The events and important issues being surfaced at Standing Rock affect us all. But, the author of this piece makes a very important point: we must begin by recognizing that this is, first and foremost, a struggle for survival and justice for the indigenous peoples of this land.
It is their struggle, not ours.
So, while we may bring other concerns to the table (global warming and environmental destruction, in particular) we cannot allow our own agendas to supplant or overshadow theirs. If we are to be allies of the Native Americans at Standing Rock, then we must do so on their terms, and with great respect and care for all that is theirs.
Water Protectors gather after a day of prayer and direct action. (Photo: Desiree Kane)
This piece is very personal because, as an Indigenous woman, my analysis is very personal, as is the analysis that my friends on the frontlines have shared with me. We obviously can’t speak for everyone involved, as Native beliefs and perspectives are as diverse as the convictions of any people. But as my friends hold strong on the frontlines of Standing Rock, and I watch, transfixed with both pride and worry, we feel the need to say a few things.
I’ve been in and out of communication with my friends at Standing Rock all day. As you might imagine, as much as they don’t want me to worry, it’s pretty hard for them to stay in touch. I asked if there was anything they wanted me to convey on social media, as most of them are maintaining a…
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