Walk in prayer. What does this mean?
On our first trip to the Oceti Sakowin Camp, we pulled in at approximately 12:30 am. We were weary from the road, so much so that everything was funny. Even our experience of almost getting stuck in a ravine, and having to reverse out of it with two cars behind us. We found a clearing to put up our little camp. There we were with our lighters in hand trying to put our tents up. A young gentleman came up and offered assistance. I don’t feel he pitied us, rather he welcomed us and even let out a couple of chuckles because he too found it humorous. We put up the tent but because we were so tired we decided to go without the rain guard, which was the best decision ever. We fell asleep to a blanket of stars. The next day, a young man came up to our crew and offered a hygiene packet. It is just that way. Guests are honored. We are raised to treat our guests with hospitality, even going so far as to offer them the most comfortable bed, and of course the best of coffee. I ran into my Cousin Tink and Uncle Robert that day as well. Hugs were given and received as if no time had passed since the last time we seen each other. We aren’t strangers. Not only do we share DNA, but we share common experiences, memories, determination, and a healthy sense of humor.
We were there the day DAPL security released their dogs on the People. That was a hard day. All I could think of was my precious pretty Walda. Walda is a 7 month old golden retriever who believes with every fur of her being that everyone is her friend. She is quick to wag her tail, and quick to show you just how easy it is to sit and shake. Love comes easy. Hate, not so much. That night, I fell asleep to the sound of drumming and a man talking about the importance of staying in prayer. I woke the next day thinking of the last conversation I had with my Grandma. The last face to face conversation I had with my Grandma was when she was in a nursing home in Rapid City, SD. My Aunties, Uncles, and even my Mom had said that Grandma was losing her hearing and possibly even her mind. I’m not a boisterous person. In fact many people tell me to speak louder. That day, Grandma never requested that I speak louder. I never had to repeat myself, and our conversation never wavered outside the topic at hand. Grandma told me to never let go of the land, because if we did that we would lose ourselves, and we would have nothing left. I made a promise to my Grandma that day. Everything I would do from that day forward, would be with the land in mind. Which brings me to wonder how law enforcement agencies not of Lakota Treaty Territory has the ability to arrest Lakota People and their guests on Lakota Treaty Territory guaranteed to them via the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty? According to the United States Constitution Article VI Clause 2, also known as the Supremacy Clause, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”
We just got back a couple of days ago from our most recent trip to Standing Rock. Camp was heavy earlier in the week. But I saw something happen on Thursday (11/3/16), I felt something happen on Thursday, and I witnessed something happen on Thursday. We were sitting there around a fire in the evening with a woman who fed us, drinking tea and having some deep conversations sprinkled with humor. DAPL's lights were shining ominously on the bluff above camp. Planes could be heard circling above. Something happened. I don't know what. But the drums began, singing began. Something sparked the Camp. Laughter, drumming, dancing, and a sense of purpose, humility, and relatedness returned.
Resilience. What does this mean? Despite the lights, planes, and other tactics meant to wear us down, we can still be found amongst our relatives in laughter.
Walk in prayer. What does this mean? There is power in prayer. But not power in the literal sense. The power that is prayer gives one a sense of purpose, humility, and relatedness.
by Dawn Bjoraker