I Don’t Need Another Ribbon … Or Challenge

25 Nov

Maybe it will be Turquoise or some kind of dark blue satin strip that tries to copy the blue that the water used to be …  I have no idea, but either way I don’t want it.

This holiday season I don’t want it.

I don’t need another ribbon … There’s the red one for AIDS, the pink one for breast cancer, the multicolored one for autism. I don’t need another one.

I don’t need another water bucket challenge, push-up challenge, or mannequin challenge.

What I need is for people to do the right thing so that ribbons or challenges are not needed. I don’t need awareness challenges after-the-fact, I need justice for people who are fighting for what’s right. I need to Erin Brockovich this situation, because what’s a ribbon gonna do, when you could have stopped it from happening?



This injustice inspires anger in me, not hope. It inspires frustration, not cooperation. It inspires profanity, not prayer. It breaks my heart, not strengthens it. These feelings may not be the right ones, but they fuel the resolve that I have to use my voice to help stand in solidarity with those who still have peace and hope in their hearts.

And hopefully it helps.

Water is an essential part of life and putting something under it, near it, or around it that could contaminate it, that will probably contaminate it, kills off a source just as important as oxygen.

So why is this Dakota Pipeline still happening?

Big Oil. Big Money. Big Bullies.

When the documentary BULLY came out there was an uproar at the blatant incompetence and neglect of some schools, districts, educators, and bus drivers that escalated these situations. People who were supposed to protect children from bullies were failing and allowing this toxic behavior to emotionally and physically harm their kids.


Big Oil. Big Money. Big Bullies. Same problem.

Everything has two sides I get it. The people near Bismark did not want the pipeline near their water sources, they said it could contaminate their drinking water. So it was moved to Lake Oahe … to potentially contaminate the drinking source of hundreds of Native Americans. It not only could contaminate the water for the nearby reservation, but also endanger the remains of their loved ones, and violate an 1851 treaty.

One community asks for the pipeline not to be built near their water source,  they comply. Native Americans ask they not build near their water source for the same reasons in addition to burial sites and the treaty. No one listens. Bulldozers come. Pipe is laid.

Two sides to every story. I wonder what kind of people lived near the Bismark water source?

People who say it’s complicated aren’t really looking at the simplicity of the matter. It’s wrong. Period. If decision-making people in government can’t find the courage to stand up and do the right thing, then maybe they shouldn’t be standing in a position of power. I told you … I don’t know need another ribbon or another challenge.

I need people to do the right thing. THEY need people to do the right thing. But what happens …

The Army Corps Engineers plan to shut down the Dakota Pipeline Protest Camp by December 5th, and add a “free speech zone” instead in order to “protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions …”

I. Can’t. Eeeeeeeeeven.

A lot has already been taken away from these people … I can’t imagine why the government would allow anyone to strip them of even more. Freedom of speech. Freedom to assemble peacefully. Freedom period.

It angers me that this young kid, Kendrick Eagle, among hundreds of others who remembers the promises from the campaign of HOPE were met with a militarized police force and National Guard using tear gas, plastic bullets, hoses, tasers, and other “nonlethal” means of keeping protesters “in check,” like keeping them in dog kennels after being arrested  you know for the “safety of everyone.”

The moral compass seems to be broken in North Dakota, especially in the governor’s office. So this week, when I was giving thanks, I also empathized and honored the people who have been victims of the government for over 200 years.  I do my best to spread their word while I still have a voice and time to do it. I Stand With Standing Rock all the way from California and without a ribbon pinned to my shirt. I told you I don’t want one.

Buen Camino.





6 Responses to “I Don’t Need Another Ribbon … Or Challenge”

  1. bgddyjim November 26, 2016 at 3:33 AM #

    I’d be willing to bet my ass you don’t know that there are already seven pipelines that run under that river. And right about now you’re thinking that rant may be a little misplaced.

    I say, that’s fine. Build OVER the river. Under is safer, but if you want over, that’s the way we go.

    Water is sacred, and thus far this year the EPA is challenging for the “most water contaminated” by one entity for 2016.

    • The Guat November 26, 2016 at 3:08 PM #

      It’s unfortunate that when you disagree with something I feel passionate about you question my knowledge and intelligence about the subject matter through a rant. Sometimes good writing sparks emotions. I understand that there are more than 20 pipelines in that state transferring crude oil and gas, some of which went through proper channels and produced honest environmental impact reports. I’m well informed about this specific pipeline and the obstacles it faced when it was announced months ago and when it laid pipe and proposed to cross over water sources more than 200 times. My passion stems from the continuous and historical disregard and disrespect of the Native People and the exploitation of their land. They should use strict environmental reviews instead of unreliable data that underestimates environmental risks, oil spills, and climate change. Pipelines must be built I’m sure, but they should do it away from sacred burial grounds, away from as many water sources as possible, and in a way that doesn’t break any more promises to the Native People. They should also make sure they don’t use rhetoric as loopholes for evading The Clean Water Act or enforcing section 404. Both the EPA and Department of Interior expressed their concerns in March about water contamination and desecration of Native American lands. Their original route, near Bismark, raised concerns regarding the same issues from certain communities who did not want the pipeline near their drinking water, so they decided to reroute it to where people thought no one would care. Lake Oahe. I understand that the both of us have different values, and we see the facts differently, and we will disagree, but we don’t have to be disagreeable to do it.

  2. Jenny Hansen November 28, 2016 at 3:56 PM #

    The way Native Americans have been treated since our inception is deplorable. I come from these people, as does my husband, and what we see is: “I will work with you until you have something I want. I’ll live next to you until I decide you need to be moved to less valuable land. This is just the latest in a long series of WTF actions.

    Where do they think the phrase “Indian giver” came from?? Not from the actions of the Native Americans! It came from the “I’ll give you liquor and illness, and steal your land” actions of the early American settlers.

    • The Guat December 2, 2016 at 1:25 AM #

      It’s extremely frustrating when people don’t get it, especially the people who continue to abuse and take. I completely agree with you and understand that this has been happening for years. You would think people in government would have learned by now, and stop using BS to back their position. This is the last stand on the pipeline, but I imagine not the last time Native Peoples will have to fight to protect what was theirs The only thing that positive about this is that it sheds a national light on what’s going on in North Dakota and how horrible the governor and Army Corps Engineers handled the situation and how we need to look for alternate sources of energy.

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