Environment | Health | National

Mary Annette Pember: Kitchen serves the #NoDAPL movement






A meal at the #NoDAPL encampment in North Dakota. Photo by Joe Brusky

There's no time for resting at the Oceti Sakowin Kitchen, reports independent journalist Mary Annette Pember. Volunteers are at work nearly around the clock, feeding about 2,000 people at the #NoDAPL encampment in North Dakota:
“If you’re not working, you have to leave. No press is allowed here,” said the big, beautiful young Native woman.

She sported a trendy blond crew cut. Her muscled arms were crossed officiously over her chest as she stood tall before us. Although she smiled and spoke courteously, I could see that if provoked she could easily kick us out. Wisely, we withdrew and watched the kitchen action from afar.

And there was a lot of action to be seen in the sprawling Oceti Sakowin camp kitchen. A worried-looking young man added wood to a fire under an enormous black soup pot.

“How long would such a container take to come to boil?” I wondered.

People were busy cutting, chopping, washing, hauling, frying in an unending assembly line that dwarfed any powwow, ceremony or funeral feast ever seen.

The hungry people came in waves. Some groups were small and some large, with only tiny breaks between the action out here on the prairie—truly an unlikely place for such a vast enterprise.

“I gather the men and women who are cooking and tell them it shouldn’t matter whose kitchen you are in; you should have a good mind and a good heart,” said Melanie Stoneman of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. “No gossiping or too much laughing around; whatever feelings you have go into this food.”

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: Nourishing the Protectors: The Oceti Sakowin Kitchen Is (Almost) Always Open (Indian Country Today 10/17)

Also Today:
Standing Rock chairman says talks under way about moving camp onto tribally owned land (Forum News Service 10/14)
Protesters prepare for the impending winter (The Bismarck Tribune 10/14)
Where does the North Dakota anti-pipeline camp go from here? (The Des Moines Register 10/15)

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