Wednesday, November 30, 2016
White Galactic World-Bridger/ White Crystal Mirror - Overtone Peacock Moon of Radiance, Day 16
"Water Is Life - Standing Rock Sioux Charity Tophoglyph". The art of Topher Sipes.
Last Friday, Tim Mentz, Sr., former Standing Rock Sioux tribal historic preservation officer, filed a declaration with the US district court detailing archaeological sites, including graves, alongside the planned pathway of the Dakota Access Pipeline. By Saturday morning, bulldozers had plowed through those sites, gouging a blank path of earth across land once populated with bones and cairns. “Even without a formal damage assessment, my conclusion from what I have been able to see is that any site that was in the pipeline corridor has been destroyed,” Mentz stated in a new declaration supporting a request for a temporary restraining order on the site.
On Tuesday, US District Judge James Boasberg did order a temporary halt to the pipeline construction in South Dakota, although it can still continue on private property. By then, however, the ruination was irreversible, that long history of the indigenous people on the land obliterated. A procession of demonstrators who encountered Saturday’s wreckage were met by private security agents and trained dogs, leaving several people bitten and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department describing the “crowd of protestors” as “violent” as they reacted to the destruction.
The $3.8 billion pipeline being built by Energy Transfer Partners slices through four states, and concern is not just for the preservation of cultural sites, but for the safety of the drinking water. Environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation (NWF), have decried the approval of the pipeline by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Garrit Voggesser, NWF’s national director for tribal partnerships, and Jim Murphy, NWF senior counsel, wrote in an August 31 post that, through the Clean Water Act, the “Corps can issue expedited permits for activities that will only cause minimal adverse impacts.” By treating “each water crossing like it’s an independent project not connected to the other pipeline crossings,” Voggesser and Murphy argue that the Corps is disregarding the broader evaluation necessary for a nearly 1,200-mile-long project.
The pipes are not elevated, but instead bore under the Missouri River, and future degradation could impact the irrigation of nearby crops, the water’s quality, and its safety for consumption. Hyperallergic’s request for comment from Energy Transfer Partners was not returned at the time of publication. On its site for the Dakota Access Pipeline Project, the company states that it “will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner.”
In April, the Sacred Stone Camp was set up alongside the planned route of the pipeline; now hundreds of tribes who have joined the protest in North Dakota in a massive movement of solidarity. The ground that the pipeline drives through is the ancestral land of the Lakota and Sioux, the rights to which have been eroded through broken treaties, such as 1868’s Treaty of Fort Laramie, which originally claimed to protect their life on the Black Hills. Notably, the Sioux Nation has refused to accept money for the land, as doing so would end their legal claims on the Black Hills.
“These things keep happening, and the indigenous people are taking a stand and saying no, we are not allowing this to happen any longer,” Erin Joyce, a curator active in the Native political landscape, told Hyperallergic. “What is also interesting is that this has taken place the same year as the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). To many, the NPS seems like a good thing. However, for American Indians, it represents oppression as an agent of colonialism that forced Native people from their lands under government-sanctioned acts.”
Cannupa Hanska Luger, an artist who was born on the Standing Rock Reservation, recently returned from the demonstrations to work on a mural in Atlanta at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (through the nonprofit Living Walls) to bring greater attention to the pipeline.
“We have creation stories that are bound to the geography, not to mention these sacred sites for prayer and burial, and when they plow through these places, it’s a systematic erasing of the land that we come from,” Luger told Hyperallergic. “The thing that’s most hurtful for that is, I have two little boys. When your history is bound to the landscape, I can take them to places and tell them the stories, and have points of reference I believed would always be there. Despite what fences were put up, I believed those places would remain. The removal of the sites makes it even more difficult when our traditions are oral and when those regions are desecrated and removed and demolished, it’s hard to find the point of reference to bind your story to the landscape you’re from.”
Luger grew up on a reservation situated on the Bakken oil field, which feeds the Dakota Access Pipeline, and has already seen how the removal of oil from the earth can scar a landscape. He explained that graves, cairns, and remains of villages are all along the Missouri River, squarely in the pipeline’s future path, but it’s the threat to the river itself that he finds even more troubling.
“We have alternatives to oil, we don’t have alternatives to water,” he said. “If they build a bridge where they’re planning to build the pipeline, you wouldn’t see this. We’re just trying to protect water as a basic human right.”
Luger’s piece is focused on three portraits of the female leaders in the camps who he says have been running the movement on the ground. When completed, their faces will be partly submerged, their mouths dipping into the Missouri River, with the natural landscape flowing around them. The whole panorama is meticulously built with nails and string.
“For every nail in the coffin, it binds our connectivity,” Luger said. “And we’re all connected.”*
Kin 86: White Galactic World-Bridger
I harmonize in order to equalize
I seal the store of death
With the galactic tone of integrity
I am guided by the power of heart.
Let your soul work in harmony with the universal intelligence as your breath does with the air.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Muladhara Chakra (Seli Plasma)