Full Title: Native poet speaks the language of Standing Rock — and explains how a presidential apology falls short
When poet Layli Long Soldier heard news over the weekend that the government was halting the Dakota Access Pipeline project, she was elated.
“I was astonished and excited,” said Long Soldier, who hasn’t been to the Standing Rock Reservation in the last few months but says her heart has been with the Native American activists who are protesting the building of an oil pipeline.
“I took time to let my spirit fly and be happy. But at the same time, I feel a sense of caution. I have a general feeling that this is not the end. The fight isn’t over yet.”
Long Soldier, a member of the Lakota Sioux Tribe, wrote a poem about the standoff earlier this year. It interweaves an interview she conducted with Waniya Lock, one of the Standing Rock activists, with the official guidelines that were developed by tribal elders about how people at the camp should conduct themselves.
“I was so impressed by the position the community took in remaining prayerful. They were firm about having no weapons there and wanted to reinforce the idea that this is a ceremony.”