Thursday, August 11, 2016

Protecting the Water

Water Meme, text copyright ©2016 kpn / kathryn price nicdhana for Gaol Naofa
Original photo Dawn on the Mississippi River by Kyle Brown

Mni Wiconi – Water is Life 
'S e an t-Uisge a' Bheatha

The central watershed and aquifer of North America is under threat. The water defenders are holding the line but need help. Arrests are happening. If you are not able-bodied enough or your kids and job keep you from putting your body on the line, donate to the support fund if you can, and go to the waters where you are and pray.

News stories that spin this as standing with the Indians to protect "their" water are actually missing the point. This about ALL of our water. This is the central water source for the entire continent. This aquifer, and the Mississippi River, cannot handle the inevitable oil spills that are coming from every single one of these pipelines. The question is not if the pipeline will leak, it is when.  The pollution of all our drinking water is inevitable if this project goes through. These industries are used to sacrificing the most vulnerable and disempowered communities first - the Natives on the poorest reservations, the Black folks in the inner cities - and then years after the children in these communities have grown up with birth defects do the white people start maybe noticing and not wanting this stuff near them.

Well guess what. You can't avoid it anymore. No matter what your race or ethnicity or identification. This will effect you and all those who come after us. If you want the kids and grandkids to have water to drink, this is it. This is the war. It's coming for us and now it is here.

* Mni Wiconi - Lakota (Lakȟótiyapi) for "Water is Life"
* 'S e an t-Uisge a' Bheatha - Scottish Gaelic for "Water is Life." Uisge is "water," and usually implies freshwater. Fìor-uisge is specifically pure water, drinking water (literally, "true water"). When translating these water phrases into Gaelic and Irish, there can be some issues, as An t-uisge-beatha is a compound word meaning "whisky," whereas "Uisge na Beatha" is a phrase meaning "Water of Life." Especially when discussing or doing ceremony, the difference here is very important!
* A Shail-Spioradain - Gaelic for "Oh Guardian Spirits"
* Turtle Island - name used by many Indigenous North American Peoples for the North American continent
* Oceti Sakowin - The Seven Fires Council aka The Great Sioux Nation or the Lakota and Dakota people
* Mnišoše - Lakota (Lakȟótiyapi) name for the Missouri River
* Mníšošethąka - Dakota (Dakhótiyapi) name for the Mississipi River
* Abhainn Chluaidh, Uisge Dhè, An Life, An Bhóinn, - In both Gaelic and Irish, "River Clyde, River Dee, Liffy and Boyne"
* Standing Rock - The Lakota reservation where they are blocking the proposed pipeline, and where the runners began their journey on foot to Washington D.C.
* Slàinte Mhath - Gaelic for "Good Health/Strength/Wholeness"

More links:

And if you're considering going to camp, please read this first, cover to cover.  It's essential. Thanks!

Standing Rock Allies Resource Packet 
(Documents prepared by members of the Solidariteam; Oceti Sakowin Camp Protocols written with camp elders.)



Anonymous said...

Can we get pronunciation of S e an Fior-uisge...
Tapadh leibh
Eoin Stiubhart

Kathryn Price NicDhàna said...

It can vary a bit by dialect, but roughly: 'S e am fìor-uisge would be "shay um feer ISH-kuh."

When you can, listen to native speakers. I am but a learner. :)