Sarah Sunshine Manning (Shoshone-Paiute, Chippewa-Cree) has a wonderful story up at ICTMN. I agree that in many ways, we have already won. This is a historical time, this is history in the making, and the tribes have not been this united since Victory Day (that would be the Battle at the Greasy Grass, aka Custer’s final fuck up). That is also the foundation of the government’s fear, and all the intimidation games they keep playing, not that many would admit to that, but the grudge runs deep. When we are together, we are strong. When all people unite, we are strong, and our voices are powerful enough to be heard.
We woke up to sounds of joy- laughter, conversation, and warm greetings of “Good Morning.” We woke up to lingering fragrances of camp fires, coffee, and smoldering sage and cedar. Near our camp was the central gathering place, where early risers were already congregating over coffee, while others were making huge amounts of breakfast over open fire.
People of all tribes and many ethnicities gathered. I admit, that I was a little giddy just at the site of a blond gentleman there with his family — a wife and two young children. I admit, that I have been conditioned if not traumatized while living in the Dakotas for the last decade to expect much less than warmth from the majority of non-Natives in the area. But what I immediately saw in the camps at Standing Rock was pure unity of humanity. Unity for Earth, and solidarity for life. And it was beautiful. There were several non-Natives present, standing with the Lakota and Dakota people of Standing Rock as fellow human beings.