There is a lot happening in the state of North Dakota near Cannonball and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Many Native Americans are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline as it compromises their water and disturbs sacred burial grounds.
As I have sat and listened and watched all of this unfold, I have come to have an even deeper respect for our Native brothers and sisters. Yet the truth is I have very little experience with the Native American culture.
Although the experience I have had has been beautiful. I remember being a camp counselor and holding a day camp on this very reservation. I remember one of the dads playing music for us. I also remember learning so much about their culture.They highly value their history and culture (I honestly think we can learn much from them!) But my experience, in no way, makes me an expert about their culture.
I also realize that in North Dakota, oil has given many families jobs. Yet I am not so sure that this is a long-term solution. Despite that though, despite where one falls on this issue, I truly believe it is time; long overdue time for us to truly listen to what is unfolding around us. As humanitarian Clay Jenkinson said earlier this week, the rest of the world is watching so "shut up and listen."
Yes! It is long overdue for us to listen to our Native brothers and sisters. Mr. Jenkinson also wrote, "The protests are no threat to non-Indians. We do not lose something if we listen respectfully. We do not lose something if the petroleum-industrial-government complex finds it possible to accommodate the requests of the Standing Rock nation."
This afternoon, a special hearing is being held in regards to #NoDAPL. I think today especially and in the days and weeks to come, it is essential for us to shut up and listen. You can read more of Mr. Jenkinson's blog post here: Standing Rock-A Time To Listen, Not Spout.
So as we sit and listen, may the answer be no more violence (I cannot get the images of the dogs attacking protestors out of my head. Simply wrong!). May God's peace ultimately prevail!
(I'm seriously sad that it took me this long to write this post!)