In former incarnations, they have been an organizer with Idle No More- Two Spirits on Ohlone Lands, the executive media assistant for Indian Canyon Nation of Ohlones, and sat on the Two Spirit Council of Indian Canyon. They will be overseeing the Winyan (Lakota: woman) camp, a woman, children, and two spirit safe space in the Oceti Sakowin camp for the winter.
Photo credit: Jools Joules
Late in the day on October 22, 2016, Zephyr wrote the following reflection about the resistance of water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Within the next week Zephyr was arrested while praying and was released the next day. To support those who have been arrested, give to the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. For a list of supplies needed at camp, visit sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list.
"Today Oct 22, as always, we met as a camp for sunrise ceremony, prayers, and sacred songs. We left to go show support to relatives who had left earlier than we did to put their bodies on the line to shut down construction of this destructive pipeline. We walked close to ancestral burial sites and offered tobacco that our presence wouldn't disturb them any further than their rest has already been disturbed by the construction. Songs were sung as the womyn led the two mile March to a worksite.
The hill was steep and our group got separated. One main body of about 100 continued forward to try to reach the worksite. Another 30 of us couldn't make the descent and crossing. Our small group was met with an armored police vehicle, officers with long range rifles or automatic rifles. We held the road at the crossing. Many sang sacred songs, others lit sage and smudged. Not knowing what else to do, I fell to my knees in front of 13 officers and prayed...
Prayed for the water that is being threatened, for the four legged/feathered/finned/and crawling nations that are also being threatened. I prayed to my ancestors and the ancestors and spirits of these lands for help, guidance, wisdom, and protection. When I was finished prayed, I climbed the hill only to see our relatives being tear gassed and about 50 defenders rounded up and arrested. The rest of the group retreated towards us. We were told we could return the way we came, but then the police made a charge at those in the back that couldn't walk fast or run. More were taken.
Our elders, children, and those alternately able or injured were threatened. Many were rescued by trucks who came to pick those in the rear up and carry them to safety. Many more had to run over a mile. My uncle was one who ran... A man who is terminally ill and a diabetic. He made sure the elders and children were safe and refused transport. He is a man who helped our group find their courage to resist when many were unsure. He is not alone out here.
Many stayed in camp to pray and watch for our return. Many are still in camp praying for those who were taken. Many inipi (sweat lodge ceremony) will be held tonight to keep our spirits strong. Many grandmothers are cooking nonstop today in the various community kitchens to feed our bodies and heal our spirits. Many youth will run and laugh today reminding us why we fight and will continue to do so to guard these lands and our sacred waters.
Mni (mini) wichoni (wee-cho-knee) is our rally cry for it is a sure truth, water is life. We survived our roughest day out here yet by standing together. We shall continue to stand strong for the waters, for the lands, for the next generations, for the ancestors. Please pray for us. It will only be getting more intense from here on out.
Sending love, blessings and prayers from The NoDAPL camp, Dakota territories at Standing Rock."