Buffalohair: Humanities Pilgrimage: Standing Rock North Dakota
Humanities Pilgrimage: Standing Rock North Dakota
abound about the Besieged Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota, their
struggle against the Dakota Access Pile Line (DAPL) or ‘Black Snake’ and
endless western media prevarications. But while on assignment at the
Oceti Sakowin Camp I also found another story. Granted, it was
unexpected but it was also hard to ignore for it brought me back to the
very essence of my core beliefs. In a way this became my personal
From the moment you
approach the Cannonball River one is taken by the size of the
encampments on both banks. Then there is the line of traffic waiting to
pass the security check point as supporters, supplies and lookie loos
pile into camp. You must go through orientation and your credentials
verified to acquire a press pass. Only after you met their criteria you
are allowed to take videos and photographs in permissible areas with the
permissions of the occupants.
is advised you heed the warning about taking photos of sacred sites,
camp fires, lodges etc. Though you may fool people and take videos of
something sacred on the sly you are not fooling spirits of the spirit
world. Everyone is watching you betraying your vow to honor a sacred
tradition. And what timing eh. Nothing like doing something completely
stupid & disrespectful during a spiritual event of this magnitude
for no other reason than you can. How far beyond stupid is that eh?
you are planning a trip to Standing Rock bare in mind this is a budding
community not a KOA Camp Ground for this is home to many people who’ve
moved to camp permanently. It’s a traditional native community
intertwined with societies, clans and private aspects of indigenous life
foreign to other cultures. Familiarize yourself with proper protocols
and clearly defined tribal precepts of what is hallowed for there are no
exceptions to this rule. Just show respect, ask questions, no biggie.
camp had a majestic view of the spotlights that would shine down onto
camp throughout the night. A supporter commented, “Reminds me of the
West Bank”, then I noticed the Palestinian flag. It was humbling to note
people from around the world who were so driven by compassion they made
the pilgrimage to Standing Rock. Through the rigors and excitement of
the day a story began to evolve, a story of the human condition.
people came from many dogmas & ideological principals they
understood the deeper significants this joining of cultures has in the
grand scheme of things. Where other ‘signs’ were simply ignored or
passed off as coincidence, the DAPL – Black Snake Debacle struck a cord
within prophetic philosophies around the world. It was good to hear
people speaking comfortably about the realities of prophecy, especially
from a multi principled perspective.
I found way cool was the younger generation I encountered. These folks
were awake, aware and wanting to make a difference for humanities sake.
They were up to speed in the issues that mattered. It was great to hear
well read and knowledgeable young people sharing their observations in
life, motivations and how much they cared for their fellow human beings
& Ma Earth. And the skills they offered were off the charts
professionally speaking, holay!
Various technologies were in review, including innovative housing, holistic medical
and mental health facilities under construction within this sprawling
encampment along the Cannon Ball River. I happened onto a yurt building
class and was spell bound by this unique structure and it’s simplicity
in assembly. But alas I resigned myself to my cousins dilapidated tent
that survived a savage wind storm in a previous run to the rez. Some
rope, Duct Tape and we were good to go.
Wiconi, Water is Life” the mantra of the Water Protectors would
resonate throughout the camp as a reminder of what we are here for. The
hustle and bustle of daily life was apparent as mothers would prepare
meals and various groups would conduct meetings while kitchens prepared
to feed the masses. Sanitation and other infrastructure services
continued quietly and unnoticed in what could have been construed as
total chaos. This was truly a ‘civil society’, well except for the
Bluecoats & their toys peering down on us.
I meandered throughout the camp I could not help but imagine how life
was for my people back in the day. I pondered how life could have been,
where humanity was an axiom not just a noun. My thoughts turned to the
prophecies and oral traditions of my people. Then I remembered the
teachings of my late uncle Martin Burnt Fingernail and the visions we
shared. If only he could see this now, or maybe he already does.
wonderful view of flood lamps was overshadowed by a perfect
amphitheater since I could hear drums from the meeting area and around
camp. After walking around all day it was a joy to lay down and listen
to sacred songs, prayers and sagged prophetic teachings from noble
In spite of all the chaos I did find peace of mind at the Oceti Sakowin Camp for I witnessed prophecy in motion.
I’ve said many times before, you better have a handle on true
spirituality and know who your ancestors are because the show has only