Indigenous people from around the world gathered to promote sovereignty, resistance, respect, justice and love at the Native Nations Rise March 10th. I was honored to walk along side of Indigenous women, children and men. The weather was freezing with rain, sleet and snow. The wind howled as if joining the marches with a powerful message of protecting the earth and halting the harms.
The march began at the United States Army Corps of Engineers building and then moved past the Trump International Hotel. In front of the Trump Hotel a short demonstration was held to let guests and Trump hear the voices of the people. Now completely frozen, I continued to march to the White House. Throughout the march there was a unified message aimed at President Donald Trump and his administration: Mni Wiconi, “Water is Life!” The chant has become a shorthand for tribes’ struggle to reassert tribal sovereignty and self-determination over their physical and spiritual spheres. The phrase was joined by many other expressions aimed at attracting the attention of the federal government: “We stand with Standing Rock!” – “Keep the oil in the soil, you can’t drink oil!” – “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” – And, “Shame, shame, shame!”
A rally with extraordinary speakers joined at the end of the March at a park, in front of the White House. Powerful words were voiced by Native leaders. It was a march that I will always hold close to my heart. Although I was frozen to the bone – I felt fire in the belly and ready to take on the fight for justice.