|Waste Win Young, Dakota Lakota from Standing Rock, Rachel Heaton, Muckleshoot, Rafael Gonzalez, Dakota, and Nataanii Means, Dine' Lakota, in the Netherlands.|
By Brenda Norrell
Standing Rock Water Protectors met with members of Parliament in the Netherlands, and visited four cities in five days. Now they are off to Germany on their 11 country tour, urging divestment in fossil fuels, investing in renewable energy, and standing up for the water.
Waste Win Young, Dakota Lakota, said they have just arrived in Bonn, Germany, and will be first supporting those resisting coal mines.
Rachel Heaton, Muckleshoot, shares the day:
Today we visited a village in the city of Groningen. The people here are effected by man made earthquakes caused by one of the many gas extraction plants located in the middle of their farmlands. They too are fighting the abuse of big corporations looking out for the interest of profits over people and at the expense of lives and land.
The people of this town welcomed us with a beautiful picnic, one side of the street farmers crops, the other side huge mazes of metal pipes leading into the ground and under the land of those that live here, the gas extraction plant.
They shared a meal with us, their stories, allowed us space to share our stories. There was so much beauty today that took place, but in the middle of sadness right there in their back yards. They were eager to learn more about our fights and our struggles as Native People and the fights on our lands.
This trip so far has been even more eye opening that could have imagined. The people we've met, the land we've touched, those we felt connected too, the water we've been gifted, and the awesome group of us that get to travel together. People all over the world are struggling and yet they look to us indigenous people for hope, for guidance, for new ideas, our connection. I'm learning more and more about the beauty in the struggle too.
I say prayers for each and every person that has crossed my path on this journey, those already a part of my journey, and those to come. So many are doing their part to help Mother Earth and so many believe indigenous people such as the Water Protectors I'm with and those we've met are doing just that. I'm so thankful for this day and so thankful for our struggle.