Facebook   Twitter   Instagram
Current Issue   Archive   Donate and Support    

Voices: Standing With, From Afar


voices---Molly-Ryan_Kills-EnemyAs a woman who is Indigenous to this land, a Lakota Woman, from the Rosebud Reservation in St. Francis, South Dakota, I looked out tonight at all of the faces looking back and this sadness washed over me. A defeat type of sadness. But as I listened to these young women, this hope grew inside. The same strong belief that I have carried for myself and for the rest of my sisters, for so many years. Even during the darkest times in my life.

I have worked hard in this life of mine. I have worked my way out of meth addiction, one of the deadliest addictions in our part of the world. I recovered from alcohol abuse. I am always healing from the many abuses that have been passed down to my people and to me as an individual.

I am born of my mother’s memories and I heal from them. I have two of them. One who gave me that breath of life and the blood of my ancestors that flows through my veins. And the one who raised me and gave me strong morals to live by.

I think about the atrocities continuing to play out, up at Standing Rock. I think about how those cycles continue to live and fester as the ones who are the same of my blood, continue the fight for clean water, for us, for our children, and for our earth to become healthy and thrive once again.

I think about my relatives up there. I see how these attacks are continual and I see and feel how they affect not just the ones who are up there, but also the ones sitting by and watching via live feeds. These last few weeks, at times, I have felt this fear deep within, a fear that I have never felt before. I feel this desperation, then helplessness as I watch in silence with my tears falling down my cheeks and onto the bed.  

I feel this scream, rising in my throat and then I am somewhere else. I am standing in a field and I see my sisters, our children, our elders, lying motionless. I close my eyes, and I open them. I am still in the field, listening to the screams, the cries of agony.  

I see my people being massacred.

And still, the scream rises. It waits as I continue to stand, looking at the devastation around me.

And then I am back, sitting in my room, in Denver, Colorado 2016. And I know where that fears stems. I remembered that massacre of my relatives. Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890 And I feel in my heart, that it is happening all over again. Only this time, the world will be watching.  

And still no one prevents it from happening again.

As I wake from those memories, that fire burns again. Maybe it never went out, but it burns brighter than it did before the attacks. And my heart tells me to keep moving forward. To keep standing up for our women, the Water Protectors, our children, our future. And as always, Unci Maka. My heart tells me that we will continue to rise and we become those seeds of resistance once again.

And so today, I keep walking with that same perseverance that I have held closely in my heart. Today I continue to fight that fight. For our rights as humans, as Indigenous people of this land, as a woman (winyan) who has suffered her own traumas.

And today I danced with many races of peoples, many tribes of our nations. I hold their hands and my heart knows that we continue holding hands and we continue standing up.


Leave a Reply