Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“We do not own the land, the land owns us” - "We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke"

Forgiveness Ceremony Unites Veterans And Natives At Standing Rock
"We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke"

National Congress of American Indians - “My hands go up to all the water protectors who have stood up to protect tribal treaty rights and to protect Mother Earth” 

On Monday, Native Americans conducted a forgiveness ceremony with U.S. veterans at the Standing Rock casino, giving the veterans an opportunity to atone for military actions conducted against Natives throughout history.

Wesley Clark Jr., middle, and other veterans kneel in front of Leonard Crow Dog 
during a forgiveness ceremony at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the 
Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Monday. JOSH MORGAN HUFFINGTON POST

In celebration of Standing Rock protesters’ victory Sunday in halting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Leonard Crow Dog formally forgave Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO, Wesley Clark Sr.

Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.

This was a historically symbolic gesture forgiving centuries of oppression against Natives and honoring their partnership in defending the land from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Maria D. Michael, a Lakota elder from San Fransisco, embraced veteran Tatiana McLee during an emotional forgiveness ceremony at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Monday… See historic photos
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/forgiveness-ceremony-unites-veterans-and-natives-at-standing-rock-casino_us_5845cdbbe4b055b31398b199