Water and community

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, October 10th, 2016 - 10 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, sustainability, uncategorized, water - Tags: , , , , ,

October 8 – 10th is four International Days of Prayer and Action with Standing Rock on stepping up as Protectors of Water. Background and ways to take part are outlined here. This post is in support of that. 

Two articles on community at Standing Rock.

“This is how we should be living”

So many people have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to make this pilgrimage. When people first meet, they ask each other where they’re from. Some are old friends, but many represent tribes that have been estranged or enemies for generations. Many spoke of the arrival of representatives of the Crow Nation, who have a long history of supporting coal mining and working at odds with other tribes. They too came to support Standing Rock.

The purposefulness here overcomes everything—the determination that this time the damage will be stopped. This time, before the water is poisoned or another sacred site is bulldozed, the protectors will step in.

That sense of purpose pervades the camp. While some plan the next direct action or post on social media, others split wood for fires, sort the river of donations flowing unabated into the camp, or cook for thousands of people in makeshift camp kitchens.

Life at the water protectors’ encampment is much like life was for millions of years of human evolution—close to the earth, near a river, clustered in family and community camps. There’s a rightness to these connections and to the feeling that people here will help you when you need it.

Here, with a purpose that threads through generations, work, celebration, and activism are a seamless whole. Young people ride through the camp on horseback among tents and teepees. Are they providing security, learning traditional animal caretaking, or just having fun together? Elders tell stories of Wounded Knee, say prayers, and sing. Are they educating the next generation, building coherence, or guiding the actions? These things are not separate. They are all of a piece, all about rebuilding indigenous ways of life and standing against further destruction.

People come and go. Some depart after a few days or weeks, but their reluctance to leave shows. Others are making plans to live in wood-heated tents and teepees through North Dakota’s bitter cold winter.

This is how we should be living, one person at our camp says. We give what we have to give, and take what we need.

“Standing Rock’s Prayer Camps have become communities.

Communities identify needs. Communities have accountability and responsibilities. Communities have systems within them and structures and institutions. When you go to the Prayer Camps you see those structures and institutions moving and responding.  Contrary to what some folks have said, it is not chaotic. In fact, it is very far from chaotic. It is not every person for themselves. It is not litter-filled. There are problems, like in any community—but it is working and beautiful.

Native people taking care of Native people, united by a belief and prayer and a cause.  Egos take a backseat to the bigger picture.

There is order. You see people cutting wood; that is their job. You see people patrolling security; that is their job. You see some folks cooking; that is also their job.  Needs-based—you see a need, you take care of it. When a person has particular talents—say for example, who is an organizer and who understands that every person should be accounted for within a small community—that person certainly has a place within these Prayer Camps.

Needs based.  It’s pretty amazing to watch.  That’s what communities do.

An absolutely brilliant example of a needs–based response and solution is the establishment of a school in the Oceti Sakowin Camp.  While the rest of the Protectors are literally changing the world’s conversation about oil usage and capitalism, there are still children who need to be taught.

So that’s precisely what a few young sisters did. They just started a school where there had previously been no school. No chaos. Response. Proactivity. Indigenous brilliance.

 

Frybread making with Osh Johnson from Black Mesa, Navajo Nation. Photo by Desiree Kane.

Frybread making with Osh Johnson from Black Mesa, Navajo Nation. Photo by Desiree Kane.

10 comments on “Water and community”

  1. adam 1

    Love these photo’s

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017400410

    These ones are from last month, with one of my favorite memes of all time.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017401889

    • weka 1.1

      Thanks adam! Love the vids too,

      https://www.facebook.com/MsBJPeart/posts/10207059237574753

      I’ve been thinking about Bastion Point a lot in the past few days. I was at intermediate school then, and my memory is of the tv news and me watching and trying to figure out what it was about. I think now about the community that would have been involved in making that work, and how much difference the internet makes now in terms of what stories we get to hear.

      Occupation is a powerful undertaking, not just the logistics of food, water, shelter and waste, but how people can be with each other. Occupy was like that too, although there it was the ‘new’ processes developed so that people could come together in ways they hadn’t been socialised into.

