The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established upon the waters. – Psalms 24:1
(REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN FOR THE WYOMING ASSOCIATION OF CHURCHES’ 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATING WYOMING’S DIVERSITY FROM COWBOY POETRY TO RETORING BISON TO THE WIND RIVER RESERVATION, FROM A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR REFUGEE TO MENDING BROKENESS AFTER A HATE CRIME HAPPENS AND MORE.)
“Water is Sacred” adorned Native Americans’ signs during a recent march across the Wind River from the reservation, home of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes, to the Riverton City Park. I was one of the 200 participants in this event sponsored by the Wind River Native Advocacy Center. The march was to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota seeking protection of their water.
The concern is about a possible leak where the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP) would cross the Missouri River near the drinking water intake for the Standing Rock Reservation and about disturbances of spiritual and cultural sites along the pipeline route. On September 9, after several weeks of demonstrations by thousands which was largely ignored by the media except for personal Facebook postings, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not let the pipeline company continue until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of the previous decisions.
The Wyoming Association of Churches supports the “No to DAP” effort based on two of our current resolutions: (1) To stand with Native Americans and (2) To protect our water that Christians also consider sacred.
I went to a screening of a documentary entitled, What Was Ours which will air on public television in January. Screenings were in Riverton and Lander. Due to many being turned away when the theater in Lander was filled, the film will be shown again on October 1st. What Was Ours is about the Wind River Reservation and efforts to reclaim artifacts that once belonged to tribal members and the hope to establish a museum on the reservation for appropriate care and display, or to ceremonially bury certain items according their beliefs. The Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming is featured in the film. The documentary is sad, funny and profound, as it pieces together a complex story of our past and present. It’s a “must see.”
Don’t forget to register for our 40th Anniversary Celebration in October! Also, if you have not already, see The Bridge exhibits now in Laramie, Rock Springs, Lander and Powell!
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.