Prior to beginning today, Tricia performed smudging for us, to remove negative energy and bring positive energy. That this was offered to all of us, sharing this Native practice, is just one of many examples of all of us sharing with each other. This sharing was crucial to our growing interconnections, and building a single community, together.
This video was shot by Mahmud Fitil who is marching with us. My feet felt better after that. Mahmud told me when he went to the site of a tar sands train derailment the smell was so bad people nearly vomited.
For the first several hours it was raining pretty hard. Prior to this march, I never would have ventured out into such heavy rain. But this morning I didn’t hear one person suggest we should wait until it wasn’t raining so hard. Not one person complaining. We just put on our rain gear, had our morning circle to discuss the day’s route, and began to march and continue sharing our stories. One of the most remarkable and most meaningful things that happened on this march was the extended length of time we were with each other, and the conversations went on almost non-stop.
After Lee Tesdell’s presentation last night, he took me to see where the pipeline crossed the highway we would be traveling on when we left Huxley. We planned to have a ceremony when we reached the pipeline. Donnielle Wanatee offered good prayers, asking for protection for the walkers, and for their families at home. I was surprised at what an emotional time this was. It was especially difficult for Kathy Byrnes, bringing back a lot of bad memories of her past experiences with the construction of the pipeline on her neighbor’s land. Many offered her hugs.
These deep emotions were felt by all of us every time we crossed the pipeline. I could see from the expressions and body language that every one of us was feeling the trauma of the land and water being desecrated by the black snake.
So today was mostly about walking in the rain, sharing more stories, and experiences at the pipeline sites.
The tipi was set up again in Ames. Here is a short video of putting the cover on the tipi.