In light of the fight of our indigenous brothers and sisters accross the world, particularly those peacefully protesting at Standing Rock, North Dakota, this article is extremely relevant. I see those protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as embodying all of these values and ideas despite centuries of genocide, oppression, racism, and trauma. The people of Standing Rock reservation and those standing in solidarity with them have been creating a physical barrier to the DAPL for more than 6 months and have just now begun to receive national and international press coverage. This is a sad reality, but a vast improvement after years of extreme silencing of native truths and lives. I am currently reading a book called An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (Dunbar-Ortiz 2014), which reminds me of how the pillars of Gross National Happiness can withstand even the most calculated and intentional atrocities. What an incredible feat that the native people of North America, who the settler colonialists who founded the US democracy have tried to silence for centuries, still live to defend their sacred waters today. This incredible resilience is one of the world's most amazing survival stories, and it is rarely recognized as such. Thank you for this reminder and wisdom we all need in this present moment. What a hope this presents for a future of moving forward together. I, for one, as someone with both Native American and Anglo American ancestry, am going to work harder to tie my lifework, purpose, and worldview to the vitality of water.
Published on 31 October 2016