Report from Inside the Oceti Sakowin Camp, December 2016
Representing for Gaol Naofa at Standing Rock, Oceti Sakowin, Dec 2016
There are representatives from hundreds of indigenous nations all over the globe, as well as many non-indigenous allies that I met who came from all over the country and the world, including Italy, France, China, Japan, Peru, Mexico, Norway and many more. There are Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, pagans, and likely polytheists (aside from myself) and many others who all gathered to offer their prayers at the central sacred fire in solidarity with our indigenous relatives, and we are all welcome. An Apache Elder even gave a shout out at the fire specifically honoring the Irish and Scottish, and those Americans of Gaelic and Celtic descent, who have joined them from all over.
This is an indigenous-centered movement with the world’s support and it should absolutely include us as Gaelic Polytheists, who see water – and the rivers who carry it – as sacred. We must also remember this is an issue of indigenous sovereignty and we are gathering to bring to light the atrocities committed against the Lakota, and all indigenous peoples, so that justice may be served and amends made.
On Sunday, Lakota Elders made an announcement at the sacred fire that they were officially going to forgive the U.S. Military for the killings of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse (this is a huge deal). As everyone listened (and cried) as they made that announcement, new life was breathed into hope for a better future for the indigenous people of Turtle Island and a better relationship between Native people and those living in occupied territory.
It’s not over, there is a long way to go, raise up your prayers and song, send donations, go to Standing Rock and help and see what it looks like to have a world united with Indigenous peoples working for a common goal. It is beautiful and also terribly sad considering what it has taken for it to finally get to this point.
Is Beatha é an t-Uisce!
‘S e an t-Uisge a’ Bheatha!
Water is Life!
Breandán Mac Suibhne,
An Chomhairle Ghaol Naofa
If you are considering going to Standing Rock, you must be prepared for harsh winter camping conditions, with subzero clothing and sleeping gear, and a winterized tent. If you are non-Native, you will also need to read the cultural protocols to prepare yourselves for how camp life is run. Read the regular updates posted on The CAORANN Facebook Page, and follow the people in camp whose updates are shared there.
The informational packets at this site go particularly in-depth about how to avoid culture-shock, and how not to act in a colonial or otherwise disruptive manner. We strongly recommend you read them if you are going.
December 6, 2016