The Call of Sacred Stone: Stop Dakota Access Pipeline

Sunset on a valley in Lassen County, CA. Photo by Tanya Pluth. 

Sunset on a valley in Lassen County, CA. Photo by Tanya Pluth. 

Back in early June I first heard about the Sacred Stone Camp and the movement to protect the waters and lands of the Oceti Sakowin located in North Dakota along the Missouri river by ending the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Like many, I first heard about this gathering via social media. From the moment I read about the hundreds, and then, the thousands, who responded to the call to come to the camp, I wanted to go. But life felt complicated. What about my business? Who would do the work that requires a solo-preneur to keep projects going and pay the bills? What about activist strategy: is going there the best use of resources? What about race consciousness: is it helpful for a white person to be present? All of these questions quieted the response my heart leapt to, and so, I didn't go in June, July, or even August. I donated money, and I shared news as it came across my social media feeds. Each day, I looked to the sky and the sun and thought of the people on the plains. Each night, I saw the moon and whispered a prayer to the work of the people on the plains. Each morning, I woke wondering what it was like to wake at the Sacred Stone camp.

Then I saw video of white people holding thrashing, gnarling German Shepherds on long leashes as a group of Protectors stood across from them, and as D7 bulldozers tore up sacred lands in the background. I saw a white woman shove her dog into a crowd of retreating Protectors. The dog had more sense than that white woman did, because the dog paused before charging ahead, and didn’t go again until the woman pushed it from behind. I heard the cries of the people, and the shouts of resistance. In that moment, my heart leapt to a whole new level. The call I’d felt way back in June became an extremely loud and resonant gong. 

I am going to Sacred Stone Camp. Today.

I am going to the camp to be witness and to contribute what I can. I am going to the camp to clean up dishes and do other small tasks that free up Protectors for prayer and action. I am going with supplies and donations. I am going with humility and recognition of the work that lies ahead for us all as we end the harms of inherited and present day greed, disease, and oppression. 

And, for each penny I spend on the cost of traveling to the camp and returning, my spouse and I will be donating items from the Sacred Stone camp and Red Warrior Camp lists of needed items. For us, this is what we can do, right now.

What can you do, right now? Whatever it is, do it. Because this is a turning point. This is the gathering of energies and ancient wisdom that marks a turning point. If you have been waiting, ask yourself, what are you waiting for? Your heart, your spirit, your energy is ready for action. You define that action, no one else. Whether donating money, saying a daily prayer by lighting a candle, whatever level of action will align with the Protectors and create more available catalyst for change.

Sunrise from Topaz Mountain Utah access road. Photography by Tanya Pluth . 

Sunrise from Topaz Mountain Utah access road. Photography by Tanya Pluth . 

I feel an intimate connection to the land and the water, as healers and teachers. I’ve been on the path of learning the ways of spirit, earth, air, fire and water for all of my life. I have had many teachers. All of my teachers carried the same essential message: go with love. So, I travel today, traveling East, with love in my heart for the land, for the waters, for the Protectors who create a space of renewal, strength, and sacred gathering for warriors to use what is available to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as other threats to sovereignty and sustainable living. I add what I can to that space, each moment I travel East, across the Rocky Mountains, across the wide High Desert of Montana, all the way to Standing Rock. I add my love into the action of joining, and of providing what assistance I can in action and prayer. 

It is my intention to share brief dispatches from the travels to the camp, and the return. I don’t know what is going to happen. If history is any guide, the Governor of North Dakota and the people from the corporation will unleash more than just German Shepherds. But if history is any guide, there are people within the State Police, within the Sheriff’s office, within the holders of state and corporate power, who have hearts that stir like mine do, whose hearts know a limit was crossed not just last week, but last century, and the one before that. They recognize the lines are old and worn, and the only response now is to be willing to put everything you have on the line. Everything you can muster to act differently than people acted before. To act with integrity and strength in service of turning from destruction to protection of life.  

 I am going to Standing Rock. 

I am going to the Sacred Stone Camp.