Aho. My name is Ani and I live in Indian Beach NC. I am descendant of the Sihasapa Lakota and I stand with Standing Rock and all of the brave water protectors taking action across the country for many, many reasons.
First and foremost in this battle, because Mni Wiconi: water is life; water is sacred. Our bodies are 70% water; we aren’t tin men, we can’t survive on 70% oil running through our veins. Mother Earth needs more brave warriors like the water protectors on the front lines to stand up and put an end to the fossil fuel industries. There are other options; coal and oil are the past, our futures are green.
But this struggle is about so much more than water and oil. I stand with Standing Rock because of history; because of the past 500 years of cruelty and genocide against the Indigenous people of this land. It is time the US government, and Americans, face what they have done to the Indigenous people that have gotten in the way of their Manifest Destinies.
I stand because I don’t know who I am. Because the US government exterminated and forced assimilation upon my ancestors, and now, with no surviving members of that side of my family, I have no connection to my ancestors, to my culture, to my language. All I have are the stories I was told as a child, and a feeling in my being that I am not where I belong. The US government stole my identity, my home, my right to know who I am. How can one know who they are, if they don’t know who they came from?
For these, and so many other reasons, I will stand with my Brothers and Sisters, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and countless other relatives I’ll never get to know, at Standing Rock until the end of this fight.