy Regulatory Scheme.


TRAHANT REPORTS—It always amazes how different people can look at the same set of facts, an event, or even a conversation and walk away with completely different impressions.

Then in four decades of reporting I have never seen a story with as wide a gulf over what is occurring at Standing Rock.

The government of North Dakota sees this extraordinary event as a minor glitch in their rush toward more profits from North Dakota oil. And so many of the characterizations are written as if none of the top government officials—you know the governor, members of Congress, the state’s power structure—have ever been to the site that they know so much about. But that’s me being generous: They have not been there and they are clear about their intentions to never go.

That’s why this is a fight about story. And who gets to tell it?

And the stories North Dakota Officialdom want the public to believe are those of lawlessness, “sound science and engineering,” and an overzealous regulatory structure. The first story is quickly erased by anyone who takes the time to travel to the camps. (Previous: Why politicians should visit Standing Rock camps.) And it is the same with the second story, the debate about science and engineering, because that telling only works when you ignore climate science. (Previous: Overdue national debate about pipelines and sound science.)

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