Standing Rock Native Space Holders. Masters of Dealing With Trauma.

6 11 2016

To see pictures that accompany the story below visit my Facebook here at


This weekend at Standing Rock saw an influx of people coming to camp known as “weekend warriors”.  I think initially they are a bit made fun as they only come for the weekend but ultimately they bring an energy that is much needed at the camp and they are overall appreciated.  It is hard to find much condescending attitudes or bitterness at Standing Rock, despite the depressing things that are happening to these people.  These “weekend warriors” are an interesting mix of people.  Most are there to help the cause and offer their energy and support in any way they can.  However, some have come because they think Standing Rock is some sort of festival and reason to party.  It’s cringe worthy to watch these small amounts of people being so out of touch with what’s actually going on.  It makes white people and popular culture look like such idiots because they are mostly young, white, affluent people.


There was a parade of horses that came into camp this weekend that was a meeting of many of the political leaders of the tribes around the country.  Some were dressed in traditional garb, others in casual clothing, and they all met outside of center camp and paraded their horses around in circles to wonderful native drumming.  There were no media or pictures allowed at this event and it was weird to see so many people around and nobody using their phones.  There were annoying drones in the sky that were drowning out the speakers and the leaders would just patiently wait until the drones flew away.  Being at Standing Rock has made me HATE drones so much.


It was wonderful to see the political leaders of so many tribes focused on respecting each other and each being allowed to talk as the ceremony went on for many hours.  It was like night and day compared with our two most popular political parties in Republicans and Democrats who resort to fear, cheating, lying, and sensationalized fakeness.  The native leaders spoke of really introspective, peaceful approaches to life and their cause at large in a calm, casual manner that allowed for space and time for reflection and thought, and saying things from the heart.  Some of the main messages of these leaders were that the native people are, “warriors of love and don’t have to be angry to be brave.  Courage is the ability to overcome reactionary emotions.  Fear, anger, and hate are not the strongest we can be.  There needs to a big effort to keep from fear overtaking us.”  Negative emotions can, “spread like wild fire.  Many are watching us all the time including children and peers and we need to constantly be teaching them and showing others how to be.  When we are united and standing against fear this actually puts fear into the hearts and minds of those who spread negativity and stand against us.”  The strongest statement I connected to most of all was their view on resentment.  “Resentment can have traumatizing effects.  If we move beyond it our life is better.  If we move beyond it the life of the one we felt resentment for who maybe wronged us, their life is also better.”  Some of the more powerful words spoken in one of the more powerful environments I’ve been witness to in my life.


The native people of the United States have been fighting the battle they are fighting at Standing Rock for centuries.  They are the true keepers of the Earth, the true leaders, the ones who will have to play a major role in getting our world out of this catastrophic environmental disaster we have found ourselves in.  They’ve been the true space holders for the white culture.  The space holder at the expense of getting beaten, killed, re-located, almost completely decimated, etc.  They are masters at dealing with trauma because they have HAD to do this for the last 500+ years.  The only weapon they have in dealing with an outright military power like the United States has been in going towards internal healing and meditative practices connected to themselves and the spirit of the Earth.


One of the ways you witness these incredible space holding practices is in the way the native people interact with others.  In the middle of town, they have an open mic that can basically be heard from all over camp.  Open mic means open mic and there is no judgement or time limit on who is speaking.  I would often find myself getting impatient at what people were saying up there and how they seemed to be not going anywhere with their story.  But that’s just it.  It wasn’t about the content or the overall message having an impact, it was about self-expression and allowing for the fact that we all want those levels of self-expression.  When it is our turn up there on open mic would we want somebody to give us bad looks or pressure us off stage, or would we want to be allowed to have just as much expression as the other person?  It is a small price to be paid to be heard.  It means you have to equally, if not more so, hear others.


