OEN's Georgianne Nienaber is at the Sacred Stones camp at Standing Rock, where Native American Protectors from 80 tribes are camped out to protect Mother Earth and her waters from the Dakota Pipeline. Her internet connection is precarious but she has been able to get these photos to us, so our readers can have a close-up view. I asked Georgianne to tell us a little bit about what is going on now:
Just outside the Standing Rock reservation, on land that belonged to the Great Sioux Nation by treaty in 1851, the peaceful gathering of Indian Nations and sympathizers protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline has tripled since I was here a little over a week ago. It looks and feels different. There is a palpable feeling of anxiety, not anger, as a lone chopper buzzes the camp from time to time. A large bird attacks a drone. Press must register, since there have been imposters infiltrating what is really a gathering of families.
I have two badges, a yellow wristband and blue writing on my car windows that indicate I am friend and not foe.
Rumors abound and I will not repeat them now, since that will only fan the flames of misinformation. Grown men are crying about the massive desecration of graves just down the road by DAPL bulldozers on Saturday. Women who have my number text me, wondering if rumors are true and if their children are safe. I cannot guarantee anything, but try to be reassuring.
Someone comes up to me and thanks me for being one of the few who has focused on spirit and not on anger. Film crews are everywhere, shooting B rolls, when last week there were none. I eavesdrop and know they want something bad to happen, something that will spice up this pastoral scene. I wish they would go home.
I am told the ancestors are roaming now that the graves have been destroyed. A rainbow appears at the end of a very long day. A sign? I know tomorrow, when the judge makes his first ruling on the historical preservation responsibilities of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, there will be a new shift. In what direction, I cannot fathom.
This is all off the top of my head. Impressions. Memories that will last forever. Pictures worth a thousand words.
Regarding the photo above, Georgianne says, "It is from Highway 6, looking east toward 1806 which is about 20 miles away to the east. On Saturday DAPL moved all the way to 1806 and the desecrated ground is off of 1806 looking west.The earth looks the same, so you can understand the scope of the sacred site destruction. The grave guardians are allowing no photos, feeling that the ancestors are disturbed and moving around. I can tell you there is a palpable sense of anxiety in the air at this spot (1806). So many tears, so many broken promises, so much disrespect...I can't find the words now..."
And yet, there is always hope:
Supporters offsite can help in many ways. For suggestions, see: Atrocities at Standing Rock: What We All Can Do
Georgianne Nienaber has several excellent articles with more photos about the Standing Rock crisis in her series Standing Rock Stands Against DAPL on Opednews. Georgianne's photos are Creative Commons and may be shared, in fact, she hopes you will share them!