DRC Member – Lisa DeVille – Mandaree, ND
On Aug. 8, Ft. Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights along with the Indigenous Environmental Network hosted our first annual 2015 Water Blessing and Healing Walk. We prayed for all the sacred waters of the Earth.
For centuries, we Native Americans were forced into this society and became modernized by non-Native Americans. We all have heard of stories from our relatives who attended the boarding schools, where young people were beaten because they spoke their own language.
But what happened to Native Americans is not taught in non-Native American schools. The historical trauma has affected us greatly; we are losing our language and our way.
This land was taken from our ancestors, and today it is being destroyed by industrialization and money.
We need more people to stand up for Mother Earth. For Colorado—the site of the recent, 3-million-gallon spill of toxic yellow sludge into the state’s waterways—isn’t the only place that’s suffering from disasters. Such events also are happening in our own communities. Think of the million-gallon brine spill that fouled a portion of the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in July of last year, a spill for which the responsible party has neither been charged nor fined, nor for which there has been a proper cleanup.
What flows downstream affects all life. We need to be proactive, and we need to be aware of the impact of all of this industrialization.
We must demand updated environmental laws, environmental justice and more research.
We cannot take Mother Earth for granted. Our instruction from the creator is to protect Mother Earth. We must act now for our future generations.