This also was apparent in one on one conversations.  Native people displayed incredible patience.  There was not a race to have competitive conversations or to say something the loudest or fastest, or be entertaining enough, as can happen with so many conversations we have during our day in our common cultural settings.  I feel like I hold space pretty well for people and this usually means that I give people the power to talk about whatever.  Unfortunately, this also means that people don’t know exactly what to do with this because most conversations are stimulation races and I have found that holding space for someone in this way can make the other think you are not really contributing to the conversation, and possibly seen as rude.  Silence is seen as uncomfortable and when you really allow someone to express themselves I think many in our culture do feel power at being listened to but they also feel a certain level of awkwardness.  This awkwardness possibly comes from feeling like you have too much power in a conversation and the other person is submitting to you, or not entertaining enough, or not fully participating in how our culture views a conversation normally happening.  It’s complicated obviously to explain these nuances, but it was so refreshing to be talking with native people who were making me feel that way.  It was basically a relief as I am not as used to being on that side as much.  I would take a deep breath and relish in the comfortable silence and the patience filled conversation and just the general sense of having my space enjoyed and me enjoying theirs.  It was pleasant to be feel such at ease and accepted.


The natives of this land have developed a very sophisticated, yet simple, approach to their relationship with the Earth.  With many decisions they make, their value is, “what will it look like in 100 years?”  As the myth of white culture, American Exceptionalism has swept across the land over the last many centuries they have witnessed this and decided to hold space for us even after everything they’ve worked for and created was destroyed.  They’ve continued that space in the hopes of one day that we would wake up!  Wake up to their ways and their value of the Earth.  In the last many years and especially in the last 6-12 months this feeling has grown immensely.  The Bernie movement woke a lot of people up to be able to hear more clearly the message the native people have always been saying.  We are evolving into greater beings.  We are seeing our Earth destroyed by corporations, our government, and the military soldiers that implement such moneyed interest policies across the world.  There are so many more of us now that can relate to the plight of the native.  We can’t REALLY relate because that is hundreds of years of genocide that most of us have not experienced but we can see now how quickly we will lose everything if we don’t step up to the plate as a generation and start standing with natives, our culture, the people of the earth who all care about what our world will look like in 100 years.  If the native people spent hundreds of years trying to relay this message with almost being totally wiped out, it is now our time to help lift them up, lift their message up, and stand up for most people everywhere.


I have left Standing Rock today but only physically.  I have learned and tapped into more the power of prayer since being there and my thoughts and intentions and positive mindset is with the people and their plight at Standing Rock.  I may return in physical form again as I hope to but in the meantime, I will take everything I’ve learned from there to help continue to help out the cause.  There is no other choice to take.  Our world is being gutted and innocent, peaceful people are being looked upon as terrorists and annoyingly in the way of corporate interests.  We have no other choice but to keep going in our resistance in order to make the world one with native ideology again.


Below are inspirational quotes I came across on bumper stickers that I saw at Standing Rock.  You can see these on my picture link I mention above too.


“Karma, it’s everywhere you’re going to be”

“Marriage = Love + Love”

“Friends don’t eat friends (picture of a pig and a chicken)”

“Once you realize nothing makes sense, it all makes sense”


“What would the dude do?”

“Plant seeds and sing songs”

“Food is medicine”

“Everything in your life has led to this moment”

“Wherever you are, be all there”

“Plants Heal”

“Why find a cure when the disease is so profitable”

“Show me the path of wisdom and give me the strength to follow it”

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe”

“The key to the future is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known”

“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet”

“The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men”

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”

“Corporate plan for America, Loot is and leave it”

“Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex”

“Who would Jesus Bomb?”

“What if we destroy the planet before Jesus gets back?”

“The War on Drugs is war on the poor”

“Bernie Sanders for President!”

“Ask not what your planet can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your planet”

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal”

“Equal means everyone”

“God’s original plan was to hang out in a garden with some naked vegetarians”

“We spend more time congratulating people who have not succeeded than encouraging people who have not”

“The Hippies were right”

“I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns”

“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure”

“Music is the weapon of the future”

“Hate is easy, love takes courage”

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die”

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