Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 31, 2016

Northwest Delegation shares Totem Pole, prayer journey, at Standing Rock Camp

Photo Michelle Cook
The Native people of the Northwest, who survived persecutions, brought the Totem Pole to Standing Rock Camp, in a spirit of ceremony and giving back

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

CANNON BALL, North Dakota -- The Northwest Delegation to Standing Rock Camp spoke tonight on the unity and sacred ceremonies that has meant survival for the people. The evening talks and songs were broadcast live on Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio.
A member of the Lummi supporters who came and brought the Totem Pole explained that the Pole itself is just a material object. When people come together, and put their hands on the Totem Pole, there is its real meaning.
He spoke on how Native people in the Northwest survived boarding schools and survived the persecutions of carrying out their sacred ceremonies, as late as the 1980s. Many went to jail for carrying out the ceremonies.
Why did all these Indian Nations send representatives here? he asked of those camped to resist the construction here of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
"You stood up and clearly said, 'NO!'"
"The United States can not keep giving out permission to do this type of damage," he said.
The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires "free, prior and informed consent," he said.
He spoke of traveling to visit many Indigenous Nations.
"We know what it means to suffer grief."
"The drum wakes us up."
It was Columbus who started the lie of the name 'Indios,' or Indians. This is why it is important to know one's traditional name, he said.
"We are so proud that our tribe came down to put our flag with yours."
He said it is a dangerous game being on tribal councils, and dangerous dealing with corporations.
Cherry Point coal port was halted because so many people came together to support the Lummi and their battle to halt it.
Faith Spotted Eagle spoke of the support they have received, including that of fighting the Keystone XL pipeline.
"The Spirit is still moving."
"In colonization, the greatest tool is isolation."
She spoke of her grandmother, an original signer of the 1858 Treaty, and how her grandmother came to her. "Think about the Treaty," was the message.
Faith Spotted Eagle said the people have come together to give back.
"When you ask for prayers, you give back."
The Totem Pole was filled with prayers.
She said they were coming together to give a monetary donation,
along with the prayers.
She pointed out that this pipeline, Dakota Access Pipeline, was part of a pipeline that was permitted in sections.
"This pipeline is actually connected to TransCanada."
She said the attorneys need to investigate how this pipeline here, is connected to TransCanada, and how the permits were obtained.
The evening continued with songs.

Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio is now live online. With the purchase of a new satellite, and more bandwidth, the radio station is broadcasting from camp. It was already live in camp at 87.9 FM.

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