Called to Standing Rock

Building our sukkah at Oceti Sakowin with the help of our neighbors.

Building our sukkah at Oceti Sakowin with the help of our neighbors. (Liat Melnick)

Every dawn at the Oceti Sakowin (Och-et-ee Shak-oh-win) Camp in Standing Rock, North Dakota, we were awakened by a elder crying out over a loudspeaker, from the Sacred Fire, “Water Protectors wake up! We are here for a reason! We are here to cut the Black Snake’s head off! Do what you came here to do!… Take courage in your heart!” We were called to morning prayer, to the front lines and to prepare food for the community. These were the clearest shofar calls we have ever heard. We heard Native elders calling us from their traditions and experiences, “Wake up! There are injustices here and we are asking for the Creator to guide us in preserving the water and earth for ourselves and for future generations and you are here to support us.”