PUEBLO INDIAN LAND
TAOS, NEW MEXICO
Today was one of those sunlit, rain-dark blustery Taos days, a perfect day for the non-traditional jingle-dress dance at Taos Pueblo. Close to a hundred people stood in a circle in the heart of Taos Pueblo village. Sharp ululating from the women and the rhythmic boom of the big drum echoed back and forth between the ancient adobe walls of Taos Pueblo as the jingle-dress dancers, from age five to about seventy-five, danced in a circle around the sacred smudge that wafted across the spectators.
This powerful healing dance that originated in Ojibwe communities, done only by the women, is frequently seen at pow-wows. According to The Taos News (11-3/9-16) the dance is a fundraiser in support of the Standing Rock Sioux, called “the Water-is-Life” fight. Over 200 Indian nations have joined protestors at the Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota to protest the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile pipeline that would carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois. This may well be one of the largest gathering of the Nations in a hundred years.
WATER IS LIFE
Spirits were high at Taos Pueblo as the clouds blew away and the sun shone on the gathering in front of the Pueblo. Taos Pueblo Governor, the War Chief and others offered prayers, blessings and thanks. Howard Bad Hand, a Lakota and long-time resident of Taos, also spoke, condemning the recent violence at Standing Rock as police in riot gear shot the peaceful protestors with rubber bullets. Volunteers from Taos are planning to caravan to North Dakota with supplies before winter sets in.
As we were leaving Taos Pueblo, we paused to look back. The light was lucid as it sometimes is after a storm. A thin veil of rain with the sun shining through it created a splendid double rainbow that arched over the Pueblo. Our prayers had been heard.
How can you help?
1. Ask for the Army Corps of Engineers' permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be rescinded.
The White House: (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414
Army Corps of Engineers: (202) 761-5903
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple: (701) 328-2200
3. E-MAIL your Congressional representatives and Senators.
4. SIGN the White House petition: bit.ly/StandingRockWH
4. SUPPORT the Sacred Stone Camp
Donate items: http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list/
Contribute to Legal Defense Fund: http://fundrazr.com/d19fAf
Contribute via gofundme: http://bit.ly/FundStandingRock
5. JOIN events in your area: bit.ly/NoDAPLEvents
6. SPREAD the word. Over 200 nations demand that Dakota Access Pipeline must be stopped, Standing Rock Sioux must be heard and the United States treaties with them must be honored.