Send Me To Standing Rock

What's my exciting news?

I have been blessed to be invited to join a team of organizers headed to North Dakota to join the Standing Rock protectors. 

What are they protecting?

Land. Water. Life.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is proposed to transport 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day (which is fracked and highy volatile) from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. Despite pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Dakota Access has failed to consult tribes and conduct a full environmental impact statement. The proposed route crosses the Missouri River at the confluence with the Cannon Ball river, an area that is of utmost cultural and spiritual, and environmental significance. There are historic burial grounds, village grounds and Sundance sites that would be directly impacted. The water of the Missouri River is essential to life on the Standing Rock Reservation as well as all of the nations and states downstream. The threats this pipeline poses to the environment, human health and human rights are the same as those that were posed by the Keystone XL. The possible contamination of these water sources makes the Dakota Access pipeline a national threat. [edited from]

That's a nice chunk of change. Where's it going to go?

I'm putting some of my own money towards this but it's an expensive trip. That's part of why I kept going back and forth about whether I was making the right choice. Why not just raise and send the money? Why do I have to go? I'll say more about my personal motivations below but, long story short, the protectors are asking people to come. This movement is a testimony to the power of organized people and, as winter arrives, they are asking people to join them. More people means more power and a greater likelihood for an end to the pipeline. This money will cover travel and supplies (Yikes! Last minute flights and winter camping gear are pricey). Every extra dollar raised will be donated to the camp so if we can blow my goal amount out of the water that would be incredible. 

When do you leave?

Soon! So soon! I will actually get to spend my birthday (11/14) at the camp. This means I need to purchase the ticket a.s.a.p. as they will only get more expensive the longer I wait. The turn-around is tight but I believe it's doable.

You mentioned some personal motivations?

I'm going to try to not spill all of my emotions into a lengthy explanation. I can always share more with you one-on-one. Essentially, this would mean the world to me. As many of you know, I am Indo-Latinx. This means I am an Indigenous Latinx woman from Venezuela. I live my life in the Latin diaspora and, because of that, I struggle to know the details of my Indigenous heritage (my family, tribe etc...). Still, it is an integral part of my identity and decolonization is an integral part of my personal movement towards liberation.  As a South American native living in North America, I do not have many opportunities to be in relationship with and learn from S.A. natives. Tribes from around the world have joined the campsite in solidarity and this would be a rare opportunity to meet them. Secondly, decolonization is not just an internal/personal process. It is a public and communal one. Vital to decolonization is the literal reclamation/protection  of territory and resources. Being a part of this effort is necessary and right. I feel a responsibility to it as a woman who claims her Indigenous identity.

Just how grateful would you be?

I cannot make this happen on my own. I need you. So, how grateful? We're talking "I'll hug you next time I see you even though I am so NOT a hugger" grateful. Every bit helps and I will do my best to document my journey so that you can see what you helped make possible. I don't have a lot to offer in the way of perks but I can offer my gratitude and, for some, my art. If you are able to give $25 or more, I will mail you a signed copy of one of two paintings (your choice).

Painting 1: "Clothed with The Strength of Her Foremothers"

Painting 2: "Resist to Exist"

Also, I will host a dinner when I return for any donors in the DC area.

Thank you for making this possible!


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 7 yrs


AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez
Washington D.C., DC

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