  2. Not such good news

    “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Sunday rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners…

    …In its ruling, a panel of U.S. Circuit Court judges denied the tribe’s request for an injunction, allowing construction to continue as the Tribe’s appeal is considered. Previously, the Department of Justice announced a temporary halt to pipeline construction on federal lands and requested that Energy Transfer Partners voluntarily halt construction on private lands.”

    http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/u-s-court-appeals-rules-standing-rock-tribe-dakota-access-pipeline-case/

    Not the end – just a setback in this particular battle.

    • weka 2.1

      I haven’t been following the legal side so much. Does that mean the decision to suspend work on govt land is still in place, it’s just that the larger injunction against the company has failed? Or does this mean the govt land decision will now fall too?

  3. RedLogix 3

    @ weka

    You may appreciate this:

    Mollison had a brilliant mind. He observed, he catalogued, and his systematic approach helped him to weave seemingly disparate ideas into the most detailed tapestry. In this sense he was a true visionary. He was also challenging, angry, driven by a deep sense of injustice, and merciless if crossed. He used to say: “First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/10/bill-mollison-obituary

    • Ad 3.1

      “First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.”

      Five wives.

      Possibly related?

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Quite likely. In my experience men with such a strong framework in their lives, such a deep and focused purpose outside of the home, tend not to make good husbands.

        Yes their energy, drama and status make them initially attractive partners, but soon it becomes apparent their attention will always be elsewhere. They are rarely easy to live with.

        But then I still think the world can be grateful for them.

    • weka 3.2

      Thanks Red! I hadn’t seen that, it’s a lovely read and contains some of the best short explanations of what permaculture is that I’ve seen. I was very moved by Mollison’s death and have since been thinking through a post. This will help me get back on track with that.

    • mauī 3.3

      Hi Red, I remember you saying a while back that you were thinking of visiting Holmgren’s place over there and possibly doing a write up. I hope its still in the back of your mind 🙂

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Māori land owners left in limbo
    The measly figure allocated to the troubled Te Ture Whenua Māori reforms in Budget 2017 are a sign the reforms are a low priority for the Government and will leave many Māori land owners in limbo, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP ...
    1 hour ago
  • Another fish hook in Budget costs families
    Some families with teenagers will be left worse off by a ‘Teenagers Tax’ hidden in the Budget, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “More than 6,000 families with teens face losing more in their Working for Families payments than ...
    8 hours ago
  • Our position on National’s 2017 Budget
    Around Parliament, Budget time is one of the busiest times of the year. Last week, things were hectic. A number of people were left with the impression that the Greens had voted for “the Budget”. This is incorrect. The Green ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    23 hours ago
  • Ports of Auckland decision a win for workers and the environment
    Ports of Auckland’s decision to no longer release the toxic fumigant methyl bromide into the atmosphere is a win for their workers and for the environment, says Labour’s Spokesperson for Biosecurity Damien O’Connor.   “The intention to move to a ...
    1 day ago
  • Single Child Tax hidden in Budget
    Buried in National’s so-called family Budget is a Single Child Tax that will hit medium to low income families, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. ...
    1 day ago
  • Commerce Commission investigates Ron Hoy Fong
    The decision by the Commerce Commission to investigate Ron Hoy Fong and his questionable advice to property investors to use fake names and target ‘dummies’ is good news, Labour’s spokesperson on Consumer Affairs Michael Wood says.  “I am pleased that ...
    3 days ago
  • National running out of excuses on Pike
    The latest Pike River revelations further erode National's position of blocking a manned re-entry of the Pike River Mine drift, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats’ Budget locks in housing crisis
    National’s ninth Budget forecasts house prices will rise at three times the rate of wages, locking in the housing crisis for years to come, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “After nine years, all National can offer is a ...
    4 days ago
  • Small change that is sorely needed
    The big headline of the Government’s Budget yesterday was its Family Incomes Package – a range of measures including changes to income tax thresholds and the Family Tax Credit. Overall the Budget is a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Kids bear the brunt of Budget
    Future generations are the ones bearing the brunt of National’s failure to provide education services the funding they need to make ends meet, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “For nine years in a row the Government has told our ...
    4 days ago
  • The real costs of National’s election bribe
    The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “As the dust begins to settle ...
    4 days ago
  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    4 days ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    5 days ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    5 days ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    6 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    6 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    6 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    1 week ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    1 week ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    3 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    3 weeks ago