December 1, 2016:
Recently returned to New York, and wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our time at Standing Rock, whether financially, through words of encouragement, thoughts and prayers, or even just liking our Facebook post. It felt like you were all there with us, and the ripple effects of your support will be felt by others (certainly throughout the winter -- we used most of the funds to winterize camp). While we are still processing our experience, here are a few thoughts and action items if you’d like to help:
1. DONATIONS NEEDED FOR CAMP: We stayed with Rosebud camp, part of Sacred Stone. This wonderful community is home to an increasing number, including potentially the thousands of Water Protectors that could be evicted from Oceti Sakowin next week. Rosebud needs funds to build infrastructure, winterize the camp, and continue to provide for its wonderful residents. While there, we used your donations to buy a generator for a grandmother’s teepee and stovepipes to ensure everyone stays warm and safe over the winter. However, more is needed. The best way to donate is via the All Nations Indigenous Center’s FB page (note on Paypal it is a gift “for Standing Rock”): https://www.facebook.com/
2. DONATIONS NEEDED FOR LEGAL HELP: On-the-ground legal efforts are led by the Water Protector Legal Collective (http://
3. PHYSICAL DONATIONS MOSTLY NOT NEEDED: Camps are currently overwhelmed with unneeded items, and needs change constantly. If you’d like to send physical items, high-quality, cold weather gear in large sizes (XL, XXL, XXXL) and/or zero-degree sleeping bags would be helpful.
4. SHARE, BUT DO SO RESPONSIBLY: While there, we learned first-hand that this movement is about peacefully protecting our water and building an inclusive and respectful community around a shared prosperous future. The people there are Water Protectors, not protesters. They were peaceful and prayerful, not angry and violent. The way we talk about what’s happening at Standing Rock matters, so please do it responsibly - if you want to help by sharing information, please only share information that has been verified (e.g. not the video about cropdusters that is going around and being shared privately). Doing otherwise dilutes and jeopardizes the core message, for which there are solid arguments and substantial evidence.
6. STAY INFORMED: If you want to see what’s happening daily, our camp neighbor Joshua Hayes is posting a lot of FB Live videos – if so inclined, you might even consider contributing to help him stay out there and continue sharing.
7. PHOTOS AND STORIES: If you have good media contacts, or are one, please let me know – I have some photos and stories I’d like to share. I really appreciate it!
If you have any questions about Standing Rock, what it’s like to be out there, etc., feel free to message me or Felicity and we would be happy to answer them to the extent we can. As it was told to me, Wopila-Yelo (Thank you very much).
[All images © 2016 Bill Levey]