Recent posts have been about “Treaties not Tar Sands” and the Treaty People Walk for Water. Walkers arrived at the Minnesota Capitol grounds Wednesday, ending a 256 mile walk from the Mississippi headwaters, an effort to draw attention to the state-approved Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.
Camp Migizi leader and Fon Du Lac Band member Taysha Martineau and Standing Rock Elder Sonny Wonase address 2,000 pipeline opponents gathered for the “Treaties not Tar Sands” rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Aug. 25th, 2021.
It is time that all the people of the earth come together and every step that you walk on this earth, may these steps be steps of prayer. Steps of prayer put feet on the ground, put prayer with every step you take. The fight isn’t over yet.Sonny Wonase
Police presence was as strong as ever, including a fence meant to wall state officials off from our prayerful ceremony and pleas for justice. As you can probably guess, that didn’t deter water protectors. At the end of the rally, my fellow organizers read a statement of demands criticizing Governor Tim Walz’s support of the pipeline and militarized response. We also continued to call on President Joe Biden to intervene.
Until we’re heard and acknowledged, we will not be silent. We will not stop taking direct action to end this invasion of our sacred lands and protect our water and manoomin (wild rice). We are carrying forward the tradition of Indigenous activism begun by the American Indian Movement in the 1960s and renewed at Standing Rock five years ago. I express my gratitude to Standing Rock for standing with us now — and to you for holding space with us and Mother Earth. If we come together across our traditional boundaries, if we act with a unified voice and spirit, we can win this fight.Taysha Martineau
Yesterday’s post was about the heavy police presence at the Capitol. According to Native News Online, “in anticipation of the demonstration, Minnesota State troopers barricaded all roadways into the Capitol grounds. Fearing damage to monuments near the capitol, as when a Christopher Columbus statue was taken down by protesters last summer, all statues were fenced in and guarded by law enforcement.”
In the evening, demonstrators announced they will occupy the Minnesota Capitol grounds overnight and began pitching tents on the lawn. However, Minnesota State Troopers ordered demonstrators to remove the tents and allowed people to occupy the permitted tipis on the lawn.‘Treaties Not Tar Sands’ Rally Convenes at Minnesota State Capitol, by Darren Thompson, Native News Online, August 26, 2021
This is a powerful livestream video of the Water Walkers, in silence, arriving at the Minnesota State Capitol Wednesday.
I can’t help but reflect on how different this peaceful, prayerful walk compares to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.