While many were having Thanksgiving meals elsewhere… I heard words that I can never be thankful for.

My reflections on the prayer ceremony and police message on the day many were at home celebrating Thanksgiving:


I made my way out to the Sacred Hill where many had already gathered. I could hear a police megaphone atop the hill telling all to return to camp and that they would leave the hill if the people below went back to camp. The police stood on top of the Sacred Hill 80 persons wide armed with rifles, water hose, pepper spray, tear gas, and a sound cannon. The people at the bottom of the hill gathered with ceremony drums, prayers, and spiritual herbs while armed with goggles, padded shirts, and a few gas masks (a small attempt to endure the upcoming rain of aggression against the prayer ceremony). Then the most clarifying statement ever made by a policeman was made. A police megaphone yelled down:


“Your vests, goggles, and gas masks are a threat to us. We will have to use force if you do not remove your protective equipment”


I had always been taught that these people atop the hill were trained to serve and protect yet I long have had my doubts. I do not have a recording of this megaphone, but know that someone does. How can defensive equipment ever be considered a threat to those wielding automatic weapons, chemical weapons, and armored vehicles? How is a people’s mere existence such a threat to the gunmen atop the hill?


This people: whose gravest sin is trying to defend themselves from the upcoming and previously demonstrated aggression toward them… this people walked this land thousands of years before a gun was ever known. This people buried their ancestors atop that hill where the police now stand. Where the police now claim as their own land for their own purposes. The core purpose being that of a private corporation.


I had to experience that because it spoke more than all the history I had ever been taught about similar abuses. That day, I was glad I had sacred medicine gifted to me by a friend from Crow Nation. I stood below the hill, half in the water, with my medicine burning from Sonny. I stood there knowing I could now speak not from history books and hearsay but from my own life experience. Those atop the hill truly serve and protect, but their service is not for us lowly humans…