My life partner and frequent work companion, Daniel Veintimilla, landed a special gig this week assisting representatives of Amazonian tribes visiting North Dakota.
An Ecuadorian friend referred him to Weaving Ties, a South America-based network of social organizations dedicated to the management of forest territories in Asia, America and Africa.
(Daniel, for those of you who don’t know us intimately, was born/grew up in Ecuador and became a U.S. citizen in August.)
According Michel LaForge, a spokesperson for Weaving Ties, flags from all the different nations will line the entrance to the Sacred Stone camp with tents and tipis everywhere, adding that the Indigenous Environmental Network and Sacred Stone Camp were notified of the leaders’ arrival.
Arriving from Lima, Peru, leaders from Amazonia and Central America will meet at the third Amazon Summit. Two representatives — Candido Mezua, from the Embera nation, from Panama, and Adolfo Chavez, from the Takana nation, from Bolivia — are delivering a message of solidarity from Latin American indigenous groups to people in Standing Rock.
They come in the name of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), which represents 10 organizations from five Central American countries, and the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), which represents indigenous organizations from nine countries.
This resistance campaign, many say, has emerged as part of a greater global crisis—a united struggle in which indigenous lands, resources, and people are perpetually threatened by corporations and governments often using military force. Integral to this shared narrative is the routine ignoring of treaties. —White Wolf Pack
In a symbolic gesture of solidarity, the tribes leaders are bringing a traditional drum signed by all indigenous leaders present, from 12 countries, from Guatemala to Bolivia. “The drum is calling to the voices of indigenous people to be heard,” Michel says.
Daniel, he instructed, will help with translation and in charge of production of media content (and driving).
Here’s a primer on the Standing Rock protest from TheAntiMedia.org:
“The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is leading the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. They have been joined by the largest tribal coalition in more than 100 years in their stand against the pipeline.
The coalition comprises activists, allies, and environmentalists, collectively known as ‘water protectors,’ at the Sacred Stone Camp, an encampment close to the location where the pipeline is planned to cross the Missouri River in North Dakota.
According to the Sacred Stone camp website, they are opposing the pipeline because ‘the Dakota Access threatens everything from farming and drinking water to entire ecosystems, wildlife and food sources surrounding the Missouri.’”
The Standing Rock Sioux also say the pipeline is violating treaty land, Sioux territory that was established many years ago by the federal government.
“We will not allow Dakota Access to trespass on our treaty territory and destroy our medicines and our culture,” they say.
More news from Daniel on the South American tribesmen’s visit to come …
Teaser image courtesy of whitewolfpack.com.