Water Is Life!
Old Dr. Wiles is headed out to Standing Rock. I’m going to spend a couple of weeks standing with the Water Protectors who are bravely opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If you haven’t been following the news on this, it’s something you want to be aware of. See below for more information on the Standing Rock Movement.
Most immediately, I need your help to get out there. I’m going on faith — leaving by car this coming Saturday, November 19. I’m staying in the camp for 10-14 days. (Yes, tent, sleeping bag and all, on the cold, cold ground.) I’ll be helping with daily chores in the camps, sitting in ceremony and prayers daily with the people, and joining in on the front lines as we pray and protest the DAPL and the militarized police and security forces that are arresting so many of the Water Protectors.
I am proud to be enrolled as a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. My own Tribal Council, with Chief Gary Batton, has been involved with this Movement. I am going to North Dakota to stand with my own heritage as part of the indigenous peoples of this globe.
If you can help — even the smallest donation helps! — please do so. And feel free to send a copy of this email to whomever you wish. The simplest and fastest way to contribute is through PayPal — paypal.me/virginiawiles
What’s it all about?
The Standing Rock (#NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #StandingRock #MniWiconi) movement, centered near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota started back in April of 2016 and is the largest gathering of indigenous peoples in America ever! They have followed and learned from the energy of #OccupyWallstreet and #BlackLivesMatter. They — WE — are better organized than indigenous peoples have ever been. For some basic information on the movement, see #NoDAPL Solidarity and Sacred Stone Camp.
Watch this excellent, very short documentary video from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the protest and the history behind it.
This is a protest against Environmental Racism
As “Water Protectors” the Standing Rock movement is battling a water crises similar to the evil machinations we have seen in Flint, Michigan. DAPL had originally planned for the pipeline to route just north of Bismark. The predominantly white population of Bismark said, “!NO!” So DAPL moved the pipeline route to slightly north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
This is has now become a protest against the Militarization of America’s Police Forces
Those gathering at Standing Rock are engaged in a peaceful, prayerful protest — and have been met with hundreds of militarized police and other security forces, from at least six states. At least 420 of the Water Protectors have been arrested, and the reports of their treatment have been chilling. This is all in the face of prayer and religious ceremony!
This is a protest against Cultural Decimation
The sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux have been violated—the graves of their ancestors desecrated (think Arlington Cemetery!), their sacred objects destroyed (think Isis against the antiquities in the Middle East and Northern Africa). None of these actions is, of course, unheard of when we’re talking about the original inhabitants of this land Americans call their own. But it is not just “Native Americans”! Indigenous peoples from around the globe have come to North Dakota to stand for Indigenous rights. The UN has sent observers to ND.
This is a Movement demanding Rezspect for the Other
The mainstream media is doing very little reporting on the developments out at Standing Rock. You can follow the developments by searching hashtags like the following: #NoDAPL | #WaterIsLife | #StandingRock | #MniWiconi |#Rezspect. Please help to spread the word and inform the people around you and in your congregations and ministry settings. This is an important movement and now more than ever we need to stand with one another—for respect for the Other, for freedom for water and land and sky, for honoring all of our fabulously rich and varied cultures and traditions.
Please stand with Standing Rock!
Be a Part of Standing Rock!
You can be a part of this historic movement. We need you! There are several ways you can help:
- You can help me get to Standing Rock and provide support while I’m there in ND. Every little bit helps. Use this link if you wish to support my journey and work for Standing Rock: PayPal.me/virginiawiles.
- Support the movement through informing yourself and your people, and through joining in protests here in the Northeast.
- Support the movement through direct donations to the #NoDAPL and Sacred Stone camp.
- And please, please, please — Support the movement and my journey with your heart and your prayers. This movement is founded on and sustained by prayer and religious ceremony. Please join your hearts and your breath with those standing firm for Water and Life.
A good friend sent me a Turkish blessing for my journey: “Go like water, come like water.” So may it be!
And, please share this email! Let’s stand together with Standing Rock!
Peace and Water for all,
#NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #StandingRock #MniWiconi #Rezspect