Respect for the earth. Respect for the water. Respect for each other and other peoples' opinions - even if you may not agree with them, and their way of life. This new line of fur clothing and accessories has a story and the moral of the story is Respect Is Due.
NO new animals were farmed or harmed to create these beauties.
They were created first as a desire to give back to the brave #WaterProtectors on The Great Souix Nation from the #StandingRock reservation. In 2016-17 the YOUTH began a stand, the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. They stood up to the big oil company who rerouted the DAPL pipeline onto their reservation and underneath the mighty Missouri River - the primary source of drinking water for 18M people! The oil company did this against and in direct violation of the Treaty of 1861. In case you do not know this, treaties are the highest law of the land. They supercede any local, state or even federal laws. If you are not in the know about the big oil industry it will be shocking for your to discover their practices of profit over safety for the earth and people.
Pipelines leak. Pipelines leak a lot and companies have an abysmal track record of ignoring this, not cleaning up their messes and lying.
What happened at Standing Rock is nothing short of historic. Unfortunately, this story was not told truthfully in the media.
It began on April 1, 2016. Ironic that it was April Fool's Day but this is no joke considering these seven brave youth members discussed this amongst themselves. They said 'Why doesn't somebody DO something about this?' Another said, 'Nobody cares about Indian Country.' Then another said, 'Why don't WE do something?' They then went to their elders and discussed the matter with them and told them of their intentions. Their elders agreed the time had come to make a stand. They supported the youth in this effort. Being like most young people today and media savvy, they put out a call to the world for people to come and support them in a peaceful prayerful stand to protect the water, which in the Lakota language is #MniWiconi. A quite amazing thing happened. Over 10,000 people from around the world from as far away as Japan, Sweden & South America came to Stand in Peace against this pipeline.
This angered the oil company and they threw the full weight of their resources behind destroying their protests. They militarized the local police department with weapons no police department should ever have - weapons that are AGAINST GENEVA Conventions! YES, a private for-profit oil company actually used LRADS (a sound weapon), dogs, water cannons, rubber bullets and a host of other evil weaponry against PEACEFUL Water Protectors in AMERICA. It is the single most disgusting abuse of power in America I have ever witnessed.
One day in early fall the police raided the camps. They brought their military vehicles onto the sovereign territory of the Souix reservation and destroyed tipis, confiscated personal & sacred objects from the camp and arrested! a lot of people. I was watching a live video feed that day and was horrified. A few days later I was watching a live feed by Dallas Goldtooth who was driving in his vehicle and talking about this raid. As he was driving down the highway not far from camp he saw a mountain of trash dumped by the side of the road that wasn't there before. As he gets closer he stops and realizes in horror that this was all the the stuff the police had confiscated from the camp. In the mountain of 'trash' dumped by the side of the road he sees their tipis, clothing and many sacred objects - Eagle featherd pipes and prayer sticks. Imagine if you will, the police barging into your church on a Sunday morning, harrassing the parissioners, arresting them for practicing their reliigious rights and then destroying the church and confiscating the crosses, chalices, the icons, the statues of Jesus & the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now if this is not disgusting enough, imagine finding those sacred objects dumped along the side of the road destroyed, uninated & deficated on, just to make sure you got the message that THEY are more powerful than you. This is what happened at #StandingRock that day.
I was so horrified by what I witnessed, my brain started to think of what I could do to help - to show my support against these egregious and illegal acts and maybe return something the the first people of our nation. What began as realizing a long-time wish of creating clothing and accessories with leather turned out in very short order into what you see here . . . the line of RESPECT IS DUE. I never intended to work with fur or enter into a full blown apprenticeship in the fur trade. But this is exactly what happened when I began to look for the leather I wanted. I not only found the leather, I found out that the fur trade has indeed an enourmous number of practices that are hugely disrespectful to the animals- and so I also ended up having materials coming to me from many directions as I shared the story of Standing Rock and what had & still is happening there.
I want to share just one more thing with you . . . .
In Native & First people's culture around the world part of their teachings are not only about respect for the land, Mother Earth who provides everything we need, but also for each of the animals. They believe that every animal has a lesson for us, for humanity. These lessons are called 'Medicine'. If we observe the ways of the animals, we will learn very important lessons about how to live our own lives.
I have been studying this Medicine since 1988 when a very special woman named Jamie Sams published a book called Animal Medicine. I highly recommend you borrow it from your library or better yet, purchase your own copy from her website HERE: jamiesamsbooks.com/medicinecards.cfm
These lessons and this Medicine has literally changed my life for the better more than any other single thing I have ever done. What started as a way to give back to the brave Natives of #StandingRock in some small way what was lost but making a special gift for every one I knew who stood up and took a Stand for what is right and honorable, became an ever greater personal blessing and responsibility for myself to share this story and this Medicine with a wider audience outside of Indian country. I have come to realize this is a huge opportunity for a teaching moment in history. It is my way of giving back. Giving back and honoring the sacred Native ways of the eagle, the otter, the fox, linx, bobcat, rabbit, beaver, Jamie Sams for her contribution to the world, the youth from Stand Rock and those who came to stand with them and most importantly, the water.
We are All Related. You can't drink oil. #WaterIsLIFE
I do not have endless supplies of material to work with to create these clothing and accessories.
If after checking out my slideshow of most of the things I have created and you are interesed is purchasing something, please contact me directly via feedback to this post for any information about special orders, pricing or just to comment.