Life sometimes throws things at us that we can’t handle. On the other end of that stick there are some events in our lives we are perfect for. Past experiences as well as teachings surface at different times of need and it is quite curious to examine what we cling onto in those episodes. One of the most memorable experiences on my journey that will always serve as reminder of my abilities is my Life as a Water Protector.
Before I was comfortable with the term “Water Protector” I was doing what ever I could to help spread awareness and support of the Standing Rock people and the situation they were facing against the Dakota Access Pipe Line constructing a project that goes through their sacred lands. I would draw pictures and upload them to my social media audiences with messages promoting the preservation of water or anti DAPL propaganda. As a graffiti artist I also used that outlet to help spread the message. #NoDapl
Although I was using my mediums to show support there seemed to be a bigger calling I could feel within me. A sort of urge to join the water protectors fighting on the front line, To give more than I have to anything else. Signs of water such as thunderclouds, rain, and rainbows were everywhere I went. like the earth was calling out to me, painting me a message. Despite the problems I was facing at home, I needed to go.
Having many personal income and legal problems prior to leaving for Standing Rock, I was doin the best I could do to try and get back on my feet. My spirit had been broken many times due to the way things were unfolding around me. I felt like a victim of my circumstances but couldn’t deny the call from camp. Fortunately, this call to camp has brought the clarity and comfort I had been unknowingly been longing for.
When arriving through the north gate you are greeted by the Flags of all the nations who have come together for a single cause. Flag road stands as a representation of all the people uniting, native and non natives alike. Tribes all over the nation as well as from indigenous peoples from all over the world have left their flag to show their allegiance and solidarity in the battle for clean water.
It;’s pretty amazing to see people from many cultures putting away differences and learning how to interact with each other. There are hardly any boundaries at camp just invisible lines separating the smaller camps into their respected places. The sense of community is strong within the camp. Even stronger of community our family has grown within what we like to Call “Pueblo Camp”.
New Mexico has 19 pueblos and majority of them were represented in Standing Rock in a camp who’s name Pueblo fits it perfectly. Tribal members from Tamaya, Walatowa, Kewa, Oke Owinge, Khapo, to Picuris even brothers from Zuni pueblo have all gathered in Pueblo Camp. The Pueblo values traditions and culture remain strong even with the great distance from our home lands. We are all taught to keep our traditions no matter where we go and that is why we hold so strongly onto our roots and the preservation of our mother and all of our creators creatures.
Though There are many pueblo people within pueblo camp there are also some non pueblos like my Dine Brothers Antro and Toby whom had given me a ride to Standing Rock and let me stay with them in the big green tent pictured above.
Toby and Antro getting coffee in our warming up routine before heading out into the cold.
Our fire, the heart of Pueblo Camp. Many Laughs, stories, and information was shared here between all members. A place of warmth and light the Fire was our natural gathering place. our Sun in the middle of the Camps universe.
Writing is still in progress …