We meander through grass yellow, soil brown, dust encircling us as we move upward over the hill. The bridge brimming with the quiet of hundreds of women, Indigenous and those in solidarity. We are met with the police, keepers of the occupation, those that serve the state and never the people. How violently ironic to see the perpetrators of land theft behind signs that say, "No trespassing."
A woman's walk led and guided by Indigenous women at Standing Rock through sacred hills, on land occupied by the state. This land, a land stretching hundreds of miles in all directions, land that has communally belonged to the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires or Sioux Nation) for hundreds if not thousands of years, is land that intimately remembers the perpetual struggle of preserving itself and its stewards from the insistence of colonial theft. We walk in remembrance and prayer; we walk in solidarity with the power of Indigenous women leading the way.
As Indigenous elders performed Water Ceremony, prayer engulfed its surroundings: the march, the barricades, the heavily armored suits. The heart of the action was not stopping the pipeline, rather it was protecting the water.
Night falls, morning rises, and a blizzard arrives. We all prepare for the day ahead- to ensure the well-being of the community here. Outside of our tents, the children are running free, enjoying the abundance earth has provided.