This post is an excerpt from the full article available in our Spring Issue:
Every now and again the universe calls for open eyes and ears and a woman with an “Unavoidable Purpose” answers. Actress Madeline Merritt, has taken it upon herself to be a “light in a dark place” during times of uncertainty on the playing fields of an indigenous catastrophe.
Since it’s announcement on June 25, 2014, a call for action to maintain and save the water source for not only the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but also about 17 million people who depend on this water further downstream. Protests have taken place in the areas around North and South Dakota where the construction of what is known as the DAPL or “Dakota Access Pipeline has been underway, drawing out Native American tribes, preservationists and onlookers alike.
Merritt, known for The Guest House (2012), American Idiots (2013) and Auteur (2014), Ed’s Mother (2015) and with current 2017 productions in progress, she is also a monthly contributor to Ms. In the Biz, a women in entertainment blog. She is an advocate for women’s rights and indigenous rights and was drawn to the conflict of the Standing Rock scenario seeing the importance of the abuse of political agenda.
“Just back to Los Angeles, from Oceti Sakowin, the front line encampment at Standing Rock. The first sacred fire has been put out, and a new one has been lit, called Oceti Oyate, or “All People’s Fire.” The mission has entered a new phase, and the youth have taken the mantle of the fire, one led for unity of all peoples, all relatives, and for the sake of the children seven generations hence. As I sit here with the memories of my few short days in camp, the memories of the journey there and back, the memories of our efforts to fundraise and to gather donations, that we offered and were accepted with full hearts, I think of story, of how to tell the story of one woman, one small team, the small but heartfelt impact we made at camp, and the huge impact being in that space of prayerful, peaceful, community activism has left on me.”
The Oceti Sakowin Camp is a historic gathering. The first of its kind of Indigenous Nations. The most recent such assembly of Tribes occurred when the Great Sioux Nation gathered before the Battle at the Little Big Horn. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe supported the peaceful and prayerful message of the Oceti Sakowin leaders. The on-reservation camp allowed the tribe to explore longer term ways to meet the needs of the community that was 100% off-the-grid and featured solar & wind power generation.
Says Madeline, “This is a story that exists on many levels, in the realms of body and in the realms of spirit. It is one that exists in practical terms, in the doing, in the going, in the gathering of supplies and support from our communities. It also exists in the synchronistic, in the call of the heart, in the prayer, in the gathering of sacred sage, in the meeting of kindred souls in the eyes of those we saw there.”
A Final Thought from the author:
Truth be told, as a vocalist and writer I was on the ground in Los Angeles during heavy protesting. The mood in the air was hope and love yet a deep sadness for the Sioux people and their arduous struggle. During the time when this issue was at it’s “deepest hurdle” for Madeline, Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo made confirmations to arrive in Standing Rock alongside of Jesse Jackson, as Rosario Dawson, Pharrell Williams, and more made huge impacts. Pop influential Katy Perry made sure to show her support on social media. These were and are truly trying times in the United States of America.
Recently, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa publicly endorsed Rezpect Our Water, a campaign that opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was created by the standing rock youth.
SOME KEY INFORMATION SOURCES:
Read More: Shailene Woodley, Mark Ruffalo + More Celebs Stand With Standing Rock Sioux | http://popcrush.com/shailene-woodley-celebrities-support-standing-rock-sioux-dakota-access-pipeline/?trackback=tsmclip
Visit change.org for current information
The Oceti Sakowin Camp info From http://standwithstandingrock.net/oceti-sakowin/
Find Madeline at:
Find me @TheMaddyMerritt