How is your November treating you? I hope things are going well.
I wanted to talk to you today about something very important to me, that I think is probably important to you too.
Right now in North Dakota the Dakota Access Pipeline is trying to lay itself across tribal lands and the Missouri River, against the wishes of the Standing Rock Sioux (whose lands are closest to where the pipeline will be, and who stand to suffer the most damage when there is a leak) and pretty much everyone else who lives in that area.
The Water Protectors are standing strong against DAPL, and are fighting to keep their water safe for future generations.
Access to clean water is a human right, but unfortunately not a human reality for many Native communities across Canada and the US (or other communities that are predominantly marginalized, such as Flint, Michigan). The Water Protectors are working tirelessly to protect access to clean drinking water for this generation and future ones.
It isn’t a question about “if” a spill will happen with the pipeline; time and time again oil is spilled into our land and waters, poisoning the earth around us. History as recent as in the past month has taught us that we are not able to safely transport oil. We must work to end our dependence on it.
There has been heavy pushback against the Water Protectors from those who want the pipeline laid, who are only looking at the bottom line of money for themselves and not considering the very real, very dire consequences of such an action. That pushback has included the use of water cannons on the Protectors, which is fatal in 25F (-4C) temperatures — the latest in a long string of physical violence against people trying to protect their lands and their very lives.
I have been looking for a way to lend my support to the Water Protectors. I can’t make it out there myself, and the truth is I have no extra funds whatsoever to donate.
So I have decided to set up a fundraising event through my Barefoot Ambassador page. How it works is this: I get a commission when people purchase Barefoot Books through my page. For whatever sales made through this specific event, I will donate two-thirds of my commission to Sacred Stone Camp — specifically, to Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa, the Traditional Lakota Youth School, which will help fund education for the youth at the camp.
It’s not a lot, but it is what I’m able to do right now. Barefoot has given me this tool, and I want to use it.
As a Barefoot Books Ambassador, I am committed to raising the next generation of children to be compassionate, empathetic, loving, and understanding. I want to see them respect diversity and sovereignty. I want them to be grateful, and generous, and to work to make the world a better place. I truly believe that the lessons within Barefoot’s line of books will help them with that — and I also believe that our actions as adults affect them deeply, and will sway them in ways we do not always fully grasp.
So here is a way to match actions with gift-giving, to make the lessons in the books appear in the real world — you can get the Barefoot books you want to give as gifts this holiday season and know that 20% of your purchase will go directly to the youth of Sacred Stone Camp. This is a perfect way to get gifts for the budding environmentalists and activists in your life while helping to educate the Standing Rock youth.
To go to the event, click here.
If you don’t want to buy anything and just want to donate directly to Sacred Stone Camp, please go to their page for info on how to do that (at the time of this posting, the Sacred Stone Camp’s website is down, so this link is to a recent archive of the page at the WayBack Machine).
(The donation page for the Traditional Lakota Youth School is here.)
Please note, I am not doing this as a business opportunity for myself. I think direct donations to Standing Rock should always take priority, and urge you to make a direct donation if it is possible for you. However, I know there might be people in my situation: I’ve been wanting to donate, but I’ve had to choose other places to put my funds — especially with the holidays coming up. I just don’t make enough money to be able to donate to causes that are important to me, so this is the only way I can really do that right now.
I put this together in the hopes that I could help those who might not be able to put aside money to make a direct donation, yet still need to get holiday gifts for loved ones, and want to help. As well, I think being able to get a book and know part of the proceeds are going towards Sacred Stone Camp will be a good opportunity to bring up the subject with the youth in your life and the rest of your family too.
Whatever route you are able to take, I hope you’ll join me and stand with Standing Rock.