Truths from Standing Rock Camp.


Amy Goodman, a journalist for Democracy Now, was issued a warrant for her arrest following her coverage of the protestors in North Dakota being attacked by private security dogs and pepper spray.

I was outraged by this, and was compelled to see it for myself. So I booked a flight to do just that.

Tribes have gathered in Cannonball, North Dakota, protesting what’s known as the Dakota Access pipeline. The 1,172-mile pipeline is a $3.7 billion project that would transport approximately 470,000 barrels of raw crude oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois.

The pipeline route includes a plan that would put it under the Missouri River, just upstream from the Standing Rock reservation, and Sioux tribal members claim this would threaten their drinking water, as well as their sacred sites.

Hundreds of tribes in the U.S. and Canada have pledged support for the Sioux nation, and thousands of activists have traveled to North Dakota to help. I wanted to experience this great coming together firsthand, and interview people about their experiences. So I packed my suitcase and off I went in search of something greater than myself.

One of my first impressions was that this was bigger than just being a Native American issue. This was about the health of water everywhere. It was symbolic as much as it was literal. When you consider the Earth’s water cycle circulates, you realize quickly that contamination effects everything. It doesn’t matter what your heritage is because contaminated water effects everything regardless.

It is one of the five classical elements, with icosahedron being its corresponding platonic solid, for a reason, and keeping that element healthy benefits humanity and all life, not just one kind of people.

It is the circle that ensures this truth. Water poisoning affects the soil, and therefore, the food we eat. What we do to the land, we do to ourselves. Many I spoke to expressed concern over this. I felt the truth of what they said while I stood there on the land where everyone was gathered. It was an incredible feeling.

As we all stuck up for Mother Earth together, and sought to protect Her purity and heart as one, we had overcome our differences and accepted resolve.

According to Lee Plentywolf, the seven ceremonial fires were lit in a ceremonial tepee that had not been used for centuries, and each tribal leader stood up and spoke in their native language over the flames. When he described this to me, I envisioned that scene in my mind’s eye, and was humbled and inspired by what I saw.

Honoring Mother Earth by speaking up to those who take advantage of Her, big corporate entities that leach off the human race to feed their fat bellies, is worth everyone’s time. What better way to make things right than to show up and do it? Speaking up about things is okay, and we should all do it more often.

I was standing there as a white woman, with a media pass for YinRadioTV, and few trusted me. But when I told them I was there to tell a different story from what the media was portraying, and how I wanted to honor their story and message from their own experiences, they opened up and spoke to me. The feeling of that trust was humbling.

Their stories and thoughts were like crystalline drops of truth ringing in the air all around me.

The veteran elders had powerful stories to share. They opened up to how they viewed the government use of eminent domain, and expressed how so few know their rights. I spoke to a man, who specialized in dog training, on how unethical it was to use the training techniques to harm innocent unarmed citizens gathering peacefully for a righteous reason.

I spoke to a native woman who held her son in her lap as she reminded us how water contamination somewhere far away, that may not seem like your problem, when you consider that your water sources can come from other areas, you really don’t know where your water is sourced, it is your problem.

Native Americans have lived a culture that links them intimately to Mother Earth. Their prayers align with Her. They know Her, therefore they can understand when She needs protecting and honoring, when enough really is enough. Everyone should listen to their advice on how to proceed into the future. All the voices of our indigenous earth people should be heard. Their vote matters!

Water is a right for all life — human, animal, plant and otherwise. If that fact isn’t worth protecting, what is?

As I photographed the water’s edge one morning, I came across a frog. He looked at me and I at him, and he blinked. I asked him if anyone had asked his opinion on all of this.

As an artist who finds her bliss in creating beauty, I sat with my experience afterwards for a few days, and spoke about it openly to those who were interested. This gathering was of historical significance, and the coming together of the tribes like this has not happened since the 1800’s.

The message of unity is: Protect the water. No more pipeline.

The gathering at Standing Rock is a healing for the Earth.

You have terrorists stabbing people in malls over what? Do we really know? And it is all over the global media getting the world’s attention because it feeds the fear. On the other hand, you have the indigenous leaders gathering in prayer near the water to protect it and protest misuse of the oil industry, and you barely hear anything about it on the news.

Shame on the mainstream media for betraying the public this way. For altering the truth, and supporting a system that poisons all of us.

According to the late Masaru Emoto, prayer affects the crystalline structure of the water. This gathering is a massive prayer injected into the crystalline structure of that river’s water now, and according to the water cycle, will circulate the Earth. The gathering itself is a massive water ceremony for the entire planet.

Inspired by that, a sample of the river water was gathered in an honorable way, and will have its crystalline water structure photographed by Emoto laboratories in Japan.

I hope those who shared their stories with me are honored in this article. I want to serve those who opened up their hearts and trusted me in their sharing, and as a woman in media, I am hoping to do a good story with higher purpose. That is my intention in sharing this experience.

At night, as those gathered beat their drums on the land near the river running through Standing Rock Camp, I realized this was a gathering of the tribes of epic proportion, and we were all standing on the land of the seven fires. It was a life changing experience, and I was not alone in that feeling.

What is my overall experience of being at Standing Rock camp in North Dakota? Because I prefer my creative space to any other space these days, I leave you with the below image to ponder my muse, as well as the words: Water is life.

{Photo credit: Hillary Raimo}

{Photo credit: Hillary Raimo}


hillaryraimoHillary Raimo is the executive producer of YinRadioTV, founder of Love, Breathe for Earth, author of Life According to An Unknown, eternal Earth Advocate, and Lover of Life. You could contact her via her website.


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