Standing Rock Sioux tribal historian LaDonna Brave Bull Allard Tells of the Whitestone Massacre
Really worth the time to listen to her:
On September 3rd, 1863, the U.S. Army massacred more than 300 members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in what became known as the Whitestone massacre. LaDonna Brave Bull Allard is not only the tribal historian, she’s also one of the founders of the Sacred Stone Camp, launched on her land April 1st to resist the Dakota Access pipeline.(SNIP)
And so, when they told us that they were putting this pipeline in, but refusing to acknowledge us—if you look at the Dakota Access maps, they don’t even acknowledge our nation. We are not black—we are not blacked out, like some people make maps, and they do the reservation boundaries. We’re not even in there. They said they did not have to consult with us. That pipeline is 500 feet from our reservation line. When that pipeline breaks—and it will break—it will hit Early Head Start children in two seconds. It will take out our elementary in five seconds. In 45 minutes, it will take out our major water intake that feeds water to all the people here.
I don’t understand why we are expendable in America. I keep telling people, we do our best. We have always been here. This is our land. Why should we fight to live on our own land? Why should we have to do that over and over again? We start our lives. We do our best to live. Why? I would never hurt anybody. I have always done my best to do good things in my community. Why can’t they just let us live? We love this land. And half of the time I feel bad, because they make us feel bad for loving this land.
But most important, we love the water. Every year, our people sacrifice. We go four days without drinking water, so that it reminds us how important this water is. And I ask everybody: Do you go four days without water? What happens to your body on that third day? Your body starts shutting down. So, we remind ourselves every day how important. We say mni wiconi, water of life. Every time we drink water, we say mni wiconi, water of life. We cannot live without water. So I don’t understand why America doesn’t understand how important water is. So we have no choice. We have to stand. No matter what happens, we have to stand to save the water.