The Oceti Sakowin Camp is a historic gathering of tribes, allies, and people from all walks of life standing in solidarity to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline. Mini Wiconi (Lakota for “Water is Life”)
Cheryl Angel, a Sicangu Lakota tribe member who has been at the Standing Rock camps since April, said she has personally seen what appear to be indigenous artifacts in the line of construction and that she believes the pipeline operators have intentionally hidden discoveries of sacred sites and knowingly destroyed them.
“It’s a tremendous blow to our history. They are trying to erase our existence,” said Angel, 56. “That’s a blatant disregard for our culture. That hurts when someone purposefully tries to erase you as people from … the land we’ve occupied for centuries.”
Angel said she suspected the state might be taking action against the company simply because there is now international attention on the conflict.“They have no choice now, because the world is watching.”
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Water Protectors and volunteers gather at the top of a hill to find cellular service – two bars are outstanding and let me add that uploading images and videos is exasperating.
FYI: The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.
The original Sioux tribe was made up of Seven Council Fires. Each of these Council Fires was made up of individual bands, based on kinship, dialect and geographic proximity.
Sharing a common fire is one thing that has always united the Sioux people. Keeping of the peta waken (sacred fire) was an important activity. On marches, coals from the previous council fire were carefully preserved and used to rekindle the council fire at the new campsite.
The Seven Council Fires are:
Mdewakanton – Dwellers by the Sacred Lake
Wahpekute – Shooters Among the Leaves
Sisitonwan/Sisseton – People of the Marsh
Wahpetonwan – Dwellers Among the Leaves
Ihanktown/Lower Yanktonai – People of the End
Ihanktowana/Upper Yanktoni – People of the Little End
Tetonwan – People on the Plains