August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Wet’suwet’en Water Protectors evade Canadian police mobilizing for raid

Wet’suwet’en Water Protectors Evade RCMP as Police Mobilize For Raid

Article and photo by Gidimt'en Checkpoint
French translation by Christine Prat
Censored News
January 4th, 2022

Unceded Gidimt’en Territory, Smithers (BC) -- Two weeks after Wet’suwet’en water protectors evicted Coastal GasLink workers and occupied a key pipeline drill site, water protectors executed a strategic retreat to avoid arrest and violence at the hands of dozens of militarized RCMP. Before a large scale mobilization by police, water protectors vanished into the woods, evading police violence and criminalization. We expect an imminent assault on our people at the direction of Coastal GasLink as we continue to occupy and utilize our yintah.

“Our warriors are not here to be arrested. Our warriors are here to protect the land and the water, and will continue to do so at all costs,” stated Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham), a wing chief of the Cas Yikh people. “Every time that the RCMP, the C-IRG, has come in to enforce CGL’s injunction they have done violence against our women. They have imprisoned our Indigenous women and our warriors. We will not allow our people to be political prisoners.”

Oomaka Tokatakiya: The Ride to Wounded Knee

(Above) Day 11 of the Oomaka Tokatakiya from the top of Badlands National Park through Big Foot Pass to Kyle, across from Little Wound school. 

Oomaka Tokatakiya: The Ride to Wounded Knee 

Photos by Ken Marchionno

(Above) Day five of the Oomaka Tokatakiya, Green Grass to Jensen’s
7th day of the Oomaka Tokatakiya Cherry Creek to Bridger

Day 14 of the Oomaka Tokatakiya Red Owl Springs to Wounded Knee

Day Two Timber Lake to Opp's

Day Two of the Oomaka Tokatakiya Timber Lake to Opp’s
Day One of the 2021 Oomaka Tokatakiya

Arrival at Wounded Knee in 2021
The US Army murdered hundreds of men, women and children in the Massacre of Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890.

The Omaka Tokatakiya is the name chosen as we move into the Future of tomorrows leaders, the Leadership is made up of 17 youths and 2 Youth Adviser, we changed the name from "Bigfoot Memorial Riders", we finished our time of mourning for our Ancestors, and we feel that it's time to move on and Celebrate Life and a New Generation, with a Vision that our Children and Great Grandchildren will continue to live in good health, happiness, we have survived and will continue to carry the prayers that our elders of the Bigfoot Ride has made for us. -- Omaka Tokatakiya/Future Generations Ride

Photographer Ken Marchionno said, "131 years ago on this day, more than 300 Lakota men, women, and children were disarmed and murdered by the 7th Calvary of the United States near Wounded Knee Creek.

"Since 2004 I have joined Lakota riders to the site of the mass grave and remember those lives. We have traveled 300-miles to this site, starting where Sitting Bull was killed for the government’s fear of his strength. Riding through the South Dakota winter—blizzards and -50° wind chills—in an expression of resilience that is unmatched in my experience, children as young as 6 travel the entire distance on horseback.

"But the ride doesn’t end at Wounded Knee. Those who were wounded were left as a blizzard came in, and two days later, troops returned and any who were still alive were taken to Pine Ridge where some survived, but many died. So we ride on to Pine Ridge so that they are not forgotten."

Photos copyright Ken Marchionno. Published at Censored News with permission. Thank you.

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