Editor's Note: For months, our community has supported efforts resisting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Today is the deadline for Water Protectors to vacate the Standing Rock camp of Oceti Oyate. As this fight moves from North Dakota to the courts in Washington, D.C., we wanted to share this poignant poem from our board member Amelia Marchand.
Amelia is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, working as a Colville Tribal Water Regulatory Specialist. She has a Masters Degree in Environmental Law and Policy. We're honored to have Amelia and her husband Joaquin on our Board of Directors.
Thank you for sharing your moving words, Amelia. Our thoughts are with the Water Protectors, and with the many who will see this struggle for clean water, environmental justice and human rights through in its next phase.
By Amelia Marchand, Conservation Northwest Board Member
Someday, my children may ask me, “What did you do when the Dakota Access Pipeline was approved?” I hope my reply goes something like this:
I did not bow my shoulders; broken or defeated. I did not look to others to find the strength I needed.
I did not sit idly by, silent and contrite. I did not cow to corporate greed, instead I prepared to fight.
The game board has been set, the players are all out. The future is the prize, one we cannot do without.
Pruitt has the EPA and the SEC is no longer transparent, meanwhile Tillerson’s got the State and Conway still runs errant.
Insulting our democracy, silencing our voice. Dodd-Frank rule repealed and the people have no choice.
They prepare our national treasures for divide and conquer. History still repeating, clearly there is no honor.
The terrorism is domestic, born of greed for dollar. What laws yet remain to protect us from this squalor?
Treaty rights and NEPA, NAGPRA, ESA. Public Trust, Clean Water Act, civil rights and AIRFA.
Have our leaders turned from logic? Does the Constitution rest? My heart beats for this land, I can feel it in my chest.
New allies align; cast out the doubt and fear. Our strength stems from our common purpose, so the call is loud and clear.
Salmon navigate treacherous currents in instinct for their young; we stand up for our children and as strangers become one.
Compassion, patience, and love still hold much sway - bullets and batons will never start to pray.
Our resistance is not futile, it is necessary indeed. Human rights and climate justice know there is a need.
I marched when I could, for Standing Rock and 350.org. I donated to the grassroots groups, making waves across the board.
I spoke out my displeasure, gave advice and shared my song. I live my ancestor’s legacy: I fight for my children all along.
Amelia AM Marchand