Developing Resistance Though Culture at Standing Rock

This video features some of the Indigenous art and cultural movement building strategies that were being implemented at Standing Rock. There were many such examples of this happening throughout this movement especially in the numerous kitchens throughout camp. A critical component to our movement success was going to be developing our Horse Medicine early on.

Much like our art, “horsepersonship” skills are passed down from one generation¬†to the next and this particular extreme sport is mad deep in Indigenous family tradition. Through the cultural competition of “Indian Relay” events like sprints and other skills based competitions for all ages, a solidarity was built between riders to help overcome any potential historical tribal beefs between themselves.

During the filming of the first relay, a radio call reported that private military contractors released their attack dogs on unarmed Water Protectors a mile north of Oceti Sakowin camp where these events were taking place. A decision was made to keep the youth and families at the events in a position to cross the river to tribal land where they would be safe should the violence escalate further.

Afterwards it was contemplated if more of our horses could have helped the situation north of us. Perhaps. But there was belief in the abilities of the Crow Creek Boys and other experienced riders who were already up there to protect our people as needed. Unnecessarily exposing the terror and violence of the state to innocent young Indigenous lives was never going to be one of the options on the table. I stand behind that decision to this day – if you were there and you have a differing opinion on this, we can take a walk…

S/S/O to all the two and four-legged involved in the development of this crucial side of our movement. The word was at the next horsepersonship event one of the youth riders rode off with almost $500 in winnings. The riders that came from all over Turtle Island to build medicine for the movement took over the track and the organization of their community the way its always been and the way it needs to continue to be – organically free of corporate (NGOs, NPOs) the government and any other colonial agenda.

More videos to come…

Posted on April 26, 2020 in Cultural, Standing Rock

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