Standing Rock evolves on every front

Rev. Karen Brammer, Standing Rock, part 11

I admit that I was a bit shaken when I heard the news.
The central sacred fire at Oceti Sakowin has been put out.
The purpose of that fire and the thousands of prayers brought to it, have been fulfilled.
The legacy of this camp has already begun its particular next path.
May I really can learn to grasp neither at what is good, nor at what is so hard.

If you don’t already, check in once in a while http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/

I just got a text today saying that the fire was relit last night by the youth council who have renamed it, “All Nations Camp”.

By now you have seen the multiple messages from camp leaders that no new arrivals to camp will be received. The focus to date has become winter well being and healing. See the video describing the upcoming Human Right Day, Dec 10 as Day of Healing and Prayer  http://www.ocetisakowincamp.org/

Oceti Sakowin leaders are planning an orderly, gradual reduction of people at camp. Not a complete evacuation by any means. More than a thousand people will remain. However, getting folks on their way to assure safety in the winter is paramount. The Medic and Healer Council will also remain to tend to medical needs of those who remain https://medichealercouncil.com/

The UU congregation in Bismarck has strategized to help this movement of people out of the camp, especially when it is impacted by blizzard conditions. And they are ready. The direct assistance to camp is in no way over. Consider how you can support the Bismarck Mandan UU congregation to continue this long-term ministry. They still need help to pay for pellet stoves and the yurt (which may become the temporary home of whomever needs it most, including possibly, the Water Protector Legal Collective https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/11B5z8 . Please consider supporting the physical well being of those who stay in the Interfaith Yurt at camp https://www.generosity.com/faith-religion-fundraising/uu-presence-at-oceti-sakowin-yurt-fund

As you look through the Oceti Sakowin web site, you will see references to a variety of legal battles. Legal fights continue in local court and in higher courts for release of Red Fawn, justice for arrested Water Protectors, sovereignty, and more. There are ways in which the legal fronts may become even more critical fronts.

Journalist,  Mark Trahant writes about the “rule of law”, and its potential power; http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/why-the-rule-of-law-is-a-powerful-idea-for-standing-rock-20161129:
Then, the rule of law is such a funny phrase. One I have heard many times. It’s what was said in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho when Native Americans insisted that treaties gave them the right to fish for salmon. The states disagreed and used the power of government to arrest people. Many, many Native people. Until finally the courts said, wait, the rule of law has to include the Constitution and the powerful Article 6 that declares “treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land.”
In the end the states were wrong. One idea that came out of that litigation was that treaties had to be read as the tribal negotiators would have understood the words.
Imagine that. So the rule of law means that the tribal interpretation of treaty language is critical to understanding, and implementing, that sacred agreement.
People of conscience and faith, in all walks of life have reason to invest payer, advocacy, money and talent in the ongoing struggles of native communities around this country and in the world. 

Camp Oceti Sakowin and now Camp of All Nations give birth to a renewed focus, and perhaps a new international and intersectional (human rights and eco rights) wave of possibilities. This wave of possibilities, if we witness it with our hearts as well as intelligence, is another opportunity for those of us who belong to the dominant layers of humanity to expose ourselves to deep learning through native leadership, and life changing experiences of collaboration.

May it be so.

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