Our First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March reached our destination in Fort Dodge, Iowa, yesterday, with a combination of feelings of accomplishment, relief, thanksgiving for all of the support, and sadness that we will go our separate ways, for now. And also looking forward for opportunities to work together in the future.
There is a great deal to process now, but I haven’t finished sharing the photos from the last day of our March. I made the mistake of not packing my camera battery charger. I’m fortunate it lasted until the seventh day of the March. My only alternative for photos of the last day of the March was to use the camera of my cell phone, which I don’t have much experience with. Fortunately the photos turned out pretty well.
Saturday morning, September 8, we got up around 6 a.m. because we needed to finish the final 12 miles and arrive in Ford Dodge by 1:30 p.m. So I had more new experiences, this time of getting the tent broken down and everything packed into the duffel bags in the dark. It was also pretty cold. Based on our track record so far, I think most of us were skeptical about being on time, but we did manage to do that!
We had a police escort through downtown Fort Dodge. At the City Square Park the tipi had been set up. I was amazed by the huge mural that hung on the side of the gear truck. The Native Americans had been working on this all during the week.
Drummers played and sang the “Mni Wiconi Song.” According to The Messenger newspaper, the English translation of the lyrics is:
“Grandmother earth gives life
The water is sacred
The water that gives life is sacred
DAPL is very bad
The Nation needs to take heart and be brave.”
The Messenger published a nice summary of the celebration, with photos. “Many steps. One journey”, September 10, 2018.
The band Brutal Republic was performing. All of their equipment was being powered by the solar system that had accompanied us all week.