Much of the world watched as the events in Standing Rock, ND unfolded. Many posted in protest of the pipeline drilled through sacred treaty protected land belonging to the Natives, some even gave their physical presence to the cause, subjecting themselves to the frigid cold, mistreatment from police officers; tear gas, rubber bullets, and imprisonment. One beautiful thing about Standing Rock was the community there, if dapl had a bright side, it’s that it brought more like-minded people together to connect over a common cause. I met a guy on my flight to ND who had actually been adopted into a Lakota family, Standing Rock gave him more than just friends, he felt at home on the reservation like he never had before. When I first arrived, it was the beginning of the end of this community. There seemed to be this confusion combined with sadness, many seemed to have found a home at Standing Rock like my friend Jahnny, but what now? Regardless of it being the end of the line for many here, I was still invited in without hesitation, given food and drink, asked my purpose for coming to Standing Rock. Everyone that showed up here, had a reason for being here, and everyone took care of everyone. At one point during the evacuation, I was running from police over Lake Oahe, I fell through ice and got completely drenched head to toe in ice cold water. In a state of shock, not fully realizing the urgency of my situation, someone grabbed me and said, “we need to get you to the med tent, NOW!” A few people stripped off my clothes, gave me a space blanket and threw me on a quad that sped me to a warm tent where I was given tea and warm clothes. I felt safe and a part of this family just for showing up and standing up for what I believed was right.
((connor-rochette)) Connor followed Nuage through the flower field, collecting flowers to make another pretty parasol to protect himself from the heat in case his chilled thermal stone were to warm up, in which it would be completely useless.