Violence against women has deep historical roots in the destruction of Mother Earth and those who are tasked with her protection. This violence and destruction is evident through the centuries of European colonization. As with the pillage and plunder of the land, so too have Native people been systematically murdered, raped and oppressed since the European stumbled onto the Americas.
We are witnessing a rise of movements to end racism, violence and environmental rape, the people who have protected Mother Earth, unnoticed for decades, have come together in tribal unity to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of many other tribes from what is present day U.S. and Canada, along with non-Natives have been protesting this devastating project for months.
On Saturday, 3 September, the Dakota Access pipeline company horrifically attacked Native American water protectors with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against a $3.8 billion pipeline construction. The proposed pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois, along with the proposed pipeline would come hundreds of workers who engage in sex-trafficking, rape and rampant violence against women.
What is happening now in Standing Rock is affecting us all and we must stand in solidarity and in unison with those who are on the front lines. The people are there to protect Mother Earth from being raped and destroyed. Millions of people Native and non-Natives will be impacted WHEN (not if) a pipeline explodes and we will continue to see earthquakes as a sign of disruption.
We as non-native people must stand in solidarity with Native people against the exploitation of Mother Earth’s natural resources. We must honor, respect and love our Mother for giving us life, land, each other, and ourselves. We must lend our voice and our privilege to those who are willing to speak up for the rights of life givers, water protectors, and Mother Earth. Let us not forget that overt action is sometimes needed as well as a time of prayer, paying honor and respect to the Native tribes of Standing Rock, Sioux, Lakota, North Dakota and South Dakota people. We can give our financial support, stand in solidarity with our physical bodies, offer our intellectual minds, and spiritual prayers. Support the Sacred Stone Camp HERE Supp
We must all use our place consciously to create space for Indigenous women, women of color and the voices of children, elders and families. We all want our babies, children and mothers to be safe, loved, respected and protected therefore we must take care of the world around us by not fracking, not polluting, nor extracting and by not employing another violent tactic of control over Native people and the land which we all belong. The historical violence against Native Women, including rape, murder, disappearances, and trafficking continues today – it is amplified when we favor corporate interests of the extraction industry. Ending violence against Native women and girls is clearly linked to ending all systematic violence against Native American people, and to ending violence against all women and Mother Earth. We hold the answers collectively, we can come up with renewable, sustainable solutions to energy challenge, violence prevention and education together.
The #NoDAPL camp and the people in the movement know that something else is happening at Standing Rock which is unity and solidarity between anyone and everyone. With a collective voice speaking as one, we can stop the destruction of women, girls, water, life, Mother Earth.
We are a united people cultivating change, dissolving the barriers that divide us with common truths. Nick Estes of The Red Nation says, “It is a very beautiful thing to witness and take part of. To cook, clean, build, love, laugh, live, share, and struggle together.” This is what we are missing, this is what the media chooses not to show us. Truth and protecting the most marginalized, the most vulnerable is the way forward. We stand in solidarity with anti-colonial resistance to end violence against women, girls and Mother Earth.
In this dire time it is imperative for all of us to link arms and causes to protect Mother Earth’s natural resources. True liberation does not come in silos, in pre-packaged solutions. Environmental justice is linked to ending violence against women and girls as we are all connected by water and life. Water is life. Water is sacred. Women are life. Women are sacred.
One Billion Rising New Mexico Coordinator
RISE in Solidarity with the activists at Sacred Stone Camp:
Fossil Fuel Extraction Dangers: Native American and Women’s Organizations Request UN Help on Sexual Violence by Honor The Earth in Indian Country Today Media Network
Taking a Stand at Standing Rock in the New York Times