Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Keeping the Fires Burning

Red Lake Direct Action to Stop Illegal Enbridge Pipeline

Today is an international day of ceremony and prayer in solidarity with Idle No More. Today we drum and pray and offer to the powers of Sovereignty. As Gaelic Polytheists, we know the true power to lead the people comes from the power of the Sacred Land. For those of us in the diaspora, this means listening to, and working in solidarity with, the peoples of the sovereign First Nations of the territories where we now live. Like Amergin arriving in Ireland, we learn the name of the land where we live, we love her and respect her and ask for her guidance.

We pray the way we know how to pray. We pray the way our ancestors prayed.

The main guidelines for today are to build a sacred fire at dawn and keep it burning all day. At the fire, built in the way of our Gaelic ancestors, we drum the traditional rhythms of Ireland and Scotland, and speak to the spirits who've been kind enough to let us, and our recent ancestors, call this land home. We pray that the true, natural sovereignty of this land be strengthened; that the grandmother spirits of this land choose who will lead the way, and give strength to the people they charge with this task of protecting the land and the waters for the people now, for the other living creatures, and our descendents who are to come. We ask that we may be worthy, and humble, and useful. Slàinte Mhath.

One place where the sacred fire is burning, and will continue to burn until the Tar Sands KXL pipeline is removed from the land, is at the Red Lake Indian Reservation, in Minnesota.

Around the fire at the camp. Photo by Jenna Pope

Fund the resistance with laughter!

Friends, we need strong people on the line against Enbridge, and the KXL Tar Sands pipeline, at the blockade on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota. Activists who are out in the cold at the blockade, camping on the site in the snow in order to shut down the pipeline, need our support. While they're holding the line for us, for the Earth and the waters and the air, they're not able to be at their jobs that pay the bills.

One of the brave warriors holding the line is our dear friend, Tito Ybarra. He has been honoured by Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan for his activism, and we need to honour him, as well. You may know Tito better from his hilarious standup and sketch comedy, his work for language preservation, and his performances with other NDN comedy groups like the 1491s.

One of the ways we can hold the line against Enbridge is to help keep Tito fed and his bills paid. If you haven't bought his comedy DVD, please do so! Tito releases lots of his comedy for free on YouTube, and you can see some of his videos on his website. But the DVD consists completely of exclusive material that is not available anywhere else. We need to support the artists in our communities, and by buying Tito's DVD (and extras as presents for friends!) you are helping fund the resistance.

You can make the appropriators buy it, too. Tell them they will learn NDN SEEKRITS if they watch this. Then they can see Tito satirize the ceremony-sellers! Cultural preservation, yeah!


Tito is also posting updates from the blockade and live-streaming when possible, so by helping him stay we are also keeping someone media-savvy there to tell the world what is going on.

You can also donate directly to the camp via this site: Enbridge Blockade - Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan - We Love Our Land

Or via snail mail:

We Love Our Land
c/o Tito Ybarra
P.O. Box 41
Leonard, Minnesota

They could use wool socks, hand warmers, firewood, AA and AAA batteries, camping gear for staying warm, pans and utensils for cooking over an open fire or campstove, etc.

Tito tends the fire through the night. We love Tito.
Photo by Jenna Pope