I have heard so much about the water protesters at Standing Rock on Facebook. I don’t know if there is any mention of it on Australian television news, because I don’t watch it.
I feel a strong urge to support the indigenous people at Standing Rock, yet I don’t really understand why.
There have been other indigenous peoples, in other struggles against big business and the governments which support that business. Perhaps I only learned of the others’ struggles after the fact, when they had already lost, when they saw their water sources decimated by mines, or their life-giving forests cleared for some purpose or other. I might have felt sorry for them, but knew that the damage was already done. Progress had already steamrollered them into submission.
But here at Standing Rock, there is not just one small tribe standing up against overwhelming odds. Here at Standing Rock many Native American tribes have joined forces to support the oppressed tribes of Standing Rock. I see, in the protests at Standing Rock, the unity of peaceful resistance against the oppressors, and I wonder what may have happened if such unity had existed in the days when the tribes were massacred by government troops, when they were herded onto reservations, when they were forced to become a cowering shadow of their former proud race.
But then I realise that we live in different times. We live in times when the world is watching; we live in times when the murder, or even the oppression, of innocent peaceful people would not go unnoticed.
Yet, I still wonder why I feel so invested in a positive outcome at Standing Rock. I really don’t know enough about the situation to really know if the pipeline is a positive or a negative. I haven’t weighed the pros and cons. I haven’t analysed the situation. I have just decided that supporting this resistance to the pipeline is the right thing to do. Why?
Not every decision is based on a logical thought process.
Perhaps it is because, during my studies of Native American Spirituality, I learned about many of the times during their history, when there was no one watching, when there was no one standing up with them or for them.
Perhaps it is because one of my spirit guides (the first one I was ever introduced to) was a Lakota Indian.
Perhaps it is because I am remembering what I read in the book, Phoenix Rising, by Mary Summer Rain, about a time in the future when the people of the Earth would follow the examples of the American Indians. This would lead to a future where all the people of the Earth lived in unity, and in union with Mother Earth. In this future time, all the four-leggeds would run free. The vision of the future showed complete families of animals living together in peace and freedom, unlike today, when animals’ lives are manipulated and their babies stolen.
Perhaps this is just wishful thinking. Perhaps some of the scenarios, which were predicted to foreshadow such a future, have not eventuated.
However, it is possible that, due to our positive thoughts, words, and deeds, we may have avoided some of the worst predictions. It is possible that the unprecedented unification of Indian tribes is really a precursor of the unification of all humanity. Who knows?
Do you stand with the people of Standing Rock? Do you know why?