Here we are having lunch at a park in Rawlins, Wyoming, on our way to Standing Rock. Tonight my good friends and I are staying in Spearfish, South Dakota, planning to get up early so we can check in at the camp in time for the nonviolence training at 2 p.m. tomorrow. We are ready to do what we can.
I recently read This is an Uprising, How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century, by Paul and Mark Engler. They write about the “whirlwind,” those times in history when things come together in a new way that makes possible what seemed impossible before. Standing Rock is such a time. Many people around the world are recognizing that respecting the rights of Indigenous people and learning from them about honoring the creation are at the center of what needs to happen if we are to get through this historic time in a way that leaves hope for a habitable planet.
I’m here for the sake of the children and for future generations. Ready to enter the whirlwind.
Tomorrow, Friday, at 5 p.m., community members are invited to meet at the Maidu bark house at the foot of Broad Street in Nevada City to join in a traditional round dance. This event is being held in solidarity with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has been fasting for weeks, and with First Nations people around the world who are rising up to demand that governments honor the rights of Indigenous people and the rights of Mother Earth.
The Idle No More movement began in Canada with a teach-in in Saskatoon that was held in response to the Canadian government’s introduction of Bill C-45, an omnibus bill that Native activists claim weaken environmental protection laws and treaty rights. On December 11, Chief Spence stopped eating all solid food and now only occasionally consumes lemon water, medicinal teas, and fish broth. This hunger strike has drawn attention to the issues of First Nations and has mobilized support actions around the world. Find out more in this article at TruthOut called “Idle No More Indigenous Uprising Sweeps North America.”
I’ll be in Nevada City at the Round Dance on Friday. I wouldn’t miss it. I hope that my grandchildren can come, too. No matter what happens in the future, I want them to be able to look back and know that the adults in their lives were doing everything in their power to help create a world that would sustain them and their children and grandchildren for generations to come. I want them to know that we were Idle No More.