Podcast | Dedicated to Land & Water Protectors

Podcast transcript below

[Opening & Intro Music]

Niyawe! Thank you for checking out the Shawnee Rising Podcast and tuning in to the last episode of season 2. This has been a pretty good season. A lot of things happened during this season and I only hope things keep getting better. I feel like I’m starting to get a hang of this podcast thing and I really hope that my podcast will continue to grow and get better. It was a slow start, but things are slowly starting to come together. I’ve been a pretty patient person most of my life, and this is just one more thing I need to allow to grow and take shape naturally, while feeding it organic and authentic content.

I think that’s where a lot of projects fail for many people, especially artists; they create inauthentic content, forcing an unnatural growth that will eventually come crashing down and dwindle out. I don’t want that. By being patient and allowing it to grow naturally and authentically, it will have a strong base to be able to hold up on its own.

That is what I strive for, not just in my podcast, but in all of my artwork and in my life. That’s what everyone should strive for in their lives. Be authentic to yourself and to others. Just be who you know you are, and things will naturally fall into place.

Before I start, I just wanted to say that this episode is dedicated to land and water protectors who are out there putting their lives on the line to defend our land and water from destruction by organizations and governments. I support you. I see you. I love you and I pray for your continued safe return home.

Ok, so, there is a petition going on created close to a year ago by a group known as NDN Collective, and from their website at ndncollective.org, they state:

“NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.”

NDN Collective (ndncollective.org)

So, after signing the petition, this is what they ask to email to anyone you might know, but I’m just going to read it here on this episode. It reads:

“I signed a petition on Action Network telling Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt and Rep. Deb Haaland – Vice Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, Chair of Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands to Petition to close Mt. Rushmore and Return All Public Lands in the Black Hills to the Oceti Sakowin. The Mt. Rushmore carving is an international symbol of white supremacy and racial injustice, and represents the history of oppression of the Lakota Nation in their own homelands, the theft of Indigenous lands, and the continued erasure of Indigenous history, culture and people. The Mt. Rushmore carving represents the active oppression of the Lakota Nation in their own homelands, the theft of Indigenous lands, and the continued erasure of Indigenous history, culture and people. Standing in solidarity with our ancestors, families, our allies, and the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations), we are calling on Director Bernhardt and Representative Deb Haaland to close Mt. Rushmore and return all Public lands in the Black Hills to the Oceti Sakowin as negotiated in the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, as Indigenous treaties are the supreme law of the land. Further, we call upon all Americans to stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities and advocate for a world of justice and equity that honors diversity and BIPOC populations. Can you join me and take action?”

NDN Collective (Action Network)

That is the end of the message.

If you don’t know, BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Also, this petition was created back before Deb Haaland became to the new Secretary of Interior, replacing David Bernhardt, which I hope gives this petition a better chance than before.

I will have a link in the episode description to the petition, and if you’re reading the transcript on my blog, you will see the link within the transcript here: (https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/petition-to-close-mt-rushmore-and-return-all-public-lands-in-the-black-hills-to-the-oceti-sakowin?source=email&)

I’ll also put a link to a video by NDN Collective called “Hesapa-A LANDBACK Film” that shows some footage of the protest that took place as well as some info on why it started and what transpired. Again, if you’re reading the transcript on my blog, you will see the link within the transcript here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCl6TS5zBIw)

The reason I’m sharing this is that they still haven’t reached their signature goal, which is very close, and I just want to do my part in getting the word out there.

This campaign, known as the LANDBACK campaign, was inspired by action taken on July 3 of 2020, when 21 Land Defenders were arrested and faced criminal charges for their part in defending Hesapa, which are the ancestral homelands of the Lakota and other Indigenous nations, on which Mt. Rushmore was built; carved into the sacred Black Hills.  Land Defenders reignited the fight for the Black Hills after they blocked access to Mount Rushmore when word got out that, then, President Donald Trump had planned to visit the site, a visit that Indigenous people saw as an illegal trip into Oceti Sakowin territory. This campaign is a campaign to get Indigenous land back into Indigenous hands. The LANDBACK campaign was officially launched on Indigenous People’s Day on October 12, 2020.

Please consider signing the petition and helping return the sacred Black Hills to the Indigenous People. The petition is just under 7 thousand signatures away from meeting their goal of 51,200. Please, add your name and share it around.

Go to landback.org and/or ndncollective.org to find out more.

Whether you like Mount Rushmore or not, you have to remember that it was built on unceded, sacred land of the Oceti Sakowin. Land that was stolen by the federal government in 1876. You have to remember that the territory, like most territories in the US, falls under some kind of treaty. In this case, the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty between the Oceti Sakowin and the US Government. And to quote Article 6 of the US Constitution: “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

The supreme law of the land. That’s in the US Constitution. It’s crazy to think that the US made such a law, knowing today that they broke every single treaty that they ever made with Indigenous people all across the US. Not one treaty that the US signed with any Indigenous nation was ever kept. The US Government blatantly violated their own constitution in order to steal what they wanted.

