The Lakota Hunger Strike for Sacred Water Protection In Solidarity with Bella Bella
Written by a group of Lakota tribal members including Kyanne Dillabaugh, Debra White Plume and Karen Ducheneaux
On the Cheyenne River Homelands in 1868 Ft Laramie Treaty Territory many Lakota families will join the children of Bella Bella, Canada in a two-day hunger strike as a statement of sacred water protection. Please join the families of Hohoju Lakota elder Candace Ducheneaux and Oglala Lakotas familes of Autumn Two Bulls, Olowan Martinez, Andrew Iron Shell as well as other families and youth who also be engaging in a hunger strike April 1-3, that coincides with Enbridge hearings on the Bella Bella reserve.
The Lakota Hunger Strike recognizes that the sacred water in the Boreal Forest of Alberta, Canada (which provides 80% of the world’s fresh drinking water) as the gift of life. “Mni wicozani” (through water there is life) is Lakota spiritual way of life. Under the Boreal Forest is where the tarsands oil lies. Mining corporations use, waste, and contaminate an enormous, irreplaceable amount of pure drinking water creating the worlds’ greatest ecological manmade disaster in the extraction of tarsands oils.
According to their statement: “The students and staff of Bella Bella Community School stand in opposition to the proposed Enbridge Pipeline that would bring supertankers filled with oil along the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest, jeopardizing the environment upon which we rely for sustenance, both physical and spiritual. We will be engaged in a 48-hour hunger strike from April 1st at 4 pm to April 3rd at 4 pm. This coincides with the Enbridge hearings in our community.” (Bella Bella is north of Vancouver, Canada).
Statement of the Lakota Hunger Strike,
To protect Mother Earth and drinking water sources for the coming generations and all of life, we must take action. We have seriously contemplated this action and have made prayers. It is our guidance to engage with Bella Bella in a 48-hour Hunger Strike to send our message to the world. All we have to give as the two legged is our suffering for Mother Earth and sacred water protection; that is what we do. To go without food for 48 hours is very serious, many youth are involved and relatives will join to support their children.
The Enbridge and Keystone XL Oil Pipelines, the supertankers, the heavy hauls carrying equipment and the tarsands oil mine are all connected. The mines are as big as the state of Florida. Mankind cannot re-create the biodiversity that took centuries to form. This multibillion dollar business enterprise is creating ecological damage that can never be repaired. The Lakota Hunger Strike opposes the tarsands oil mine and the Keystone XL oil pipeline planned to cross our Treaty Territory.
The Bella Bella community opposes Enbridge Oil Pipeline and supertankers coming through their territory. Together we send our voice to the world that this manmade disaster must be stopped. Sacred water must not be destroyed. There are substitutes for gas and oil, but there is no substitute for drinking water.
The “Protect Our Sacred Water Rally” in Eagle Butte, South Dakota on Sunday April 1, 2012 will begin at 11am. After the Rally there will be a caravan to the campsite, where a sacred fire will be lit and burn until the Hunger Strike is over. We will begin with prayers and the individuals will be taken to tipis where they will stay until they break their fast at 6pm (CST) on Tuesday April 3, in conjunction with the children of Bella Bella (4pm PST). Oglala Lakota Tokala Warrior Society will guard the Lakota Hunger Strike camp. Supporters please bring tents, bedrolls, and groceries to add to the support camp’s kitchen. Also please bring your own dishes as the campers are discouraging the use of disposable dishes.
If you would like to join or help please contact Karen Ducheneaux (605) 733-2148, Autumn Two Bulls (605) 441-7369 or (605) 867-1572, Terrell Iron Shell (605) 455-1192, and Jackie Dunn (605) 200-2027.
Reprinted with permission.