Indigenous people from hundreds of tribes across Turtle Island (the American continent) are speaking in solidarity for the protection of our environment. Now, more than ever before, our lands are being threatened by policies and pipelines that strip the land and contaminate the waters.
Antioch College’s Indigenous staff members, Shane Creepingbear (enrolled in the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma) and Jennifer Kickerbocker (Annishinaabeg from White Earth Nation) have organized the Indigenous Water Protectors Panel as a part of Earth Week: WADE IN, supported in part by the Yellow Springs Community Foundation’s community grant.
“For our people there is prophecy around these times,” Jennifer Knickerbocker says. “This is a moment in which indigenous people are saying ‘No more, enough is enough.’ Sadly, we know how it feels to have extractive industry projects threatening our communities and our drinking water and our children’s future. The time is now to act.”
The purpose of the Indigenous Water Protectors Panel is to activate our region in protection of mother earth. Shane Creepingbear says, “As Indigenous people, we need allies and accomplices in water protection. The only qualification to becoming a water protector is that you must be at least 65% water. This is a watershed moment in the continuing epic of Indigenous liberation in the Americas.”
Panelists come from across the nation and are local representatives of Indigenous people include:
- Corine Fairbanks, Oglala, Lakota, A.I.M. Ohio, W.A.R.N. (Women of All Red Nations)
- Guy Jones, Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux, founder of the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans
- Errol Medicine, Dakota from Wakpala
- DuWayne Redwater, Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
- Jheri Neri, Director, Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition
We will hear from several local and national Native American leaders, including the internationally recognized voice for climate justice, Nina Burgland of the Annisninaabe people. She is a part of the Youth Climate Intervenors.
Nina Berglund, an 18-year-old Indigenous climate leader puts it this way: “We as native youth care about our environment. We care about what happens to our earth. We care about what happens to our own motherlands. And when we see pipelines coming in and taking over our lands, the lands that belonged to our ancestors, it breaks something within us — but then it also ignites the fire that wants us to fight back.”
The Indigenous Water Protectors Panel discussion happens Tuesday, April 23rd, from 2 to 3:30 PM at the Antioch College Arts & Science Building Cinema Room ( room 219). This event is free and open to the public to join in the conversation. For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be livestreamed on YouTube and will allow comments from participants.
Please join us by attending in person on campus or watch the livestream here.
For up-to-date information about WADE IN: Earth Week at Antioch College, please visit antiochcollege.edu/earth-week. Directions and a campus map are available at our website at antiochcollege.edu/about/directions-map.