A Mission to Standing Rock’s Sacred Stone Camp: Reporting for Food First

Hartman Deetz | 09.21.2016

A note from Food First:

Here at Food First, we support those at the front lines of the struggle for land and food sovereignty. 

Author Hartman Deetz and photographer Camille Seaman will be reporting from Standing Rock on behalf of Food First – keep an eye out for continued coverage in the coming days. To support their work, we ask that our readers donate directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe here

Across the nation, the scene can be repeated again and again. The word is spread, and communities gather tents, coats, blankets, band-aids, money. They send it off in a truck or van headed to Standing Rock Reservation.

These caravans are coming from the Pacific , to the Atlantic, and all places in between. Their destination is a patch of prairie grass slated for destruction.

Since April, a camp has been set up in the proposed path of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), also known as the Bakken Pipeline. They have taken their stand on their sacred ancestral homeland, where graves and cerimonial ground is a part of the soil. The Standing Rock Tribe have taken a stand declaring that they will not allow the pipeline to cross over their land or the Missouri River that the reservation depends on for drinking water. The water downstream supplies the needs of over 10 million Americans.

Today, I have the honor and opportunity to be one of the thousands who will answer the call, and go to Standing Rock, to join them in the flesh and support their struggle for the basic right of access to clean water.

I get the honor of living the example for my children to see, to walk the walk on the front lines of environmental and cultural destruction.

I will be there reporting for Food First along with Photographer Camille Seaman. Seaman is a Shinnecock from Long Island, New York, a sister tribe to my people the Wampanoag of Mashpee Massachusetts. Her work has focused on documenting Native American people, as well as the impact of global warming on the Arctic. Myself, I am a long time educator-activist focused on Native cultural education and community sustainability.

Together, through words and pictures, we hope to share our story of Standing Rock with the readers of Food First, with those of you who want to but cannot join, and for those who only need some more encouragement.

If not me who? If not now when? We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Featured photo by Joe Catron/ CC BY 

To support Food First’s continued land sovereignty work, click here.

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