I’ve written about how meaningful my connections with Native Americans were as we worked together in Indianapolis to support water protectors and against the Dakota Access pipeline.
At Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) last summer there was a panel discussion about Building Bridges with Native Americans. On the panel with Peter Clay were Donnielle Wanatee and Christine Nobiss. At the end of that discussion, Donnielle invited us to attend the Meskwaki pow-wow later that fall, and Dad and I did. As another step in building bridges, I shared the photos I took there, which are on the pow-wow’s Facebook page.
I saw Christine again when Indigenous Iowa and Bold Iowa delivered a petition to the governor’s office to remove a member of the Iowa Utilities Board, which approves pipeline projects, because of his conflicts of interest with the fossil fuel industry.
I saw both of them, and other Native Americans, when we went to Minneapolis recently to call attention the US Bank’s continued funding of Energy Transfer Partners (builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline) even after they had stated they would stop funding fossil fuel projects. I was entranced with the stories told by those who live at Standing Rock as we traveled together in the van to Minneapolis.
I wrote about my first attendance at the Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke celebration that Bear Creek Friends have been involved with for years.
And yesterday I described the gathering of Friends of Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke.
There are a couple more connections I haven’t written about, yet. After the Minneapolis trip, Ed Fallon created a new Facebook group, Stop DAPL 2.0! for us to continue to share our local work related to the Dakota Access pipeline. This has provided a way for me to share more about what Quakers are doing related to this.
I have also been sharing some of these stories with the Facebook group, Quakers Welcome Spiritual Seekers. There Shane Moad, of Beverley Friends Meeting, Beverley Australia, made some related comments he gave me permission to share. He and his wife have also been affiliate members of Rockingham Monthly Meeting, Virginia, OYM for the last 15 or so years.
I have gained a lot over my life learning from both Apache and Lakota people, which has made my life as a Quaker even more enriched. Thank you for posting this.
I know for myself as a Quaker, that much of how the Apache and Lakota (and I am sure many other Native American people) see their world view is very much how I see it explained through Christ in both scripture and spirit concerning their connection to spirit and the earth, being related to all things. When we see we are related to all things we start respecting all things. A much better understanding than thinking we have “dominion” over all things, which to me makes us more owners than carers. Their connection with the spiritual world is not just a thing for after we are dead and gone but a real and present reality to be experienced now as well. I think over the years through history, believers have often watered down our beliefs to the point they just happened in the past. Life has a way of wrapping us up in the physical and making the spiritual often seem a very distant second. I am thankful to have extended family on both San Carlos Apache Rez and Pine Ridge. Praying your day is a good one Jeff. related to https://jeffkisling.com/2018/02/17/dallas-chief-eagle-spirit-led-life/
Really enjoyed that article Jeff and what you guys are doing at Bear Creek. If we are open to Spirit we are in a position to be blessed by learning from others how they connect with God. In our meeting down here our seats are in a circle of sorts, as best we can to the shape of the meeting house. Ours are done in the tradition of Quaker meetings, but on first day I often sit and remember the circle as very important to Native American worship. Thanks for sharing!