Trip to Standing Rock
By: Ray Montoya
Barb, Geri and I started watching videos of Standing Rock and what was happening there. While watching the videos of the injustices of peaceful prayerful people, I was getting angry with each video. They were getting shot by rubber bullets, mace, tear gas, concussion grenades and sprayed with water in below freezing weather.
What I witnessed was the peoples civil liberties, and all constitutional rights were being ignored by the government of North Dakota and the Morton county sheriff”s office. The rights for protest and freedom of speech was especially taken away.
When watching these atrocities against Mother Earth and those trying to protect her, I became enraged and wanted to go to Standing Rock to help the people anyway that I could. Then there was a call for Veterans to go and enforce their oath taken when then enlisted in the military. My oath was to protect our country against a foreign and domestic enemies. The way the people at Standing Rock were having their constitutional rights violated, it was time to fight against a domestic enemy and time for me to go.
Once I arrived, I could not believe what I saw when I drove over the hill. Hundreds of teepees and tents with thousands of people walking around. I had to go to the HQ tent for the veterans, and drove down the road which had the flags of all nations lining the road.
My first hour there I had a mission at the bridge to protect the elders who had a meeting with the representatives of the government and North Dakota. That evening and other evenings we had to patrol the camps to keep people safe. I had other missions that I was asked to do, during the time I was there as well.
For the actions that I done, I was awarded a Eagle feather, became known as Akicita (warrior) and was inducted to the Dog Soldiers of the people. I also became a brother to many at the camp. I had never seen such respect of all people Native and non-native that was shown at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Wish all the people would show the respect to others like I seen at the camp. Our world would be a much better place.
I did represent my family, the CSIC and our community proudly. Now the people are asking for your prayers and support. As for my oath I will continue to protect against a foreign or domestic enemies. As for me I will not hesitate to go against any enemy that our country and our people have to deal with. We need to keep Mother Earth healthy for our children and our children’s children. I am proud to have gone to the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock. This was for my family and friends that could not go. As a member of the CSIC I did you all proud.
Ray (Akicita) Montoya
MNI WICONI - WATER IS LIFE
Colorado Springs Indian Center
701 N 20th Street Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Phone: (719) 599-8630
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