In this case of the Black Hills, the land is unceded territory, which means that the Oceti Sakowin never handed over or signed over rights to those lands to the US Government, even after Congress enacted the “sell or starve” provision of the Indian Appropriations Act of 1876. The government held the payments being made to the Lakota Nation in order to starve them until they sold the land to the US. But the Lakota stood firm, refusing to give them the land, which means that the land still rightfully belongs to the Oceti Sakowin.

But, in 1941 the faces of racists, slave owners, and colonizers would be carved into the side of the sacred Black Hills. The people who these faces represented brought grave harm to Indigenous people and African Americans. Theodore Roosevelt was quoted saying, “Nine out of ten Indians are better off dead,” and Lincoln ordered the hanging of 38 Dakota men, the largest mass execution in US history.

Yet, Mount Rushmore is visited by millions of tourists every year, the majority never knowing the true history of the land that their standing on or that the land is stolen land. To Indigenous people, that monument will always be a symbol of white supremacy and will continue to be seen as a symbol of white supremacy until it is removed.

I also took action and signed a petition and asked President Biden to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline from being built through Anishinaabe territory in Minnesota. Like Keystone XL, the Line 3 tar sands pipeline is a threat to our climate and water and violates Native American treaty rights. I will have a link to that as well…(https://www.stopline3.org/biden)

I should proudly note that while writing this episode, TC Energy terminated their Keystone XL pipeline, giving Indigenous land and water protectors the victory that they’ve fought so hard for. This is a win we all should celebrate! It is a victory for land and water protectors, a win for those who would have been, or have been, affected by the construction of KXL! But the fight isn’t over. The fight continues. There are more projects out there just like it, like the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. So, on to the call to action from Honor the Earth…

Their call to action to Minnesota voters and decision makers reads:

“Since 2014, thousands of people have shown up at hearings, talked to neighbors, written letters, and organized in their communities to oppose Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline. Line 3 is a clear danger to our climate, water, and land, and would undermine the Indigenous treaty rights of the Anishinaabe people. Enbridge’s route crosses the 1854 and 1855 treaty territory where Anishinaabe people retain the right to hunt, fish, gather medicines, and harvest wild rice. The impact of construction – or worse, an oil spill – would permanently damage their ability to exercise these rights. The proposed route for Line 3 crosses 227 lakes and rivers, including the Mississippi River and rivers that feed directly into Lake Superior, putting those waterways at risk of a spill from the 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil that would flow through Line 3 every day. Contruction [sic] of Line 3 cannot continue.”

Honor the Earth (stopline3.org)

That is the end of the message. So, head over to stopline3.org and/or honorearth.org for more info.

Tell President Biden to stop Line 3!

This is my small part in it all. I wish I had the means to do more. I just don’t. So, niyawe, thank you, to the land defenders and water protectors who get out on the front lines with their fists in the air and protect the water, the land, the sacred sites; who put their lives on the line to push back against colonization and the raping of our land. This episode is dedicated to you. I see you. The world sees you.

I want to thank those who have stuck with me this season. It’s been a fun ride and I can’t wait to see what season 3 brings. I still have goals and aspirations for this podcast to reach out and interview fellow native artists and business owners in the area. I don’t know if that will happen in season 3. I still need money coming in and put back for equipment. So, fingers crossed.

I will be taking a few weeks off to focus on my Online Shop and marketing my artwork a little more. I’m hoping that I can get my YouTube vlog started before season 3 begins. I’m going to focus on behind the scenes stuff at first; how I set up my podcast and what equipment I use; my painting materials; beading some earrings and other projects, as well as some family stuff here and there. I won’t do tutorials or anything, because I don’t really have a process to teach. If I do tutorials on anything, I will most likely put it on my Patreon and make them patron-only content.

When I start my health and wellness journey, which I have sort of already started, I will be recording my workouts. I’ve changed my diet already, but I haven’t started working out. Honestly, I hate working out and I think I’m just procrastinating. But I want to record it, not just for viewers, but for myself. I want to see how I’ve changed over time and if I tell people I’m going to be doing something, well, I kind of have to do it, right?

Working out is hard. It can be painful at times. But, if I can show people that I can do it, then hopefully, it will motivate others to start their own health and wellness journey as well. We’ll do it together, because, only together can we rise…

[Outro Music]

Niyawe! Thank you for checking out the Shawnee Rising Podcast. Season 2 has come to an end. I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me. The support has been amazingly awesome!

A big shoutout to my Patreon supporters. I hope I can start adding more patron-only content to Patreon soon. You deserve it. There’s a lot I couldn’t have done without your support. A big niyawe!

As I said, this episode is dedicated to the land and water protectors who put their lives on the line, literally, on the front line to protect our Mother Earth from being raped, drained, and poisoned from those organizations and governments who only see the dollar signs. This earth is our only home. If you needed wood in your fireplace to keep warm, you wouldn’t rip boards from the walls of your own house, would you? No. Eventually, the walls would cave in and kill you and possibly your family. So, why would we do that to our only home planet. How far can you go before the walls just cave in?

Love and respect to you all.

Salanoki Kenole, niyawe!


Indigenous Environmental Network

Digital Smoke Signals

Indigenous Climate Action

Climate Justice Alliance

You can catch up with me on my Facebook pageTwitter, Instagram, TikTok, or contact me using the form on the Contact page.


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