21 November 2016


We made Standing Rock camp mid-day yesterday. It felt awkward for me at first because no one was directing us. A couple of Native men screened us driving in, but after that there was no concierge to register with, get signed in, receive a name badge and conference packet—as might satisfy my middle-class expectations! We had a bunch of old coats to donate, passed on to us by our friend from the La Connor reservation, and so first found ourselves moving all the clothing stored in one tent to another. Someone will have heard from someone that such-and-such would be useful. For example, due to the police having used fire-hoses to douse those on the front-line the day before, it was suggested that blankets and sleeping bags be separated out from the other donated clothing to be accessed quickly when protectors are facing hypothermia. Nat involved himself in setting up a large tent and Monica and I ended up assisting in food prep in the make-shift [a superfluous term here] kitchen. My observation of the camp demographic at this point was half white and half native. At one point a jeep snaked between the tents and teepees with a Native man on the bullhorn announcing "an action" beginning at 4 PM for those willing to risk arrest. We have not seen the front-line as of yet. We had a reservation to stay at the casino, 10 miles down the road, and headed down there to check in. It is indeed strange to be in these relatively luxurious accommodations given conditions from those camped. Temperatures range from the upper 20s to the lower 40s.

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