Friday, September 09, 2016

Standing Rock

But in a development that stunned even the tribe’s lawyers, the decision by District Judge James E. Boasberg was effectively put on hold by a federal order to stop construction near the tribe’s reservation until the Army Corps of Engineers can revisit its previous decisions in the disputed portion.  Washington Post

As I've watched the situation at Standing Rock develop, I've been saddened beyond words.  This is my first attempt to express what I've been contemplating.  I see the courage in those who are standing, and I pray all those who are going in support are truly supportive.  What I see in all this, though; is this problem started long before Standing Rock, and as much as I'd like to, I can't lay all the blame on the white man.  Being of Native American descent, I've always been proud of my ancestry, but in many ways for several years, it was just a cubbyholed fact of my DNA.  I'm blessed to be obviously Native American in my appearance, as I've met a great many blond, blue-eyed folks who claim a Native heritage, but that isn't the point.  A part of me, was earthy and spiritual, but it wasn't until our Heavenly Father a.k.a. The Great Spirit healed my mind, that I more fully understand what it is to be tribal.  Now, I'm not going to make Standing Rock about my personal journey, but rather use this opportunity to express how wrong it's been for so long, and do my best to not incite any bigotry and lay down my own.  Standing Rock is by far not the first battle of the Great Plains, but it should be the last, and for the first time in American history, the side of greed should not win.

These brave souls of Standing Rock want more for their children and are willing to fight for that.  They haven't sold out to the ridiculous notion many of us of indigenous ancestry did.  For so many of us, our thinking was, "to try to give our kids everything we didn't have as kids, and higher public education is the path to success."  I was one of those!  On top of trying to live by and teach the next generation the mainstream programming, I failed to teach, or set the example of respect of the elders, either.  I've been reaping the bitter harvest of that for a number of years, and probably will for the rest of my days.

For the last several months my daughter has called me to discuss nothing but her latest career and big plans to make big money.  The call before the last one, was regarding her change of companies.  She informed me that she is now working the downtown developments, 'in her element' and she could smell the money . . . This is in Arizona, state of much tribal history and the last territory to be made a state, in the contiguous 48.  Now, to our last conversation.  She wanted to share in solidarity against the greed of the pipeline, even mentioned that we should go together and stand with them in Standing Rock, since we're tribal, ya know . . . Just a few months ago she was in this area and had conspired with her white grandmother to exclude me from the family gathering and keep her visit a secret from me.  Now she wants to go 1000 miles to be "family."  I had spent her childhood trying to buy into the corporate capitalism of America, and she has a college degree, worked in banking through the bailout years, and now real estate.  But she is against Big Oil . . .

I've contemplated long and hard about what I can actually do.  I have ministered both spiritual and natural health to The Nations in Oklahoma.  I need to do more, but what?  I share the pro-Native American memes on Facebook!  Yay me!  Being Native American isn't about DNA and bloodlines . . . well it is, but it's so much more.  It's spiritual!  It's a different lifestyle and culture.  It's a respect for our Creator, and a responsibility for creation.  It's an appreciation of nature that many of us have lost and certainly failed to teach.  These brave souls at Standing Rock are teaching their children what so many of us failed to do.  Seems everyone likes to claim a Native heritage as they bustle through their hectic schedule on their way to the next "white culture" appointment or event.  America doesn't reflect the culture of Native Americans and that's been a mistake for far too long, hundreds of years too long.  As much as I'd like to lay all the blame on white corporate greed, some of the blame lies at the feet of those of us who are Native American, were and are aware that tribal reality is not taught in the public school system, or reported on mainstream media, or represented in Washington, and failed to impart the spirituality of tribal integrity to the next generation.

The biggest change and greatest help I can offer is to boycott any product that is provided by Dakota Access Pipeline Company, but that is going to take some research.  The next thing I can do is to offer financial support to these individuals who are courageously taking a stand and have been since April of this year.  The third thing I can do is to share and teach the Scriptural spiritual truth of a tribal culture to those who are willing to learn.  The last thing I can do is to offer an "heritage" to those who are serious about Scriptural truth and Native endurance.

It's time, also that women stop trying to be equal with men and realize Native American culture is a matriarchal culture.  We've lost a lot in that regard.  Even the white folk have a saying, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."  So, as a society, we chose to abandon home, hearth, and rocking the cradle for money.  This is where we, of Native ancestry would have to set aside bigotry and realize our nation would be greatly benefited if we taught the white people, our way of life.  If we could lay the greed aside and truly reach out in peace.

I truly would love to just blame those fat cat, white elitist of Big Oil, but the reality is, we all had a responsibility to teach our children better than we did, and those at Standing Rock are doing just that.  In the course of writing this article, it was announced that a judge has ruled against those standing at Standing Rock, then an injunction was put in place to stop construction.  The outcome remains to be seen.  Those brave hearted people simply do not have the same odds that our ancestors had at Little Big Horn, although; they do have the same values.

I have asked forgiveness for my failings and repented.  I pray for the Native Americans, they are my people.  

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. a Proverb of Holy Scripture
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