Sunday, November 27, 2016
Blue Overtone Night/ Blue Solar Eagle - Overtone Peacock Moon of Radiance, Day 13 12
In North Dakota and beyond, Native American artists and their allies are creating work in support of the water protectors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Vladimir Nabokov said it well when he noted that, in the context of Imperial Russia, the powers that be “remained aware that anything outstanding and original in the way of creative thought was a jarring note and a stride toward Revolution.” In contemporary times, we may not live in an autocratic state, but we still are faced with oligarchical businessmen who seemingly have the power to invoke a police state against peaceful citizens protesting for human rights. Glaring examples of this in United States are the issues of water rights, Native sovereignty, and an oil company invading Indigenous territory in North Dakota — the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
It has been many months since the camps in North Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation were established in the pathway of the DAPL. Now, thousands of Indigenous and non-Native people are occupying these ancestral lands, peacefully gathering in protest against the pipeline. The self-designated “water protectors” represent people from over 300 Indigenous tribes, a convergence that is unprecedented in Native America.
The protest in North Dakota, while remarkable and inspiring, is not the first, nor the last stand against treaty violations for Indigenous North Americans. For a very abridged crash course of Natives within the past decade fighting for the rights to their land, we can look at protests against the National Defense Authorization Act bill, authored by Arizona Senator John McCain, which sold away the sacred site of Oak Flat, on the Apache San Carlos Reservation in San Carlos, Arizona, to an Australian company to mine copper ore. There is also the battle against a ski resort in Flagstaff, Arizona, utilizing grey water to make man made snow on Dook’o’oosłííd (San Francisco Peaks), one of the sacred mountains of the Navajo Nation. And there is the case of the Unist’ot’en Tribe in unceded territory in Northern British Columbia, fighting a total of seven pipelines slated to go through its ancestral lands. This fight in North Dakota is not new, but it is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The escalating tensions erupted when armed security and police on Standing Rock attacked water protectors with water canons in freezing temperatures, shot people (including women) with rubber bullets, and utilized chemical warfare against the unarmed civilians in the form of mace and tear gas. But what does this have to do with art? Art, as is evident throughout history, has played an instrumental role in political observations and persuasive dialogues, as well as documenting political change. In the protests against the DAPL, Indigenous artists are instrumentalizing the tools they have within their creative wheelhouses to continue to raise awareness.
Indigenous artists including Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit), Demian DinéYazhi (Navajo), Starr Hardridge (Muskogee Creek), and Cannupa Hanska Luger (Lakota/Mandan/Hidatsa), as well as many others, have been creating work in protest against the DAPL and in support of the water protectors. They are creating a lexicon of iconography that can be read cross-culturally, overcoming language barriers to reach a broader demographic. Posters, banners, and stickers are being disseminated en masse to engage the public, and circulating online with the hashtags #standwithstandingrock, #mniwiconi (Lakota for “Water is Life”), #waterislife, #protectthesacred, and #nodapl. Fine art objects, jewelry, wearable goods, and paintings have been produced for sale, to generate money to support the people living in the camps. Artists are trying to do their part to aid in this cause.
“Reservations and slavery were tools enforced by white power structures,” DinéYazhi told Hyperallergic. “Right now, the same structures are harming sacred ancestral land. It’s not purely Indigenous spirituality, it’s something much deeper that is woven into the fabric of human existence that we’ve been distracted and manipulated away from honoring.”*
Kin 83: Blue Overtone Night
I empower in order to dream
I seal the input of abundance
With the overtone tone of radiance
I am guided by the power of magic.
Cosmic History is the knowledge of reality that exists above and beyond and even within all human illusion.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Manipura Chakra (Limi Plasma)