Vi Waln: Military forces commit violence against peaceful water protectors

A #NoDAPL water protection effort on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, was again met by a strong law enforcement presence in North Dakota. Photos by Rob Wilson Photography [GoFundMe]

Trauma goes hand and hand with DAPL aggression
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Columnist

Technology allowed many of us to witness the violence perpetrated against innocent human beings last month by the Morton County military. The men and women who pushed innocent people south on North Dakota highway 1806, were fully clad in riot gear and can no longer be viewed as mere police officers. High-tech weapons specifically designed for war zones were used against unarmed human beings, bumping state troopers and county cops from several states to a whole different level.

We have to remember the Water Protectors are unarmed. They established the new camp in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline because they did not want any more sacred sites torn up. They bravely stood in front of the heavily armed military with their prayers, songs, sage and sacred instruments, including a Cannunpa.

The brutal actions of the Morton County military against peaceful Water Protectors on October 27, 2016 traumatized many people. The humans who were on the front line were the most affected by the violent tactics of the military. Those human beings are forever changed because of their experience. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is very real. It never goes away. PTSD affects you for the rest of your life.

In addition, the PTSD buried in our deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was triggered for many of us as we watched the brutality on live video streams. The PTSD we’ve carried for generations in our DNA is a result of the violent atrocities our ancestors suffered at the hands of the military forces blessed by the US government. Thus, the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual distress many Indigenous people are still feeling is completely understandable.

You may have heard the PTSD contained in our DNA referred to as intergenerational or historical trauma. Experts have identified intergenerational or historical trauma, as well as PTSD, as afflictions affecting many areas of our lives. We must learn to understand these afflictions, which have been passed down through our ancestral lines, in order to empower ourselves and our children.

There is nothing to gain by continuing to blame the wasicu for the conditions we suffer today. We can’t change history. However, we can help ourselves by learning how these historical events affect us today. The more we understand ourselves and our history, the more empowered we are to help our youth move forward with an enlightened mindset to tackle the issues we all face.

Consequently, the wasicu also suffer from intergenerational trauma. They carry forms of PTSD in their DNA. However, their PTSD stems largely from the guilt they carry. This guilt is directly linked to the violent atrocities committed by their ancestors on the Indigenous people of Turtle Island.

Furthermore, the wasicu also carry ancestral fear in their DNA. That is, the prayers of Indigenous people have always been incomprehensible to the wasicu, causing them to feel great fear. For example, the 1890 massacre of innocent Lakota at Wounded Knee was a manifestation of the deep-seated fear of our Ghost Dance prayer. This subconscious trauma also continues to affect many areas of their life.

I’ve come to realize that this intergenerational trauma carried by the wasicu, contributes heavily to their perception of Indigenous people. For example, when you look at social media today, there are many wasicu who post their innermost thoughts and feelings about Indigenous people. They are not aware that their fear, anger, hate, denial, resentment and racism stem from the guilt left in their DNA by their ancestors.

Today, many Indigenous people understand the necessity of the man-made laws created by the wasicu. Most of the time, we appreciate the hard work of law enforcement in removing dangerous criminals, such as meth dealers, child rapists and murderers, from society. Yet, there are also the laws of Mother Earth, which we know as Natural or Spiritual Law. Consequently, the human beings who continue to place man-made law above Natural or Spiritual Law will one day have to face the wrath of Mother Earth in her Court Room.

Natural or Spiritual Law has no statute of limitations. Thus, the wasicu also hold deep seated fear of us because they know on a subconscious level that they will eventually have to atone for the legacy of guilt left by their ancestors’ war crimes. Karma does not forget.

The Morton County military, as well as Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) owners and employees, are also human beings. They are there to protect their intent to exploit the oil of Mother Earth so they can make more money. They are disconnected humans who have forgotten that their Water is alive. They don’t understand that Water is Life. The phrase Mni Wiconi is foreign to them because their mentality is clouded by man-made laws and the almighty dollar.

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As long as the Morton County military and DAPL security mercenaries remain disconnected from their real human purpose, they will continue to use their jobs to inflict needless abuse on innocent people who understand and work to follow the protocols of Natural or Spiritual Law. Their continued actions against Water Protectors are creating new DNA memories for their unborn generations. One day, they will understand what the Indigenous people have known all along: The Natural or Spiritual Laws of Mother Earth have no statute of limitations.

I continue to pray for our brave Water Protectors. I also offer prayers for the disconnected humans whose first loyalty is pledged to the American dollar. These folks desperately need our prayers. Their intergenerational guilt and fear determines how they treat all people of color.

We are all human beings. We have to get past our tendency to hurt one another over money. Human beings should not have to judge one another as an enemy. The real enemy is the inhumane, profit-seeking corporation working to destroy the graves of our ancestors and put our Mni Wiconi at serious risk to move crude oil through a flimsy, man-made pipeline in relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Keep praying. #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife #MniWiconi

(Vi Waln is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Nation and is a nationally published journalist.)

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